'Congratulations – you made it to the Fourth Floor'.
This is how Venezuelans wish each other happy birthday when they turn 40. Now that Ivan Aristeguieta is celebrating that milestone, he wants to share the floor with everyone in his new Australian home, in the best way he knows how, by kicking off a six-city national festival tour in 2019.
"Every year I write a show about the subject I've been dwelling on the most," says Ivan. "I can't deny that turning 40 is my main concern. I've heard that people in Okinawa live to be 100-years-old. I think we should all go to Okinawa and seek their advice. Also, if you're turning 40, you should know where Okinawa is because I know you loved The Karate Kid movies."
A brew master, food technologist and comedian back in Venezuela, Ivan Aristeguieta emigrated to Australia in 2012 and quickly found his feet in the Australian comedy scene, drawn to the Aussie 'piss-take' comedy style. From his own ABC sitcom Lost in Pronunciation to his debut Chorizo Sizzle, he endeared audiences with his brilliant observations of Australian culture and food.
Ivan has appeared on Have You Been Paying Attention?, ABC Comedy Up Late, Just For Laughs TV Gala and Melbourne International Comedy Festival TV Gala to name a few. His 2018 tour Matador saw him selling out festivals and his most recent 2018 World Tour has kicked things up to another level, heading up to The Fourth Floor!
For Ivan, The Fourth Floor is about four decades of life. "Call it a mid-life crisis or a mid-life celebration," he says. "Four decades of a man who has done too much, or too little depending on how you see it." He observes, "In Venezuela life was hard, but decisions were easy. In Australia, life is easy, but decisions are hard." He thought Third World problems were bad, but now he has First World problems – which rubbish bin goes out this week or how do you pronounce 'Woolloomooloo'.
One of the things Ivan looks forward to the most each year is the comedy festival season to catch-up with his fans. "Every festival season is different," he says. "I love to experience and witness the evolution in my comedy. Loyal audience members that come to my shows every year are already like family. They know what I've been through over the years. Last year lots of people told me after the show that they were happy for me that I've moved on from my divorce. Some people told me I've lost weight and that I should eat more. I've got family all over Australia. It's beautiful."
Join Ivan for his mid-life crisis celebration as he steps out of the lift and on to The Fourth Floor! Going up?
Tickets for Ivan Aristeguieta's Comedy Festival run of The Fourth Floor are on sale now.
For more information, please visit www.ivanaristeguieta.com.au
Question: Can you tell us about your upcoming Comedy Festival show?
Ivan Aristeguieta: It's a midlife celebration; I'm moving to the fourth floor!
Question: Where did the idea for The Fourth Floor, come from?
Ivan Aristeguieta: My shows are like a yearly report of my life to my audience, turning forty has been the thing I've been reflecting on the most that I had to write a show about it. Also, I haven't made it yet… my birthday is in August.
Question: What should audiences expect from the show?
Ivan Aristeguieta: A very funny show. I'm making myself laugh a lot in this one.
Question: How do you feel about turning 40?
Ivan Aristeguieta: I'm loving it! I'm getting smarter for no reason at all. It's like Mother Nature is rewarding me with wisdom for staying alive for 39 years.
Question: What originally inspired your passion for comedy?
Ivan Aristeguieta: My grandpa; he was very funny and charismatic, everyone I met had something very positive to say about him. Comedy connects people better than any other thing.
Question: Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Ivan Aristeguieta: I like to get the blood flowing before shows - I dance, jump, stretch and do pushups.
Question: If you could have anyone, in the world, attend a show, who would it be?
Ivan Aristeguieta: My grandpa, he told me so many jokes when I was a kid but he didn't make it so see me performing comedy.
Question: What motivates you most when writing a show?
Ivan Aristeguieta: Making myself laugh.
Interview by Brooke Hunter