Improv, Comedy, Women, Melbourne and everything in between.
Alright, so the last time I posted on here was pretty much a year ago because I’ve been a lazy blogger and I don’t have a lot of steam for this anymore but WHATEVER I’m about to get hella self-indulgent. You’ve been warned. This is more of a time-capsule for myself rather than a thing for others, so it’ll have my on-brand self-absorption all over it.
(And like, do people still blog? Is this still a thing? Is this thing on? Testing 1, 2, 2016)
I’ma start with the people I love because whoever is reading this probably just wants to see if they get a shoutout so let me put you out of your misery:
The People I’m Grateful AF For
Mum & Dad: The two greatest parents ever. So supportive, so straight-forward, so loving. I sometimes get terribly sad about how grateful I am to have them and I don’t know how to repay or express that gratitude. I hope I’m as fit and progressive as dad when I’m his age (or even now – we both swim 1km everyday, he’s 69 years old!). My mum is my bestfriend in a house full of men. She’s one of the few reasons I’d want to have kids too, just so I could maybe give a child the chance to have what my mother and I have. Thanks parent-squad 3000.
My Brothers: Lachlan and Mitchell – thanks for preparing me for a career primarily surrounded by men by toughening me up when I was a kid. I love and look up to you both more than words can say and all I want is for you guys to be proud of me. You’re both special and spectacular humans who are way smarter than me.
Mario Hannah: An exemplary human. I look up to Mario so much. He’s so funny, talented, kind, warm, and straight to the point. This dude is a laser, in both comedy and life. He’s my brother, idol, and one of my bestfriends. Love you, MayMay. Thank you for listening to my sadz and sharing your own sadz and words of wisdom.
Simon McCulloch: My adoration for Simon is endless. He is, IMO, the funniest comedy writer I know personally. He is an A+ human who is gentle and caring but also real, witty and cynical AF. He bluntly tells me to believe in myself when I’m being a self-absorbed piece of shit. I try my hardest to make him realise just how fucking great he is too (I think he knows it, but I like to let him know that I know, you know?). I can’t explain our connection and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Thank you for the pints, bickering in front of people and being such an integral part of Trillcumber despite the fact we pick on you so much. Love you, SimSim.
Ryan Zorzut: 2015 was the year I got to know Ryan Zorzut and it’s been a thrill. He’s also the new fourth member of Trillcumber and we’re so happy to have him on board. Ryan is incredibly sweet, kind, and fucking hilarious. He’s actually quite a filthy comic but he gets away with it because he looks like he belongs on the cover of Total Girl or Teen Hearthrobz 4 U! I’m so envious of Ryan because he’s a genius who doesn’t quite know it yet – he has one of the strongest comedic voices/personas I’ve witnessed on a non-famous level. He’s the next Nathan Fielder. Thank you for being an incredible friend, our beautiful and genuine conversations, and making me laugh so hard. Love you, RyRy.
Clarissa Woods: The wonderful woman I’m so lucky to call my bestfriend and faux-sister. I am forever thankful for our Cobb Lane Sundays, her hugs, beauty, warmth, and I’m especially grateful she wasn’t creeped out by me when I met her on a bench at Monash Clayton. Clarissa works so hard and she’s lived through some real tragedy. She makes me want to be a better, stronger, more positive human. I hope she gets everything she wants this year/in life because she deserves it. I love you so. damn. much. And also, she knows too much about my personal life now, so I can’t let her down. She’s got way too much ammo.
Dan Pavatich: My mentor and dear friend. He calms me down, hypes me up, and pushes me. I’m forever grateful for his presence in my life and sitting on his couch while either one of us whinges/plans for world domination. Thanks for everything, Dan.
Adam Kangas: When Kangas believes in you, it feels like heaven and it’s what gives me the drive to keep improvising and being better. He’s given me more opportunities than I could’ve ever imagined and I’ll always want to show him he’s made the right choice. He’s made a home and family for wonderful like-minded people. King Kang is hilarious, intelligent, and a low-key big softy (sometimes). I hope you find what you’re looking for in 2016.
Mike Brown: Mike “Hoo Boy” Brown made me realise it’s cool to high-key care about things and shit gets done when you’re passionate and hardworking. Thank you for always responding to my endless need for answers in this cold world of comedy registrations/flight fares. See you in Chicago, MB!
The women in my life who make me realise I don’t have to put up with sexist shit. The women who inspire me. The women who genuinely want to empower each other. My Mum, Clarissa Woods, Laura Buskes, Lauren Hayward, Lucy Horan, Emily Mack, Ellyse O’Halloran, Zoe Gough, Bridget McClumpha, Monika Tantau and many more. You’re all queens. Oh, and all the intersectional feminists on Twitter who have been teaching me/the world about my own privilege. And shoutout to Nicki Minaj for having a song for every mood at any age or stage in my life (I heard Still I Rise, Baddest Bitch and Up All Night when I was 16 in 2009 and it blew my mind). Notable Nicki lyrics I relate to:
AAAAAAND BACK TO ME AND MY 2015
I was asked with a week’s notice to host a little TV talk show called About Tonight which was an amazing and anxiety-filled experience for up-and-coming Australian comedians. Learned a lot about having a comedic voice/personality and that I still don’t know what mine is yet. Trillcumber writes and plans our debut MICF sketch show Is This Intimacy? with our director, Dan Pavatich. I train a lot for the upcoming Improv Conspiracy TourCo to Perth Fringe World also under the direction of Dan Pavatich. Perform and teach a lot of improv, all the time. As usual.
Trillcumber keep chipping away at our MICF show with our bond growing stronger by the minute. I go on tour with Improv Conspiracy in Now Showing: The Improvised Movie to Perth Fringe World. It’s an odd but fulfilling experience. I learned a lot more about gender in comedy and decided from here on in to do more about it. Now Showing is nominated for ‘Best Comedy’ at Fringe World! Perform and teach a lot of improv, all the time. As usual.
The insane month of Melbourne International Comedy Fest (MICF) prep. Trillcumber are working our asses off to make this show into the best it can be. Now Showing: The Improvised Movie is also doing an MICF show so I train hard for that too. Perform and teach a lot of improv, all the time. As usual.
Trillcumber’s debut sketch show Is This Intimacy? was a success. We made a decent profit and sold out most nights. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Thank goodness for having such a supportive community like Improv Conspiracy, and Simon and Mario for making this incredible thing with me. The three of us can’t believe we pulled it off and would constantly stare at each other in disbelief. One of our sketches, a solo piece by myself as a character called Cindy Salmon (which was a terrifying but AMAZING thing), catches the eye of Laura Imbruglia (successful musician, champion) and she asks if we want to make something for her webseries, Amateur Hour. I nod my head so fast my neck sprains. I also see a lot of live comedy, drink a lot of drank, hang with friends, perform lots of sketch and improv. MICF is the best.
Trillcumber makes our first filmed sketch for Amateur Hour. Perform and teach a lot of improv, all the time. As usual.
Perform and teach a lot of improv, all the time. As usual. Write sketch.
Perform and teach a lot of improv, all the time. As usual. Trillcumber work like mad to get our Is This Intimacy redux for Fringe before the boys go to Chicago for a month. Have dinner made for me by George Calombaris.
My beloved writing partners go to Chicago to study sketch at Second City and I’m sad without them. However, it turns out to be a good month. I shoot my first paid ad. Our sketch is premiered at the Amateur Hour launch and I sweat all the way through my turtle-neck and live-message the boys throughout the ordeal. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so terrified as when I saw the opening titles of our sketch pop up and then my massive face on a massive screen in front of hundreds of people who don’t know me. And then they laughed. And laughed A LOT. And then later that night strangers were quoting Cindy Salmon back to me. Perform and teach a lot of improv, all the time. As usual.
Amateur Hour goes live, people love our sketch. The boys are back and we madly prepare for our Melb Fringe reprise of Is This Intimacy? which has changed a lot since MICF. This month is stressful, tiring, and very fun.
Melb Fringe month – Is This Intimacy? gets two incredible reviews and I try not to cry tears of joy about it. I perform in another show Three Mad Rituals with my improv heroes/friends, which is 90 minutes of improv (The Deconstruction, The Movie, and The Harold for those playing at home). Three Mad also gets great reviews. Champagne Factory, a monthly sketch show, begins.
Perform and teach a lot of improv, all the time. As usual. I’m teaching a group of students who fill me with confidence and pride. Perform in Champagne Factory.
I turn 23. I get to coach my own Harold team (which is a big deal to me). I win the award for Best Instructor 2015 at the Improv Conspiracy Awards which also means the world to me. My beautiful friends raise $600 to buy me a voucher for Second City in Chicago so I can study sketch there in 2016. Perform and write for Champagne Factory, and it gets announced that I’ll be directing January’s show New Year Who Dis. I also swam approx. 300km and ran 1000km over the course of the year (which isn’t as big of a deal as it sounds, but it’s nice to put it in perspective like that). And as incredible as this year was, I had a few bouts of depression. I’ve always been anxious and have terrible OCD, but depression was a weird new thing! I think it’s coming from comparing myself to others in the community so much and not being grateful for what I have.
2016: Champagne Factory every month, Trillcumber’s 2016 MICF narrative sketch show Paradise. Chicago. Hopefully some filmed sketches/pilot. And of course, performing and teaching lots of improv and sketch. Be less of a sad-sack.
If you’re still reading, wow. What a boring journey for you. I also left out a lot of details about my personal life and day-job life because I don’t want shit on the interwebs.