Former Levin man Josh Davies grew up a "blind nerd" but has broken out of his shell to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian.

Last year Davies left Horowhenua for the first time in his life, moving to Auckland to follow his comedic dream.

Davies said during his years at Horowhenua College you would never have guessed that comedy would become his chosen profession.

He said he was quite shy, being blind in his left eye and having only 15 per cent of sight in his right eye.


He was the quiet kid that sat up the front and focused on his work.

"I was a proper little nerd," he said.

"I never really talked unless I knew the answer. I wasn't the class clown by any stretch, I was terrified by public speaking."

Though he loved comedy and had a growing desire to perform, he described himself as a "terrified teenager" in a town that didn't have a comedy scene.

"I'm not sure why I thought comedy was the ideal thing for me when I couldn't even do a speech in class, but I managed to overcome that by some insane leap," he said.

Davies' passion for comedy begun at age 14, watching YouTube comedy clips. He couldn't bring himself to perform until 2015 when he entered the Raw Comedy Quest in Wellington and made it to the semifinals.

"Performing in a room to about hundred people was an amazing adrenaline rush.

"To have that many people, probably not all of them but enough of them laughing, gave me the confidence to keep going," he said.

Davies said his style of comedy is mostly observational, a bit surreal and also weird.
"I guess my inspiration comes a lot from being blind and how it has impacted my life, how I see the world through my personality," he said.

¦Davies will be performing in the New Zealand International Comedy Festival, May 10-13 in Wellington at the Ivy Bar & Cabaret on Cuba St.