I don’t think I’ve actually mentioned it at all on this website (because I’m a terrible blogger) but I am a comedian. Now you know! Admittedly I’ve only been doing improv for a year and am even newer to the stand-up scene but it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a really long time and I’m glad that I’m finally doing it.
I wrote an article recently for Triple J mag about what it’s like to try and do comedy. I’ll post that once it’s published.
Recently I also started writing for The Vine and they commissioned me to do a piece about The Melbourne International Comedy Festival and what it’s like from a performer’s perspective (oh yeah I have a show in the comedy festival which you can buy tickets to. Wow great self promotion Rose).
Pretty pumped that my DJ alter-ego (DJ Rosefacekillah) has been invited to play at Hip Hop Hotties (formerly Hip Hop Hoochies) tonight at the Laundry. It’s a hip hop/R&B night run by women and featuring pretty much an all female DJ line-up.
The theme is “Crushes”. So come down and crush on all the lovely Hip Hop Hotties and fun vibes. This is the first time this event has been attempted over TWO LEVELS, so it should be, like, epic. I’m on at midnight.
So last night I had my prime time TV debut – on Channel 10′s The Project. Well it was my debut if you don’t count being a quiz contestant on Recovery circa 1998, or an audience member on (the new, terrible) Hey Hey It’s Saturday, Live at the Chapel and supportive friend on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (you tried your hardest, Bec, it was rigged from the start).
So much has happened in the last two weeks it’s basically impossible to summarise in one blog post. Yet I will attempt to do so anyway.
If you keep an eye on my twitter page, you may have seen myself and dear friend Nikki getting particularly fired up about this “internship situation” we have on our hands at the moment. “What situation?” you ask. Well the fact that probably half the jobs in media, the arts, fashion, digital, etc being advertised are internships. And they are unpaid. And people like us, who have experience, looking for “real jobs” are presented with nothing but internships.
This one particularly got us worked up.
The things we loved the best about this:
When they spelled “writer” with 2 t’s, eg. “writter” (EDIT: they changed the spelling on their site after we roasted them on Twitter! Trust me though, it really did say that).
When they mentioned “attention to detail” twice in one sentence. LOL.
The unnecessary use of “quotation marks” in many “parts” of their job “listing”. It was almost as though they were calling bullshit on themselves when they did this for “work experience.” Wink wink nudge nudge unpaid employees hehehe
This one was pretty funny too. They wanted a NATIVE English speaker, who must be fluent in French for a full time internship over 12 months. “Masters degree preferred”!!!
I figured this had to be one of these rare paid internships, given the length and skills required until I saw the TWELVE internships advertised on their website (FFS!!) in everything from Book Reviews to SENIOR Editorial. I. just. can’t. *tries to breathe*
Once we started ranting, it became clear we had struck a nerve. A lot of other people were sick of all these “internships” as well and started tweeting some of the most LOL-inducing ones to us.
I could post all the funniest ones but let’s get down to the real issue at hand: organisations are using unpaid interns for roles that should be paid. Fair Work Australia has some guidelines on what constitutes “work experience” or an “internship”. You can check out the fact sheet online here. Basically there are Vocational Placements, “part of a formal work experience arrangements that are a mandatory part of an education or training course.”
Aside from that an unpaid internship or work experience can be legal, but it hinges on a few indicators:
Purpose of the arrangement. Was it to provide work experience to the person or was it to get the person to do work to assist with the business outputs and productivity?
Length of time. Generally, the longer the period of placement, the more likely the person is an employee
The person’s obligations in the workplace. Although the person may do some productive activities during a placement, they are less likely to be considered an employee if there is no expectation or requirement of productivity in the workplace
Who benefits from the arrangement? The main benefit of a genuine work placement or internship should flow to the person doing the placement. If a business is gaining a significant benefit as a result of engaging the person, this may indicate an employment relationship has been formed. Unpaid work experience programs are less likely to involve employment if they are primarily observational
Was the placement entered into through a university or vocational training organisation program? If so, then it is unlikely that an employment relationship exists.
Don’t get me wrong – internships and work experience are great! If the kids taking them on aren’t being exploited. I did work experience at Lonely Planet (High school. Also HOW GOOD RIGHT?!), plus internships at PBS FM (just after school, but it’s a community organisation so falls into “volunteer”), The Leukaemia Foundation of Victoria (not for profit, for uni) and Shiny Entertainment (uni). Yeah I did some really cool internships and they were AWESOME. I also remember back in those days many people saying flat out “no” because they “didn’t have time to take on an intern.”
When I landed these roles I was the one cold-calling them and convincing them they needed to go out of the way to take me on. Nowadays organisations are putting call-outs online – just for interns – and getting 200 applicants back (according to one employer who told me she’d advertised on Pedestrian Jobs). In the media industry, websites like Pedestrian Jobs and The Loop are getting stacks of page views from people’s desperation to land that great media job or just get their foot in the door with an unpaid internship.
Another point I had:
Let’s not see Australia turn into this bullshit US/UK model where everyone has to do internships for a year b4 they can even think of a job
And then something miraculous happened. They called me!
A few days later The Project came to film me at my house. It was pretty funny. They filmed all these cutaways of me “sipping a latte in a cafe” and “sitting at a computer looking for jobs”. They also interviewed me for around 20 minutes. The whole thing took around two and a half hours.
Since Adelaide University released their report on the findings of a study into interns conducted on behalf of Fair Work Ombudsman yesterday, the mainstream news grabbed onto it.
I had been waiting to hear when my segment would air. Once the report came out I got the word that it would play that night. This is my bit on the television. 2.5 hours recording turned into 25 seconds on TV. Showbiz huh?!
Update: I watched the Cinemix ‘I Am Eleven’ screening as part of Melbourne Music Week. On second viewing I cried just as much, if not more as I did the first time. The live score was beautiful and we even got to meet Jack and Jamirah at the end. Jack was 18 and had moved to Melbourne to study and Jamirah was 13 (or 14?) and was growing into a gorgeous young girl. She sang the final song with Nick Huggins which of course made me cry again. The below story was written for Beat Magazine in Melbourne.
Earlier this year an Australian film was released that aimed to capture a time in our lives that many of us have long forgotten, where we straddle the divide between childhood and adolescence. Genevieve Bailey’s concept was simple: travel the world interviewing 11 year olds about their thoughts, morals, hopes and dreams for the future. The result is a moving, funny, sad, brilliant documentary. To complement these stories she enlisted gifted Melbourne producer and musician Nick Huggins. This eloquent musical accompaniment will be showcased live in all it’s glory, at Melbourne Music Week’s showing of ‘I Am Eleven’.
The two have known each other since University, Bailey having created music videos for Huggins in the past. He was asked to become involved in the project around halfway through working on the project, which has been a seven year labour of love.
“I spent a few years with her going backwards and forwards with it,” he says.
Huggins took the unique approach of trying to write music to the personality of the different children to represent their different characters. At the time Bailey hadn’t yet structured the film and was approaching it on an individual character basis.
“She showed me a lot of the footage she had and at that point she was kind of bunching it into each character – their situation and thoughts on things. I initially started writing for each kid. I wrote about half the music not placed into a scene particularly but with the idea of the characters of the kids and the things that they said.”
Huggins is an accomplished musician, having played in various bands and solo projects over the years and doing a great deal of work as a producer on other band’s releases, especially for artists like Oscar + Martin and Kid Sam on Two Bright Lakes, the record label/collective his brother Tig runs (alongside Hazel Brown and Blake Byron Smith) which he helped to start. Creating the music for the film was very different to anything he had done before.
“I think that the exciting challenge was to have music that was joyful and curious and open and free in the way that kids of that age are. Music that is happy but has another layer of emotion or resonance within the broader thing of being quite open and happy and enthusiastic. One of the pieces that has that is a scene where a lot of the kids are dancing…a lot of the Indian kids come from a really challenging environment living in an orphanage with really uncertain arranagement – the orphanage was moving and they didn’t know where they were going to live and their family situations were really heavy – but they were really joyful kids. So the music for their dancing is really uptempo but has a couple of under-currents reflecting, darker keyboards under handclaps.
“That scene captures what I was trying to get – the layers of the film – because kids are more complicated than just their joy for life.”
Having worked on the film’s score for so long and becoming so familiar with all the characters, Huggins was naturally drawn to reflecting on his own life at that time.
“It’s interesting because a lot of my friends have kids now as well so you kind of watch it from multiple viewpoints – yourself as an 11 year old and imagine what your friends kids are going to be like as an 11 year old. You know I don’t often reflect on that age but Genevieve always asks people about what they were like when they were 11. I think it’s a really interesting question – I think in making the film she’s stumbled upon a really special time that isn’t often reflected on.”
Huggins seems to have personally gotten a lot out of working on the film.
“There is an ‘I Am Eleven’ quote for every occasion – I’m always quoting Billy… He’s very wise.”
Those who have seen the movie definitely won’t have forgotten Billy, an adorably open Londoner whose wide eyed innocence and sometimes accidental/sometimes very conscously hilarious observations were the highlights of the movie.
“Billy is entertaining and consciously being cheeky, but he also stumbles across some really truthful, deep things. The more I watch Billy the more I realise he’s really switched on.”
The complex part of recreating the music of ‘I Am Eleven’ in a live setting, is that half of it was written and laid down seperately to the film and the other was recorded live to the footage.
“The first half of the tracks that I did I was working off – it wasn’t the final cut of the film – so there weren’t edits to tie things to. It was more make a bunch of music inspired by what Gen had in rough cuts. Then there were a whole lot of points where we realised we needed music that we didn’t have which is where I could write directly to the timing of the shots.
“It’s been interesting learning all the songs in order to play them live. There are so many accidental moments when the sound and vision come in together.”
The live version of the music will slightly differ from the film because this time Huggins has back up in the form of his band, but the gig itself will be much more challenging than a regular performance. Just for starters, they need to perform for 90 minutes straight.
“It’s a really different process,” Huggins explains. “Because there’s 28 pieces of music in the film … we need to learn them with the addition of knowing exactly when to start and finish and how it slowly changes over a scene. It’s quite exciting, I think its the first time any of us have learnt film music to play directly over the film.”
Despite how scary the task at hand could be deemed, Huggins is relishing the opportunity to perform the pieces as part of the Melbourne Music Week event at ACMI.
“The challenges [of the live performance] that were daunting are now exciting. I feel like it’s an amazing opportunity to try something really different and I think it’s going to be special.”
Nick Huggins and his band will perform live to ‘I Am Eleven’ at Melbourne Music Week’s Cinemix event at ACMI on the 22nd of November at 7pm.
I saw Drive three times last year AT THE CINEMA. I effing love that movie. I effing love Ryan Gosling. The Notebook? GET OUT OF MY FACE OMG IT/HE IS SO BEAUTIFUL.
So when I found out that he MIGHT BE IN MELBOURNE I felt the need to scream it from the digital rooftop.
Here I will explain how the #Goslingwatch meme/hysteria began, for any of you that are confused. For those “underground” “in the know” Gosling fans, we all know that this all started on June 18, 11 days ago.
A friend posted on facebook that a friend’s friend saw Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes at a café near Brunswick street. Naturally I took this and posted this all over Twitter, starting many breathless tweets from my female followers.
forget about all that social media stuff APPARENTLY RYAN GOSLING IS ON BRUNSWICK STREET!!! #Ryangosling#melbourne
I began to google the living shit out of anything related to Ryan Gosling and Melbourne, any movies that he was working on this year, how they might be connected to Melbourne/Australia, any relation/friendship he might have with that chick from Mad Men who is filming a show in Australia at the moment. The internet came up with absolutely NOTHING.
As I generally put all my faith in the internet and could find no evidence, I put it down to a hilarious rumour and we all began to indulge in Ryan Gosling sighting related jokes.
Reports of Ryan Gosling visiting Melbourne and causing earthquakes. What will that handsome devil do next?
At that point I had to concede that I thought it was most likely not true, and everyone’s hearts got broken for a while…
…UNTIL YESTERDAY! Yesterday was the day that my friend posted a picture of what she claimed to be Ryan Gosling, alongside the Ryan Gosling meme inspired description – “Hey girl, you just spotted RYAN MOTHER FREAKIN GOSLING!” She states that she saw him at the Doclands.
Naturally I hijacked the picture and posted it on my Twitter (I would have credited you Lucy but you seem to have deleted your twitter slash I can’t find your handle anymore!!!!) and restarted the #Goslingwatch hashtag.
There is also a very shit website and Twitter page for “Gosling in Melbourne”. Seriously, if it’s not going to be funny, why even bother? All the jokes are “heavily influenced” by stuff that has already been posted online.
OK, well that’s all from me. You can read everything else about #Goslingwatch on my Twitter. I am quite exhausted from the excitement of all this and I’m going to Taco Bill with my workmates to drink half price margaritas.
“Hey, so I just checked youtube yesterday and my video has had like 200,000 views,” he told me over a coffee. “Isn’t that weird? Last time I looked it was 4,000.”
“Uh-huh,” I said, thinking he probably meant to say 20,000 views. 200,000? That shit CRAY.
“Yes Stu,” I nodded, “200,000…” I didn’t believe him because clearly I’m a terrible friend.
I went back to work. He sent me the video.
204,000 motherfucking views!
By the end of the day – 206,000.
So. Stu aka “Cullen”, just so happens to be on the same record label as this chick you might have heard of called Kimbra. She sings on this really underground song by a guy with a hard-to-pronounce name called ‘Somebody That You Used to Know’.
His video comes up on the “recommended” side-bar when you watch any of her tracks. A quick look at Youtube stats (which you can easily find underneath any video) shows that pretty much all this traffic has come through in the period from December to now and most has been referred from Kimbra videos, predominantly the single ‘Settle Down’.
So, in 6 months, a video that has been online for two years has gained almost 200,000 extra views just because it’s attached to a video by Kimbra.
Also, his stage name is “Cullen”. Like Edward Cullen. From Twilight. Girls are commenting saying he looks like Robert Pattinson.
Stuart Cullen aka "Cullen
Robert Pattinson aka "Edward Cullen"
Make your own mind up about that one.
I don’t want this to take anything away from Stu. He’s an incredibly talented performer and it’s been frustrating me for a long time why he hasn’t gotten further. He’s also had triple j airplay and worked with some big producers and all that jazz.
The video has 1027 likes and only 53 dislikes – a very decent ratio which shows it’s getting into the hands of the right audience.
It also just says a lot about the strength of Kimbra’s reputation and how crazy this Gotye/Kimbra phenomenon has become.
Here are my favourite comments from Stu’s video.
“I love his face when he gets the balloon, like ‘OMFG, I EFFING LOVE BALLOONS’”
“clearly a coming out video. not impressed with females unless they have balloons!”
“too bad his first name isn’t Edward”
“Why are you all mentioning Edward Cullen.. When someone says Cullen, i think of this sexy beast of a man, not some vampire.”
“ill trade you my sandwhich for your balloon man, fuck yea”
“whats up with the Simply Red hairdo?”
“On Serbian language “Cullen” Means “sausage” on Serbian ( Kobasica ) (:”
There have also been “fan” videos uploaded.
What is this “gloving” business? I’m so old.
I find it hilarious Stu has been going about his daily life in ignorant bliss for six months, while teenage girls are comparing him to Robert Pattinson and uploading dumb videos about his song on the internet.
Not to detract from Stu’s newfound online fame but during the course of a discussion with a common friend of ours last night she casually mentioned there was a video of her on Youtube that had even more views – 230,000.
“It’s not like you can see me though. You can just see my leg.”
It goes for 8 seconds and the main stars are her thigh and a monkey trying to steal a lighter out of her handbag in Ecuador.
I like the top comment the most:
“Forget the monkey…Give me some of that! super sexy leg!”
I wrote this story in November 2011 for the Future Music Festival. It was published in Beat Magazine (Melbourne), The Brag (Sydney) and Scene (Brisbane). The show at the Forum was probably my gig of the year so far. Anyone else trying to compete, two words: Cat. Walk.
In a scene that continues to be dominated by and cater largely to heterosexual males, with every music video featuring some perky girl shaking her tits in a a bikini, it’s refreshing to come across a group like Azari & iii: unashamedly camp and bringing back vintage house in a truly sexy way.
Their rise to acclaim has been a rapid one. Following the release of the haunting Hungry For The Power in 2009, came Reckless With Your Love which quickly became last summer’s dancefloor anthem in the best underground clubs. Cementing their rising notoriety was Into the Night, remixed by the likes of Prince Languar, CFCF and Nicolas Jaar.
When Hungry For the Power was re-released this year, the controversial video accompanying it didn’t thwart the stream of attention they were already getting. The storyline follows a vapid businessman engaging in hedonistic and filthy things in his highrise office, watching porn and being visited by a dominatrix who he eventually murders. Naturally, this was deemed inappropriate for TV and they were forced to make another version.
“They wanted to play something [on TV] and they were like ‘well if you get rid of the violence and the pill popping’ ,” says Alixander iii over the phone from Brighton in the UK, “and we were like ‘well we’re not going to have a video’ then.”
“The only thing that was censored was the anal sex that the guy was watching. Without anal sex how could it be as fun?” asks Alixander.
“But it’s OK to have violence and cannibalism?” says Cedric. “It’s kind of like weird.”
The Toronto based four piece is made up of Christian Farley, alias Dinamo Azari, and Alphonse Lanza, aka Alixander III and the two fiercest vocalists you’ve ever seen in the form of Fritz Helder and Cedric Gasiada.
Their self titled album deals with “humanity being in decline right now”, according to Alixander and lyrically deals with some intense subject matter, exhibited on songs like Hungry For the Power and the newest single Manic.
“We like to have meaning, we don’t want to constantly sing ‘set me free’,” vocalist Cedric explains. “If we go through things in life we like to talk about them. We talk about things that are in our lives, things that surround us.”
“Desire in her eyes tells me that she wants me, but then I realize – she’s a schizophrenic,” they sing in Manic, which delves into the meaning of what is “normal” and what is not.
“At every party there is that one freak who is about to get ejected or their face smashed,” explains Alixander.
Azari & iii - S/T
Cedric continues: “There’s that girl who’s like flirting with all those guys and is like ‘oh you can come with me to the bathroom’ and then will go upstairs with some other dude. Day time she’s a total corporate girl, same thing with him, and it’s crazy.”
Alixander agrees: “It’s a hate on for normality. ‘Hey, you think your normal? Well you’re more fucked up than we are.’”
Although the band have risen from obscurity practically overnight, that doesn’t mean they’re going to relinquish control of their careers and accept anything they’re offered.
“It’s kind of the beginning of our band, having to deal with a lot of things really quickly, having people pushing us into situations that we dont even know if we want,” Alixander explains.
“I’m not that person who is like 21 years old who wants to live like a bum just to be known. We just want to express ourselves, it’s not about getting laid. We find getting laid harder now – we used to get laid a lot more before we were famous.”
At this point in the conversation I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised that when I pushed them on whether they were “getting laid” a lot, Alixander takes our chat on a very revealing tangent. Sexy music = sexy band, makes sense.
“Well, we used to [get lots of sex]. Now it’s like ‘oh, well they probably get sex all the time, so maybe I won’t', but if you’re just a really good looking dude with a big dick walking down the street…. If you’re up on a stage people are like ‘well he probably fucked 10 guys before me’. Stop thinking so much and just drop ‘em,” Alixander explains, while Cedric laughs hysterically in the background.
“What I was saying before about the Manic thing – people think a lot about things and why they’re doing it. I know it’s hard for girls – if you just want to have an orgasm or whatever, then just do it. If you don’t, then don’t. Don’t flirt around the topic, don’t think too much about it. If you’re a slut then it’s easy. Never call a girl a slut because that’s not going to help her put out.”
Judging from feedback from those lucky enough to catch Azari & iii‘s flamboyant live show during their last trip Down Under for the Vivid Festival, attendees at Future Music next year are in for a treat. It is reportedly unparralleled. The band have already been getting acquainted with some of the performers they’ll be sharing a stage with.
“We just met Skrillex in toronto not too long ago, y’know he’s playing,” says Cedric.
This is taken from an interview I did for this week’s Beat Magazine.
If slightly insane sketch comedy is your bag then checking out The Pajama Men this Comedy Festival is your ticket to LOLtown. New Mexico’s favourite Barry award winning absurdist comedy duo met during High School and have been performing together under the guise of The Pajama Men since 2000. Mark Chavez and Shenoah Allen are performing a very limited run of their show In The Middle of Noone at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival and took some time out of their busy schedules to answer a few questions posed to them by yours truly
What’s your favourite thing about Melbourne and The Comedy Festival?
You, you little crouton. – Shenoah
Who have been your festival highlights thus far?
Tim Vine. I would love to spend a month interning as a test audience for him. – Mark
[Writer's note: they chose an act not performing at the festival. How's that for absurdist?]
What are the three most important things you need to survive the comedy festival?
1)Turn agressive comedians upside-down and they’ll fall asleep.
2) If confronted by an earthquake of jokes, stand under a doorway.
3) On a serious note, get through boring shows by imagining the performers have razor thin pink mohawks. This is a game Mark taught me, works like a charm. – Shenoah
How has your show changed from last year? What kind of themes are we talking?
Our show hasn’t changed since last year. It’s the same show only more refined. So I think the theme here is “coasting”. – Mark
How do you workshop ideas?
Half in a studio (apartment) and half on stage in front of the audience. We need to perform to figure out what’s working. We do most of it on our feet. The story lines however are worked out in cafes. Romantic, no? Like Hemingway. – Shenoah
Where do you find inspiration?
From our friends, acquaintances, and strangers. Taking on the personalities and personality quirks of people we’ve met or interacted with usually gives us a free ticket for the bus to Funny Town. – Mark
What is your favourite character to play?
It changes, but finding characters we like is the main thing fo’ sho’. Most of our writing comes out of taking on characters and improvising and when you find a good one it can really do the work for you. – Shenoah
What’s the most absurd, ridiculous sketch you’ve ever come up with?
We usually don’t allow the most absurd stuff into the shows (except of course the Cute Thing and French Woman bit, which took some real convincing from Mark), for example, we often perform a sketch (for each other only) about a man who is running late for the “backpack return store” who has to shed weight to get there faster by dropping the backpack that he is, of course, running to the store to return. This is a stupid sketch, because a) what is a “backpack return store” and b) it’s more fun to do than is funny. – Mark
Sketch comedy rarely escapes the ‘undergraduate’ tag – do you think that the form can be rehabilitated in the eyes of the general public, or will it still remain?
Well, most of it is pretty undergraduate, let’s not kid ourselves. – Shenoah
You know we call them “pyjamas” not “pajamas” in Australia, right?
All too well. Many “jokes” are made by radio presenters or MC’s of gigs that go something like this: “they can’t spell, but we’ll forgive them for that….etc” -Mark
Is there a difference between your “stage pyjamas” and your “bedroom pyjamas”?
We wear suits in bed. – Shenoah
How do you deal with spending so much time together?
We generally interact with each other as many different characters. It really keeps us from going nuts, if I were ever to become a prison councilor (my other dream job) I’d suggest cell-mates do the same. – Mark
The Pajama Men will be performing In The Middle of Noone at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from April 17 to 21, The Princess Theatre at 7.30pm. For ticketing information please visit comedyfestival.com.au.
Hi, my name is Rose. I'm from Australia and i work in radio/print/online, writing about music and "lifestyle" and other assorted things. This is a place for my writing and random thoughts about stuff because it doesn't fit in a resume and y'know, it's gotta go somewhere. Some day maybe this blog will still be here and i can look back on this all fondly. Hi future grandkids!