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  • Writer's pictureJenny Wynter

A new week

“Mummy, I like your bellybutton.”

“What?”

“I LIKE YOUR BELLYBUTTON I LIKE YOUR BELLYBUTTON I LIKE YOUR BELLYBUTTON!!!!”

Life is looking so much better already.

And before I go on, no, I was not showing off my bellybutton at the time of this conversation – I don’t know if you’ve heard but the Britney style midriff is kinda incompatible with post-natal software – rest assured, my daughter’s just weird.

A summary of the last couple of days:

Jeez Louise Funny Women’s Conference

An inspiring and highly informational day-long workshop (yes I have a background in writing for PR – so kill me) with some of the best female comics in the country, plus a few guys too. I learned so much my head is practically spinning and I’m puking green slime, but highlights included:

– hearing Rachel Berger go through her lists and lists of comedy myths and tips.

– chatting briefly with Jo from “ShowJo” playing at the fest about improv and comedy. I’d seen her in a show a few years ago which was just fabulous, in fact it was the first impro show I ever saw and was by complete coincidence as I’d been off to see Ross Noble but of course, he’d sold out so opted for the little unknown instead. Not that you really needed to know that, but I’m a woman of detail. In case you hadn’t noticed.

– workshopping a mummy character with local legend Linda Haggar and being struck by a bolt of inspiration as to exactly what I want to put into the full-length show that’s been in my head for ages.

– taking a morning tea break in the back alley with Fiona O’Loughlin, who responded to my desperate request for relationship advice with awesome honesty and generosity.

– Having Greg Fleet lend me his pen.

Saturday night:

I finally got to see my good mate and last year’s Australian Raw Champion Josh Thomas perform in The Comedy Zone with three other hot-and-up-coming comics. I’m such a Josh fan – he’s one comic I never get sick of seeing even though I’ve seen his stuff a zillion times – and he was on fire! The others were good too, especially Andrea from Perth who really inspired me with her commitment to her characters, given that I’d been all fired up from the character workshop at the conference. Afterwards I headed out to Trades Hall at Carlton to watch Eddie Perfect but it was pretty much just music, not his comic stuff which I so love. Still, great vibe.

Sunday:

My final sleep-in for a while (as Tim has now gone home to Brissie 🙁 ) followed by a leisurely avo with the kiddlies. Put some match-sticks in my eyes to make it to the Hot Comics’ Showcase at the Elephant & Wheelbarrow in the City, where I felt the most relaxed I’ve felt on-stage this entire tour, no doubt due in part to my trial separation state of mind. Finally, I was just thinking ‘I don’t care who sees me, I’m just doing my thing and trying to have fun.’ Damn, that stuff really lowers the stakes! I recognised the MC at the start but it took me a little while to place it – he played the main part in one of the old Tropfest films “The Referees”. He was great, very casual kinda delivery and as an MC just kept the night moving along without making it all about him. I thought that was very cool indeed.

Best of all though, was catching up with two mates I haven’t seen in years, Lachlan and Tom – we were all in a play together several years ago when I did a 6-month stint living in Melbourne, and then I shot a short film with them. I LOVE those guys and was so chuffed they came; yet another reason to seriously think about moving back down here at the end of the year, as they’re both fully keen to work on some stuff together. Hmmmm…

Headlining the night was an American comic called Adam Richards (I think!) who, although not the best comic I’ve seen this fest, made me laugh the hardest. Go figure. His delivery, audience ‘saves’ and character act-outs were just awesome, and it really opened my mind to what you can do in this form. I think that’s what I’ve found most useful out of anything this trip – just being exposed to so many different styles of comedy. I guess in Brissie it is quite a small industry, I’ve seen most of the people doing the rounds and you can just get stuck in a way of thinking about what comedy is.

Afterwards, hung out with Alan Rutledge and Nish (fellow comics from Brisvegas) and (in typical geeky form) just chatted comedy for a while. They both listened to how I was feeling disillusioned and wanting a break, and just gave me such a fabulous (and hilarious) pep-talk that I drove away into the night feeling like I’d swallowed golden syrup. Not so much that I’d feel sick, mind you, just enough to leave a sweet trickle on the tongue. Or something.

So the plan is to sleep when the kids do today, then head out to Federation Square this avo to hook up with my dear friend Lisa, then back home, do the dinner and bath thing, put the kids to bed and head out to my late gig tonight. Rachel is babysitting. See how responsible I am, actually leaving my kids in proper care and all? Man I rock.

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