In town for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Lisa-Skye is delivering comedy differently. We chatted to her about how her show Spiders Wearing Party Hats came about, what she’s doing differently to others, and how her MICF experience has been.
The Australia Times (TAT): Is this your first time performing at Melbourne International Comedy Festival? If so, is this also the first time you’ve performed this show?
Lisa-Skye (LS): Melbourne premiere for this show; which I’m super excited about. People have been loving it! As for MICF, I’ve been doing it since 2009ish but this is the first year I feel like I’m actually really good at it.
TAT: What inspired you to write this show in particular?
LS: Three things:
– The questions I get from people who seem fascinated by my life, which sort of baffles me since I forget what a weirdo I am.
– Punching a dude in a sex club in Berlin.
– How much I love my husband.
TAT: Your show run includes a “Relaxed Performance” on Saturday 2nd April, could you please tell us about that?
LS: Yes! I’m super excited about that. A friend asked me if the room I was doing the show in was accessible. It wasn’t, but another bigger room at Tuxy is. So after a bit of back and forth, I was able to book in a weekend matinee.
But in for a penny, in for a quarter pounder: I do Edinburgh Fringe every year, and I’ve noticed that the bigger acts do a Relaxed Performance session. I loved the idea and have always wanted to do it. The National Theatre UK explains it well: ‘Relaxed Performances are specifically designed to welcome people who will benefit from a more relaxed performance environment, including people with an Autism Spectrum Condition, sensory and communication disorders, or a learning disability. There is a relaxed attitude to noise and movement… An easy way to understand the atmosphere is perhaps, ‘the opposite of the quiet carriage on the train’.
TAT: How important is inclusivity to you?
LS: So important. So much comedy is about kicking down. And I used to get frustrated that my kind of people (queer, kinky, polyamorous) weren’t represented much in comedy. There should be art for everyone, and it can’t be if it’s about mocking already disenfranchised people. Straight, white, cis, able-bodied, male (pick any 3 that apply) can be inclusive – I’m not talking about ghettoising comedy into ‘the normies’ and ‘us’. It’s just a shame that so many go for the easy joke – mocking what they don’t understand, rather than engaging with empathy and trying to empower themselves with knowledge.
TAT: If you were a punter, would you rather go to the ‘relaxed show?’
LS: I have a lot of privilege, which includes being able-bodied. I wouldn’t want to take up a space in a show when someone who wouldn’t feel comfortable in a regular session could go instead. BUT, I would totally assemble a crew of my mates whose needs meant they’d prefer a relaxed performance, hell yeah. Having said that, if I knew the room was big enough for everyone who wanted a ticket (like my accessible room at Tuxy, hint hint) then heck yeah.
TAT: How do you achieve a relaxed atmosphere? I understand your show is 18+ so do you change content, or delivery?
LS: It depends on the needs on the day. I don’t need to change content of this show, but my usual delivery might have to change if there were more frequent interruptions. It’s more about planning for what can’t be planned for.
TAT: Your show looks decidedly raunchy, fun and unique compared to the standard ‘guys in t-shirts and jeans talking about their love life’ fare. What will people see that is different at Spiders Wearing Party Hats?
LS: They’ll get some professional, well-crafted and very funny stand up and storytelling, but they’ll also get assurance that I’m not going to bust out jokes about minorities, or talk ‘Big Truths’ at them while being merrily oblivious to my own privilege. I try to never make a joke that someone else could – everything is through the prism of my own life, which is a unique take.
TAT: Apart from your show, what would you recommend in MICF?
LS: So many good shows on! In fact, I made a whole video about my top 30 picks! Look!
TAT: Favourite place to get a post-show drink?
LS: Tuxy Cat, my venue, is great for a post-show catch up and drink. Love, love, love it. Them and the Butterfly Club, who also have a damn fine line up this year.
TAT: What are your plans after MICF?
LS: Everything, followed by everything else. I have a European tour in July-Aug, but before that some cool little things, and after that some very cool local and interstate stuff. Can’t talk about a lot of it right now, but follow me on the social medias for more info and pictures of my face (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, I’m ‘thelisaskye’ everywhere)
Spiders Wearing Party Hats
When: 4th, 5th and 11th April 2016
Where: The Tuxedo Cat, 293-299 Latrobe Street, MELBOURNE
Tickets: $15 – $21
Info: Duration 55 mins, suitable 18+