Love is no laughing matter … it brought award-winning actor and comedian Schalk Bezuidenhout to his knees, proposing to the love of his life!
He popped the question to Mica McKechnie in a Joburg restaurant where they met two years ago. Her answer: “Yes, yes, a million times, yes! I love you” had him surrender
his freedom on the spot!
The lovebirds grew up on the East Rand – Schalk in Kempton Park and Mica in Benoni.
Mica fell in love with Schalk because he makes her laugh a lot. “I appreciate that he is very funny, but no one wants to date a clown. He can also be serious when he needs to be and is not constantly trying to crack jokes. But when he does, you better believe it’s a goodie!” she adds.
Schalk loves Mica’s very shy and soft-spoken way. “She is also brutally honest with me when it comes to my jokes … which is always a valuable asset to a comedian! I think it is opposites attract when it comes to us. Our relationship is a safe haven that we can return to at the end of a long day. When Ï realised that Mica was the type of person with whom things can just always feel easy, I knew I had to put a ring on that finger!” he confesses.
And who is the more romantic of the two?
“Definitely me,” says Schalk. “The only time Mica will light a candle is when there’s load-shedding. I am a sucker for romance. Mica is very loving, though. I am just like a Labrador who wants to be petted 24/7. Sometimes Mica just has to throw a ball to keep me busy for a few minutes if I want attention and she has work to do.”
Mica is a film art director and a set dresser. Because they are in similar industries, they understand each other’s hours and lifestyle. “In our industries you also have to be quite independent, so we don’t demand each other’s time that much,” he adds.
The couple will tie the knot in a year’s time. At this stage they are thinking of getting married in Durban.
“My hair looks great in that humidity,” he jokes … or not?
Schalk wanted to be an actor and worked in comedy since the age of eight. Jim Carrey was his first role model and still is. He made his debut as a film star in Kanarie, he had his own TV show, Ware Naarheid, starred in the TV mockumentary Hotel and is a stand-up comedian.
Who are your mentors when it comes to comedy?
I grew up watching Casper de Vries and he has been and always will be one of my biggest
idols out of all comedians in the world. In recent years I have started performing with Casper and I learn from him in every show. I still have to pinch myself when we do shows together.
What are the highlights of your career as a comedian?
Definitely opening for Trevor Noah at Montecasino. My performances at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe were another career highlight. Did I mention that Eddie Izzard came to
watch my show in London?
Who are your mentors when it comes to acting?
Even though he is a director, I would say my biggest mentor in acting has been Christiaan
Olwagen, who directed Kanarie. We formed a type of big brother/baby brother relationship. He pushed me to limits that I didn’t know I had and got a performance out of me that I am very proud of.
What are the highlights of your career as an actor?
Hotel was my acting debut on television and will always have a very special place in my heart. Kanarie is absolutely a career highlight as an actor. It was my debut in something
that was not comedy and I was excited to show people a different side of me.
Are comedians born with the talent to be funny? Is your stage persona an act or does it come naturally?
I think it is very hard to learn comedy. It has to come naturally. You decide how much of yourself you want to put into your comedy persona. Some comedians prefer to keep the
two separate. I think I am pretty similar on stage to how I am off stage. People have high
expectations, though. They come talk to you after the show and are somehow disappointed that you are not dropping punchline after punchline at the bar. Like anyone else I am not always ‘switched on’. As long as I am funny when I am on stage, I am doing my job.
Are there any exciting shows or movies in the pipeline for 2020?
My new English one-man show SCHALKIE made its debut last year and I plan on touring
with it extensively this year. I want to do it anywhere and everywhere … Cape Town, Secunda, your garage. Seriously. If you are reading this and you have a garage that can seat more or less 50 people, go onto my website and email me! We’ll make it happen!
Details: schalkbezuidenhout.com; [email protected]