Living out of a suitcase isn’t unusual for Canadian-born comedian John Hastings.
For the past year he’s had no fixed address, living between LA and London, and travelling all over the world on the comedy tour circuit.
“It was homelessness in the most elite possible way- I had no fixed address, and was living in hotels or staying with some very understanding friends,” Mr Hastings said.
Now, he’s on the road again for his fourth Melbourne International Comedy Festival, performing alongside fellow comedians, including Josh Earl, Eleanor Tiernan, Daniel Connell and Rahul Subramanian.
“We’re lucky that we get on well, so it’s fun. We have a shared interest, so we relate to each other,” he said.
In the past 10 years, John has performed at every major comedy festival around the world, from Edinburgh to Melbourne and Just for Laughs Montreal, and amassed a number of awards, including COCA Comedian of the Year.
But despite his accolades, he describes his stand-up as a mix of “mostly dumb stories and fart jokes.”
He also draws on momentous life events, like being hit by a car while cycling, into something that will work in his set.
“It was a shocking thing to happen, it really pierced my armour,” Mr Hastings said.
“But life experience definitely helps in comedy, and at a certain point you just have to find the funny in everything.”
Growing up, John dreamed of a life in show business, and despite the challenges, he can’t imagine doing anything else.
“I love it. I got into stand-up because I was an out out of work actor, and heard there was money involved,” he said.
“I get it when people think it’s tough, but I don’t know how people sit in an office all day.”
One of his weirdest moments in comedy came in 2016, when he briefly went viral, after a video showed him being heckled on stage by former pro-basketballer Dennis Rodman.
“It was pretty intense,” Mr Hastings recalls.
“It was cool to know that around 100,000 people saw me do comedy, but I really make an effort to try and not dwell on these things.
“You need to keep reinventing yourself and going forward, not get bogged down in any one moment.”
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow is on at Ipswich Civic Centre on 14 May as part of its nationwide tour. The line-up includes John Hastings, Daniel Connell, Josh Earl, Rahul Subramanian and Mel Buttle. Book your tickets here