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HOT FLASH
October 2011

Just occurred to me that I haven’t updated this page for over a year! More like cold flashes now I guess. Oh, well, in my defense, I’ve been busy! Doing what, you may well ask? Good question.

I’ve been performing, writing, teaching, proposing, developing, producing…and of course planning for more of the same. Let’s try to catch up, shall we?

PERFORMING

Gee, I do so love to tour country SA towns. Some of the best - and wildest audiences live outside Adelaide…sometimes waaaayyy outside Adelaide. I’ve been out to the Yorke Peninsula at Yorketown, to Blyth, Balaklava, Kadina, Manoora, McLarenvale, and some places much closer like Victor Harbor, and Mt. Barker. Nothing like a good country gig to crank up the comedy energy!

THREE STUFFED MUMS

One of the most fun gigs has been with the Three Stuffed Mums - me, Kate Burr and Maggie Wood. We took the 2011 Adelaide Fringe by the short and curlies and sold out our season with over 1,000 punters attending our shows. Stand up comedy about the world’s oldest profession - motherhood - which included original music that we wrote and (gulp) sang with the excellent musical stylings of our music director, Mike Pittman. Considering only Maggie is a trained singer, we didn’t do too badly, and it was actually fun. Nerve wracking for me, but fun. I barely got the last show in as I was losing my voice to an ill-timed cold but managed to squeak to the finish line. For our efforts, we were nominated for the Fringe’s People’s Choice award, and for Adelaide Theatre Guide’s Curtain Call award for Best Comedy.

The Mums was such a hit, we’re back in 2012 for another serve. ‘Three Stuffed Mums-Still Stuffed!’ will debut at the Adelaide Fringe in February next year at the Maid, with new stand up and new original songs being written as I type. Oh, but the Mum’s juggernaut doesn’t end there.

The Mums will be on tour to Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Whyalla, Port Lincoln, Renmark, plus taking the show to the Melbourne International Comedy festival and maybe the Sydney Comedy Festival. Should be a hoot on the road in 2012!

TEACHING

Having taught at the University of Hawaii for a couple of years (Ethnic Studies) I developed a taste for teaching so I’m getting a kick out of a couple of teaching projects I’m involved in.

I was able to help out teaching a comedy class to the Cracking Up project. Cracking Up is an initiative of Mental Health Coalition of South Australia, aimed at teaching a group of people who have had mental health challenges how to do comedy. This course, ably led by Mark Trenwith, Jo Coventry and Seb Carboncini, culminated in a final show earlier this month. It was a great effort and there is some real talent there. All comics are a bit crazy, so this wasn’t as much of a stretch as it may appear!

And the Three Stuffed Mums will be teaching a comedy course to mothers and the general public out at Goolwa next year, made possible by a grant from Country Arts SA. It’s part of a year of arts programs for Goolwa, which has been designated 2012’s centre for culture. All the art forms are represented - music, visual arts, dance, poetry, and the Mums will bring the funny. Our course will run for over a month and finish with a community show. Kate, Maggie, and I are looking forward to a challenging and fun time.

THE DAVE GRANT COMEDY GRANT

When we lost our comedy brother Dave Grant a year ago to pancreatic cancer, it was a sad day for Australian comedy. Dave was not only a great comic, but was a true professional and gentleman. He was the first to put his hand out in friendship, and legendary in his assistance to new comics. His standards were high, and there is hardly a comic working in Australia today that doesn’t owe part of their comedic development to Dave.

So, in his honour, the Three Stuffed Mums (we are freakin’ everywhere, I tell ya) initiated a Dave Grant Comedy Grant. The grant gives a new or developing comic a chance to do their first ever solo Adelaide Fringe show. It includes three free nights at a Fringe venue (the Maid) plus mentoring and guidance through the Fringe process, including promotion and publicity. The inaugural winners are Amy Manuel and Ajit Dhaliwal with their show ‘Ajitating Amy’. Look for this original take on minority Australia at the 2012 Adelaide Fringe.

2012 WORLD BUSKERS FESTIVAL

I’ve been invited to do a Festival sponsored show, Nothing But Stand Up, at the World Buskers Festival in Christchurch, New Zealand in January. Ten shows with a great cast - Michele A’Court will mc, plus Cal Wilson, Urzilla Carlson, and myself. I’m looking forward to it, and hoping that the only tremors will be the result of audience laughter. So crossing fingers that the tectonic plates will give it a rest and let Christchurch have some much needed fun and heal from all the damage done earlier this year. Haven’t performed in Aotearoa for a while…this will be fun!

2012 ADELAIDE FRINGE FESTIVAL - MAID FOR COMEDY

Once again, am managing a Fringe venue at the Maid. Nine shows this year including puppet shows for children in the afternoon and an ‘unsavoury puppet show for adults’ at night…same puppeteer and ventriloquist, so check that out! Some returning artists and some new ones from Sydney and Scotland by way of Germany. One show called Tweatre is probably the one that will actually encourage people to bring their phones and tweet during the show - it will form the basis of their improv…can’t wait to see how that goes.

This year we have added the services of Jock Communications to get the word out about the acts, the venue and all the fun to be had. So look for shows by Lindi Jane, Dave Campbell, Nikki Britton, Sexy Tales Comedy, Chris Davis, Ajit & Amy, and of course, the Three Stuffed Mums. Come down and laugh yourself silly.

WHO SAID YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN?

Finally, in a few weeks we take the biennial trip back to the Mother country - Hawaii. This time we’re also spending Thanksgiving with my sister in Minnesota, then a side trip to San Francisco so the Moose (Mr. Jackson) can relive his hippie youth, and finally home to the land of poi and my family…and all the crazies I call friends. I’ll have to take some work with me, but I can’t wait to hit the road. Doing one show in Minneapolis, but other than that it’s vacation time - shopping, sunshine, laughs, friends and family. I’m soaking it all up because once we get back in January, it’s full steam ahead with work.

Careful what you wish for!

Meantime, here’s an early wish for the happiest of holidays and a great start to the new year. Health, happiness and prosperity -bring it on!

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