Greetings from Stockholm!
I’m rounding out the year in Sweden with Annika. My first trip to Europe and my first time out of Australia in 10 years. A long overdue chance to see how life works in a place that isn’t Melbourne or Adelaide. For example, being able to insert your credit card in the machine at the supermarket before all the items have even been scanned? Mind blown, Sweden. Mind. Blown.
I’m here for a whole month so I’ll save up the humorous anecdotes and poignant cultural observations and give you the good ones later.
It’s been a grand year. Back in February I returned to the writing team for season 5 of Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell. Just about the most fun you can have as a comedy writer in Australia. And congrats to everyone on the AACTA Award for Best Television Comedy Series! Greatest team in TV.
Here’s one of my favourite sketches from Season 5 (I assume it’s the right one. Can’t seem to watch this video in Sweden for some reason. Really, The World? Still with the geoblocking?):
Also spent another year behind the control panel at Crocmedia. For my 4th year I worked on the radio flagship “AFL Live” program as well as the new “A-League Live” domestic soccer coverage, and Saturday nights at SEN during the summer. A great job and great people. Which is why I’m still there, obviously.
Here’s me with TV’s Jane Nield on AFL Grand Final Day:
It was also great to actually attend an AFL game this year too. Not just attend, but sit in the Crocmedia commentary box at the MCG to see Hawthorn vs Geelong in Round 20, with Rex Hunt calling with Darren Parkin and Terry Wallace.
Only my second time at the MCG and the third AFL game I’ve ever attended, if you can believe that? FYI, the first was Adelaide vs Geelong at Football Park in 1997. The second was Melbourne vs Brisbane at the MCG in 2010. I’m usually back at Crocmedia HQ pressing the buttons, ya see.
Man, what a view. And fascinating to see the operation from the other side of the ISDN line (Thanks again Jack Heverin!).
No 31 Questions this year (five years and three community TV seasons was enough). But a project I worked on throughout 2015 was my “new” webseries VHS Revue. I’ve been going through old pre-1995ish video tapes and cutting together the hilarious/unusual highlights with some contemporary gags in between. All recorded on period VHS technology.
I made nine episodes this year with the assistance of Nicholas Godfrey and Alexis Kotlowy in Adelaide. With another one I made way back in 2008, there are now 10 episodes on YouTube. Look out for cameos from TV’s Michael Pope and Mark Humphries!
Still a few more tapes in the box I haven’t gone through yet. They’re fun to make so I suspect I’ll make some more at some point. The Adelaide VHS Gang and I have another more complex project in the works for the future, so keep a nose out…
Here’s a clue:
Another thing I returned to this year was stand-up comedy. I’ve kept a pretty low profile. In fact, this is the first I’ve mentioned it online. But I’ll fill you in.
Between 2008 and 2011, I got up on stage to do a five minute spot about a dozen times. A few of those went pretty well. But I was always more interested in pursuing radio, TV and narrative/sketch-based comedy, so I never really took stand-up seriously and when “31 Questions” got up and running, I put stand-up on the back burner. Or rather, took it off the stove entirely.
But there was always a voice at the back of my head telling me I should be doing stand-up. A real comedian should be able to get up on stage in front of an audience at any time and deliver entertainment. I was conscious I couldn’t fulfill that requirement.
With a bit of free time in the second half of the year, that voice got harder and harder to ignore. So at the start of October I put my hand up at “Comedy at the Wilde” in Fitzroy. Coincidentally, it was four years to the day since I last performed.
I was pretty rusty and to be honest, completely terrified. I haven’t been that scared in I don’t know when. I’d forgotten what it’s like up there, with the bright lights and no autocue. I got some laughs. Also got a generous portion of nothing. But I just had to get that return to the stage done and out of the way. And here’s the difference between now and six years ago: I rewrote the routine and got up on stage at “Station 59″ in Richmond and did it again. That went a hell of a lot better. Then I tried a new five minutes, and another and another. I got up eight times in two months before I left for Sweden. And you know what? When you take stand-up seriously, it’s really fun. And when you kill? When everything just works? Oh my God, what a feeling. It’s indescribable.
By March, I’m planning to have 45 minutes of fine, hand-crafted comedy.
Hell yeah! It’s my debut show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival!
Come see me in “Fan Club”. It’s at a nice little cocktail bar called Caz Reitop’s Dirty Secrets, 80 Smith Street, Collingwood. I’ll be doing two shows a week, Thursdays and Sundays 9PM from March 24 to April 17. Book your tickets at TICKETMASTER (CLICK HERE).
It’ll be an evening (well a portion of an evening) of stand-up, a few stories and some live commercial reads. Producing it all myself. Just me and my comedy brain and possibly some other organs. If you’ve enjoyed any of my work ever, or you’re one of those people who’ve been asking me if I’ve got a show in the festival throughout the last decade, I’d be thrilled if you come. But until then, I’ll be round the stand-up traps in Melbourne. If you see me, come say hi.
In other news, I read some great books this year. I’ve been getting back into that too. I particularly recommend “Command and Control” by Eric Schlosser and “Catch Me If You Can” by Frank Abagnale and Stan Redding.
Well whoever you are, thanks for reading (this, not the books mentioned above). Hope you’ve had a good year too and all of the best for 2016.
Let us do coffee. Let us do lunch. Let us do all of the things.
- David M. Green