Tell us everything we need to know about your show.
Shame and Abuse is a quiz show designed to challenge you. Not just your intelligence, but your ability to think outside the box. Answers aren’t obvious, except when they are.
What led you to make this particular show?
I wanted to take a shot at doing something a little different. Both for myself and audiences. So I’ve endeavoured to put my own spin on a classic format.
When you’re doing a show like this, how do you take into account the audience’s boundaries and comfort levels?
I’m not really pushing anyone to their limits in this show. However, it’s an 18+ show, and being an adult means recognising a situation you don’t want to be in and leaving that situation. If something offends you, leave. Don’t sit in a shitty nappy and complain about it whilst refusing to let yourself be changed.
Where does this show sit in your body of work?
I’m not sure I totally understand the question. It is the newest work I have created but in terms of how I would rank it against other work I have done, it’s tricky. Firstly, this is different to a lot of the work I’ve done in the past. Secondly, a lot of what I make as a comic comes from a place of not insignificant self loathing, so ranking my work is a long, dark, complex exercise down the rabbit hole.
What is the most challenging part of performing this show?
Writing a show that works equally well for 40 people as it does for 4 people is definitely the biggest hurdle I faced. Keeping a balance between entertainment, cohesion of the show, and a sense of involvement of the audience whilst kicking them out has been a challenge.
Do you like your show? Can you see yourself getting sick of it?
This show is still very new. I’m enjoying it so far, but we’re still ironing out some kinks that have been things you can’t plan for. I frequently have existential moments of “why is anything I’ve ever said funny or relevant to anyone in any way?” So I think I get a bit sick of myself before I get sick of my work.
What’s the weirdest experience you’ve ever had during one of your shows?
During this, was the moment that I realised after pulling 4 people onto stage in order to kick one of them out
You’re appearing as part of Tomás Ford’s The Fxxk Yxu program – how did that relationship come about? Do you know any of the other performers?
Tomás and I have been friends for quite a few years. We started off doing a few shows together around town, and I am a fan of his music. We started to DJ together, I came on board as part of Tomás Ford’s Crap Music Rave Party and have toured around a bit and worked collaboratively on this and a variety of other projects. I’ve known Lisa-Skye for a little, we met through fringe. John Robertson has been a friend and imparter of wisdom for about 7 years, since very early on in my Comedy career. Jamie Mykaela I’ve known since she was a teenager, sneaking into gigs she ought not to have been sneaking into. Fringe is a great time and, for me, it is less about shows and more about seeing those friends that I only get to see at fringe.
How do you feel your work fits into the fringe festival scene usually?
I feel like I can fit in anywhere. I’ve done alternative things and more mainstream work, I’ve done stand up, improv, cabaret, hosted burlesque, just to list a few. Some say I’m talented and versatile, others (meaning me) would say I’m a fringe whore, an emotionally crippled narcissist who cannot self validate and requires the adulation of strangers to do so.
When you do shows outside of a fringe festival, how is the experience different?
I do all kinds of things outside of fringe. Firstly, I’m a stand up, but I DJ with Tomás Ford, I host all kinds of events like burlesque, cabaret, karaoke to name a few. I dabble in a bit of acting and have been known to sing on occasion. What I do outside of fringe differs little from what I do inside fringe, but I take the opportunity to be a little more experimental at fringe because the environment is conducive to trying new things.
Who are the performers that you really identify with?
This is a tricky question as I try to do my own thing as much as possible. I have artists and performers who I like and have been influenced by. Very obvious connections are drawn between myself and Eddie Izzard but those similarities are very superficial. I have been a fan of Izzard for a long time. One of the first comics that I can watch repeatedly and always enjoy myself. I have always loved the raw expression of thoughts that Izzard has always been about. In a very “my brain works weird, just see.” way, which I always try to show, too. I have always appreciated the ‘just be who you are’ mentality that Izzard has. The terrifying stage dominance of Leslie Jones and her balls to the wall energy are something I aspire to. I have always loved comics like Bill Hicks and Doug Stanhope for their bitter and frank views on existence and the world around them. Model and former adult actress London Andrews is one of on favourite people after being one of the first advocates for body positivity that I started following and a strong believer of what’s inside that counts and I find someone’s intellect or sense of humor more attractive than anything else. I need to add that D’Arcy Carden, who plays Janet in “The Good Place” is a phenomenal comedic performer and she inspires me to have better comedic timing, because she is a Swiss watch of comedy. The Mighty Boosh taught me not to be afraid of being weird. Embrace your oddness.
What do you see as the big problems for artists on the fringe festival scene?
There are a lot of problems with fringe, as with any event of this scale, but there is no single point of blame. The festival has grown dramatically and so quickly over the last few years that Perth has, seemingly, struggled to catch up and that is resulting in lower turnouts because audiences are stretched across so many venues and events. There is tension between fringe world and artists/venues/managers/producers because it seems that we forget that fringe is a business and with any business, you have to go where the money is and incidents such as a banner boasting home grown heroes featuring (as I understand it) no Perth performers, has left a bad taste in many a mouth. A similar thing happened a few years back at the Perth Comedy Fest. Of the advertised lineup only 2 comics were Perth based and one was American, the other Pakistani, so we, as Perth artists felt that we weren’t being represented in our own home. Because we all pour so much of ourselves into our work as artists and performers, we forget that it’s not personal when people don’t come to our shows or when we’re overlooked by the festival for whatever. Having said that, there have been some issues with logistical decision made by the festival that have left all of us scratching our heads. Fringe keeps getting bigger and box offices are unable to cope with the number of shows they need to advertise, which should be their problem not ours, but if your show isn’t being listed you can’t sell tickets. I personally had ¼ of my shows not listed on the fringe website or in the guide. But I digress. I could go on about this for a fortnight one finger cannot be pointed in one direction at one cause. It’s more like a web of problems and the only way to fix them is with communication between staff, artists, and punters, who I often feel are overlooked when we find ourselves in these discussions because without punters, there is no fringe, we don’t get to do what we do. But if anyone is having difficulty sleeping, buy me a drink and I’ll bore you into unconsciousness talking about it.
SHAME AND ABUSE IS ON SUNDAY FEBRUARY 11 AND SUNDAY FEBRUARY 18 at 11PM. TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE