Andy Cañete is the kind of person who oozes stories. He would tell friends about situations that happened to him at work or silly things he'd see on the way home — he'd often get the same response: "You have to go on stage with that."
Eventually, he took their advice. Cañete has now been a stand up comic for 11 years. He's also an actor and active participant at storytelling contests.
Cañete will be performing a series of exaggerated excerpts at this year's Vancouver Fringe Festival, running from September 7 to 17. His show is aptly titled The Cañete Chroñicles.
Cañete was born in Chile in 1973 under the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. His family immigrated to Canada when he was a child.
He's used his travels to inspire his onstage performances. His first Fringe show was called Porn and Pinochet — a coming of age tale about moving to Vancouver at the age of 23.
He said his stories explore the cultural differences many Latinos experience when coming to a major Canadian city like Vancouver.
For example, he said it still blows his mind that rival soccer fans can sit together in the arenas and stands in Vancouver — something that doesn't fly in his home country of Chile.
The Cañete Chroñicles is his take on his own life in Canada — which includes his experience as a pedi-cab driver, during which time he routinely got his butt pinched by older women, and his days as a door-to-door salesman for AT&T — he was once offered a lot more than he wanted as payment from prospective clients.
He said building a one-person show is difficult, but thrilling. At times, the audience reaction can even make him change his routine and script on the fly.
"It's about being naked on stage," he said. "You're just talking about the most embarrassing stuff and you're vulnerable.
"People connect with that."