His first R50 “stand-up” gig as a school pupil, being “the designated front-row comedy victim” of Mark Banks at a comedy show and a dare to enter a comedy competition are all part of the building blocks of Durban comedian Carvin H Goldstone’s stand-up career which he’ll commemorate with his debut one-man show next week.
“I first flirted with stand-up comedy in 2003 when a friend asked me to tell some jokes at a school function. So I wrote a few jokes, he paid me R50 and that was that. I never did comedy again until 2006 when someone showed me a comedy competition and said seeing that I liked ripping off everyone in the office where I worked I should try it out and I did,” he explained.
Prior to that Goldstone (stage name Carvin H) said he recalled attending his first comedy show and seeing David Kau, Riaad Moosa and Mark Banks on stage.
“I was green as to how comedy worked. I sat in the front row and Mark Banks picked on me for most of his set. I didn’t even realise he was making fun of me until half-time when someone told me. But after watching them I walked away feeling I could do that. In fact, I am more of a funny person than a comedian because I spend every day, every minute of my life in the pursuit of laughter,” he said.
Goldstone made his debut in 2006 when he entered the Madras Masala Stand-Up Comedy Competition. Audience votes determined the winner, with Goldstone having a landslide victory.
“In that show I remember everyone was so serious and confident and all the comics were trying their material out backstage and rehearsing. I just kept quiet. When I’m feeling the pressure I prefer to be quiet. I was last so I had to sit through every other comic. There were four shows. Audiences voted after each show. By the end of the second night I kind of figured the audience appreciated the fact that I spoke about myself. But the competition didn’t convince me I was going to be a comedian. Because again I stopped performing and didn’t perform for the most part of 2007 until I was again inspired by some friends who wanted to become comics and came to ask me to help get something going.”
Goldstone then went on to perform in numerous comedy festivals, including Let Durban Laugh, Bruinos Only, Funny Chow and most recently at the Nandos Durban International Comedy Festival, sharing the stage with Mark Eddie, Dan Cummins and South Africa’s Nik Rabinowitz. He earned his spot in the line-up after winning the KZN leg of the Graça Comedy Showdown.
After spending five years on the Durban comedy scene, Goldstone has established his unique brand of clean, family-friendly, nostalgic comedy which he’ll commemorate with his first one man show, No Swearing.
“No Swearing is actually stories from my life growing up in Newlands East and moving to the Bluff. It’s delivered in a clean family-friendly style because I think that’s a true reflection of how I grew up. My parents are born-again Christians so I grew up in a home with no swearing, but when you can’t swear you find innovative ways to express yourself and I plan to bring this to the show. I also want to talk a bit about recent events in the world and South Africa,” he said.