Esteban Menis: existentialism, modesty and humor mixed in a new solo show

Stephen Meniswho returns to Montevideo on Thursday at 9:00 p.m. to appear in Undermovie with the sole proprietor Misshapenhe doesn’t like his friends or family to see the show, but that is going to change in Uruguay.

He comes with his father, who will see the show for the first time. The reason, Menis explains, is because it is a show that she defines as “quite intimate”. “I was very embarrassed, but I felt that my old man was amused. And he is not only going to come to see it but he is going to have a brief participation. I don’t know how many times it will be repeated to be able to share something like that with your old man, ”she said.

Menis has been making humor for more than a decade and at this time, in addition to stand-up shows like the one he brings to Montevideo, he has several web series like the fun electricalavailable on Youtube.

Esteban Menis, Iair Said and Lali Esposito

Whether as Jonathan Mayer, the lead of that comedy series, or as himself, Menis likes to play on that line between fiction and reality. “I like the docu-fiction genre a lot. To sublimate certain anxieties, my way was to try to do comedy. It took me a long time to accept that because my studies were more formal when I studied cinema. But I realized that I could start doing comedy to kind of laugh at a lot of things that I otherwise couldn’t. I have always worked on that line of whether it is real or not, because I am interested in that process of indivision between whether this happens or not. I think that is a story in itself and is a way of seeing things in itself. I walk that line a lot, and in the show I don’t even talk, ”he said.

The show he presents is called Misshapen, and in the promotional posters different things come out of his head. For Menis, it’s a summary of him and the show. ”For me the word deformed is a compliment, not something bad. When they say ‘how deformed you are’ it’s like how difficult it is to define what you do. When you do stand up, a comfortable place is that of empathy so that the spectator thinks similar to you. I like to subvert that precept and look for a certain discomfort or distance where I go through issues until I reach a final result”, he said.

To achieve this goal, Menis, a self-confessed fan of comedian Larry David, uses himself as the subject of humor. “For me comedy is first to laugh at you. You do shit and then you go for the rest, ”he said. “I cannot say what a jerk this person is, without first saying I am a jerk and I speak from my subjectivity. Saying that I am miserable or an idiot, and from my idiocy I think this, this and this, seems more fun to me. And the show has that that allows me to talk about my partner, about my old man, about me, about fatherhood. Those classic places that serve as a kick to better delve into all that”.

Stephen Menis
Stephen Menis

Menis’s humor crosses conventional themes such as the couple, fatherhood, but also existential questions that, he said, began when after he turned 30 and had finished college. The arrival of the Internet allowed him to delve into comedy. It was thanks to a series of short films that he made that he understood that his path was humor.

“I have analyzed myself all my life, my sister is a psychologist and for me analysis is something important, so I have a lot of sensitivity to understand who is on the other side, who I am talking to,” said Menis. “That’s where this started, when I felt calm, that I didn’t have to be a snob trying to do serious things and instead do what I would like to do, although maybe it wasn’t what works best for me or what gives me the most money.”

—Something from the beginning sounded to me, what makes you shy?

-A million things, that’s why my friends could come to see it only in the eighth performance. Because I see the things I do so absurd that afterwards I feel embarrassed having to talk about it with my friends. Then stupidity gives me shame. I can tell pretty quickly if someone is paying attention to me or not, and social chat makes me lazy. I prefer to be at home drinking mate, be with my girlfriend, with our children and that’s it. And if I could do that, the show and other things, I’d love to not have to go out as much.

We would love to say thanks to the writer of this write-up for this awesome web content

Esteban Menis: existentialism, modesty and humor mixed in a new solo show