Comedy Fest Chat: Adrienne Truscott

Adrienne Truscott is well known and loved in Australia as half of the Wau Wau Sisters, but she’s solo and without a trapeze for her MICF show. Asking For it: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Staring Her Pussy and Little Else was the talk of the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013. She asks if you can joke about rape – and plans to all night.

She also loves Melbourne and chats to Anne-Marie Peard about what she does when she’s in town and what performers she’s looking forward to seeing at the festival.

Adrienne Truscott What MICF shows are you most looking forward to seeing?
Rhys Nicholson, Felicity Ward, Zoe Coombs Maar, Anne Edmonds, David Quirk, for starters.

What makes MICF different from all the other festivals?
Well for me, it’s in a town I love and know pretty well, but my first time being at a festival that is purely a comedy festival. I’m super psyched but I guess I have no idea what to expect!

What’s an absolute must do) for you when you visit Melbourne?
Riding my bike around, measuring my acting chops by getting the trams for ‘free’ – turns out I can really nail the ‘stupid American’ character under pressure, I love Trippy Tacos in ways I can’t really understand, a glass of wine at Marios with friends and I know I’m there, and breakfast at the Galleon café in St Kilda.

What comedians/performers have influenced you the most?
As a young ‘un, Lily Tomlin and Whoopi Goldberg really blew my mind. I remember Eddie Murphy shocking me. Seeing early Richard Pryor and Steve Martin on Saturday Night Live blew my mind. Lately I love Steward Lee to bits, Tig Notaro’s last two shows blew me away. Louis CK, Wanda Sykes do it for me. And Amy Schumer, Bridget Everett, Kristin Wiig and Melissa McCarthy and Amy Poehler. I can’t wait to see Bridget Christie’s show from last year’s Ed Fringe.

What’s advice do you wish you’d been given before your first gigs?
None really. I think advice can be somewhat over-rated or overly influential when you’re young and it’s best to figure things out on your own before you take on other people’s stuff and ideas, even when it’s messy. You gotta find your own thing first and advice can be crippling sometimes.

Do you do still your own flyering? Can you tell us something great or horrific that’s happened to you when flyering?
I don’t know if you can print this, but it’s the best. A friend said that he realised the Wau Wau Sisters were in Melbourne-town when, after pleasuring himself, he reached for something to tidy himself. In the romantic afterglow of his own good deeds, he blindly picked up something he thought too rough to do the job, but it was all he could reach. He made do, turned it over, and it was one of our flyers! He said he was happy to see we were in town! Happy Ending?!

What’s the best (or worst) thing a review has said about you or your show?
The best was two really blokey blokes saying, “I hope you take this the right way, but we laughed so hard we forgot you were naked.”

If you could invite anyone to see your show (and you know they would come), who would it be?
Patty Smith or Richard Pryor.

What comedian (alive or dead) do you wish you’d seen live?
Richard Pryor.

When did you realise that being funny is the career for you?
I think one of the Wau Wau Sisters first gigs. We were asked to do just do trapeze, but we said we’d only do it if we could sing songs too. We didn’t know if the songs would be funny enough, but figured if they weren’t we could back it up with trapeze. But they laughed and I felt good.

What’s the best heckle you’ve received?
I don’t know if this is the best, but it’s one of the most recent: “Why do you shave it?”

Is there anything you’re not prepared to joke about?
No. I think anything might be open to humor or satire. Even when it’s not the thing itself that is funny, there is often something around it, conversations around it, reactions to it, misunderstandings of it, that could lend itself to comedy, parody and/or satire. That said, I don’t think that that means that comedy should be lazy or cruel.

Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

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