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Ivan Aristeguieta : Juithy

Each year, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival has its share of feel-good stories. Reflecting upon the most recent season, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better story than the rise of Venezuelan-born comic Ivan Aristeguieta.

It started with a golden opportunity to perform at The Gala. He seized the moment, slayed the rather enormous room, and his popularity promptly exploded. Aristeguieta went on to enjoy a sold-out season at the festival, even adding two shows towards the end of his run. “It was a good pat on the back. You can go, 'I’m doing the right thing, I’m on the right track.' Finally I’ve made some money in the festival season. There’s a lot of investment for many years just to be a better comedian, and to get people to know you. To build up your audience and to get better so you get opportunities like playing the Gala."
 
Savouring every second of his charmed run, Aristeguieta cottoned onto another perk of his newfound success. “The joy of, ‘Oh my god, I’m not worrying about flyer-ing anymore.’ That was just beautiful.”
 
Ultimately, Aristeguieta was crowned Best Newcomer at the 2016 Sydney Comedy Festival about a month later. But in case you’re worried it may have gone to his head, Aristeguieta is as grounded as ever. “I don’t use it to rest on,” he says. “I actually use it as a challenge, because when you have that sort of award and a sell-out season, people expect for you to be better the next year. I use it as motivation to give a better show. I don’t want the people who recommended my show to be disappointed that their friends didn’t like it the year after. It's motivation to be better.”
 
Aristeguieta prides himself on honing his craft. He was able to do just that, touring with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow on consecutive occasions.
 
“I’m so grateful. I’ve been to all the states, all the main cities, all the major towns in each state," he says. "When you take things to small towns, they’re not that used to having stuff every day of the year, they’re grateful and thank you for coming and there’s a lot of love after the show."
 
Travelling across the country with the Comedy Festival Roadshow has been perfect in more ways than one for Aristeguieta, a comic renowned for his expertise in dissecting the peculiarities of Australian culture. His new show, Juithy, will see Aristeguieta bite into a meaty subject.
 
“When you think you’re in a bad place and you complain about it and get to a better place, you see people who’ll complain about the better place,” he explains. “When I came to Australia – a place that is ten times safer and more liveable than my country – I see Aussies complaining, because you always complain wherever you are and you want it to improve. So, there’s a lot of jokes about complaining and accepting good things and bad things.”
 
By Nick Mason
 
Venue: ACMI - Studio
Dates: Thursday March 30 - Sunday April 23 (bar Mondays)
Duration: 55 minutes
Tickets: $20 - $32