Image courtesy of Taylor Edwards and Chris Martin
The Brisbane sketch duo are bringing their show Undercover Festival Cops to MICF. Here’s what the pair had to say about the show, comedy in general, and why dumplings are great.
The Australia Times (TAT): When did you first start doing stand-up?
Chris Martin (CM): My first stand up gig was Raw Comedy 2015. I did my 5 minute set in 3 minutes and got very few laughs. One lady loved me though, but I think she was drunk.
Taylor Edwards (TE): My first stand up gig was Class Clowns years ago. It was a weird mix of political humour and Sylvester Stallone making a sandwich. Now Chris is making me do the Stallone bit because he has never seen it…
We both started sketch comedy in 2014 at our monthly experimental comedy show Get It Inya that we produce with our comedy company Big Fork Theatre. Don’t worry we are very good sketch comedians!
TAT: Why do you like comedy?
CM: Comedy allows us to explore certain situations that you can’t in normal life. We love to make people laugh. Our favourite thing to do is take a fledgling idea and without fear just give it a crack in front of a live audience. Taking a risk and it paying off is the greatest feeling ever.
TAT: What’s an average day for you like, do you have a day job?
TE: We both work day jobs – I’m in public policy and Chris is a cardiac scientist. Most of our nights though we’re either out performing, running improv workshops or working on shows. We never sleep, our bodies hate us and our mums are worried!
TAT: How do you come up with your material?
TE: Basically if our brain makes us laugh we write it down and work on it. We try not to abandon ideas too quickly – you gotta believe in yourself and the idea! When it comes to our sketch comedy, we write and perform a whole new sketch show every month, so we have no choice but to regularly create new material. Having that pressure is great because it forces weird ideas out of our brains that we might not think of usually, and we’ve got a lot of material now to use and develop further.
TAT: Who are your favourite comedians?
Both: We love Sam Simmons, Anne Edmonds, Rhys Nicholson, Tessa Waters, Sam Campbell, Neal Portenza, Claudia O’Doherty, David O’Doherty, Tom Gleeson, Nick Sun, Nick Cody, Aunty Donna, Damien Power, Dan Rath, Celia Pacquola, Laura Davis.
TAT: How would you describe your style?
TE: Some people have described us as puppies on speed. We like performing big, lovable, and high energy characters and have them explore anything from mainstream topics to really absurd ideas.
TAT: “Comedians are damaged people” Discuss
TE: I think comedians are more honest than everyday people. People love to watch someone talk about life as they see it and share their lowest lows and weirdest most awkward times, probably in part because they don’t feel like they can say out loud the things that scare them or piss them off. But then again, it is a weird thing really to say weird or personal things to strangers and get a rush from their immediate approval of laughter. Maybe that’s unhealthy, who knows!
TAT: What’s been your favourite or most memorable moment on stage?
CM: We do a sketch that involves two audience members pretending to be farmers that have to fight it out over a pineapple. The last time we performed the sketch the two volunteers were very enthusiastic and went on their own tangents, it got so loose that we both just started laughing throughout he sketch.
TAT: Do you like audience interaction?
CM: We love it! We bust out audience interaction sketches whenever we get a chance, and fair warning there is definitely some of it in our show, but we do it from a good hearted place. We want to make them feel like rock stars who can’t fail. We’re always the idiots. It’s always so much fun to see someone get up and get super into the insanity on stage and their fellow audience members go nuts watching them.
TAT: Do you feel like it’s you on stage or a character?
TE: Being sketch comedians we play a lot of characters but really most of them are just heightened versions of ourselves at different stages of mania, and with funny voices.
TAT: Where do you perform normally?
TE: Chris is all over the Brisbane stand up scene so you can find him in one of the local comedy rooms around the city. We both perform improv and sketch with Big Fork Theatre who have a couple of stages around town. The Brisbane scene is really pumping at the moment with really talented people and good rooms, totally worth a look.
TAT: Tell us about your show?
CM: Our show is called Undercover Festival Cops: when Melbourne’s biggest drug dealer is Australia’s favourite comedian, two cops take on the comedy festival by going undercover as comedians – but they’ll have to get funny pretty damn quick. We’re rehearsing it now and it’s shaping up to be really wild and super energetic. Hopefully Melbourne will be ready for it!
TAT: Why should people come and see it?
TE: We can honestly say it won’t be like any other show in the festival. If you like your comedy to be unexpected, stupid and big, or you want to try something that’s not like a normal stand up night then give us a go.
TAT: What’s your favourite object?
CM: Dumplings because they are edible and shaped different ways.
TAT: Is there anything else you would like to add?
TE: We are so excited to come back to Melbourne, we love this city during comedy festival time. Come make our dreams come true!
You can catch Undercover Festival Cops-
When: Monday 10th – Thursday 13th, Tuesday 18th – Saturday 22nd April, 9:30pm
Where: Tasma Terrace at 6 Parliament Place, East Melbourne