Every Monday, the Chronicle fires 10 questions at a Whanganui local. This week Ethan Griffiths sits down with Whanganui-raised funny man Ray O'Leary.
What is the best thing about working in comedy?
The hours I would say. You work 15 minutes a night, and you can sort of do what you like with your day. There's a lot of freedom and choice about how you spend your time.
What advice would you give to 15-year-old Ray?
I'd probably just tell him "don't worry it'll all be fine, don't plan for the future". On top of that I probably would have told him to do comedy earlier. Don't keep putting it off and take the plunge.
If you had to listen to one artist for the rest of your life, who would it be?
Probably Queen, because all of their songs are quite different so it wouldn't get repetitive. They're like the democratic Beatles. The Beatles would be another good pick, but Queen is like the Beatles if every member got to have a say.
It's a Friday night and you can't be stuffed cooking. Where do you go for takeaways, and what's your order?
I'm normally very tame with my takeout. I'd probably just go to the fish and chip shop and just grab some chips. It's a nice simple takeout. Why would you want anything else? Chips are delicious.
If you could have a meal with one person dead or alive, who would it be?
There's a comedian I really like called Stewart Lee, but I wouldn't pick him because I'd embarrass myself. I'd probably pick the philosopher Peter Singer and pick his brain. He's a very smart and thoughtful person.
Favourite Netflix show and why?
Just because it's currently in my head right now, I'm thinking I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson. It's an alternative sketch comedy show and it's really, really funny.
When you're home in Whanganui, what's your favourite thing to do?
Probably just see my family. My mum, my dad, my nana and my aunts and uncles all live in Whanganui, so it's good to catch up with them.
Is there any particular place you like going to?
Normally their houses.
What is the best crowd you've ever performed to?
Wellington is always a favourite place of mine to perform. I think possibly one of the best performances I've ever had was in a club in Wellington which no longer exists. I performed my stand-up comedy while someone played a hip-hop beat underneath it and I sort of swayed back and forth as I performed it.
Who is the most impressive person you've performed to?
Obviously I love all of my audience members equally, but I think I once did a very good gig in front of Ross Noble who is a British comedian who does a lot of improv stuff. Also his flight had to leave early the next day so he gave me his gold class ticket to Black Panther so it was a great gig all round.
Where do you want to be in 10 years' time?
Do you think we'll have a vaccine by then? I think I have a good thing going in New Zealand, but I'd like to consider possibly pursuing comedy overseas and trying to compete at an international level. I'm thinking places where comedy is really thriving, like the Cayman Islands, but most probably I'm thinking London.