With us all trying to (somehow) muddle our way through this 21st century we live in, along with being in the midst of a pandemic, we can often forget to ‘stop and smell the roses’, AKA appreciate the little things in life. And sadly that sometimes means the simple act of laughing. So what better time to catch up with long-time Gold Coast local, and worldly ‘Happy Human’, Scott Williams. From humble beginnings, this self-made character now shares his love of life and happiness with people across the world. We get to know his story and his local favourites.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I have called the Gold Coast home since 1976. That’s a long time! It is on the GC that I met my wife Angie (the year I arrived, in early 1976) and it’s also where our son Oliver was born. The Gold Coast is where I got my early ‘show business break’ – so I have a lot to thank the GC for.
Tell us a bit about your career to date.
The year my family arrived on the GC I did grade 11 at Keebra Park High School. In the Christmas holidays of that 1976 I met hypnotist Ronricco, a Gold Coast icon. He would tour the world most of the year and always come home to the GC for Christmas, usually doing shows somewhere. In 1976/1977 Christmas season, he was performing at the old Pacific Hotel in Southport. I ended up getting a job with him and never made it back to grade 12! My first newspaper article was in the Gold Coast Bulletin in January of 1977! I was thrilled. It was a picture of Ronricco and myself outside the Celebrity Room at the Broadbeach International Hotel. I toured the world with Ronricco for 5 years, learning my craft. I started as Ronricco’s stage manager and was encouraged by Ronricco to develop a magic act. My girlfriend at the time, and now wife, Angie finished Grade 12 (she’s the smart one in the family!) and joined us as we toured Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK. She made an excellent magic assistant! Meeting Ronricco on the Gold Coast in 1976 fundamentally changed the direction of my life.
Following my time with Ronricco I secured a job at The Magic Castle, Nobbys Beach with another world-famous act and GC icon, International escapologist and magician Arthur Coghlan. Arthur gave me the opportunity to work with large-scale illusions and I performed regularly with Arthur in the magic theatre for a number of years. Later when it became Magic Mountain I was invited back and performed there again until it closed in 1987, the year Oliver, my son, was born. International touring became difficult with a young family so Angie and I decided to stay on the Coast and I moved into the corporate arena, performing magic and then stand-up comedy. I did that for over 30 years. Facilitation of conferences and conventions at home and abroad also became an important part of my career. In my busiest times, I was often doing around 100 flights a year, so it was all go, go, go! In the last few years, the opportunity to be a part of the cruise ship industry opened up to me and I thoroughly enjoyed performing on many unique vessels all over the world. Of course, everything came to a crashing holt when COVID came along. But like others, during COVID, I decided to explore other ways I could continue my craft; which is when I set up a home broadcast studio and emceed some events virtually as well as recording a weekly tip talk on happiness called “A minute on happiness.”
What career achievement are you most proud of?
Probably my ability to evolve to meet new markets and demands. From magic to comedy, to conference facilitation and then into corporate speaking with ‘The Happy Human’. The ability to adapt and change has given me a long and very interesting career that has lasted for 40 years – so I am very thankful for that.
What do you love the most about making people laugh?
It’s a tough world out there sometimes, and the more stressed we become the less we tend to laugh. So to have the ability to make a positive contribution to people’s lives through laughter is truly a blessing. Clean comedy has always been the basis of my shows, and to hear someone say “I can’t believe I have laughed so hard for an hour and not heard a swear word “ is a great return on my investment.
Why is laughing so important?
Laughter releases endorphins, one of the ‘feel good’ chemicals produced naturally in the body. This chemical elevates our mood and gives us a warm glow! We interpret that glow as a sense of happiness. When we feel happy, a perception of hope is created. So laughter effectively becomes a’ hope generator’ for us, and that is really important because, without hope, life just feels like a grind.
If you had to give people some advice, what would that be?
I love to quote Dennis Prager who said: “Don’t let compliments go to your head and don’t let insults go to your heart”. That sums it up nicely. Sometimes we take ourselves and others too seriously and it can backfire on us.
Tell us your best joke!
Are you trying to steal my act? Seriously, there are so many jokes I love and I have probably forgotten more jokes than I can remember now at 61! I love the silly one-liners like: “What do you call a Woolworths Supermarket that’s burnt down?”. . . . “Coles” (coals – get it)!
What are your Gold Coast favourites…
Cafe: There are so many on the Coast that do a terrific job. It depends where I am on the day. The last cafe I visited was Paddock Bakery at Burleigh and they always use wonderfully fresh ingredients in their creations. A favourite for a late breakfast.
Coffee spot: Anywhere that proudly brandishes a Merlo coffee sign! Usually, I grab a coffee at Merlo Brickworks when I pick up a bag of their ‘private’ blend coffee beans! – I live for coffee!
Restaurant: Indian Empire at Runaway Bay has been a firm favourite for many years and has won numerous awards. Delicious Indian food! Brooklyn Depot in Surfers is also a great stop for a quick lunch. My physio just told me to check out Brazilian Flame Bar and Grill in Surfers Paradise so that will be next on the list to try.
Bar or pub for a drink: Anywhere that serves Los Sundays Tequila!
How do you choose to spend your weekends?
I have become a keen baker and love making sourdough loaves and chewy New York-style bagels. Also, I like long walks with Angie around the Paradise Point waterfront and maybe into one of the cafes there for something yummy!