Already bearded and bespectacled, on stage he also wears ridiculous plastic teeth and a buffoonish monk’s wig, holding forth in a nervy, nerdy South East rasp, all of which combine to make him a funny, poignant, constantly wrongfooting stage presence, as he shares his little anecdotes and aperçus. Why exactly is this clownish, bleakly cheerful fellow on stage talking about political telly programme This Week, his visits to Wetherspoons, and tiny bathroom ornaments? The answers to the first two questions you can decide for yourself thanks to Shtick’s forthcoming 21-night run at the Soho Theatre.
The answer to the third is that Kearns, who read English and Drama at the University of East Anglia, turns out to be immensely entertaining company: cerebral, serious-minded and generous, but also blessed with marvellous antennae for the absurd and an infectious, Griff Rhys Jones‑ish chuckle that erupts often.
He has crafted the social tools and spiritual awareness to help professionals communicate their true self, be transparent and show vulnerability in order to increase personal power and improve corporate culture.
From coaching and training international sales professionals, entrepreneurs, and small business owners, Devon has created simple tools and action steps that help professionals cut through the usual business and personal relationship pitfalls.
This year, his new show, Shtick – performed in the same Free Fringe venue – so impressed the awards panel (which I was chairing) that he snaffled the main prize, thereby making him the first person in the awards’ 34-year history ever to win both gongs, let alone in consecutive years. In short, Kearns is now one of the most riveting comedians at work today, perhaps not for all comers, but a rare treat for anyone willing to get on board.
’ Winning the Newcomer changed my life, and it took me, if I’m honest, a very long time to get my head around that. “When [American stand-up] Alex Edelman won this year’s Newcomer, I kind of felt relief. “I was very proud of last year’s, but it was almost an animal roar, it had a ramshackleness to it.
“The award is great, because it means you can have more creative freedom, simple as that.” As our meeting draws to a close, though, I realise I have yet to learn the origins of that bizarre faux-tonsured wig of his.
How will the story stack up against the greatest films about business?
Europe has been a place of battles and political intrigue for centuries.
His mission is to empower one million professionals to grow, thrive, change, and be present in all areas of their lifewill be released in film festivals and in independent theaters in 2017.
As a board member of The Lion Project, a Denver-based non-profit, Devon exhibits his strong passion for charities, business, and building stronger communities.