Abandoman: Get Inspired By My Fav Comedy Act

Winners of both Hackney Empire New Act of the Year 2010 and The Musical Comedy Awards 2010, Abandoman – Rob Broderick and James Hancox – are a unique, up and coming Hip Hop Comedy Improv. Act. They create hilarious musical sketches at lightning speed live in front of their audience. No two gigs are ever the same. I’ve had the pleasure of watching them live twice and was blown away by their contagious positive energy.

So much so I had to interview them! Get inspired by one half of Abandoman, the lovely Rob Broderick:

Abandoman is the most original, wittiest, energized comedy act I’ve seen in ages. You and James have obviously been working very hard. How did it all start?

Rob. It all started in England. For years James was a musician and I a stand up comic. I started rapping freestyle as kid but it wasn’t until I was 18 that I became conscious that I could do it. I met James at a comedy cabaret show. We freestyled together, and it all went from there. Abandoman started as a project at the Brighton fringe festival in 2008. After that we went to Edinburgh, where we had a hard time filling up the room.  But we did get to support “Atmosphere”, my favourite hip hop group.

I am no comedy expert but I predict great things for you. What is Abandoman’s ultimate goal?

Rob. To do a Michael McIntyre meets Kanye West kind of show. A couple of weeks before the Kilkenny Comedy Festival we got to do something like that and I loved it. To produce songs that sound as polished as a Lady Gaga song; epic sound, with vocal processors… like it’s been created by a professional band. I would also love to work with Jay-Z and Chris Martin.

When I saw your gig in Kilkenny I was blown away by your energy. You are so full of life! How do you get into the right estate night after night?

Rob. Pre show I sit or stand wit James and we get playful and do some rapping, freestyling, going quickly, for about 30 minutes, about whatever we see, toothbrushes, all sorts of brushes… on days when energy is low or nerves are high, I try to make the energy bigger so when I meet the audience the energy is big. When on stage everything else disappears, so whether I’m grumpy or whatever… when the audience get on board on the first song, boom, I’m off! If I was tied to a script I would be more nervous. I love improvising, being lose and free.

How do you deal with hecklers and difficult people?

Rob. I like it and embrace it. Darragh O’brien, for example, has an amazing ability to celebrate whatever he gets from the audience. You can choose to embrace it, endow the person, you can play along with it and it doesn’t have to be confrontational, we rarely get in a pickle, maybe when someone gets too drunk…

Have you had any obstacles in your career, and how have you overcome them?

Rob. It’s always been my policy to just plough on. It’s always happened that friends of mine have achieved things quicker than me, but then, I’ve always known that I didn’t want to do scripted comedy, so … I just didn’t see it as an obstacle. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve grown slowly and now I do what I love. My keenness is to discover what works for Abandoman as a show. Jamming with other people and musicians, and testing things does make things easier though.

Whose career do you admire and would like to emulate?

Rob. Kanye inspires me most. He comes out with a new album every couple of years and it’s distinctive and everything has developed from year to year. And his collaborations are fantastic. He clearly has a vision.  He chooses what he wants to wear, and music wise experiments hugely. He’s got balls. He works for the art form. I admire the collaboration process, and everything that he does. His braggadoucious attitude doesn’t always suit Irish people, but I think there’s humour in that.

It’s no news that a lot of young people with dreams and goals have it tough today, and many are pretty despondent. What would you say to them?

Rob. All I can say is , I did stand up for free for 3 years and gradually started charging. I am very fortunate that I came to England to do open mic and I was able to perform more. Ideally, pursue your dream, be relentless and you’ll get there, someone has to be.  I worked hard but I loved what I did so… and I was quite greedy as a child. I was aware that there seemed to be men out there that were making a living from something that I thought I’d enjoy. You have to know what you want to do. Ask yourself “What would I like to do?” And pursue it. Put yourself out there. Find places where you can test things and get better, like The Beatles did. Also, think about how much you are giving up to do what you want. Assess how likely you are to continue doing that job, and what is going to keep you interested.

You gotta do what you know you are going to be great at. More greediness and selfishness are needed when it comes to deciding your career. Be ridiculous! Someone has to be! And put yourself under pressure.

Watch Abandoman in action here. Want to watch them live? Visit http://robbroderick.com/about/


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