SASHA SRBULJ COMEDIAN TZAR, SPEAKS FROM QUARANTINE ABOUT HOW MUCH HE MISSES HIS COMEDY FRIENDS,HUMAN DEPENDENCE ON EACH OTHER AND OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH AI'S.
In this unsettled moment, when most of the people are fighting their own battles and trying to get their lives back, we virtually ambushed one of our favorite NY comedians, Sasha Srbulj. He shared a mesmerizing view and blue skies from his Brooklyn building roof and made us laugh in the first five minutes. We talked about his quarantine days, how he misses the sound of human laughter, why he didn't fall into any 'competitive online challenges', and how creativity and his amazing comedy colleagues proved to be the most rewarding during this period. We talked about 'the thirst for human interaction', why humans can't wait to 'join the matrix' and what's next for his special "Artificial Ignorance" (available on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify as well).
Is there a joke that always makes people laugh?
I'm not sure there's one joke that always makes everyone laugh. The late great comedian Mitch Hedberg had this joke that I recently re-heard and it made me laugh out loud - Again. That's very difficult to do. Usually it means the joke is really good. One time, this guy handed me a picture of him, & said,"Here's a picture of me when I was younger."... Every picture is of you when you were younger. Like many others in NY you’ve been in quarantine for a while. How do you spend your days and what are the most interesting self-discoveries during this restricted period?
The biggest surprise is that I haven't devolved into a pool of my own laziness and id. I've remained relatively productive. Most New Yorkers are consumed by their schedules - both social & business, the Work & the fun. The Quarantine unfortunately ended the 'work life' for many people. However, the interesting thing is that the Quarantine basically ended everybody's 'social life'. So if you're one of the lucky ones and you can work from home - there is no 'distraction' afterwards to go to. No bars, or nightlife to indulge in. It leaves a lot of time for creative work. Brainstorming. Contemplation. It's a rare moment.
Do you have a routine that keeps you balanced?
Almost immediately after the Quarantine 'arrived' you had this phenomena pop up on social media of bettering yourself. Pushup Challenges. Cook a gourmet meal. Meditate every day. Learn Mandarin. I call this 'competitive quarantining'. While I understand that structure helps keep you sane and I appreciate Physical activity & meditation, I think its also important to appreciate that 1000's of people in this city were dying around us. A pattern I noticed is that each afternoon around sunset I'd walk out onto the roof of my building. Pace around and watch other people on other roofs do the same. Shrugging at the abyss. As an artist who uses language to connect with the audience, you somewhat depend on human interaction. Do you think the ‘new normal’ will affect your profession and performing arts as a whole?
Comedy Clubs, like theaters are in Phase 4 of the re-opening plan. So, they'll be the last to re-open. It's putting a lot of strain on everybody and figuring out how to do Live Comedy on Zoom is an ongoing learning curve. I did a show with 30-40 audience members who's audio was off but their cameras were on. My screen was divided into 30 little boxes. You could see the feedback of laughter - it helps. It's not the same as live. Nothing will replace that. These are just methods to get us through the quarantine. Everybody is eager for the 'all clear' sign. My hope is th