Time Out Melbourne

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Time Out talks to "the only fat queer kinky Goth chick at the Comedy Festival", Lisa-Skye, about merkins made of Cheezels and life with green hair

Tell us about your show. We know you have a wog grandma and a metronome.
I do indeed. My show is about pleasure. I have a really short attention span, so I just chuck a lot at the audience. It’s about how different people get pleasure, how I get pleasure, what stops me from getting pleasure, and everything in between. But it’s basically the performance equivalent of a drag queen vomiting glitter sugar: it’s  very colourful, but it’s strange, and some people might find it scary.

We see you collaborated with Simon Chugg.
Simon is the funniest guy I know. Coming into this show, I really wanted to collaborate with someone. Last year, I loved doing 'Lisa Skye Is Not Like Other Boys' by myself, but I just wanted a co-writer on this one. It’s been a really, really fun ride. We do tons of podcasts together on my Crappy Club For Jerks, which is a lot of fun, too. It’s great, because we’re mates and we find each other so funny; but it’s terrible because we spend a three-hour rehearsal [where it’s] two hours of us making each other laugh, and then it’s half an hour of us going, “Okay, quickly, development of this bit. We need to re-tune the delivery. Rar!”

Did he help you with animations? That’s part of your show.
No, that’s all me/my stagehand Tim Zeven. Tim is amazing at images. He’s done levels for Counterstrike (which is a computer game), which is one of the first things I found out about him. It’s so funny, because I’m just an emerging artist still, but the resources I have are fucking incredible for an emerging artist. The two people doing my tech, one of them has done levels for Counterstrike; the other [Chris Goodes] happens to be a guy who just won an MPSE [Motion Picture Sound Editors] award for sound mixing, and he is working with the guy who did Muriel’s Wedding on another movie with Toni Collette. He’s done huge things – he’s worked with Julia Roberts, and done all of these massive things – but he’s working on my show doing my sound. It's amazing. But I did all of the drawings. Tim animated them, and Chris did the other tech stuff.

You said you’re a newbie to comedy. How did you get your start?
I wouldn’t say I’m a newbie – I’ve been doing it since 2008 – I’m definitely still emerging though. If you work backwards, I’m in comedy now, and I came to it via spoken word, and I came to that via writing. I was a writer, everyone told me I was funny, and I should do spoken word events. I’ve curated group spoken word events for Midsumma since 2007. [Comedy is] a totally different audience, but it’s really good fun. As with most comedians, I'll just stop doing it when it stops being fun.

Where have you performed? What are your favourite nights and venues around town?
I really love the Local Taphouse in St. Kilda with Janet McLeod, because she’s just amazing – she’s the grande dame of Melbourne comedy, she’s the izness of business. I’m not just saying that because she’s awesome, and really pretty and cool. The Shelf at the Toff in Town is good; it has those rapey little carriages. So you can quickly go into a carriage, give the person you’re with a quick wristie, and go see comedy, so it’s great.

Have you performed at these places?
No, I haven’t done many rooms, I’m kind of getting into that this year. I’m at the stage where I’m just going to a lot of comedy. My favourite venues to perform at: I did a season at Young & Jackson’s, and that’s beautiful, but it was so funny because the clientele of Young & Jackson’s aren’t exactly into this flavour. I was trying to flyer, so I went downstairs with my flyers looking all weird and glittery and kind of fat and gothy, like a drag queen porcelain doll gone tubby. I went downstairs with my flyers ready to sell the show, which I believe was 'Goth vs. Nerd: Disenchantment Lane', and there were people watching football in polo shirts. I had to toddle back upstairs.

Pony is a great venue. Andrew O’Neill is performing there this year. I’ve performed at Pony more times than I can count, I’ve done a bunch of seasons there. Really cool, rocky venue. Best thing about it is see some comedy, then go downstairs and have a drink.

Who are your favourite comics at the Comedy Fest? We know you mentored Meg Pee, at least that’s what she said.
Did she say that? Oh, how sweet. Oh, no, I think it’s a two-way street with her. Bless her. This is the horrible thing: I’m doing 18 shows. I am, first of all, a comedy nerd. I just, I love comedy. This and the Fringe Festival is the only time that we get this many hour-long shows. So, you know, it’s great to go to comedy rooms, but this person you absolutely love, you only get 10 minutes with them.

Great ones this year: Michael Workman is phenomenal. He’s going to be the next Daniel Kitson. Daniel Kitson. Stalky-stalky, I love him so much. But I never want to meet him; I’d be too scared. Zoe Coombs-Marr.

You’re the second person to recommend her; The Bedroom Philosopher did as well.
She’s nutso. Claudia Dougherty is also really great. Xavier Michelides. I have such a short attention span, I can be watching a show for an hour going, “I love this, I love this, I love this. What am I going to do after this? I want to go somewhere else.” If I do the same thing for three minutes, you know, my family dies. But with the Xavier Michelides show last year, I wouldn’t get enough of it. At the 57-minute mark, I was going, “I don’t want this to end, I want to see this again.” Who else? Tie Her to the Tracks! is going to be really good, that has a whole a bunch of really great people. They’re Moosehead recipients this year. It’s kind of like a silent movie.

As part of your build-up to your show, you made funny YouTube videos. Can you tell us about the making of – who’s in it, where you got your idea, and where you got your crazy costumes.
That was amazing. I have four YouTube videos that were all filmed in a day. We had tickets to a show that night, my husband and I, and we’re like, “We’ll start at 12, by eight o’clock we’ll be done.” Cut to us calling my brother-in-law going, "Do you want to take these tickets off my hands? Oh my god, this is bigger than all of us.” So yeah, basically I have a whole friendship network of queers and freaky-deaks, and I love them. I just said on Facebook, “I’m doing my teaser trailers for my show. I have no idea what it’s going to be like, I just want them to reflect my show me as a person. Who wants to get involved?” A bunch of my mates did. People said, “I’ll do it!” “I’ll do it!” “I’ll do it!” And I’m like, “Great, bring what you want.” One of them who’s an escort brought his body stocking. All I knew is I wanted my friend Kerith Manderson-Galvin, who’s an incredible actress, to wear a Cheezel bikini. Simon and I met an hour beforehand, workshopped a few ideas. Meanwhile, Chris Goodes, the film guy, was freaking the hell out: “You don’t have an idea, you don’t have a plan. So what, what.” We’re like, “We’ll do it, we’ll get it done.” So we just had champagne and Cheezels and dumplings all day. We’re called the Cheezel Club – none of us can ever eat a Cheezel again. We’d made Kerith the Cheezel bikini and merkin, and all day they were everywhere.

You’re on Twitter a whole lot. Would you say you have an official tweet addiction?
I would…but now I’m going to have to make sure that Tim [Zeven] doesn’t read this. Three months ago – this is how insidious social media is – three months ago I was having screaming matches with Tim (because one of my favourite things to do is to scream at him) about how useless Twitter is and how much I hated it. Now, yeah, I’m on there five times a day tweeting. I think there’s a real freedom to it, because none of my family (even though my tweets are publically available) or my co-workers know what Twitter is. And there are a lot more people I want to fuck who follow me on Twitter than on Facebook. But, you know, the Venn diagram is kind of small. So it’s basically my filthy public access quest for trade.

You’ve mentioned a few people you have crushes on. Who do you have the biggest ladyboner for at the moment?
In Australia, there is one cis-gendered male comedian I would have sex with. And only one, because I’m not a ha-ha mattress.

That’s pretty small. How many cis-gendered male comedians are there?
There’s 14,000. (Laughs) If he comes to my show, I might tell everyone who he is. But, you know, my dance card with men is pretty full right now. I have my husband, I have my minions, I have my slaves. Probably, as far as genuine ladyboners [go], just any pretty lady who laughs at my jokes. And if that sounds pathetic, it’s because it is. You’ll know why I’m so pathetic as far as pretty ladies go when you see my show!

We know you change your hair colour a lot. At the Fringe Fest, we heard it was the same colour as your metronome. Are you going to stay with your green hair, or switch it up?
I have pictures of me on dating sites with blue hair, and people are like, “Hey there, I really like your blue hair.” If they look a bit shady, I’ll be like, “Sadface. It’s green now. But thanks anyway, bye.” Just because I’m a troll-lol-lol. But yeah, the green hair will be staying around for the Comedy Festival, and probably for a while. I couldn’t have green hair last year because I was getting married – hear me out – and I was getting married in green. And everyone knows it’s tacky-dack to have the same colour hair as your dress. So it was blue. As soon as I finished my wedding, I could have green hair.

How does your husband feel about you doing personal standup to people all over town?
He knew what he was getting into. Bless him, he’s so tolerant of me. We’ve known each other for 12 years, we’ve been together for seven, so if he wasn’t down with crazy he’d know by now. As a dear friend of mine says, “You can’t fuck the crazy out of someone.”

For people thinking of coming to the show, what would you tell them to convince them to come see you?
It’s going to be great. I’m really proud of this one. It’s tight as fuck; I’m up to draft 23 of it. It had sold-out shows at the Fringe Festival, rave reviews, people loved it. I think it’s going to be really special. Also, I’m the only fat queer kinky goth chick at the Comedy Festival this year. So yay!

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By Theresa Winters   |  

Lisa-Skye: Ladyboner details

29 Lygon St, Carlton 3053

Telephone 03 9663 6350

Price $12.00 to $20.00

Date 29 Mar 2012-21 Apr 2012

Open 7:45pm

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