Excuse me. I intended this to be a diary type entry, such as Mediocre in Reykjavik, about the Comedy Festival experience. Instead these are dot points. I think it’s all you want to know.
– To have a show, you have to write a show – or pretend this. Submit it to a venue manger or find your own venue, and pay your registration. That’s it.
– The best venues are the hardest to get into. There’s a psychology marketing principle called nudge theory. People do what is easiest for them. You should remove as many obstacles as possible to getting people to do what you want them to do. Make it easy for them. Nudge them towards your preferred outcome. Nudge them towards your venue. If they can easily get to your venue, or already like your venue, then that’s the goal. The best venues aren’t the cheapest, but they are the easiest to get people into.
– You won’t make money. Even if you have a stellar run of gigs, as I was told I did, it is, on average, not better income than working a menial day job. But gosh it is a lot of fun.
– Scientists are more engaging that alcoholics. Because my show was called The Wine Science Show there was expectation I should sell out nights because of a robust Melbourne wine community. It proved that science communities engaged and even approached me more than wine groups. It seemed that wine groups wanted money. Science groups just wanted to promote science.
– Women’s comedy has big hurdles. I had a dick joke in my show, in the form of a bar chart. A dull joke but it got an easy laugh. To entertain myself I followed it with a vagina pie chart. A new thing for the festival. Some people hated the vagina joke, but it was pretty much the same joke as the dick one. Actually better. Most nights all the crowd liked both jokes. Some nights the vagina one was a bigger win. I never failed, only some people hated the vagina joke. Someone told me weeks ago “We are conditioned to accept dick jokes as funny.” Dick jokes are not funny, but society is conditioned to accept them. My vagina joke, while not a Comedy of Errors, had no reason to fail beyond the preconceived idea that some body parts are okay to laugh about but others are not.
– I know it’s odd having a guy talk about the plight of women’s comedy. I agree 100% with comedians who think guys should stop talking about women’s issues. Women can do that themselves. Men who say they are feminists are idiots. Men don’t get to own that world. I just thought this an interesting anecdote.
– I had a dread of flyering before the festival. I found a love of flyering by the end. I had so much fun talking to strangers about comedy and my show. I told a stranger that someone said my “…show is not stand-up. You should just do stand-up.” to which she said, “If comedy wasn’t to evolve, we’d only see rooms full of ugly Dave Greys,” a comedian that jokes about mother-in-laws and women shopping. It is good we progress. It was nice she wanted to see a new type of show.
– My show was called The Wine Science Show partly because people are risk adverse. At this festival nobody knew who I was. A show called The Wine Science Show is pretty clear what people should expect. I’m not an idiot. I made a show people would attend. They did. It was a good show. I liked it.
– I got massive hugs and laughs. It felt so good.
– I still feel an outsider.
– I am not a comedian. I’m a writer. The most enjoyable shows I saw last year were by Michael Williams, Daniel Connell and Sammy J. I remember the opening words to Sammy J’s show. “There was a knock at the door.” I had been told all year in comedy to start with a quick joke. With Sammy J, I saw someone succeeding by engaging the audience.
– In writing, I’ve finally found a medium I can use. Public speaking puts a force on having an economy of words. That is excellent for writing. The audience will let you know if they like something or not. That is excellent for editing. An audience is the best editor.
– Comedy is about being relatable. Aidan Jones told me situation is not the most important thing in being relatable. What’s more important is to have a relatable emotion.
– My favourite show of the festival was Laura Davis’ show Ghost Machine. I think she has been doing parts of it for five years. It is amazing how much fun it was, and engaging. It made me wish I could do a show every night. Just to get better at it. I could write a new show every month, no problem. There’s heaps of comedy and science in the world. Getting people to watch is the hard part.
– During Laura Davis’ show, she asked me what I regret most. I said, “Starting life too late.” She stopped. I think it confused her. Sorry Laura. I meant that I’m only getting happy now. I worry everything good in life. It’s going to be gone before I get to it.
– I also liked Xavier Michelides and Ben Russell show, Restaurant Fuckheads. Aside from the whole thing, the small parts where it seemed they were trying to make each other laugh were terrific.
– Celia Pacquola had the show that will most change how I do comedy. She talked naturally about some personal demons. It was relatable emotion before relatable content. The audience enjoyed it.
– I will make another show. I don’t know when, but it will be worth seeing.
I’ve been trying to think of how to thank everybody for their time during, before and after the Comedy Festival.
Tagging people in a Facebook post isn’t sufficient, plus there were so many who came, couldn’t come, or helped by attending pre-festival shows or just with some words of encouragement that I can’t name or might forget in the naming.
Many are not even on social media, and equally might never read this.
So what can I do but say thank you? For the kind words, advice, presence and thoughts. It really did work to make something happen.
I’m proud to say I never had fear in the show. Only in my ability to connect with the audience.
Hugs, laughter and applause from strangers proved I could pull it off. Your support, yes you, made that possible.
So thank you.
With all my happiness, a thank you for helping make this festival a great experience for me and those you’ll never meet.
It was truly fun. I already miss flyering, and in doing that striking up conversations with strangers, and that was one of my greatest fears. Plus the fear of losing a whole heap of money.
But now I can afford a record player, so if you come visit, I’ll play you a song.
In a week or so I’ll post a full review with anecdotes and true tales of the festival, but for now…
This is a wine science talk with jokes, answering questions about how much wine you can drink, why you drink, and how come Hungarians are dangerous with Champagne.
The show tells the story of Dom Perignon, an often lied about icon of Champagne. A name now associated with decadence, though as a pious monk he achieved great things without knowing why and by being a bit of a kill joy. He probably wouldn’t like the fizz his name is now synonymous with.
The Wine Science Show tells this story, gives a few great laughs, and explains how wine, and alcohol in general, impacts the body, mind and bladder.
The show is hosted by Luke Morris. After helping to plant vineyard at the age of 17, Luke has worked in wineries and wine sales in Australia and abroad for over 20 years – specialising in old and rare stock.
Now Luke studies Psychological Sciences at La Trobe University, and has written humour columns for Fairfax Media. He also writes comedy stories for the stage and manages stand-up comedy nights in Bendigo.
The Wine Science Show combines this work and study history, and is presented by Crowded, Pilgrim Bar and BucketofWork.
“…be inspired, entertained and educated.” Weekend Notes.
“…I felt the delicious abandon of a belly laugh.” Any The Hoo Rah.
“A lecture featuring copious amounts of Microsoft Paint and self-deprecation.” @PaulOfFame.
I was in Chile. I meet this woman and she said, “Australia’s so dangerous with all its animals.”
I said, “Not really. The worst thing that lives near me are spitfires.”
She said, “What’s a spitfire?”
I said, “It’s a caterpillar that shoots venom.”
She said, “You have caterpillars that shoot venom?”
I said, “No. It’s really just a liquid that irritates. People say it burns them.”
She said, “You have caterpillars that burn you?”
I said, “No. It’s not a big deal unless there’s a pack of them.”
She said, “They roam in packs, firing burning venom at you, and they’re caterpillars?”
I said, “Yeah. It sounds worse than it is. I have a bunch that group on a tree at my house.”
She said, “You have death caterpillars outside your house?”
I was telling Mum. She said, “It’s a good thing you’re not Australia’s tourism ambassador.”
I said, “I didn’t mean to mislead her/”
Mum said, “You make it sound like they’re massive pythons carrying flame throwers and hunting humans in murder squads.”
I did realise this that at the time. I thought I’d be funny and say to my date, “Oh don’t worry. The caterpillars don’t kill anyone. A friend of mine lost an arm once, but that’s it. Have a look.” and I googled spitfire injuries on my phone showed her pictures from World War 2 plane crashes. I said, “A spitfire does this.”
My date didn’t want to pursue life in Australia after that. She decided staying in Chile with a guy who hunts spiders for a living would be safer. I guess she’s happy. So that’s good for her.
I went on a date with a woman who worked in a morgue.
I said, “Dead set?”
She said, “What?”
I said, “That’s very interesting.”
She said, “It’s not.”
I said, “It is. How many people work with dead people? Most of us work with dead heads, you know, idiots, but not people who are actually dead.” She didn’t like this. I tried to make a joke. I said, “How many people could have sex with their customers, and the customers wouldn’t even know. Nobody would know. It could be your little secret.”
She said, “I don’t have sex with the bodies.”
I said, “Sure. Do you call them Deadies?”
She said, “No.”
I said, “Ok, but have you ever wanted to slap one on the butt and say ‘Who’s your Deadie? Who’s your Deadie? You’re my Deadie.’ And then before sliding the body into the cabinet, have you slid another one out and rolled one on top of the other so you could have a threesome, or sat and watched them two lie there?”
My date said, “No.”
I told Mum about this. She said, “Is this what you get up to when I’m not around?”
I said, “No. I don’t bring dead bodies back to the house for threesomes.”
Mum said, “You probably should. It’s the only way you’d be able to give a date a stiffy.”
I asked my date if she’s ever used a body as a puppet?
She said, “No,” and then she decided to end the date. She said, “This is why I like to work with dead people.”
Which is good. It sounds like she works with people she gets along with. They might be dead but, that’s good for her. So that’s a happy ending?
I went on a date with a woman from the planet Quarack. It was going okay. I was having an orange juice, she was biting the heads off pineapples, as they do. It was all good, except I don’t think her second head was into me.
I got the feeling that after the date the second head was going to say, “You can do better.”
And the first head, Susan, would say, “Oh but he’s really nice.”
And the second head, Rachel, would say, “You don’t need really nice right now. You need a bit of cock.”
While I do have one of those, I like to think I’m more than that. I’m not like a mollusc, which is mostly cock. I have arms, and legs, and a mostly functioning head. I have an anus, but I’m more than that. Unlike a clam, which is mostly anus. And I’m not like an octopus with a head that is mostly stomach. I’m more of an ape type animal.
Anyway the date went ok. I did try small talk at one point. I said to Susan, “So, are you originally from Ringwoord?”
She said, “No. We started out in the Yarra Valley.”
Then I said something stupid. I said, “The Yarra Valley? That’s a nice green area.” What a stupid thing to say to someone from Quarrak. Green? What an idiot.
I said, “Obviously I mean the grass.”
She smiled and said, “I could tell,” which was great.
The second head just rolled her eye and pulled her tentacles in.
I told Mum and she said, “Don’t date one of those things. We grew here they flew here.”
I said, “Crash landed more like. It was controlled but they didn’t really have a choice.”
But yeah. I don’t think the second head was into me. I called Susan the next day.
I said, “Hello.”
And the voice said, “It’s Rachel. Susan’s busy.”
I said, “Oh, can you let Susan know I called.”
Rachel said she would, but Susan never called back. How hard is it to tell a second head that someone has called. It’s right there. You can’t forget before you see them again.
I suppose when you’re close to someone, you have to consider their feelings. That must be what it’s like to be in a relationship. So that’s good. That’s good for them.