Sometimes, we are born knowing what we are supposed to do. Other times, we stumble into it. Such was the case for funny guy Matt Okine, whose name you might recognise now but who happened upon comedy almost accidentally.

“Comedy is one of those weird things where it never even occurred to me how on earth I could possibly start,” he said. “I was watching ABC and they were talking about RAW comedy, which is an open mic comedy competition, and I guess in a moment of delusion, I decided to enter. When I got the call up from the Sit Down Comedy Club and they told me when my heat was on and everything, I spent a whole day trying to figure out how to call up and cancel it.” He gave it a shot anyway.

Brisbane born and bred, Okine’s impressive resume proves the risk has paid off: stand-up comedian, actor, rapper and radio presenter.

He co-hosted the breakfast show on Triple J from 2014 to 2016, was the co-host on How Not to Behave, has appeared in several movies, won an ARIA Award for Best Comedy Release in 2015, and boasts two TV shows: The Other Guy and Short Cuts to Glory: Matt Okine vs. Food.

Though he might not have foreseen these successes, Okine credits his time at Brisbane State High School and Queensland University of Technology as preparing him for his career. “I was able to go to a really good drama school in Brisbane, which was pretty awesome. Got into QUT, and did the acting degree there. It taught me a whole lot, including some of the principles and skills that I still use to this day.”

Brisbane, too, helped shape his work. “I think there is something really useful when you’re creating art and you’re from a humble city. I think that’s what Brisbane is,” he said.

That spirit has allowed him to embrace challenges that might defer the faint-of-heart, stretching out, testing his limits, and refusing to be confined by any negativity.

“When you’re putting yourself out there in any artform, you’re really putting yourself up for criticism and for ridicule as well,” Okine said. “I think if I wasn’t so blatantly stubborn in wanting to do everything, I think I would’ve let a lot of outside voices get to me by now.”

Matt applied this philosophy to co-writing and acting in his brand-new show, The Other Guy, a comedic take on the realistic living circumstances of 20 to 30-year old Australians. Alongside the show, Okine released a coinciding official soundtrack, featuring the artist KLP. “I learned a lot, writing that show, but it’s something that I’m really proud of and the acting was crazy,” he said. “When you’re trying to do everything, people want to try and compare what you’re trying to do in one genre to where you stand in the other. I know where I sit and am proud of my achievements in each one of the divisions separately.”

The Other Guy is now available on Stan.

 

 

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