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Date with a celeb : I can’t handle stand up acts

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COMEDIAN: Fun Factory’s Gerald Rutaro leaves us in stitches every time he hits the stage. He narrates his comedy journey to Omulangila Sssimbwa.

Hi Gerald. When did you start doing comedy?
It was in 2007 after I had finished campus at Nkumba University where I did Industrial Art and Commercial Designs. I was invited by Mr Phillip Luswata to join Theatre Factory and it’s because of him that I’m who I am today. That guy has a good eye at spotting talent.

But if you did Industrial Art and Commercial Designs, how did you come to be a comedian?
I can’t say it was a bad course though it was expensive, but earning from it was so difficult during our days. Luckily, I had a background of art from Namasagali College where I did art, dancing and acting, so me doing comedy isn’t a mistake.

What type of dancing did you do at Namasagali?
I did contemporary dance and it was from there that I joined Footsteps Dance Company, which was managed by Phillip Luswata and his colleague and it’s from there that I was able to penetrate into Theatre Factory.

What are you best at in comedy?
I’m good at sketch comedy. This is the type of comedy that is situational or you could say I’m good at making fun out of situations.

If you are good at sketch, then what are you worst at?
I’m so terrible at stand up. I try it out in my bedroom but end up laughing at myself. I have never tried it out on stage because we are good at judging ourselves before the audience does.

What don’t people know about you?
I’m the easiest person to deal with. I don’t beef with anyone though I know some people who have beef with me.

What has been the most disappointing day in your lifetime?
The day I was turning 30, is when my dad died.

Who is your best friend?
There is this guy called Francis Ojaala. He is an Acholi. We actually look so alike that people presume my dad misbehaved upcountry. He’s a very nice guy who advises and guides me in everything.

How would you compare the two characters, Rutaro on and off stage?
The character on stage is a bit challenging in that you have to always fit into different roles but Rutaro off stage is simple and friendly.

How does it feel like being talked about?
It feels good and that’s a sign that I’ve achieved something and it makes me look back where I’ve come from and people I’ve worked with.

What advantages have you got being a comedian?
Business is easier. I always have a starting impression and life is easy for me generally.

Are you into only comedy?
I have just completed my Innovative Marketing and Events Management course at EMDI Institute and I’m soon registering my company that also deals in transportation. I’m a fixer as well. Anything that needs to be fixed I’m the person. It can be an airline spare part, train, anything.

What has been your funniest joke?
It was a skit I did with Anne Kansiime. She robbed my cheap phone that I had tied with a rubber band to keep it from falling apart and when she realised it was too old, she returned it abusing me that how could I have such a cheap phone with my rich appearance, so not to be outdone, I took out my other expensive phone and told her she was a fool stealing cheap phones and on a single glance at it, she snatched it and ran away again. It was so stupid of me that I wanted to chase and slap her.

Do you take anything before you go on stage?
I don’t take my audience for granted and it’s not proper. True, some people have stage fright, but it’s a wrong thing to do. If you are to act as a drunkard, act as a drunkard but don’t go on stage drunk.

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