BWW Interview: Rob Van Vuuren talks ENOUGH IS ENOUGH and performing in lockdown
Comedian and actor Rob van Vuuren has been working hard during lockdown to keep the arts alive. He chatted to us about the new world of live streaming shows and the future of the entertainment world, post-lockdown.
BWW: Let's start off with - Is Wednesday's live streaming performance of Enough is Enough a once-off event? Will audiences be able to catch you in anything else in the near future?
Rob: It's a one off for this particular show, I think. Although I am offering it to corporates as an antidote to motivational sessions and team building within the context of lockdown, a global pandemic and everyone losing their minds. We'll also be doing another Most Amazing Show with Corne and Twakkie next Wednesday the 13th at 9pm.
BWW: Can you tell us a bit about the show and what people can expect?
Rob: It's a reaction against the notion that you somehow need to write a novel or reinvent the wheel during isolation otherwise you're lazy or undisciplined. I hate that idea. I think we need to first acknowledge our trauma and grieve and slowly start with basic self-care before doing anything else right now. It also feeds nicely into my distaste for motivational speakers and the idea that you have to do something potentially life threatening and ultimately absolutely unnecessary on some or other desperate adventure holiday in order to be inspired or find meaning in your life. Lockdown has demonstrated for us who the real heroes are and who really is keeping this country together and, surprise, it's not the motivational speaker who paddled to Madagascar and back in a boat made out of wet wipes.
BWW: What else have you been getting up to during lockdown? I saw some Corne and Twakkie posts on your Instagram account.
Rob: I've been trying to keep myself busy with stuff that is fun and feeds into my curiosity. We have been doing some Corne and Twakkie shows, which work really well online. I have also been shooting some short sketches with a character called Robby Rob Rob Robbo, which I have loved. I have also been recording a podcast with Nik Rabinowitz called AND NOW? It's available on iTunes, Spotify and YouTube. Oh, and I do a show on Insta Live called STORYTIME WITH ROB where I pick a theme per show and share stories on that theme with guests.
BWW: Can you tell us about any projects you have lined up for after the lockdown ends?
Rob: So much of my work relies on the gathering of groups of people so it's currently looking at it lean after lockdown but I'm sure things will pop up as we readjust to the new normal. I am very fortunate to have a part in Queen Sono which has just been green lit for a second season on Netflix and we should start shooting that once restrictions have lifted sufficiently.
BWW: Back to the present - got any tips for theatre lovers and how they can stay sane as we move into Level 4 of lockdown?
Rob: Watch my show! I have lots of great tips there in and lots of comedy to help you get through these tough times. Otherwise, be gentle with yourself and others and try to support artists by buying a ticket or making donations to whatever they may be doing online if you can.
BWW: Looking to the future, how are you feeling about the future of live entertainment and theatre?
Rob: Obviously it's pretty devastating right now for people who make a living off of or who love supporting live entertainment. However, it has been amazing to see how hungry people are for live entertainment online. I think it's a fascinating time to explore new ways of performing online in the digital age and of adapting your art to this medium. I think that things will return to normal-ish but I also think that some aspects of this new way of consuming content online will become more entrenched in popular culture and I'm hoping that if I get a handle on it now, I will adapt as it evolves and it will be another revenue stream for me in the long term. Also, I love being able to reach such a wide range of audience members in one go. The other day we had a guy in Antarctica watching one of our live shows! That's amazing!
BWW: Thank you for chatting to us. It's really inspiring to see you and other performers adapt to the current situation, and have such a positive outlook on the future. We wish you all the best with your online performances, but also can't wait to see you up on stage again, hopefully very soon.
Photo credit: Supplied