US comedian Myq Kaplan makes his Edinburgh Festival debut with his show All Killing Aside at the new Underbelly venue Freisian for the month of August on Bristo Square.
Myq spoke with The Fountain about performing at the Fringe for the first time and his desire to see a comedy in a castle.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
The MOST exciting! Thank you for starting off with an easy-to-answer question. I’ve heard about the Edinburgh Fringe for a long time, and I’m super looking forward to being a part of it this year. (ALSO PLEASE NOTE: THIS ANSWER IS SINCERE AND NOT INTENDED TO BE FUNNY, BUT THE SHOW I AM BRINGING TO THE FRINGE WILL BE BOTH SINCERE AND FUNNY! ALSO THIS PARENTHETICAL IS INTENDED TO BE EXACTLY AS FUNNY AS YOU FIND IT. THANK YOU.)
TF: The show certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
All Killing Aside, is about love and death and philosophy and not murdering. It’s about truth and kindness and hallucinogenic plant medicines that can reveal the underlying spirit that we all share. It’s comedy! Super fun comedy about death. And life. And more. Comedy about the universe, by the universe (as personified by comedian Myq Kaplan [that’s me]).
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
My influences do NOT lie. My influences tell the truth! And here is the more specific truth you are seeking… I’ve been a comedian for more than fifteen years, and the last several have been spent creating, honing, and performing this show. When I started doing standup, my only goal was to be as funny as possible. Now, I still have that goal, and also I have added the intention to talk about the things that are most important to me, that I care about most, the most personal and the most universal. To be myself, and to become a better and better version of myself, both as a comedian and a human. Some helpful tools have included meditation, performing standup most nights of my adult life, and the aging process in general. I’m definitely the oldest I’ve ever been (it’s working!), and I’m hopefully the best comedian I’ve ever been as well. And if I’m not, whatever point I WAS the best is still inside me, in my memory, so I have access to that guy’s stuff too. So, what I’m saying is my main influences have been myself in the past, and also everyone else at all times. Including you now. Thanks!
TF: Have you been to the Fringe before, is there anything you are keen to see whilst in Edinburgh?
I’ve never been! I’m excited to see castles and comedy. If there is a comedy show IN a castle, that may be the only thing I do.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond The Fringe?
There’s a Buddhist saying, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water… After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” Essentially it’s saying that before you know what you’re doing, just work. Eventually, you’ll figure out what you’re doing, and after you figure that out, you’ll know that the thing to do is just work. Or maybe don’t work. I’m not totally enlightened yet. I don’t think. But if the Fringe experience is as enlightening as I imagine it can be, then afterwards, my plans will be to keep doing what I’ve been doing. But in a more enlightened way. Probably. I don’t know yet. Ask future me. If you’d like to. Ooh, that can be my future plans: answering interview questions about the past like “How WAS the Fringe” because the future will be the past then, and I’ll know more then, and be able to answer with less nonsense. Or at least more INFORMED nonsense. That’s my future promise to you: more informed nonsense probably. Thanks for asking!
Myq Kaplan: All Killing Aside, Underbelly – Freisian (Bristo Square), 9.15pm, 4th – 26th August (except 13th)