Thursday, March 15, 2012

Being colour blind and Australian in a good way - Kreativ Blogger

I was quite surprised when Wily Guy over at It’s MY Mind dropped a comment on my last post [like it was hot] informing me that I had won an award.

My spell checker is having a breakdown

Now that his cooling down period has passed… You beauty! (Which is Australian for winning, Charlie Sheen style)

Where do I begin in expressing the gratitude of winning such a prestigious award? By not getting ahead of myself and restrain from turning into a knob. You're welcome. Out of all the blogs WIly Guy could have given this award to, and even comparing myself to the other blogs he did give it to, I’m happy to be the smear on his otherwise impressive list.

As per the rules of the award, I have to disclose 10 random things about myself.
  1. I have a degree in Mechatronic Engineering. Most people do not know what it is as it is a made up engineering stream. I know this because Microsoft Word only started to recognise it from the 2010 release. No, I haven’t misspelt Mechanical.
  2. It hurt when I chose chemistry over drama in my final year at high school.
  3. I have never urinated on an electric fence from memory. But the pain is something, I imagine, that I would wipe from memory.
  4. I normally do not dream, but when I do they are always nightmares.
  5. I have seen sumo wrestling live in Japan, and it was awesome. You never would have thought that two fat men in nappies running at each was entertainment. Well, when I say running...
  6. I have skinny dipped in hotel pools where I was not a tenant. Too many people have photos of me naked than I am comfortable with. Maybe I should get into politics.
  7. I cannot have one biscuit. It has to be one biscuit pack. I have done a few projects in an Arnott’s biscuit factory for work, and in the cafeterias they have free biscuits. It was not good.
  8. I would give my pancreases to my sister in a heart beat.
  9. I played Clarinet for eight years at school and was the only male woodwind player. Genius.
  10. I did not own a mobile (Australian for cell phone) until 2003 when I moved out of my parent’s house at the age of 18.

 Now, who will succeed me, and enjoy the glory of my shadow over their reign? There are no requirements or limits for the recipients that I can give this to. So here is a snapshot of six blogs who I know are creative in every way and inspire me to create more (pronounced in Australian as “stop doing that to my leg”)
  1. Dogs On Drugs. My favourite blog in the blogosphere. He is a larrikin (Australian for a fun loving mischievous shit) as far as the definition will take it. He writes with a strong voice and not enough people read that blog. If you are easily offended, probably best not to stick around too long there. It's not a Bloggie, not even close, so just force a smile and accept it Dogs.
  2. A Beer for the Shower. Probably way to popular for this to be their first Kreativ Blogger award given to them by one of their 1000+ followers, but I can’t think of any other team who are as creative as they are. Tough luck Beer, this is the price of fame.
  3. A Tale of Two Continents. I am new to this powerhouse team that crosses oceans. Look at their photos; tell me they are not awesome. It’s not even a photography blog.
  4. Buttons Are Not Currency. This award is not because she took a photo of her boobs, but because she reveals a little of herself every time she puts fingers to keyboard.
  5. Penning the Poetic Narrative. If you don’t know if you’re into poems and shit, read some of this. You will know then. She's good.
  6. The Transformed Non-Conformist. An interesting take on the world and the unfolding story with him and Red of Doesn't Speak Klingon is entertaining none the less. It has all the ingredients for a romantic comedy, minus Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. Easy to read style that is humble as pie.

Special mention does go to Wily Guy at It’s MY Mind. If he did not give me this award I would have given it to him. 



Thursday, March 8, 2012

Too Raw

I am ashamed to say that this is not a new post. This is from March earlier this year to report back on how I went in an Unearthed Australian Stand-up Comedy competition. I am extremely proud on how well I performed on this night, and I want to share it with you all on DudeWrite

Dude Write

Earlier in the year, a whole two months ago, I revealed one of my goals this year was to do more stand-up comedy and to enter into the Raw Comedy Competition. It is the premier comedy competition in Australia and one that has introduced many famous acts to the greater Australian public.

I have been doing comedy for only a short time and I have grown to love it. Nobody is guaranteed fame and fortune in this competition, but not the reason why I wanted to do it. There is no greater feeling than making an entire room of strangers laugh. And nothing worse when they don't. Every rush has a price but I want it.

Being a competition, I chose the best jokes I had from my previous performances, all three of them, and developed my set of "gold" from there. That way I would have a chance to at least get something other than crickets, but no two audiences are the same, and you are never guaranteed that every joke will work every time.

Leading up to the competition I had an opportunity to attend a workshop with Greg Fleet. Greg is a well-known comedian in Australia and a legend of the scene. He showed me how to identify weak spots in my performance, shared how he develops his material, and offered suggestions to help make jokes pop. For example, if you move about on stage when you talk, make sure you are still for when you deliver the punch line.

The workshop filled me with ideas and enthusiasm, and I hungrily developed the “script”; which is more like a series of punch lines in dot points. I did a few run throughs, changed the order, more run throughs, tried to change the words to “enter” into each joke differently, changed the order again, etc. using suggestions I had learnt from Greg.

I had more than 7 minutes of material on average. During the competition I would have only 5. Some jokes had to go.

Culling is hard. Like any other creative endeavour, cutting your blood, sweat, and tears is hard. I liked all the jokes, they were my children, but I had no choice. I brought them into this world, I had to take them out, and it was tough to let go. I got to around 5 minutes, give or take, and now needed a test audience.

My girlfriend is amazingly patient with me, and has an invested interest in my happiness and no choice to be anything but my test audience. She is generally not a fan of the jokes I try and crack day to day, and we have different upbringings and experiences growing up which allows her identify if I am being too niche or not making sense. Therefore she is perfect, and as a test audience (see what I did there).

And awesome. Her feedback and suggestions helped bring more of me into my act and in two hours, I no longer sounded like I was whinging, the weaker jokes were gone, and stronger overall. There is no doubt I ever would have been as good without her.

All I had to do was practise.

The night of my heat arrived and coincidently was bloody hot. I got to the venue early to sign in, but my name was not on the list. “Shit! Fuck!” screamed my eyes, "I have friends coming, most didn't know I was trying stand up. The organiser called me last week to confirmed, I confirmed, I'm sure I did, why am I not on the list?"  but my mouth went “um… err… um… are you sure?” but only just.

The lady at the door, who was really nice about the entire thing despite me panicking, went and checked with the organiser who apologised. I was on the list, but for some reason not on the door, probably when she moved names from blah blah blah. I breathed an audible sigh of relief; Copy + Paste thou art a harsh mistress and I will never forgive you.

The crowd started arriving and the room filled quickly and soon was at capacity. I found out I would be on in the second period and started pacing my drinks accordingly. The MC called my name, I had a mouthful of courage, and I headed towards the stage...

It was amazing. By far the largest crowd I had ever performed to; there was not even room enough for all of the comedians to watch the other performances. Although I did not progress to the next round I performed my arse off despite my nerves trying otherwise. It is the best performance I have done so far and one I am extremely proud of.

If you would like to see the original rendition of some of these jokes, you can find videos here and here.