Meet the People of Zagreb: Marina Orsag, Stand-Up Comedienne, Copywriter, Actor, Comedy Club Director

Total Croatia News


1. Hi Marina, could you tell us something about yourself?
Thank you for opening with the easiest question in the world. Not. I don’t know a person, who is not narcissistic, that can easily tell something about themselves that sounds normal. So I’m not even going to try. I’m a thirty eight year old curious child, with Peter Pan complex, that tries to find laughter in everything, especially the bad stuff. I think love is the most important thing, after cheese, chocolate, weed and sex. I am a stand up comedienne, improvisator, MC, copywriter, actor in children shows, producer, director of comedy club Studio Smijeha and an activist through humor.

2. How did you decide to become a professional comedian?
My friend called one day, said she saw the workshop add, and that if I didn’t go, she wouldn’t speak to me anymore. I went, I fell in love, I seemed to have a grasp on it and twelve years later here I am, doing what I love every day a week. Ok, maybe the director and organisation part is not exactly what I love, but if I work hard enough, soon I will have the opportunity to have people who love that stuff around me.

3. What about our sense of humour, do you think Croatians are a funny nation?
I believe that Croatians are very intelligent people so therefore I really think that we are and can be very humorous, we just get to cynical and dark and forget how humorous we can be. Sometimes we are funny as well, because there is a difference between being funny and humorous, so yes sometimes I also believe that we deserve to be laughed at. You win some you lose some. Unfortunately, lately Croatians are being too funny with some views and attitudes toward certain issues in our country.


4. Do you like living in Zagreb? What are some of your favourite things about living here?
I love living in Zagreb. I was born here, raised here and whereever I lived for a short period of time I always wanted to come back to Zagreb as soon as possible. My favourite thing about living in Zagreb is the fact that it is diverse in neighbourhoods so I try as much as I can to live in the whole city and not only in my neighbourhood. I mean, we have Jarun and Bundek, we have Sljeme, Maksimir, amazing center so many parks. Zagreb has almost everything in one place. I do not especially like Tkalča and Teslina cause it is very uncomfortable to have a coffee there unless you wanna be seen.

5. What are some of your least favourite things about living here, anything you’d like to change?
What is happening to our city with wrong leadership decisions and that there is too many empty city spaces and too many NGO-s without a space. Also I would widen the “open mind” of the Zagreb city culture department.
6. Is the audience in Zagreb a tough crowd to please? Are there any particular types of jokes that they really like?
Zagreb audience is like any other audience, if the joke is good they will laugh. And sometimes if you feel like they are jaded or something, you just need to shift your energy in different ways until you get them in your way. All the jokes are accepted, but sometimes the ones about our city issues and memorabilia touch them the most.

7. Tell us a little something about your comedy club, Studio smijeha.
Studio Smijeha is celebrating its sixth birthday on April 1st and it is the only comedy club in Croatia. It is open seven days a week. We have stand up comedy shows with various comedians and comediennes from the entire Adriatic region. We also have stand up comedy shows in English with guests from around the world. Some days we have pub quizzes and comedy plays. During the weekend days we have comic children shows/plays. During the weekdays the space is rented for workshops, seminars, etc. But above all those professional information we are a place where you can hear loud contagious adult or child laughter, coming out of every day and that is an amazing kind of place to have in Zagreb. 


8. Apart from the obvious, Studio smijeha, what other places do you like going out to in Zagreb?
I love all the new escape rooms that opened up it is a lot of fun. Also I love the parks, upper town and Šalata hill where I grew up. Love to have coffee in “Coffee Express”, Tesla blend is amazing, enjoy to spend hour playing with stuff in “Hoću to” store, love to eat at “Wok by Matija” and “Fotić” and like to have a beer in Krolo.

9. What’s your absolute favourite place in the city?
It is definitely Zrinjevac park and a little lake on Bundek. There is a little wooden bench that is the only bench there next to the lake with trees surrounding it and a lot of animals playing in the lake. Also my ex kindergarten on upper town that was a castle before and now unfortunately is falling apart, but you can still go in the yard and stand there have a smoke with a view on Tuškanac park.

10. Favourite bar and cafe?
As I said above Krolo, cause there is a no generation gap. People are just having fun and nobody cares who is also in the bar as long as they are positive and dancing. And for coffee, Coffee Express in Petrinjska cause the staff is lovely and humorous and coffee and teas are amazing.

11. Do you think the city is changing and how?
Yes, the city is changing all the time, sometimes in a good way sometimes in a bad way. Currently in a bad way the part that I explained above that would like to change and some general things that are happening to lot of our cities not just Zagreb and that is people acting narrow minded like they are not from an urban various populations city. And in a good way, I have to say that summer in Zagreb surprised me in a good way. Summers in Zagreb now are fun and not bad at all. Again you win some you lose some.


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