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Darien was born auspiciously on May Day 1990, seemingly destined to live “in interesting times”. A trouble-free baby enjoying perfect health, he became a toddler of great physical beauty and considerable precocity, learning to speak with almost impossible speed. But at 2, he suddenly changed dramatically and developed autism spectrum behaviours. He lost his speech, hated strangers, became hypersensitive to lights and sound, screamed and lashed out constantly.The “experts” diagnosed him as severely autistic and recommended he be institutionalised immediately, since he would “never talk properly, attend school or hold a job”. Fortunately, Darien was tougher than that and regained his speech by 5, was in main-stream education by 6, survived the inevitable bullying and graduated with his HSC. From 15, he has worked at the usual teenage jobs (McDonalds, Woolworths, Reading Cinemas), learned to drive, played and sung in classical and rock bands and is now a very well-mannered and articulate young man. Decidedly eccentric.. but then aren’t all the best comedians.At around 8 Darien discovered humour and embraced comedy passionately, immersing himself in DVD’s and live shows. His eclectic comedic influences range from Buster Keaton, Monty Python and Spike Milligan through Mike Myers, Robin Williams and Martin Short to the present wide panoply of contemporary stand-up. Whenever possible, he has befriended his “masters of the craft”, including Arj Barker, Akmal Saleh, Wil Anderson, Stephen K. Amos and Cal Wilson. By 16, he knew he had found his métier and started studying appropriately. He aspires to being to autism what Steady Eddy is to cerebral palsy.Autism gifted Darien with two invaluable attributes for stand-up: powerful stage presence and fearlessness of performing and an almost-obsessive focus, enabling him to sift and learn from decades of comedy, rapidly progressing from imitation to derivation to writing original material. In the process he’s developed a unique voice and perspective ... a wry, left-field world view. He is also an accomplished singer, dancer, musician and impressionist. In 2013 Darien launched himself in a one-man show at the MICF. As a co-performer once observed “Some say Darien is from another planet ... if so, must be a damned nice planet!”

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