Andrew Hamilton’s journey from behind bars to the stage

Now he’s making up for lost time, rocketing from open mic night to finalist for NSW Raw Comedy and earning acclaim at his debut festival.

“It’s been a quick development, but I think I’ve had so many things I want to get out of it, both from my time in prison and from the chaotic years I’ve had in the years before that. malice and passion,” he said.

Hamilton was released on bail on the condition that he live with his parents. He also had to be accompanied by one of them when he went out at night so his mother would come with him to his open mic night performances.

He would ask event organizers to perform earlier in the evening because he has a 10pm curfew.

Still, his first appearance was a revelation.


“I recited my set night and day. I didn’t really execute it; I just said it. But it felt good, and it was good to laugh. Once you hear those first laughs, you’re just relieved. “

He quickly found like-minded people on the scene.

“Every open mic night, you’re going to see some guy. If you get up every night of the week trying to make strangers laugh, and you get zero or five dollars for it, then you obviously have something that drives you that way. Do stuff… I think other comics see this in each other.

“I’ve lost a lot of friends because of what happened, so it’s been so much fun to start telling jokes and getting to know Sydney’s welcoming comedy community.”

After surviving the extreme conditions of prison, Hamilton said he wasn’t afraid to bomb on stage. Instead, his experiences pushed him to put all his energy into stand-up comedy.

“I was at such a low point, I felt like I had nothing left to lose.”

Why convicted drug dealer Andrew Hamilton turned to stand-up

“When I’m at such a low point, I feel like I have nothing left to lose. Maybe that makes me a little fearless. I don’t think I’d ever do stand-up if I didn’t lose everything first.”

Far from the grim moments you might expect, Hamilton’s performance is surprisingly upbeat.

“I’ve always been an optimist, and that helped my situation. Also, because you’re in a depressing situation, whenever something funny happens, it’s doubly funny… Laughter is a very positive thing.” Transitive stuff.”

Hamilton is especially proud of the work’s ending, reflecting on the role comedy played in changing his fortunes.

“I want us to think: Why do we put on comedy? Why do people come to comedy? I really believe it’s because laughter is very therapeutic. It can change a person’s life.”

Andrew Hamilton’s “A Joke About My Time in Jail” will be at the Factory Theater on May 18, 20 and 21.

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