Nick was going through a break-up.
Instead of jetting off to another continent to do some soul-searching, or turning to reckless habits, he found a sense of purpose in education. “Most people turn to drink and drugs and partying – I turned to free online courses… and drink and drugs and partying” Nick jokes.
His learnings formed the basis of his new comedy show “Quantum Bad Boy“, playing at the Melbourne Comedy Festival from March 28. “This year, I was kind of on a quest for knowledge” Nick recalls of conceptualising his 5th show in the festival. This quest led him to study a multitude of free courses online through Open2Study, run by Open Universities Australia (OUA).
Funny story – Nick was exposed to Open2Study while chatting to his father, a pecan nut farmer. Nick’s father was taking a free course in robotics, with the goal to build a drone that could house fireworks, to scare away pecan-hungry cockatoos. Only in Australia, are we right? Fascinated by the idea, Nick decided to study the same course, in an effort to push past his heartbreak, and also become closer with his father. From there, his passion for learning only grew stronger.
To say that Nick was broadening his horizons is quite an understatement – his eclectic array of courses included robotics, anthropology, web marketing, psychology, marine and arctic science, and even midwifery. It was the feeling of achievement that pushed him onwards, and of course, finding comedy gold in concepts like kelp forests, and the bizarre outcomes of evolution.
Nick’s start in comedy came 10 years ago, but it wasn’t until 3-4 years ago that he started to take it seriously. “Before that, it was a dumb hobby… kinda still is now” he laughs. He wanted to be a musician at first, but he’d always been the funny guy amongst his friends, so stand-up comedy was a great fit – particularly after realising that being a musician requires actual musical ability.
Now, Nick’s passion for comedy has collided with a passion for learning – and what a combination that turned out to be. One of the best benefits he’s experienced as a result, is becoming a more interesting person, whose diverse general knowledge attracts great conversation. He hopes that his show will reflect this, and that his audience gets up from their seats feeling not only entertained, but enlightened.
“Come to my show” Nick says, “You might get a kick out the story and the facts. Basically that’s a back-up plan I’ve installed, so you’re like, ehh, he wasn’t that funny, but it was interesting.” Nick says with a big grin.