Interview and feature image by Nina Phillips
Everyone has a story. Humans of UniSA is a deep dive into the lives of our fellow students to unravel the threads of their personal history, quiet ambitions, and their hopes, worries, and joys. Take a fleeting glance into the vivid lives we pass by each day in the hallways and classrooms of UniSA.
Bachelor of Media Arts
I was always a creative kid. Heaps into music. Yeah, I think that was my main creative outlet for a long time. Not making it but consuming it. I’m a big fan of hip-hop. I got into comedy in my early 20s. I was like, ‘I want to do that,’ so I just started doing it.
It’s been almost five years now. Just wrapped up Fringe where I had my first solo show, solo hour. It was pretty good. Fringe kind of sucks though. It’s becoming an increasingly corporatised climate. New and up-coming artists, that don’t have management, struggle to fill seats, whilst paying exorbitant amounts for room hire, Fringe registration and advertising etc. You put all this effort in, years worth of talent and hours and hours and hours of work, trying to build a show that hopefully means something to you and that you’re proud of, you know. You do all that to fill half the room every night and not make your money back. You lose money.
I started this degree, partially, to help with comedy. There’s a lot of aspects behind it that help with that, just in terms of the graphic design and everything, you know. I’m also a really big fan of film and cinema.
I’ve always been into weird stuff. Surreal stuff. I think in every aspect. I’m getting more weirder though. If you saw me when I first started comedy it was much more normal. Normal is boring. I like expressing myself in an abstract way. It’s like, expressing yourself through layers. If you ask my ex-girlfriend, she’d probably agree that I don’t know how to express myself like a normal person. I’m just psychoanalysing myself now, I guess. Is this supposed to be an interview or a therapy session—what are you doing to me here?
I’ve heard the market in Melbourne, it’s easier to do like weird comedy. My comedy. It’s weird, surrealist, kind of conversational, observational stuff, which I heard fairs better in Melbourne. And Adelaide… bunch of philistines.
I guess, that’s the thing. I don’t want to throw away certain aspects of my artistic creativity in order to get more people coming to my shows. I made all my own posters, I did all the graphic design myself, the marketing, everything was done by me. Catered to what I thought it should look like and feel like. Evidently, that’s not appealing to a broader audience. But I’m not sure how much I want to sacrifice to get more people in. And they’re going to be stupid anyway. They’re not going to understand the show. They’re not going to like the jokes. We haven’t progressed very much here in terms of comedy.
I know I’m sounding—what’s the word?—obnoxious. No, stuck up? Narcissistic? Nah, what’s the other one? Just, up himself. Hoity toity. I understand how I sound. I know I sound like that. But I’m not wrong, that’s the thing. The general public don’t really care about the arts. They go see Peter Hellier or fucking Hughesy in the Garden. No one really takes a risk on the smaller, lesser-known artists. I don’t think anyone flips through the Fringe guide and thinks, ‘that sounds interesting to me, I’ll go see that.’ They just go, ‘Oh Hughesy he’s great, he does that bit about, you know, trains.’ Amazing. What a conceptually brilliant idea, comparing the public transit system here in Australia to England. Fucking brilliant. Who could come up with such a nuanced out there concept!
Yeah, I’m salty! I lost money! Cost me thousands of dollars to do this. Half my friends are quitting, I have a right mind to follow suit. But I’m—Nah. I’m not gonna quit.
Basically, I want to come out of this degree and try to find a job in the film industry to support my comedy. Or, potentially, use the skills that I’ve learnt in my degree to get jobs in comedy. Not necessarily “career” jobs, but you know gigs; film gigs and graphic design work, which I have been doing. During Fringe I had a few film jobs: filming shows and editing them; graphic design; designing people’s posters. I didn’t charge lots, I’m still trying to get my foot in the door.
Creativity? I don’t understand people who don’t have something. Some kind of art that they pursue. Whether it’s music or writing, painting, photography, anything. I don’t understand how people exist without a creative outlet. I feel like you’re kind of, like, desolate. I’m not sure where I’d be without comedy. I think I’d just be sad. Every Monday, I run a comedy night at the Rhino Room. Giggles Comedy. It’s heaps of fun!
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