Look Mum, I’m on a poster!

Hey everyone! I just received the poster design for my show, and I freaking love it! It perfectly represents all my feelings about trying to be an adult but seriously failing. ūüėÄ I highly recommend Graphic Design By Ailish – she’s done a ton of work for Peaches ‘n’ Gin and The Swing Sesh and is an absolute pleasure to work with.

What do you guys think?

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Aghhh! I’m doing it!

Today I’m submitting my application for my very first one-woman show. It will be debuting as part of the Cabaret Fringe Festival at La Boheme. I am equally excited and terrified! I’ve been thinking about doing this for a couple of years but I’ve finally decided it’s now or never!

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Stay tuned for tons of behind the scenes panic attacks, glitter explosions and general cray cray craziness. Agh!

Last night I sang in front of people and I didn’t die

I have this crazy anxiety about singing in front of other people. I don’t know why – I enjoyed singing as a kid and was in my primary school choir, but I also have memories of feeling like I wasn’t very good and feeling ashamed of that. I think I stopped singing fairly early on. Up until recently I couldn’t even bring myself to sing in front of my husband – not without putting on a funny voice and making a joke out of it.

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Ella Fitzgerald – one of my favourite vocalists.

When we were writing The Gin Sisters¬†the plan was to have a couple of songs in there, and I was going to do a song by myself. The idea terrified me but I was determined to give it a go and get over my fear. The first time I tried to sing in front of our director I was a mess – as soon as I stood up the anxiety washed over me and I could barely get anything out. The next few times I got a bit better, but my voice was still shaky and I was so nervous that we pulled it from the show. I was bitterly disappointed in myself and angry that I was letting my own self-doubt¬†get in the way of my goals.¬†I put it away for months while we focused on the rest of the show, and said to myself “well that’s just one skill you can’t do”. I beat myself up so badly over it – ridiculous right? I stopped practicing and became shy about singing at home again.

I played my uke in The Gin Sisters but didn't sing!

I played my uke in The Gin Sisters but didn’t sing!

We did two runs of the show – Perth Fringe World and Adelaide Fringe, and I tried to see as many shows as possible. I’ve been so inspired by the work I’ve seen that I decided it was time to step out of my comfort zone even further than I had with The Gin Sisters (where I still have my partner in crime Sapphire to rescue me when I forget my lines!) and do a one woman show, which I am writing at the moment and will be performing in the Cabaret Fringe Festival in June. In that vein, I have been trying to do new and scary things and so I decided that I would try singing a little song in our amateur night, Bloomers.

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Some of the gals performing in Bloomers with Sapphire – some for the very first time!

One of my biggest problems is that if I don’t start in the right place, I can be singing way out of tune but not know how to get back in tune. Sometimes when I hear notes next to each other I can’t tell which one is higher or lower, and I also struggle to tell when I am doing it right. The fear of being out of tune really puts me off. So, to get over that, I sang accompanied by two egg shakers (skilfully manned by audience members), so I wouldn’t have to stress about being in tune with anything except myself. I didn’t tell anyone I was going to do it so I could back down shame free, but I also didn’t bring a plan B which meant I pretty much had to do it.

You know what, I was ok. My voice didn’t break, I think I hit the right places and my words didn’t come out muffled. I’m not going to be doing musicals any time soon, but I did it. And I’m really proud of myself. It was just a silly little song that lasted all of a minute, but it’s a wall I’ve been running into for years, and it feels great to have broken through a little, and I’m interested to see what’s on the other side.

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Top Picks for Adelaide Fringe (no. 4)

The tents are packed away, the food trucks have rolled on, and the Adelaide Fringe is done for another year. What a year! I feel like it really flew by this time. I’m feeling pretty forlorn about it all but luckily I’m going on my honeymoon in 2 weeks which cheers me up! Hooray! I know it’s all over so you can’t go and see these shows, but I saw two excellent shows on the very last night of Fringe that I want to tell you about. If you get to see them elsewhere then you absolutely should!

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KRAKEN

I saw this show last year at Tuxedo Cat when it was in development and it was really great to see where it had evolved to. The hour flew by with pretty much non-stop laughter as well as some disgusted groans as Trygve mimed out some slightly disturbing scenarios – which were still hilarious. There is plenty of audience participation ¬†which is fun and not terrifying, and it’s amazing how well the scenes are brought to life. Very inspiring for me as an aspiring clown and I highly recommend it!

Kraken is playing next in London…hopefully it’ll be back in Oz soon!¬†

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PUDDLES PITY PARTY

I (and tons of other people) first saw Puddles performing a cover of “Royals” on Youtube with Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox and was so intrigued. I had no idea why he was dressed as a clown or what was going on but I loved it anyway. So when I saw he was doing a show here I knew I had to see it. The show involves Puddles singing many a sad and beautiful song, yet the show was so funny and heart warming. I walked away with such a fuzzy warm feeling and I have no idea how that happened. Fantastic.

Puddles Pity Party is playing in Melbourne and Sydney. Check out deets here.

Top picks for Adelaide Fringe (no. 2)

I haven’t seen a huge amount over the last week as we’ve been pretty busy with Big Band Burlesque, but I did get to see two phenomenal shows that I have been telling anyone who will listen to go and see.

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1. Fake It ‘Til You Make It

This is probably the most heart moving and touching piece I have ever seen. The play tells the true life story of the actors, Bryony Kimmings and Tim Grayburn, and their struggle as a couple with Tim’s chronic depression, which he has hidden for most of his life. It sounds as if the show would be really, well….depressing, but it isn’t. There are plenty of dark moments which had me welling up, but the story overall is inspirational and uplifting. I encourage everyone to go see this who has ever struggled with depression or knows someone who has, or even if none of those apply to you see it anyway. This is really honest and important work and I applaud Bryony and Tim for bringing something that is often hidden away out of the shadows and into the light.

Fake It ‘Til You Make It plays every day except Monday until March 15th at The Croquet Club. Book tickets here.

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2. BRIEFS: The Second Coming 

I was so excited to see BRIEFS as they haven’t been back to Adelaide in 5 years (and I didn’t catch the show then), so when they announced their Fringe season I almost wet myself. I’ve seen two of the main cast perform quite a bit – Captain Kidd and Fez Faanana, as well as one of their newest cast members The Evil Hate Monkey, so I knew it was going to be an amazing show. However, nothing could have prepared me for the absolute roller coaster spectacle that is BRIEFS. The gents open with a fan number that made my heart melt with love at the absolutely perfect lines and formations (trust me, you’ll get it), followed by the most amazing lira performance I have ever seen. It was at this stage of the show that I started to get an inkling for what was going on – absolute quality, trashy, camp, magnificent performances. The ticket price is so reasonable for the show (which is 80 minutes) – $40 (or $35 if you’re cheap like me and go on a Tuesday!). It might be on the higher end of the price range but it is worth every cent. I’m going to stop fangirling now and end here: if you don’t see this show you will be “jealoussssssssss….”.

BRIEFS: The Second Coming plays every night except Monday until March 15th at The Croquet Club. Click here to book. 

Top picks for Adelaide Fringe (no. 1)

It’s my favourite time of year – the Adelaide Fringe Festival!¬†We’re just about to wrap up the second week of the festival and I’ve been trying to squeeze as many shows in as possible – there just isn’t enough time! Here are my top picks so far.

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1. Yana Alana: Between The Cracks

If you like your cabaret bold and intelligent this is the show for you. Yana Alana loves being the centre of attention and never fails to be so owing to her stage presence and charisma. The creation of performer Sarah Ward, Yana Alana had me laughing until I cried and enthralled by her powerhouse voice. Yana dishes¬†out advice from her self-written book, asks the audience to ponder sexuality and politics, bumps heads with her accompanist Jo and sings with “Burt Bacharach”, all whilst clothed in nothing but shockingly blue body paint. The nudity is soon forgotten though as the show is all about Yana’s larger than life personality.

Yana Alana plays at The Garden of Unearthly Delights until March 1st. Book here. 

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2. Shake

I saw this show when I was performing at Fringe World in WA and I was very impressed. Becky Lou is a¬†well-known burlesque performer and this is her first solo show. Shake shines a peek behind the curtain of the burlesque world, and we get to hear what is really going through Becky Lou’s mind as she bumps and grinds. Intimate, real and touching, the material is relatable and Becky’s relaxed and casual delivery makes it feel as if you are speaking with her one on one. It’s bump and grind with wit and wisdom!

Shake is playing at Tuxedo Cat every night except Wednesdays from 26th Feb-15th March. Book here. 

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I first saw Abandoman in 2013. I had dragged my husband to see a bunch of cabaret shows that I wanted to see, and I thought this looked like a show he would specifically enjoy (he’s a bit of a hip hop fan) and so I bought tickets. What I didn’t anticipate was just how much I would laugh and how amazed I would feel! Abandoman improvises their songs based on audience feedback with hilarious results.¬†The brain speed involved must be phenomenal. They are bringing a new show here this year and I haven’t seen it yet, but I will definitely be nabbing tickets.

Abandoman plays at The Garden of Unearthly Delights 2nd -15th March. Book here. 

Stay tuned for more of my top picks for The Adelaide Fringe! Get out there, see a show, try something new and have a darn good time.