Rob Auton is truly one of a kind. He performs comedy, writes poetry, and is even an incredible painter. He once wrote an entire show based around the colour yellow which shows just how different his approach to the performing arts is. Auton plays with metaphorical concepts as though they are physical things, which opens up a whole new realm of incredibly thoughtful comedy. If comedy is to be considered an art form, Rob Auton is truly one of its leading young artists.
I asked Rob these seven questions to learn a little more about him…
1) When did you first encounter comedy?
I can’t remember. I guess it was when I was little I must have laughed at something. It was probably something such as a dog existing. Or the sun. Stuff like that was hilarious to me. Still is really. Comedy has to be something you find funny doesn’t it? I remember when I was about 5 or 6 I had a bike that was black and it was called a Raleigh Wildcat. It had a sound effects box on the front. In the village where I grew up there always used to be this old man called Bill who stood at his gate, when I went down the street pressing the sound effects he would shout “The Daleks are coming.” It isn’t that funny now but when I was a child I would nearly fall off my bike from laughing at him because I really believed he thought I was a Dalek.
2) Where in the world would you never go?
Paintballing in the snow near Newcastle. I went paintballing in the snow near Newcastle once and I remember looking down at my hand and it was dripping blood onto the snow. Someone had shot me from close range and the paintball had cut my hand somehow. The paint from the paintball was mixing with the blood so it was like some sort of crap Damien Hirst spin painting that hadn’t been spun yet. I would never go there again. I always give the enthusiastic guys at the camouflage netted tables in shopping centres a wide birth when I see them.
3) Do you have any weird talents?
I’m quite good at making scrambled eggs in a pan in a kitchen and chicken drumsticks outside on the barbecue. What came first the scrambled eggs in a pan in a kitchen or the chicken drumsticks outside on the barbecue? I’ll start with the scrambled eggs. I don’t want to tell people how to suck scrambled eggs but the key for me is loads of butter in a pan, really low heat, put the eggs in and stir it for ages (3-4 days) put in loads of salt and pepper and take it off the heat before it is cooked as it keeps cooking on its own. With regard to chicken drummers on the barbecue the key is to get loads of that division one pepper powder. What is that stuff? The stuff that has been ground down into dust and put that on until you’ve got enough on and then put more on and then put salt on in the same way. Basically so the chicken drummer looks like a chicken drummer that you’ve dropped on a beach and the beach is made from salt and pepper. Quite a chicken themed answer that I’m afraid, sorry to the none chicken eaters. You can use the same techniques with any food really.
4) Something you wish you believe in?
Magic tricks. I would love it if a person could be sawn in half and then put back together and be perfectly fine.
5) What is the best item in a sweet shop?
The chewy bits in the middle of Cola Cubes.
6) Does being a comedian feel strange to you?
I don’t know what I am but whatever it is it feels strange sometimes yes. If you are calling me a comedian then yes it does feel strange to be called that. The idea of doing gigs feels strange but when I get up on stage and just try to say my piece it doesn’t feel strange to me at all. It feels good for me to try and get my ideas out of me and into other people. Sharing them to see if other people like them or not. If I have an idea and it makes me laugh and I say it on stage and other people laugh at it too then it makes me feel like I am part of something and not completely crazy.
7) What kind of people do you surround yourself with?
It is very rare that I am ever surrounded but I try to spend time with people who aren’t going to walk past a fish tank without looking in.