This year’s Reykjavík Fringe Festival is (as always) full of comedy. One of the shows we’re most excited about is Mauricio Rodríguez’s ‘Anyway…’ at the Secret Cellar. The comedian—a Reykjavík transplant from the Dominican Republic—has been one of the most talked-about on the local scene. We sat down with Mauricio to ask a few preview questions about the show.
Thanks for talking to us Mauricio. First off, tell us about your show! There’s very little info online about ‘Anyway…’ so we are quite intrigued.
‘Anyway…’ is the compilation of funny stories regarding my life in Iceland, how I got here, things I’ve learned about myself and others just by living here, the differences between Iceland and the Dominican Republic, etc.
What was your journey into comedy like?
I started comedy in February of 2019. I was working out of town as a carpenter with a friend of mine that recommended I try stand-up. He’s a big stand-up comedy fan and he’s hilarious, so I asked him “Why would you tell me to do it? It should be you!” and he said he believed I needed to try it because I’m good at telling stories. I thought this was quite flattering, considering the fact that this was coming from someone much funnier than me. “If Eiki thinks I can do this, then maybe I can”.
He had been going to the Secret Cellar and kept asking me to do the open mic there. It’s not like I needed a lot of pushing—I have loved comedy my whole life, just never saw it as an option for me, until Eiki planted the idea in my brain. Took me a couple of months to finally do it, but after my first open mic, I was hooked.
As an immigrant—what’s the funniest cultural difference you’ve found in Iceland versus your home country?
I don’t know if it’s the funniest (because there are so many) but the first that comes to mind always is the ‘talking while inhaling’. What gets me about this is that most Icelanders say they don’t do it, but they all do it. It is crazy that there is no official word for whatever that is; there’s 100 words for snow but no word for sounding like you’re choking when you agree with someone.
We have to ask—how was your pandemic experience? Did you get into any weird quarantine hobbies?
Me and my wife have twin babies, under two years old, so our family life didn’t change much with the pandemic. If anything it helped me focus more on being a dad, which I love. The hard part for me was not being able to do standup; we went from having 4 shows a week to nothing.
Hobbies? Well, I became pretty proficient at changing diapers… In other words… ain’t nobody got time for that.
‘Anyway…’ will show on July 6th at 22:40 and July 8th at 20:30.
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