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Entries in wil anderson (3)

Tuesday
Nov182014

Saying Goodbye To A Friend

Richard was about 9 feet tall. Kind. So kind. Generous, funny, passionate. He was just a man you really wanted to be around and he had a laugh which could rock your world. 

And boy. Outrageously handsome. I can't stress that enough. He was ri-dic-ulously beautiful. Inside and out. I'm mostly talking about the outside here. Wow. I mean, just LOOK at that face! >

We said goodbye for now, to our friend yesterday. Our hearts aching and angry denial bubbling as waves of thankful joy to know that he was ever even in our lives in the first place. I say this as someone so utterly on his periphery I can't even fathom how his family, his beloved Lee, and his close lifelong friends are even able to stand upright and go on. Such was the measure of this man that knowing him even just a little bit was enough to feel the punch to the chest when I heard the news.

Handsome, tall, impossibly perfect Richard was struck by Guillain-Barrè syndrome. This rare illness strikes between two and eight people in every 100,000, regardless of gender or age. Richard was 41.

Estimates vary, but around nine out of 10 people with Guillain-Barrè syndrome survive and approximately 75 to 90 per cent recover completely. Around 10 to 15 per cent will be troubled by some form of permanent disability. It can take anywhere from six months to two years or more to fully recover. 9 in 10 recover. 9 in 10. It's so wretchedly, shittingly unfair. 

I met Richard at Joe's Garage in Brunswick St, Fitzroy. Adam [Richard] and I went in for a coffee one day. We saw Richard at the bar and went back almost every single day for the next 3 years, straight. Actually, now that I think about it. Adam probably already knew there was something very pretty inside Joe's when he took me there. Yes. That's a much more reliable memory. :-)  Joe's was our place. It's where we met. Any excuse to meet. Much of Melbourne's late 90's comedy genesis happened in that bar, staring at that pretty man.  Wil Anderson. Justin Hamilton, Geraldine Quinn. Corinne Grant. Adam and I. It's where we wrote.  It's where we drowned our sorrows and celebrated our successes. It's where we went to flirt with Richard and eat food which wasn't always great and drink coffee which was often burnt. The constant at Joe's, our waiter was ALWAYS a handsome beacon of joy. I never saw him unhappy. 

We became friends with Richard. He encouraged our outrageous behaviour. He enabled our drinking and he supplemented our [at the time] meager incomes with "Oh this is left over" and "I accidentally poured this" and "I thought you ordered this?!"

For a while there Joe's did 'free bread'. Bread they baked on premises. It was heavenly delish. Richard would see us coming and bring extra bread and extra butter to our table. (Remind me again, how did we get fat?) We'd regularly sit there from our 11am breakfast til Richard came over, "So, I'm guessing you'll want to know the dinner specials?" Some nights we'd drunkenly leave, get on a tram and head down to the other end of Brunswick Street to the Italian joint for their "lemon meringue pie- without the meringue please." (it was very, very, very good) then we'd get back on the tram and sneak back in to Joe's for lock up. Someone would crank the music, Richard would dance around like... well... nope, there's nothing to compare it to. He'd dance around like a total Richard. Glorious! Or he'd sing, that massive baritone voice belting out of his perfect pie hole. And we'd drink! The next day? Repeat. The next day? Repeat. Next? Repeat. Repeat. Repeat! 

One particularly busy night in Joe's - it was ALWAYS busy in Joe's - Adam and I were at our table, we'd been there for hours and were not showing signs of going home any time soon. We were very possibly being loud and hilarious. Richard came over to our table with a baby's highchair "Ohmygod! is he trying to kick us out!?" He returned with a beautiful loaf of bread wrapped in a checked tea-towel and he stuck it in the highchair. "There's your bread baby." he poked two marshmallows in it for eyes and walked away. We squealed with delight, caved a hole in it's face for a mouth and we berated and yelled at our baby (as we slowly ate him) for the rest of the night. 

I still can't look at a loaf of bread in a highchair without thinking of you Ricky. I'm 9 out of 10 furious you're not here to play with any more and 10 out of 10 thankful you ever were in the first place. Rest easy. Dance stupidly and laugh always.  You are SO loved. 

Thank you. 

faheyxo 


Monday
Apr092012

Comedy Festival - How Do I?

 

                                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simon Munnery, in La Concepta & Hats Off to the 101ers.

"You kinda know something about this Comedy Festival thing, right? There are SO many shows! You guys must make a fortune! Who should I go see?"  Is a question I am asked at least once a day during the month of April. (Today, the next door neighbours dog, Hitler asked me.) 

My answer is always the same - go see Munnery, even if he's not here, go see Munnery. AND GO AND SEE TWO LOCAL SHOWS FOR EVERY INTERNATIONAL YOU SEE! There is a perception that local comedians get paid to put on a little 'skit' (my fave word for comedy production), go drinking with their buddies all night then sit around enduring endless self congratulating breakfasts in the morning.  Let me shake 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.

Felicity Ward in the Hedgehog Delemna

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 to have photos. (I think this guy is the best. James Penlidis) Lets call it $400.  Remember, you're not going to get away with a 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, 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?

Asher Treleaven

Registration, $500
Photography, $400
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 $1000 a week for one of the smaller 30 - 50 seat venues.  The bigger the room, the more the cost.

Registration, $500
Photography, $400
Printing, $1,000 
Venue & Tech, $4,000 

Jennifer Wong, Ouch & Other WordsIt'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, $250 (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, $400
Printing, $1,000 
Venue & Tech, $4,000 
Insurance, $250

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 by Token?  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 - have I mentioned 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 someone to do it for you. Damian Callinan, Robinson Crusoe

Registration, $500
Photography, $400
Printing, $1,000 
Venue & Tech, $4,000 
Insurance, $250
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.

Daniel Kitson in Where Once Was WonderOk, so there are hundreds of shows to choose from. The tickets cost anywhere from $10, Tight Arse Tuesday tix to $40 for (example) Judith Lucy on Sunday night.

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. 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."

MICF 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 have seen Greg Fleet bare his soul and lengthen his sleeves or Felicity Ward rock the shit out of a room. 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 Damian Callinan, go see Jennifer Wong. You're probably already planning on seeing Wil Anderson, why wouldn't you? He's brilliant but please, take a chance and see someone you've never even heard of.

They've got an average of $8,000 on the line. 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

 

Tuesday
Oct182011

One More Time...

Update on Friday, October 21, 2011 at 8:47PM by Registered CommenterMiss Itchy

Seriously? HuffPo are in on it to? "Men Are Funnier Than Women, But Not By Much, Study States"

On HuffPo WOMEN, no less.

The irony just bit my dick off.

Fox News Says New Crop of Comediennes Combine Funny Bones With Banging Bodies

Female Comedians Need To Be Hot And Funny Or It Doesn’t Count!

Well, der!

Of course this headline is negated by the "Fox News says" at the front but the entire oeuvre shits me to a state where I'm fairly confident I could vomit up a baby's shoe. We see this article every year with out fail, usually around Comedy Festival time and it crops up at least bi-annually on the intersexy in its various forms and guises. And all I can say is, thank god SOME ONE is talking about it... Still. *sigh* 

Of COURSE you need a killer rack to tell jokes. Come on, it's RIGHT there at the very top of the form you fill out to be a comedian. Name._______ Age.________ Sex.________ (if you write, "yes please" here, go get to go right to the very head of queue and collect your Herald Sun weekly column byline) If "Female"Please Attach Recent Photo of Your Ladyness.________ Political Leaning._______ Prop Comic. Yes___ No___

It can't be fairer than that.

 

 

                             

Of course, the VERY best articles about comedy are ones that try to dissect, analyse or theorise the art. It's a subjective beast at the very least, "Oh yeah, he's funny. Or, "Meh" should cover it. But when you add boobs to the equation, suddenly the tone takes a very different turn. There are pages and tomes and encylopedias of articles, discussion forums and theses (thesii?! is that collective?) vilifying "women comedians".  Very often - and by 'very often' I mean 99% of the time - it has little do with what she's saying. Instead it's about what she looks like, what she was wearing and how much or little, cleavage she was showing.  I can't find these same acres of gigabytes about "male comedians".  At best I can see, "I hate X, he sucks." and "No way! We saw X at the Chuckle Hut at our work Christmas party and he was hilarious!" I never ever ever get to find out what he was wearing or how drunk he looked hanging off the MC's arm in the bar after the show. Never!

 

    

About, no not about EXACTLY SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO (give or take a few months) Loob and I along with a bunch of other ladies of the stage; Denise Scott, the late, great Lynda Gibson, Judith Lucy, Christine Basil, Sue-Ann Post, Janet McLeod, etc, etc got together and decided that we needed to put together a night for MICF to showcase the alleged dearth of be-racked comedians who were struggling to get stage time. And seventeen years ago (give or take a few months) on the sticky stage of the Espy we rocked that sold out show to the ground. It was needed. Wanted. Unexpected. But darlings, that was seventeen years ago. (holy shit that was 17yrs ago?!)  I also recognise the fact that 17 years prior to us (give or take a year) the Sal Uptons, Gina Rileys, Rachel Bergers, Noeline Browns, Denise Drysdales, Mary Coustas', Marg Downeys and Jane Kennedys had also travelled the same boob-laden road. And probably seventeen more years from now some young, bright thing will be blazing her own Tassie-mapped trail. Urgh, that's depressing.

  

How about we please, please, puhlease just agree to get to the end of the ad nauseam Are Women Funny? Why Are Women Funny? Women? Funny or Not? Jokes, With Or Without Dicks?, articles NOW. It is, was and will always be, passé. The mere mention of a "very funny comedienne" makes me taste sick (usually, my own) and then there's the chatter if you ARE a hotty (the very curse of my life), you must have fucked your way to the top.  And what exactly IS at the top of the comedy ladder anyway? Dishes?

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 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. Ooh! Icky - Todd Barry.

It's a numbers game. Let's say there are 100 comedians. Probably only 10 of them will be women. It's just how it is.  Kinda 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. 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. Corinne Grant. Andy Andrist. Kristine Levine. Steve Seagren. And there's dick jokes. (You know who you are.)

Can we please just agree if it's funny, we can call it comedy.  From a comedian. Rocking bod. Wil Anderson. Or not. Rosanne.

How on earth has it been seventeen years?!

 

fahey, a comedian xo