Blow your trumpet, Darby tells pupils

19:14, Sep 18 2012
Comedian Rhys Darby finishes his talk at Christchurch Boys’ High School with a dinosaur impression.
HAMMING IT UP: Comedian Rhys Darby finishes his talk at Christchurch Boys’ High School with a dinosaur impression.

Comedian Rhys Darby lit up Christchurch Boys' High School yesterday with career advice and a dinosaur impression.

The former co-star of the Flight of the Conchords television series told year 9 and 10 pupils to "grab what skills you have, harness those skills and utilise them to the best of your ability".

Darby credited his time in Canterbury and Christchurch with his later success, which included appearing in movies Yes Man (opposite Jim Carey) and The Boat That Rocked (with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy and Kenneth Branagh).

He told the pupils he spent two years in the army at Burnham Military Camp before being advised it was not for him.

Darby then spent four years earning a three-year degree, partly because of the partying but most because he was "just behind".

"I found myself and I found comedy here," he said. "I found who I am in this city."

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His early standup acts included "mime with voiceovers, which no-one else was doing".

Turning serious, Darby told the pupils they had to believe in themselves.

"You've got to stick to your guns . . . and blow your own trumpet. We've all got a trumpet and we might as well use it."

Darby was invited to Boys' High by year 12 pupil Jake Miller, who has also convinced Don Brash, Helen Clark, Bill English and Mahe Drysdale to speak to pupils this year. Prime Minister John Key spoke at the school last year, at Miller's request.

"I learnt [from Darby] don't hold back, utilise your talents and have a good time," he said.

Darby will film his October 3 gig, called This Way to Spaceship, at the CBS Canterbury Arena and release it on DVD before Christmas.

The Press