By Valentina Ruiz Leotaoud / Translated by Genevieve Ayukawa
His tips for happiness when it comes to re-focusing your career:
- Be mature
- Be clear about where you come from – both in terms of nationality and in terms of your professional training
- Take the change and challenges with a grain of salt
- Pay attention to the small details and you will find many positive (and even funny) things
- Challenge yourself to try something new – something that will take you out of your comfort zone
- Fall in love with the new you
“I am a comedian because it’s my best way to communicate my love to other human beings,” says Hector Rivas, grinning ear to ear.
His good humour is definitely contagious and, since laughter is a universal language, even the rainy Vancouver laughed at his wits.
He is currently doing stand-up comedy both individually and with the group Amusings. Getting to where he is now was not easy, however, Hector has been able to add a hint of sunshine to even the most difficult times. “One day I was worried because I didn’t have any money to buy clothes. I only had two pairs of underwear. I would wash them every day (yes, Luis…),” he says slyly and continues: “By chance, one sad day without any underwear, I had a stand-up show sponsored by an underwear company from New Westminster. That day was amazing and I won three new pairs of underwear. Now, every time I do stand-up I use a red pair of underwear from that day. It’s like a reminder that when you do what you love, God is always there…to give you underwear.”
All jokes aside, Hector – like many immigrants – feels a certain fascination for challenging himself. “When I was in Venezuela I decided to train abroad because doing stand-up in another language looked difficult and interesting. I grew up listening to Conde del Guácharo, Laureano Márquez, Emilio Lovera, George Harris, Led Varela, Bobby Comedia, César Muñoz, Ivan Aristeguieta… and I want to be very good at this, I want to see how far I can go here because the most beautiful part of this art is that you have no limits,” he says.
Beyond being a fervent follower of the great comedians of the country, Hector also has training in the field. He took his first steps at the age of 18 as a clown in a hospital as Dr. Yaso. Sooner rather than later, he moved on to learn about improvisation with Akeké-Circo Teatro, where he stayed for about four years. At the same time, he experimented with one-man shows under Ivan Aristeguieta who, he says, inspired him to develop acts in English.
His talent and positivity soon took him to noteworthy stages such as that of “Moulin Rouge” in Sabana Grande (Caracas) and the coveted “Show de las Risas Azules” at Aula Magna of the Central University of Venezuela. “Comedy is an art that has brought into my life friends, growth, spitefulness and much, much joy. The best of all is that it has taught me that life is splendid and that, in most cases, everything is about perspective. I have been lucky to discover what I love,” he says”
That passion for standing on stage to make others happy is evident in the acts performed by this 27-year-old Caraqueño. Shamelessly, Hector mocks himself and the strangest situations he has had to face as an immigrant. In doing so, he also tackles universal topics provoking reflection in his audience.
Enjoy one of his sketches in the following video.