Interview with Chow Pow
At Christ Church Secondary, way back in the 70’s, a young boy began hosting class events at every assembly. With every “Good morning”, laughter erupted from his colleagues who found this youth to be refreshingly hilarious. Little did they know that boy would move on to be one of Guyana’s best comedians.
Kirk Jardine, commonly known as Chow Pow, is a comedian, actor, disc jockey, event promoter and a Promotional Representative. Over the years, his reach in the Arts and Entertainment industry in Guyana has evolved, but comedy is his first love.
“I am a comedian, first. I love telling jokes about topics others are afraid to touch on or discuss. Every other job falls right after comedy.” Chow Pow explained as MagLyfe caught up with him before a show.
Chow Pow has had a humble beginning in the industry, from working at record bars and cassette stores, dj-ing at night spots and promoting bottom house parties to producing stage shows, acting in various local and international productions and headlining his own shows.
Starting in the industry as a comedian however, was not an easy road.
“The first time I told a joke to an audience, which was at Upscale Comedy Night, no one laughed,” Chow Pow related, “in that moment I could have chosen to never do stand-up comedy again, instead, I made a vow to always make the audience laugh, no matter what.”
That vow he holds to this day.
After a lot of practice telling jokes standing in front of the mirror and a few test runs with his friends, he retook the stage at Upscale Comedy Night and rocked the mic. That was the moment Chow Pow, the comedian, was born.
From then to now, Chow Pow has worked in over 40 productions as an actor (including ‘For Love of Aidana Soraya’, ‘Right Bed, Wrong Husband’ and ‘One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’), performed and headlined at the monthly Upscale Comedy Night and has done several stand-up comedy shows all over the country.
When asked how he managed to stay so relevant in a changing world, he replied, “It is important to listen to and examine other comedian’s work if you want to stay in the time.”
MagLyfe had to ask which comedian he enjoys most. The list began: “Steve Harvey, Eddie Griffin, Earthquake, Katt Williams, Chris Rock, Richard Pryor, Mo’Nique, Jumbie Jones, Errol Fabien among many others.”
Though he loves and enjoys many comedians, Chow Pow’s process of performing comes from a place only he can tap into.
“Before a routine I am not always sure what I will say. Sometimes I feed off of the energy of the audience and engage the crowd with the jokes, other times the jokes just come to me and I say them.” Inspiration for these unplanned routines comes from everyday life. “The man drinking on the corner, the housewife, the kids playing cricket, I feed off of everyone.”
Chow Pow noted that his shows are unpredictable and the only constant force is God’s presence. “I put God first at every show because I have seen his power through the miracle he performed in my life,” he went silent for a while, then continued, “I was a drug addict for 21 years. I have lived on the edge of death and survived to tell the story. The fact that I came through means that there is a plan for my life. God has kept me and God has changed me, therefore I am forever thankful. My life is now about giving thanks and working hard.”
And Chow Pow has been doing just that. Coming off of the third successful “Chow Pow Comedy Jam”, this entrepreneur has a lot more in store for Guyana in terms of providing wholesome family and adult entertainment for all.
“The plan is to provide good fun and entertainment. From adult shows to family oriented shows, from church concerts to comedy shows at the Garage and the Cultural Centre, Chow Pow is versatile and is here to stay. ”
In closing he thanked the MagLyfe team for giving him the opportunity to publicise his art to the cyber world, and he had a bit of encouragement to offer to those who would read this: “Make the best of the life you are given, because this is the only one. So, help those who need you, give without expecting anything in return and share your experiences with people so that they can be encouraged to keep going strong in life. Further, follow G.O.D. – Good Orderly Direction. With that, you can be the best human you were intended to be.”
Be sure to check Chow Pow out on facebook.