Hoping the weather would hold out, I cycled from Gohlis to Radio Blau in S√ľdvorstadt a bit early. Waiting on the other end was Kuba, the guy hosting me on his Saturday evening show¬†at 7.
I met Kuba at a Leipzig Writers Open Mic, and was intrigued about the local life and work of this Lebenk√ľnstler – someone who pursues an alternative lifestyle, with an art to living, so to speak.
It was with that, and translation, that we kind of started our conversation on the crash-out couch of the independent radio station. We briefly touched on translating CVs, which we both do, and how to define the living status of a transitory artist.
I was readying myself to go on the Kubshow¬†and shoot the breeze, but first wanted to know a little more about this artist, and the palette he uses to paint his life.
Like me, he is a bit of a lapsed visual artist. And he says he did really¬†“nothing of note” as far as exhibitions and such are concerned. Now, he is focusing on radio, stand-up comedy and a 9-to-5 job.
Starting slowly, with¬†monthly one-hour shows, he is increasing this with what he calls “bonus shows”. An avid consumer of podcasts, the guy he “riffs off” the most is Tom Scharpling. I told him to check out Q-TV “visual radio” from Canada and, as a fellow Sci-Fi nerd, StarShipSofa (a podcast by Leipzig’s very own Nicola Seaton-Clark and partners).
Jakob (Kuba) Wierzba came to Leipzig for his girlfriend, and after quitting a photography course in Berlin. He graduated from the HGB, but is taking a break from art to do a regular job in Halle, and some fun stuff here in Leipzig. Although moving away from Berlin and parking his aura in Halle, Kuba still has an affinity for LE.
A Polish nomad of sorts, his family came originally from Zgorzelec.
Kuba briefly dwelled in Bad Wurzach, in the south of Germany, near the biggest natural peat-highlands in Europe, and used to¬†“sneak there and get up to shenanigans”. Bit like me and my beloved Cordon Valley¬†in North West England.
The more we spoke, the more we riffed off each other, discovering crossover likes, piques of interest. Despite liking some British stuff, such as the fab-geek-tastic¬†IT-Crowd¬†and Monty Python, Kuba is a self-confessed Amei-ophile (Denglisch for “fan of America”). He grew up with 80s/90s sitcoms, sappy comedies, and Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd and Steve Martin.
In fact, never getting into German comedy could be what nudged¬†him into English stand-up.
Kuba realized he was funny when people laughed at a presentation he was doing for HGB that was not meant to be funny. He took this and ran with it. He dabbled alongside Harry McAlister from the Berlin scene, before¬†taking the stage by joining the Shameless¬†show at Noch Besser Leben.
You can see him there or catch him shooting the breeze on Kubshow on Radio Blau. The show I was on is already out in podcast form.
Incidentally, my commute to Radio Blau and back to Leipzig North remained dry, for the first time this week during a ride longer than 15 minutes. So the riffs were aligning with the “parked aura” and some fair-weather karma.