April 2007

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The Comedy Festival Comes To An End

Tonight is the final night of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for 2007. Last night was the awards night. We were invited to a special invite-only VIP showpony room.

It turned out to be a hot, steamy glass box serving watered down cordial and cheesy rice balls. There's a photo of it here. We're the ones in the fish tank up the top.

We were invited because we were nominated for a Golden Gibbo Award, which we didn't win.

However, the jury is still out on the competition that matters: perhaps we will never know who won the inaugural Melbourne Comedy Festival Cartwheel Competition we held in Trades Hall last Saturday night, because in retrospect it seems there was no independent arbiter. Perhaps we should have noticed this at the time. Should documentary footage ever emerge, however, my money is on Michael Roper, whose technique (honed by years of aerobic dance training at high school) is close to a 9.5 in my professional opinion.

So, what does all this mean? It means the festival is over.

It means we have to go back to our real lives.

It means, in other words, that all we do for the next two weeks is talk about how much fun we had and bask in our retrospective glory.

To make this easier for everyone, here is a snapshot:

Over a thousand people saw our show over three weeks (14 shows).
One of those people was my grade 4/5/6 teacher!
We were reviewed very nicely in The Age, The Groggy Squirrel and The Pun.
Up until now, we had never been reviewed in a public newspaper, ever, by anyone, at any time.
Some of us were misquoted in the press and consequently have updated ASIO files.
Some of us were photographed looking like children with special needs for the local papers.
Our first festival show was nominated for an award.
There were 288 shows in the festival.
My favourite was ours
Because...

These people are now my friends. I choose to get the giggles with these guys.

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Award Nomination!

So guess what?

After our final show (which was enormously fun) For We Are Young And Free was nominated for a Golden Gibbo Award. For more details, see the news items on our homepage. Here is a clandestine video recording of the shortlist being announced...

Finale

Dear Everyone,

Tonight is our final show in the Melbourne Comedy Festival.

For We Are Young And Free has had a fantastic run. Lots of lovely audiences, heaps of fun shows, nice reviews, great cast, gorgeous crew, and then there's me, skulking around getting nervous.

So. Here it is. You get one more chance. Come along tonight and farewell Emily, Miriam, Michael, Dylan, Stew, Vic, and... me... on the final night of my nervous skulking.

We plan to go out with a bang.

No idea what I'll be doing this time next week. Someone remember to call me. Please.

Paris Again

Here's my favourite celebrity again. We love you too, Paris.

... three nights to go until the end of our season. All let us rejoice...

Comic Timing

They say the key to comedy is brevity and comic timing.

Brevity is something I sometimes have to work on, but for lessons in comic timing, I only need to consult my Real Estate agent.

Real Estate agents have fabulous comic timing. Mine called me in the middle of bump-in day (when I was quite literally holding a ladder with one hand a phone in the other) and asked could we drive a key around to the real estate office because they couldn't find theirs and they wanted to do an inspection of the house, as arranged (hilariously) two days previously when they called in the middle of a meeting I was having at the Law Foundation.

Honestly, I don't know how they do it. The amount of research required in order to determine the perfect moment to call... it's beyond belief. It's an innate ability. It's a skill you're born with.

They called this morning (on the first day of the final week of our show) and gave us 60 days notice, in which we have to find a house and polish this one.

There goes my post-show holiday.

One Week To Go!

There is officially ONLY ONE WEEK LEFT OF OUR SHOW!

If you haven't seen it, book tickets soon because we've been getting full houses and did I mention IT'S OUR FINAL WEEK!

I am so exhausted and can't imagine making it through this final week BUT I am also terrified of what will happen after this week, when I imagine I shall have to find something else to do with my time.

Possibly I will take up extreme sports. Nothing else quite compares.

This is my weekend:

1. Huge show to a sell-out crowd on Friday, witnessed by some of my most exciting friends who purchased me drinks with dreadful names and convinced me to eat cheap Chinese food and wobble home at midnight.

2. Went to "panel" a discussion on writing and stagecraft with women comedians, which was so laid back it generated into lunch.

3. Went to the Saturday show which was a nice audience, good chats afterwards.

4. Went to the pub after the show with the cast, some of whom were keen to come on radio with me later that night.

5. At some point in here, all cast members piked and went home to bed.

6. Stew and Rita and I went to triple R and talked crap for two hours on the (accurately named) party show. Lots of fun, although a little degrading for Stewart.

7. Tonight I'm going to Christina's show, Semi Rurual (yay!) and after that I'm going to some others, if I don't pass out from exhaustion in the next five hours.

Tomorrow... listless wandering about. Scheduled in from ten to midnight. Looking forward to it.

Signs

We had sign interpreters incorporated into our show last night and it was SO fun.

I want sign interpreters at my dinner parties!

It didn't hurt that we had a full house and I ended up sitting behind a pole and watching the sign interpreter translate things like "bikini" and "post structuralism" while role playing the entire show by herself (she made herself tall and broad-shouldered for the Dad character and tiny and innocent for Genevieve).

So much fun. Now I'm wishing I paid more attention, though, because I didn't see what "Dancing With The Stars" was in sign language. If anyone knows, do tell.

Thank you to the signers. It was a really interesting show, if I do say so myself. (Didn't see anything apart from the signer so it makes it okay to comment!).

Review

Check this out. We were reviewed today in The Age, which is exciting (and even more exciting when it's online and there's a pretty picture).

We're getting full houses now, and it's really fun to sit in the crowd and watch the brilliant "ensemble cast", who I must remember to take with me everywhere I go. They really do make me look good.

Tonight's show is being sign interpreted for the hearing impaired too, which will hopefully mean that everyone gets to see our show. Everyone in the entire universe. Mission accomplished.

Quotes in the paper

So apparently I said this in the paper.

Wow. Sure is controversial.

Any publicity is good publicity, right?

Right, guys?

Guys?

Days Off

We don't have a show on Sundays or Mondays, which is quite strange when it gets to seven o'clock and you're not showing people into their seats but in fact you're sitting in one yourself in your pjs watching crap TV and eating home-cooked vegies with your housemates.

I can see why sportspeople get off on the adrenaline though. Don't know what to do with myself.

So do you know what I ended up doing?

I saw this show.

I helped out with the show a little bit, so I'm slightly biased because Christina's a very clever girl... but it's great. It's funny and it's a cool story and it kind of makes you want to go and live in the country with a pet goose, a pair of tracksuit pants and a bottle of wine.

Check it out at Victoria Hotel at 7pm (same time as our show but it's on Sundays at 6pm as well).

Meanwhile, our show is heaps of fun and I can't wait to get back into it.

See you chumps there!

Review

Here's our first review.

... one more show tonight and then we have a couple of nights off. Given I slept through my only social engagement in four weeks this morning, that's probably a good thing.

Very big apologies to my lovely cousin, who I stood up this morning. I'm still in my pyjamas. I've never stood anyone up in my life without doing it deliberately (but that guy totally deserved it). Today, I broke my clean record in spectacular fashion.

Obviously I had forgotten how exhausting this whole thing is.

Please nobody remind me of this next time.

Opening Night

Here are a couple of photos from the official opening night of our show.

This is Miriam and Dylan (who play Paris and Dad) after the show...

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This is a representative down the younger end of our demographic (this is him before the show - I spoke to him afterwards and he apparently very much enjoyed the play's one swear word)...

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And then this is Ropes (who performs in the play) telling me a story...

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... which had a pretty funny punchline...

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(Thanks again to Stew, resident photographer)

Our First Show!

So we had our first preview show last night.

Bit of advice: turn up early or you might get locked out.

Despite running overtime, we had a fantastic time and the show was great fun. Our audience was pretty close to capacity and despite getting some cheek from some of them in the back lane afterwards, they were lovely too.

Also, we heart Brunetti's in Carlton. Check this out:

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... This is our producer, Rita Walsh, swanning about in the foyer with delicious treats for the delighted audience. The one with the gorgeous hair is my sister and the one with the shaggy brown hair is Noack, who falls asleep in cupboards.

Despite what the above photo might indicate, I did not know most of the audience. In fact, I wondered where they all came from. Which is nice.

And here's me. Being sensible.

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Costumes

Check this out:

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... we have a preview show tomorrow night and this guy gets to wear his pjs!

How fun is acting!

Bump-in

We bumped in to the theatre today.

Bump-in is Hero Day.

Anyone who gets through bump-in day qualifies really. We had lots of people from different shows in the space today and they were all brilliant. Working together with everyone is always hard but it's great fun and it's rewarding and you get to see everyone else doing their thing.

But from my perspective, someone always emerges from left field as a total hero, out of nowhere. The bump-in hero. It's kind of like moving house, only there's a Good Fairy who turns up and saves the day. Someone always arrives with a drill or a trailer or a tray full of coffees or a cheque for nine thousand dollars.

Okay, a tray full of coffees.

I don't even know who bought me my second coffee today. All I know is that I came back from a rehearsal and there it was with "Sk C" written on the lid, piping hot and covered in chocolate.

Michael's friend Danielle was a hero. She turned up knowing nobody, set up the entire seating arrangement and disappeared without anyone noticing she'd even been there. She also copped an unnecessary amount of flak from Michael, I thought, personally, but then Michael is a strange boy.

And then there was Captain Hero, playing for Standing There Productions Parents' Association, introducing Rick Thorn.

Rick drove a huge van from Bendigo to Melbourne for the afternoon, where he was overwhelmed with love and thanks in the form of lots of heavy lifting and more driving. He then drove home.

Like most heroes, he flew in and out and disappeared without a trace.

What a legend. Officially bump-in hero.

Thank you Rick. Thank you Danielle. Thank you to whoever got me my coffee.

I'm going to bed.