So the 2007 Melbourne International Comedy Festival is finally coming to an end. I say finally...I was kind of enjoying it. I mean, some things were less than ideal. But I've had a successful run of my show, appeared in multiple other places, and had a whole mess of fun.

Life will soon go back to something approaching normal. Probably. But then again, I have more plans. And the Fringe Festival is only five months away...

In the meantime, I will be trying to catch up with people. There will probably be various social invitations coming your way. I'll rest a while, and try and reconnect. And maybe even write some more stuff in here.

For now, let me just say that performing my show to a room mostly full of year six students, with a few teachers, parents and older students in the mix, was an experience I won't quickly forget. The best question was from the girl who asked "Is your hair real?" Some older rake up the back then had to ask, "Are you real?" Somehow I managed to avoid any kind of existential crisis over that one.
barrington: (Hitch-Hiker)
Mark Watson has embarked on another 24 hour show - this time here in Melbourne at the Umbrella Revolution. I'm going to try and make an appearance this afternoon, and if you're bored any time between now and midnight, $5 will get you in as many times and for as long as you like. Now that's cheap entertainment...

You can also keep up with the goings on via the official blog.
Well, the Festival is still giving me the time of my life. Last night I sold out for my show and had a great performance, and then when I cam back for Birdhouse it went off. A big crowd filled the room and everyone's performances were awesome. If you missed it, there are some great photos floating around the 'net. I think the ones behind the cut (if they still work...if not, check out Tim Chuma's awesome gallery) pretty much sum up one of the greatest moments in my life...
Why Does The Sun Shine? Because science rocks! )
I was tempted to stay and party afterwards, and did in fact have one drink and a bit of a boogie, but I have a gig this afternoon and my body is grateful that I didn't.

For all those of you on the Optus mobile network, I hope the outage last night didn't cause you as much grief as it did many of my friends last night. Everything seems fine now.

I haven't seen many more shows since my last post on the subject, but I have seen Tripod's How To Train An Attack Dog From Scratch. Very different from their usual stuff, but I thought it was hilarious. (I'm going to try and check out Idio Clips this Friday night.)

Here are a few things I haven't seen, but think would be good:
  • Xavier Michaelidis: What To Do When the Zombies Attack. I met Xavier yesterday, he's a funny guy and a great improviser so this should be great, especially if you like zombies.
  • Andy McClelland's Show Whose Title is Too Long and Rambly to Remember (it's not really called that). I'm desperately going to try and see this in the last week, though it being outside Trades Hall it might be a bit of a challenge.
  • Harley Breen in The Kingswood and I. Harley's one of my favourite stand-ups, I'm really looking forward to seeing him tonight.
For the record I'd like to point out that this description of last Sunday's trivia night is not very accurate. For one thing I joined "Casa Del Awesome" very late in the piece, as did many of the other members (and I will freely admit it's huge size may have given the team something of an advantage), but we had a small one or two point lead on Richard McKenzie and co (Lost in Inebreation) until the music round, when they zoomed ahead by about four or five points. Thinking all was lost, we foolishly decided to take on the optional super bonus hard question, which was worth four points, but docked you four for getting it wrong. We got it wrong - and lost by 3.5 points. A tale of tragedy indeed, but we took our chance and the better team won. Tonight I shall have my own team comprising some of the finest minds in comedy, and we shall take the prize or at least laugh an awful lot trying. Tonight's theme is Hawaii, so I'm taking a suitably loud shirt.
My Festival highlight so far has to be last week's trivia at Hi-Fi, when I was awarded a prize for being the only person present who knew the name of the dragon who was turned into a horse and travelled with Monkey, Tripitaka, Pigsy and Sandy. My reward? A bag of plastic toy ninjas!

The Festival is drawing toward its end, but there's still more than a week left, so here are some shows I've seen and liked which you might like too:

The Debutante Diaries: a one-woman play about the trials and tribulations doing the deb in a country Australia.
Wellington Who: must-see for all Doctor Who fans. I loved it, of course. If you want insight into my childhood, go see it.
Ben Payne in His Yellow Ute: great storytelling fun for parents with young kids.
Lawrence Leung learns to Break Dance: Lawrence tries to figure out what's cool as he tries to do better than his brother. The breakdancing bit is worth the price of admission.
Courteney Hocking is unAustralian: solid stand-up with a political bent.
The Dead Baron: storytelling in character from Mr. Nick; kind of like a cross between Ripping Yarns and Baron Munchausen, but darker.
The Warm Up Guy: also solid standup from a really likeable performer. The gimmick? He's just warming you up for a second-rate chat show.

Don't forget Science-ology is on for another week. Please come, it's a good show. And if you like They Might Be Giants, and want to support the Asylum Seekers Resource Group, then come along to Birdhouse on Saturday night.
This is a brief post, but important. It's in honour of my first ever, proper, broadsheet newspaper review. And it's a corker...if stingy on the stars. "[Ben] successfully sticks it to The Man in a vibrant, educational and funny show" - now that's a quote.

"A spirited attempt to restore science to its rebellious status of "rock and roll"." - The Age, April 11, 2007

Just for the record, though: yes, I was uncool, geeky and bullied in primary school - Craig Wellington (of Wellington Who, which is awesome - go see it) had it easy when the kids called him Doctor, they called me "Doctor Who freak" and chased me across the playground, mockingly chanting the chorus from "Doctorin' the TARDIS". By the end of High School, however, I was totally cool. I'd starred in the most popular school play ever, won a bunch of Eisteddfod prizes for the school, and - as part of our farewell year 12 extravaganza - played my first rock gig with a student band, singing Spiderbait's "Old Man Sam" to a packed assembly hall. We rocked.

Oh yeah, and I'm going to be singing a song with 80s Enuff late this Friday night at Trades Hall. Be there!
Happy birthday to me! What could be a better birthday present than being on stage in my first ever Comedy Festival? Well, not much. But the show opened with a bang on Wednesday, which is awesome. Sorry I haven't been around much.

Still, things to tell; I managed a brief mention in "Hail the stage for the wackier wackos", an article in The Age about Comedy @ Trades, and the Groggy Squirrel, Melbourne's online comedy magazine, has posted the first review. (There should be at least three more over the next few days - I had a lot of reviewers in last night.)

So far, for my birthday this year, I have received the best lunchbox in the world (it has a Stegosaurus on it - thanks Anniene!) and a glass of Guinness. So far, so awesome. But tonight I'm going to see some more Festival shows, which will be great. I hope to see as much as possible this year, though my schedule is tight...

Last night I saw Kate McLennan's The Debutante Diaries. Fantastic character-based comedy. The closest thing we ever had to a deb in high school was the Year 12 Formal, but even so I recognised so much of what happened and there's darkness, biting satire, and even some completely wrong stuff in there as well. I recommend it.

February 2012

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