RAW Comedy MC laughing to the top

RAW Comedy is an open-mic comedy competition that gives amateur comics the chance to launch a career in stand-up.

Funnyman Sean Choolburra, who will be MCing the Wollongong heat, says the competition also gives audiences an opportunity to see fresh, up-and-coming talent.

"This is a chance to come and say I saw this guy when he just started out ... because out of the RAW in Wollongong you could create the next Adam Sandler or the next Jack Black or the next Eric Bana," Choolburra says.

"It's a great night because you've got all these comics doing five minutes up and you can feel their energy and how fresh it is to them.

"Now that I've been doing it for 10 years, you want that same energy and enthusiasm that they have."

Choolburra, winner of the 2002 NSW finals, is testament to how the Melbourne International Comedy Festival-run competition can kick-start a comic's career.

"It all took off from there, because it was on TV and it just went everywhere," he says.

"Especially for a lot of Aboriginal people watching TV and seeing an Aboriginal stand-up comic, they just went, 'wow, where did this fella come from?'.

"It moved me up the ranks really quick.

"Ten years on, it's a full-time career. I'm booked out constantly with MCing, gigs, festivals, dinners, conferences, all types."

Choolburra was a dancer with Bangarra Dance Theatre before he turned to comedy and his shows draw on that background.

"I went from professional dancer straight into being a professional comic and the transition was very easy because I was already used to being on stage," he says.

"My style of comedy is a lot musical, it has a lot of dance, it's observational, it's political - I have everything. As a comedian you kinda got to have all your types of jokes to suit everyone.

"My comedy is very clean. It's a bit like Bill Cosby, very family-orientated but it has a lot of musical numbers in there.

"I don't think I'm the funniest person but I have a gift of story-telling.

For any would be comedians contemplating giving RAW Comedy a go, Choolburra recommends having fun with it.

"The advice I would have is never take yourself serious," he says.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop