How do you start being a comedian
Maxi Gstettenbauer: "I will always be the nerd"
In an interview with our newspaper, Maxi Gstettenbauer explains why comedy is hard work. The stand-up comedian will soon be performing in the amphitheater.
From Patricia Reich
From computer game tester to popular stand-up comedian - that is Maxi Gstettenbauer's vita in short. The likeable Lower Bavarian resident in Cologne initially worked as a presenter for various video game programs at Giga. Maxi has been a full-time comedian since 2012 and is best known for the show "Night Wash". In addition to topics such as video games and technology, the now 30-year-old also thinks about his generation in his “Dear Maxi Than Normal!” Program. We talked about his development in the interview and were also able to coax a little secret from him.
Everyone starts small. For you, it was LAN parties and weddings where you put your skills to the test and gained your first experiences. Did you imagine at the time that you would one day perform in front of a lot of people?
“First of all, thank you very much for letting us talk! I've never been to Hanau and I'm really looking forward to playing in the amphitheater soon. I have friends from Frankfurt who grew up in Hanau, and everyone has congratulated me on being able to perform in this great location. I never thought that I would play when I was at a LAN party in front of 20 Hanseln ten years ago. "
You are very open about the fact that stand-up comedy is above all hard work. Is it a bit important for you that people take the profession of comedian more seriously?
“It is important to me that people see that there is no superhuman standing there. I'm not a Helene Fischer who hovers like a star above everything and can do everything! My cheeky snout and a very good feel for spontaneous jokes help me. I am always surprised that there are really many people who think that everything comes to mind spontaneously on stage, until I noticed that I thought the same about my role models back then! If you want to entertain people for two hours alone, that is a lot of preparation. There are sure to be some genius who are so interesting and talented that they can just tell about their day, and it's awesome. I definitely am not. I keep tweaking my numbers forever. When you come to me, you get top-quality, organically grown entertainment. "
You've been seen with a beard a lot lately. While we're on the subject of "taking it more seriously": Do you have the feeling that with a beard you have a different effect on the audience?
“You notice that you are no longer perceived as a boy, but as a young man. I have now turned 30 and have noticed how my topics are slowly changing. I'll always be the nerd, but I'm changing. I never wanted to be a comedian who kept telling the same things, but constantly evolving without losing himself. A comedian has an obligation to be funny, of course, but he is also an artist on a journey, and that inevitably means that you talk about different topics in the third program than in the first. "
Your success is mainly due to the internet, where your clips get multiple clicks, likes and shares. Do you devise a social media plan for yourself, according to which you post specific things to keep the conversation going?
“My social media plan is: I post something when I have something to say. That means, if I have a great performance and it is filmed, then I post it. Quality is the most important thing to me. It may well be that you won't hear from me for six months because I'm working on the new programs. Because whoever delivers, has to recharge from time to time. Everyone has their own rhythm, but it pays off for me to wait for opportunities and then be ready. "
You yourself say that you are very much influenced by the American comedy style. What do you think Americans are doing better than Germans in the industry?
“I don't find every US comedian awesome per se either. There are such and such. But with the advent of YouTube, a whole generation of young Germans has now become aware of US comedy. That is why stand-up comedy has a completely different status in Germany. First people see how awesome that can be! People want to experience something new. The same thing happens on TV anyway and the audience notices it. That's why there are now alternative comedy shows in every major city and they are full! People want authentic entertainment and at first it doesn't matter whether someone from Germany or America is there. "
Which German comedians do you celebrate?
“Bastian Bielendorfer, because he's my neighbor and owes me money. Torsten Sträter, because who else? Of the current NightWash newcomers, I am celebrating Jan von Weyde, Thomas Schmidt and Ben Schmid. Please look all three times. Very funny! "
You also like to improvise in your shows. Is there an audience template that you've secretly been waiting for a long time and that you would love to include in your show?
“I take every evening as it comes. That's the big contradiction in comedy. You have to arm yourself to the teeth and then at the right moment forget everything and be totally relaxed. That is what makes this job so cool. "
As a viewer of comedy programs, one sometimes has the feeling that one rough word is enough to dust off the laughs from the audience. Do you have an "emergency plan", in the sense of "I'm going to incorporate this and that word into a topic", to loosen up the mood a little more or to bring it to your side?
“The question is, what is an emergency? Every audience is different. People laugh differently in Flensburg than in Munich. The regional differences have to be taken into account. I can't immediately start insulting everyone just because the fish's heads laugh differently than the jerks. I am constantly learning new things myself. That's why I love this job. "
You became known as the nerd with the video games. So a gamer question shouldn't be left out: Do you still have the time to stay up to date or, for example, to follow the E3 video and computer game fair?
“I'll tell you a secret: When E3 is running, I always make sure that I don't have any appearances during that time, so that I can watch the press conferences of the big game developers all night long because I still find games so exciting. I can still see what the big games are, but I don't have the time to play them all myself. "
You once said about your program “Dear Maxi Than Normal” that the declared “normal” is the strange thing and that the program is about understanding your own limitations and making peace with it. Can you explain that again in more detail?
"With pleasure. We take things for granted far too quickly. For example, we call a person who has a lot of followers or likes 'influencer' simply because they reach a lot of people. In the past, people caused a stir with their ideas, today every halfway successful Instagrammer only posts the same calendar sayings. An image of freedom, self-determination and total serenity should be conveyed, but everyone seems so strained. For many people this elevated reality is quite normal and I find that extremely strange. "
You are now a professional when it comes to Hessen. From November of last year to March you moderated “Maxis Comedy Mix on Wednesday” in the club of the Frankfurt Jahrhunderthalle and received changing guests. In September you will be on stage in the Hanau amphitheater. Have you discovered places in our region that you would definitely recommend? And why?
"I recommend everyone to come to the amphitheater." (Grins)
You have changed thematically. The nerd comedian, who talks about video games, youporn and technology, deals with the fears and insecurities of his own generation. Life gets more serious. So where do you see yourself in five years?
“First of all, I'm happy that something like this is even noticed! Where do I see myself in five years? You can ask the fortune teller at the fair that too. I have no idea! I think the great stress that is going on in my generation results from such questions. We see it as completely normal to know where to be in five years. No, you don't have to. All this nonsense about 'you have to set goals' and you have to optimize yourself continuously. Total nonsense in my eyes. If you already have a clear picture of where you will be, there is no chance for surprises. Nothing is as strong as real presence. So to be honest: I don't know and I don't want to know either. "
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