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Entries in comedians (8)

Monday
Nov242014

The Time I Played Dallas Brooks Hall And Rolf Harris Didn't Offer To Sign My Chest

Comedy incubates some interesting souls.  Awkward, needy, fragile maniacs. I've made the best friend of my life, in this world. It's where I met Ben. Like any good sub-culture, we have some stories. 

I've just spent an indulgently blissful few days with one of my oldest and favouritest. Doug [Stanhope] has provided me with some of the best stories of my life. Some of the deepest laughs and hands down, the wildest experiences! We haven't been in the same time zone or hemisphere for what seems like, a thousand years, so this past week has been unmitigated joy. Doug has been touring Australia. Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide. I got to open for him in Melbourne at Dallas Brooks Hall. The last time I was there, I was 11 and my parents took me to see Rolf Harris. It's ok though, I was in a plaster cast from my chin to my top of my thighs. My parents - intuitives? Time travellers? Suspicious old hippies? Rolf offered to sign my cast - there's a photo somewhere of him signing my pre-pubescent chest. (As soon as I find it, I'll throw it up here and on Doug's twitter feed.) 

This past week has been one of sliding into an old friendship, picking up old stories, kicking them around and remembering. My friendship with Doug pre-dates our lives with our partners. A history that's mucky and hilarious. Sitting around, shooting the shit, drinking cocktails and filling in details for each other. Details forgotten by the passing of time or simple, self preservation "Ohmygod I forgot about that!" "Oh shit, you were there for that?" "I said I'm sorry. I thought it would grow back..." it has been too, too, too much fun. 

My parents have had the same stalwart group of friends since their 20's. They still get together occasionally and pretend it's the 70's. Eating and laughing. Drinking to excess, listening to shit music. I recall many a night from my childhood, being piled on a bed with the 'other kids' like discarded girl children in a Bejing orphanage while our parents, 'partied'. Being woken at 3am, driven home by what positively-was a parent waaaay over the National Blood Alcohol Limit. Now when they get together to punish their livers the conversations are about their grandchildren and their mis-spent retirement plans all yelled at a level which compensates for the hearing damaged by the decades of shit music. When they're together, they don't quite seem like a bunch of geriatrics sharing stories of youthful bad behaviour. Reminding each other of the details of stories long forgotten by the passing of time or simple, self preservation. They grew up together in the 60's and 70's.  I shudder to think what they got up to.

Just as my kids will go in to years of therapy from reading my blogs. Seeing photos of their mother, sitting in a kiddy pool filled with dildos and beer cars from those times she went to Death Valley with Daddy, Uncle Doug and a bunch of other drug-taking, self indulgent, hilarious comedians. The stories about finding a hotel manager to break into another friend's room cause "no one had seen him since the night before and he did leave with woman who might have been a hooker. He's probably dead." [How are you, Rouse?! I miss you, too!] The footage of stand up gigs, back when they played to rooms of 60 disinterested punters to the sold out theatres of a couple of thousand, all baying [Doug's] name. Scream-laughed memories of unchristianful christmases spent drinking Appletinis, watching Badder Santa and Leaving Las Vegas in a beach house in Playa del Rey. In-jokes passed around a party about the time repugnant sub-human Girls Gone Wild honcho Joe Francis invited himself over but sent a body guard ahead to 'sweep the scene' for trouble, first. The parties. The substances. The situations. The people. 

Good luck, boys! My hope for your future is that you make inveterate friends that will shape your lives into a mental pretzel of abundant love, belonging and laughs. I've been lucky. Stupendously lucky.

My best friends have come from comedy. Thanks Doug. Linda. Adam. Ben! And the rest of you. Thanks. 

 

_________________________________

I did Doug's podcast while he was here. It gets pretty intense. Make sure you're following him. Twitter. Facebook. Web

I'm doing the regular open mic thing around Melbourne town. My twitter is here. And Linda and I are getting ready to throw ourselves at MICF again. Miss Itchy's twitter and web here and there.  

Thanks! 

Friday
Nov142014

My First Week Living In Los Angeles [with Doug Stanhope]

My friend Doug [Stanhope] is finally coming to my home town. I've known Doug for about 22 years. He's my generation's comic. There's no one else like Doug. Prolific. Invective. Mercifully merciless.  

I have a million "Doug" stories. Like everyone else who's had the joy of swimming in his orbit - we've all got stories. The Death Valley Parties. When He Talked Hot Neighbour Chick Into Leaving Him Her Car Keys And He Painted Her SUV Purple AND Made A Mixed Tape Of Songs That Contained The Word Purple While She Away. He drove it around to where were living and parked it out front, giggling maniacally as the stereo cranked, Purple Rain. The time we Woke Up To Find A Local Cafe Sign In The House After A Drunken Walk Home and he was genuinely perplexed. The Day After in Playa When Two Girls Stripped Naked To Answer The Door When The Booze Delivery Man Arrived. The poor guy was so flustered he handed over the delivery, the change, all his tips AND his car keys before walking away with a story he knew NO ONE would believe (he had to come back for his car keys). Crossing The Mexican Border With A Wheelchair Andy Had Swapped It's Disabled Owner For a Bottle Of Jägermeister. Fair and square. She need Jäger and Andy needed a wheelchair.  The New Years parties in Bisbee. I came home pregnant from one of those... you get the picture.

One story I was reminded of recently was when I first moved to LA. Ben and I were relocating from Denver to Los Angeles and I went ahead to get things organised. Doug was working on the Man Show [some say, his Magnum Opus] at the time so he handed over his house keys and said, "Me and Andy [Andrist] are staying on The Lot - just help yourself. See you on the weekend." The house that Doug had a the time was a little bungalow in Venice - a little two bedroom shack and a smaller bungalow next door that he used for an 'office'. The little house had an enclosed front yard filled with a BBQ, a giant palm tree, even gianter ashtrays and various oversized TV set props. The office next door had a covered porch and low brick fence. Doug let Patti - a homeless woman stay on the porch.  Occassionally her boyfriend, Van would stay too. That way they were under cover, technically off the streets and hopefully, a bit safer. 

Doug and Andy came home on the weekend and the three of us sat around drinking, laughing and watching movies. It was late. Patti had been wandering in and out of the house during the day. Slightly more agitated that normal. Doug thought that the violent movie we were watching was perhaps not appropriate for Patti [or minors] so he asked her to go 'home'. She stomped through the kitchen and left. A little while later we heard Van screaming. "Patti! Stop it! You're hurting me!" 

All three of us ran to the front yard. Doug was on the phone, he covered the mouth piece and yelled, "Patti!" and to us, "This is why we can't have nice things." Andy leapt up on the [6ft] fence and because he's Andy, then jumped over it - in to the fight. "Put the knife down, Patti!" Doug hung up his call and punched 911 into his phone.

Doug and I, not being Andys at all, went back in to the bungalow and out the front door to get around to the house next door to watch out for Andy. We could hear Van pleading for help, Patti screaming and Andy yelling at her to, "drop the fucken knife, Patti!" Doug handed me his phone, switched his cigarette to the other hand and picked up a chair that was on the front porch. He used that to 'trap' Patti while Andy kicked the knife away. Van was bleeding so I ran back inside and got some towels.

Chaos. Utter chaos. I could hear the boys joking, Patti yelling and Van questioning, "Why would you do that to me Patti? Why? I love you, Patti. I love you." I handed Andy the towels. He pressed them over Van's stomach wound. "Am I doing right? You used to be a nurse. Am I doing this right?" I looked at Van's ashen face, "How are yo, Buddy?" He looked up at me, "I'm so confused." I looked at Andy, "Yup, you're doing it right."

Doug's phone rang in my hand. He was still holding Patti down with the chair, so I answered it. 

"Hullo?"

"This is the LAPD." said the gruff voice. "I understand a black man has stabbed a white woman."

I was incensed! "Actually" I mustered ALL my indignation, "a white woman has stabbed a black man!"

"No ma'am, that's not how it happens. The report I have here says a black man stabbed a white woman. Has the man been subdued yet?"

"Are you shitting me?! I'm telling you... wow. Ok, what the hell is YOUR name?!" I spat. 

The gruff voice chuckled, "It's [Dave] Attell. Stanhope still alive?"

"You hilarious asshole."

"Heh, just get him to call me back later."

The wailing sirens pulled up out front, blue and red lights splashing all over the front of the house. The actual not-as-racist-as-Dave-Attell LAPD had arrived, guns a blazin'! "Where's the knife?"  Lights. Sirens. Sensory overload. Paramedics arrived. The cops put up actual police tape across the front of both little houses (it stayed, pride of place, in Doug's front yard untll he moved. It might even have been listed for sale in one of the eBay yard sales?!) The cops took Patti away, the ambos took, Van. 

I'd been living in LA for a whole 3 days and I was standing in my friend's front yard next to a very large sign that read, "Make Me Hard", giving my first deposition to a very nice boy in very dark blue. 

After the dust settled, the three of us went back inside. Doug walked into the kitchen to get everyone another beer. He looked at the knife block, "Oh shit, she used one of my good steak knives!" 

Doug's probably forgotten this incident by now. For him, it's just one of the thousands of nights he's had that ended with a good story. That sums up my friend. I love him and I'm looking forward to a nice normal night with him, Bingo and Hennigan when they land. It'll be a first. 

faheyxo

Melb tix available here

Doug's twitter

Thursday
Nov062014

I Got Lost In A Changing Room

I got lost in a Changing Room.

Yup. Lost. 

And yes, a Changing Room IS what you're thinking of. One of those "one way in, one way out" dealios. And to be perfectly clear - the one way out is the the same one way that you just walked in. S'pretty straight forward.

I've got a sense of direction as keen as a GPS hooked up to a second rate Latvian satellite. If we're lost - ask me which way *I* want to go. Which ever way I point - you can pretty much bet your cherubic child's life that turning the opposite way will get you to your destination.

Some people are good at singing. Some can play the flute. I've got a friend who can play drums while she sings. Me? I can get lost inside 4 square metres. 

Holding my bathers in one hand and a fitting room garment tag in the other I swished behind the curtain. Yes, not even a mysterious door to blame for my disorientation, just a curtain that doesn't even reach all the way to the floor. Inside that room cubicle, I tried on the bathers, sobbed, made mental notes to One, never try to buy bathers again and Two, eat a future spite-dim sim

When I left, I swished the curtain open again and headed for the exit and the judgmental thin woman with the over-plucked eyebrows who zealously guards the Size Hangers. You know when you're not really looking where your going cause you just wanna get the fuck out of Myer and you sense someone else in the vicinity? Alright, shut yer face, Target. It was Target. Never the less, I could see the other lady coming in to the change room and... ok, fuck off. Fine! It was KMart. I was in KMart, trying on bathers that I knew were gonna split me like a pale white brie on a fine cheese board. Cheese shouldn't wear bathers anyway. I just needed to grow a white Penicillium Candidum rind. Where was I? Oh yeah, walking out of the change room. Two fleeting thought crossed my mind as the other KMart lady came towards me; One "She'll get outta the way." and Two "Sheesh love, let yourself go much?" 

BANG! I walked straight into that fat lady with the hideous bathers over her arm... The lady with the lovely red hair and the Vivienne Westwood handbag. I had walked into a mirror. Mirror Me was pretty pissed off she'd walked into ourselves too. 

My name is fahey and my super power is Direction. I am Direction Girl!

Donations can be sent through to my PayPal.

What's your super power?

faheyxo

Thursday
Jul172014

"the world’s favourite comedy festival has no room for women"

The title grabs ya, doesn't it?

LINK HERE

And, yes, this Just For Laughs (With Penii) line up IS ridiculous. But, this, I wanna say, well-intentioned article also delves into some murky ground. The writer says,

"From now on, I refuse to attend any festivals and events where women count for less 2 fifths of the line-up, and I urge you to join me."

How can only support an art that splits into a gender ratio that doesn't offend you?

Here is my reply.

Hi Maeve.

Although I agree the Just For Laughs lineup is ridiculous I also see that as a heavily curated festival, it gets to do what it likes. In doing this it also has the opportunity to show itself to be a bit of a dinosaur. Of course there are many many women who are worthy of a spot. Many.

I also want to make sure the MICF facts are in place. It's a festival, close to my heart. I've participated numerous times. Some times more successfully than others. EVERY time, utterly supported by the behemoth that it is. 

Fact. MICF's director is a man without a penis. She has been at the helm of this multi-million dollar venture for many years. It is Australia's largest cultural event - selling more tickets than any other Australian Festival.

Fact. It is the only festival of it's kind to hold an all girl line up show, UpFront. Started by actual women comedians which is now in it's 20th year.

Fact. It's the only festival of it's kind to hold a workshop primarily for (but not inclusive of men) aspiring female comedians. It was started by another one of those stand-ups without wedding tackle, Linda Haggar. It's called Jeez Louise and it's generated a LOT of local talent. It is utterly supported, both financially and artistically by MICF.

Fact. Of the sixteen Barry Awards given, SEVEN of those have been awarded to chicks. Floozy's. Strumpets. Non-Blokes.

The dangerous territory you're getting in to here, assigning a ratio which, under a specific threshold you wont be satisfied is silly. Would you do that for any other industry? 

Comedy ain't boxing. There ain't weight divisions. It's not even like ballroom dancing. You don't have to do it with a gay partner who insists on leading. Comedy is an art form. If you're GOOD at it, it doesn't matter if you've got a wedding tackle or not. Comedy doesn't even care if you've got a pumpkin for a head. Louis CK. It doesn't matter if you've got an annoying personality. Ricky Gervais. It doesn't even matter if you've married your ex wife's adopted child fercrissakes. Woody Allen. Ok, I'll take that one back. That's icky. 

It's a numbers game. Let's say that in the whole world, there are 100 comedians. Probably only 10 of them will be women. It's just how it is. Exactly like plumbers. Chicks can do it, just not too many feel the urge to shove their arm up a muddy pipe. Like kindergarten teaching. Lotsa chicks, not so many dudes. You see what I mean? It's just a numbers game. 

Comedy should make you laugh. That's kinda it. Pretty simple job description when you get down to it. It doesn't matter if there's bumps in the front of the shirt below the face hole that's telling you the funny stuff. It just needs to be funny stuff coming out of that hole.

It's amazing when it's more than that. Sarah Silverman Sam Simmons It's brilliant when you're mouth is agape and your heart is pounding. Simon Munnery Miss Itchy. If you're lucky, it's transcendent escapism. Stewart Lee , Kristen Schaal. Or, it's simply beyond dick jokes. Reggie Watts. Doug Stanhope . Sarah Millican . Andy Zaltzman Josie Long  Steve Seagren Kristine Levine Sean Rouse... the list goes on. And then there is also, the dick jokers. (You know who you are.)

JFL are doing themselves a disservice to exclude the excellent comics they have to choose from. The same can NOT be said of MICF. To demand a higher percentage of wymmyn to fulfil some arbitrary ratio is just as silly when you've only got 10 plumbers in the game.

fahey younger. comedian. swear word aficionado. lady.

 

Wednesday
Mar272013

MICF ~ How Does One, Do One?

                       

   *This is an updated post that goes out in April. It's Comedy Festival Time.

It's that time of the Gregorian calendar again. That time of year when Melbourne's inner city is awash with Leunig Flags, a higher percentage of talented Street Performers and Desperate People thrusting hard worked for fliers at you. Fliers that you're just going to throw in the bin. Admit it. You horrible, terrible person you.

Every year I hear the same thing. EVERY year I try to shout from the rooftops.

You Guys : "Who do I go see?  There's so much on. Tickets are so expensive, the comics must make an absolute fortune!"

Me : "GO and see TWO local shows - someone you've NEVER heard of for every hardcore, heavily promoted International/National act. And, about the money thing...."

Simon Munnery, Flym-MakkerTo answer the first question, MY TOP PICK is always the same - go see Munnery, even if he's not here, go see Munnery.  Simon Munnery is not for beginners. He's an out there on his own comic, sailing through utterly uncharted waters.  He does it all with one leg in the boat, the other in an elaborate donkey suit, but this is no ordinary donkey - this donkey sells real estate while he turns ordinary household objects in to mineral rich homewares.  Or something WAY better than that. One of the most beautiful reviews of ANY comedy show I've ever read was for Munners. "If you want to see what other comedians will be doing in 5 years, go see Munnery now."  That about sums it up. (can you tell I think he's a bit ace?) 

And I'm deadly serious about the TWO LOCAL SHOW caveat. Which bring us to the money thing... There is a perception that local comedians get paid to put on a little 'skit' (my favourite word for comedy production), go drinking with their buddies all night then sit around enduring endless self congratulating breakfasts in the morning.  Let me hose the untruth off that for you.

Putting on a little skit, for a month takes a LOT of work.  A lot of work and a LOT OF MONEY. You see, the majority of the acts present for MICF are risking their OWN bank accounts, personal lives and sanity. You don't just rock up to the Town Hall in March and put a sticker on the door of the venue you'd like to play in. Although this is a policy I'd like to initiate.

Eddie Pepitone, Solo Show 5th April. (See program)

No, the work starts about October the year before. You fill out your MICF registration and find the $500 you need to register your show.

Let's keep a running tally, shall we?


Registration, $500


This is of course a show you have already written the bones of, at the very least. You need a show title and 60 word synopsis. You need good quality show images.  (I think this guy is the best. James Penlidis) Lets call it a conservative $500 for the shoot, then more to get your stuff Art Directed and on to a poster and printed... but I'm ahead of myself. A great image is going to help. You're not going to get away with that pic of you and your bestie drunk on the beach at Surfers, but professional images which relay the tone of your show. There are going to be HUNDREDS of images/posters vying for spots on lamppost, walls and cafe racks. Most of shows with a much bigger budget than yours so how are you going to stand out? 

*poster costs, assuming you've done most of the art work yourself, or you have a friend who's handy with photoshop/adobe. Let's call it $1,000. P.S., do you know the difference between semi gloss, matte, and universal gloss paper? Do you need A4 A 3 or A1 size posters?  Have you thought about postcards?

Rich Fulcher - Tiny Acts of Rebellion


Registration, $500
Photography, $500
Printing, $1,000 


Now you'll need somewhere to put on your little dog and pony show and unless your Dad's got a barn, you're going to want a centrally located CBD venue. Town Hall venues are prized hubs. Being IN the Town Hall does NOT always translate to ticket sales but you're still going to want to be there. Conservative estimates for the venue and tech - oh yes, you'll need someone to run your lights, sound and whatever else you've skillfully woven into your increasingly elaborate pastiche. Conservative estimates will put that charge at around $1500 a week for one of the smaller 30 - 50 seat venues.  The bigger the room, the more the cost.


Registration, $500
Photography, $500
Printing, $1,000 
Venue & Tech, $6,000 


Dave Callen - The Psychology of LaughterIt's getting a little flop-sweatish now, isn't it? Ooh! Don't forget your Entertainment Liability Insurance. You don't want your confetti cannons going off early and taking out a pensioners eye.  Or your mic stand to fall off the stage and kill a Seeing Eye Dog. Let's guesstimate, $350 (it's been a while and I can't find any receipts of the insurance we've had to buy) but that seems tame.


Registration, $500
Photography, $500
Printing, $1,000 
Venue & Tech, $6,000 
Insurance, $350


Advertising! How are you going to let people know your tiny little show is on, in amongst the throngs of Hughsies, the heavily promoted International acts and the locals being produced byToken?  To be honest, you're not. You're going to rely on Word of Mouth but you're still going to buy a little advertising space aren't you? Buying ad space translates to editorial space. (you're buying ad space, the paper are 'giving you' editorial space). A 1/8 page, a 1/4 page, a 1/2 of full page ad?  How much money have you got to burn? You can spend anything from $500 for a tiny corner in something like Beat or InPress for the run or thousands on a Herald Sun 1/2 page. We'll call it a conservative $800 for advertising and flyering - the aforementioned standing outside your venue handing out those precious posters/postcards/flyers you had printed as a way of luring people into your show after they see the show they wanted to see is sold out? You can do that yourself or pay/beg/blackmail someone to do it for you.

Debra Batton, Catherine Magill - She Knows Too Much


Registration, $500
Photography, $500
Printing, $1,000 
Venue & Tech, $6,000 
Insurance, $350
Advertising, $800 


If you want a publicist, you can hire one now. If one has room for your show. It's gonna cost ya. $2,000 is a very conservative estimate.

 

Let's have a closer look at those locals, in particular. How many of them realistically make a living from stand up? If your guess is in the double digits, you're very probably wrong. SO, if you want to put on a show, you're going to need to take time off work. You won't have time to wait tables, or nurse, or be the funny accountant.  You've got some holiday time coming up - best use it. Insert your own lost wages estimate here. $Umpty dollars.

Frank Woodley, Simon Yates - InsideOk, so there are hundreds of shows to choose from. The tickets cost anywhere from $10, Tight Arse Tuesday tix to $45 for (example) Wil Anderson or Judith Lucy & Denise Scott.

Well, you're thinking. Let's shoot at the centre of that range and sell 20 tickets a night, that's $440! See, you guys are raking it in! TicketMaster take half that ticket cost as their fee. What?! Hmm, still $220 a night, where do I sign up! Let's also look at the guesstimated average audience size for a local (unknown quantity) show is on a good night, 10 people. 10. I'm being generous here. It's only going to be 3 or 4 some nights. Have you dampened your trousers yet?

As the MICF website says, "Producing a show involves everything from organising venue hire, marketing and publicity, travel and accommodation, sourcing props and equipment, budgeting, ticketing, obtaining insurance and licences and much more. As part of your registration, the Festival provides information packs and workshops to assist you, but it is up to you to make it happen."

Harley Breen - Some Kind of SomethingMICF is an amazing festival. If not for it, I would not have had 3/4 of the life experience I've had. I would not know who Simon Munnery was. Or Daniel Kitson. I wouldn't giggle every time I heard the words, "Rapper with a baby" (curse you, Rich Fulcher!) I would not have smeared chocolate cake on Adam Richard's head (ok, that probably still would have happened, just not in front of 3000 people) nor would I have laughed so hard at Bill Bailey that I hawked up a lung. I'd also probably not have the sight of a bare chested Sam Simmons smashing taco shells into his pigeon frame burnt into my retinas, nor would I have... ok the rest of that sentence is now redacted. You know why, Festival of 1998...

It's SO important that you get out there and support local acts. They're literally selling their souls for you.  Go see Harley Breen, go see Jennifer Wong. Go see Geraldine Hickey and why not make a night of it and see Wes Snelling and Kate McLennan - their show is held IN a hotel room!  Come on! I know you're probably already planning on seeing Wil Anderson, why wouldn't you? He is brilliant but please, take a chance and see someone you've never even heard of. 

They've got an average of $8,000-$10,000 on the line for you. Can you even imagine doing that for the love of your job? You can't, can you? And don't think, "oh I can just see them in October after all this festival stuff has died down." You can't. Festival is special. Festival is very often the only time of the year you'll see any one of these comedians do a solo show of 1 hours duration, packed to the gills with lights, props and a small Bolivan Lizard (WHAT a show!). Go. What are you waiting for?

fahey xx

(a tiny selection of those acts you really need to squeeze on to your wish-list)

 

Geraldine Hickey - Love Or A Slab Of Fudge

Jennifer Wong is Spineless Kate McLennan & Wes Snelling - Standard Double

Lessons With Luis - Famoucity

Ross Daniels - Graham Clone, The Future Is Incorrect Sam Simmons - Shitty TriviaSlutmonster and Friends