INTERVIEW: Al LaFrance “I think I’m Dead”

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I recently interviewed Al LaFrance who is in Australia (currently in Perth and soon to be in Adelaide) with his award-winning show “I think I’m Dead“.

You can see Al LaFrance’s show at FringeWorld in Perth only until the end of this weekend (1-4 February) and at the Adelaide Fringe from 19-25 February).

You’re coming to Australia for the first time. To Perth Fringe World and the Adelaide Fringe?
Indeed! And I am going to take some time to visit the country a bit after all of that.


Describe your show “I think I’m Dead” for us.

It’s a very personal and semi-fantasy monologue which explores my relation with insomnia, mental health and interpersonal relationships. It’s a storytelling show with a constant humourous touch throughout.


What are the reasons that you are not able to sleep?

I have suffered from insomnia since my adolescence; the cause of which still escapes me. But I also have a lifestyle which doesn’t allow me to keep a regular timetable, so it’s almost impossible to find a sleep cycle which works for me.


Are you often an insomniac?

Absolutely. A bit more recently, but I think that it is going to be a problem which will never completely disappear during my life. At least now, with this show, I am able to benefit a bit!


Have you suffered badly from jet lag since arriving in Australia then ? Or has it perhaps cured your insomnia?

Indeed, jet lag helped me, I adjusted in two days. I am not cured, but I sleep better here.


What’s the strangest thing you have done because of insomnia ?

I spent a night in a cemetery, trying to communicate with the wandering spirits that I thought wer there, drinking cans of Red Bull. I tried to count all of the fire hydrants in my birth city. I spent a night exploring an aquatic park in off-season, in the dark.


Why should people come to see your show?

To have a unique experience in a style which doesn’t seem to be at all typical in Australia. To hear a Québécois voice speak about sugar shacks :p


You also won the “Audience Choice/Best Solo Show” prize at the Halifax Fringe last year. Congratulations! What distinguishes your show from the others?

I think that it is the level of intimacy that I am able to reach, and the release of emotions throughout the show. In any case, that’s what I hope.


Tell us about your career until now. Why and how did you become a comedian?

I started all of that quite luckily after having discovered the Fringe festivals in Canada, I suddenly had a taste for it and decided to try. After having told my first story on stage, I wasn’t able to stop. I was in an environment which was conducive to performance, with a very supportive entourage, and I launched myself into that with all my strength. 8 years later, here I am in Australia– I would never have believed it was possibly, honestly. Just to be able to perform here, it’s already a dream coming to life.


Do you also do shows in your maternal language, French?

Not really. A bit of improv here and there, and some animation too, and I participated in a comedy podcast for a while (Des Si et Des Rais – check it out!), but I have never done a complete show, never done my full 60 minutes in French. I integrated into the Anglophone community easier and to be able to tour across Canada and the world, English seems to take over. But it is something that I am going to want to work on when I get back to Canada.

Dear Readers, do you ever suffer from insomnia? Do you have a cure for Al?

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