An Interview with George Kapiniaris

Ahead of his new show “Zorba The Freak” George spared some time to chat with me and let me in on what he has planned for the future.

Zorba the Freak George Kapiniaris

He is on his way to Perth this weekend with his show and it has an interesting title!

Where did you get the title for this show?

It was a title I always wanted to use, and it goes back to when we used to shoot ‘Acropolis Now’ one of our directors once caught me late to rehearsal and he yelled out to me ‘ Kapiniaris you’re a freak! You’re a Zorba The Freak’ I always thought it was a great name, it stuck with me and over 20 years later I’ve finally got to use it!

Acropolis Now

What is the show about?

The show is all about growing up Greek. Being Australian but also being Greek and the things you go through, dealing with weird families and the clash of cultures.

I like to write from experiences, so I’m talking about kids, wedding anniversaries, and Mother In Laws’ that try to use the computer etc…

To give the show that Greek flavour I have a Greek singer and a young Bouzouki player.

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You do alot of stage shows these days, do you miss the TV work?

I do kind of miss TV, but at the time when I was doing Acropolis Now, it was pretty stressful, we would have to write all our shows and then rehearse and then do all the publicity. There wasn’t much money in it for us at the time. There was alot of fame though and that helped us earn alot of our living out of theatre shows. TV was great for us creatively. Shows like our sitcom just don’t exist on TV today.

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Do you feel more comfortable writing for yourself?

I write for myself and my stand up shows, that’s how I basically make my living. However, I love it all, I also love auditioning, but what happens when I do TV / Theatre is that I forget everything else , I become absorbed in the character and it can be quite difficult to get back into the comfort zone for stand up.

 

What’s your favourite stage show you’ve acted in?

Most recently I did the Adelaide Fringe, I did a show called “End of Dark Days Trev” I had to write all new material based on a character I had played in a TV commercial for the past 12 years. It was a new style for me which I enjoyed.

End of Dark Days Trev

Would you encourage your sons to go down the same career path as you ?

I’ll let them do whatever they want to do , they are both characters , so who knows? They might get into the business, but it’s so tough, I’ve been so lucky to still be making a living from it. Both sons are like their dad, one is a showpony and the other is a real character.

What does the future hold for you?

I just finished shooting a film that will be coming out later in the year called Alex & Eve. It’s about a Greek Orthodox schoolteacher who falls for a Lebanese Muslim girl in Sydney. It’s an Australian movie starring Richard Brancatisano, Tony Nikolakopoulos, Zoe Carides and Andrea Demetriades (Perth girl).

When did you first notice that you made people laugh?

When I was 6 and I was in Greece and I was on a train!

Wow that’s specific!

Yes I remember it like a black and white movie. I was on a train travelling from Katerini to Kalamata and I was entertaining a whole cabin filled with passengers. I was speaking in Greek because I had refused to speak in English while I was there. My method acting took place from a young age I suppose.

Fun Facts you might not know about George!!

  • He met Anthony Hopkins while he was on his honeymoon with wife Fotini.
  • He thinks us Perth people have an accent
  • He auditioned for ‘House Husbands’
  • He did over 300 shows in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang stage show

 

Thanks so much for your time George and I’m so excited to be seeing you in Zorba the Freak this weekend!!

Here are some snaps from the Show on Sunday night in Perth

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George with Despene (right) and friend

George with Despene (right) and friend

When I wax somebodies back I really put my heart into it !! 8-/

When I wax somebodies back I really put my heart into it !!

This little lady was the best audience member yet!

This little lady was the best audience member yet!

George and Geography

George and Geography

Signing autographs after the show.

Signing autographs after the show.

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Avati Interview Perth

Joe Avati has a way of captivating his audience, he tells his stories in a relatable fashion, using a mixture of English and Italian keeping the crowds in fits of laughter. His humour is clean cut, he has always stood by his ‘no swearing’ policy, he feels that it is unecessary on stage. I couldnt agree more!

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My Mum attended his Saturday 9th May 2015 show and here’s what she had to say;

“Not only did Joe Avati have the audience gushing with laughter, he delivered his jokes with precision timing and factual accuracy, which only an Italian-reared comedian could.  Juxtaposed alongside his side-splitting humour were comedic pearls of wisdom about modern technology and parenting.  His facial expressions denoted his artistic and acting abilities and confirmed that he is a true Italian with a devilish sense of humour.  I have not laughed as much since I attended Jerry Lewis’s last Perth concert.  Joe Avati is a true consummate professional and deserves to be rated as one of Australia’s best comedians.”

 

Joe Avati has been loved by Australian and International audiences for 20 years now. Ahead of his up and coming sell out tour in Perth, I wanted to find out more about him and asked all the hard hitting questions from astrology to current affairs… Well maybe not so hard hitting after all.. 😉

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How did you go from being a shy child to a stand up comedian?

I STARTED PLAYING IN BANDS AND SONGWRITING WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER AND THAT REALLY GOT ME OUT OF MY SHELL. I PLAYED KEYBOARDS AND GUITAR SO I WAS PERFORMING BUT WASNT THE FRONT MAN SO THAT WAS OK. SO IT WAS EASIER TO MAKE THE LEAP FROM BEING IN THE BACKGROUND TO BEING THE FRONT MAN WHEN I STARTED PERFORMING COMEDY.  A LOT OF PEOPLE REALLY DONT BELIEVE ME WHEN I SAY THAT I WAS EXTREMELY SHY. IN MANY WAYS I STILL AM. IN A BAR OR CLUB I WOULD NEVER GO AND TALK TO ANYONE UNLESS I KNEW THEM AND SOMETIMES PEOPLE MISTAKE THAT FOR SNOBBERY WHEN IN FACT I AM JUST EXTREMELY SHY.

Were your parents supportive in your journey?

I DIDNT TELL MY FOLKS THAT I WAS TRYING OUT AT COMEDY NIGHTS. SOMEONE ELSE TOLD THEM THEY SAW ME. I WANTED TO MAKE SURE I WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR THEM TO SEE ME. THE FIRST TIME THEY ACTUALLY SAW ME PERFORM LIVE I HAD ALREADY BEEN A PROFESSIONAL COMEDIAN FOR ABOUT A YEAR, THEY KNEW IT MADE ME HAPPY AND I WAS EARNING A BETTER INCOME THAN MY DAY JOB. MY FATHER ALWAYS SAID – GET A DEGREE SON THEN YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT – I GOT TWO AND NOW I MAKE PEOPLE LAUGH. EVERYONE IS HAPPY.

Im sure all the women want to know if you are one of those Italian men who can cook?

BEING A QUALIFIED FOOD SCIENTIST MOST PEOPLE AUTOMATICALLY THINK YOU CAN COOK – FOOD SCIENCE, WHILST IT DOES PLAY A BIG PART IN THE COOKING PROCESS, DOESNT ACTUALLY TEACH YOU HOW TO COOK. I DO COOK BUT I AM SELF TAUGHT. I DONT FOLLOW RECIPES I JUST FOLLOW MY INSTINCTS. PROBLEM IS SOMETIMES ITS HARD TO REPLICATE A DISH WHEN YOU PUT IN A PINCH OF THIS AND A PINCH OF THAT.

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What has led you to survive in this industry with international success and sell out shows?

I THINK THAT HAS BEEN BECAUSE MY SHOWS HAVE ALWAY BEEN ABOUT AN EXPERIENCE. YOU DONT JUST COME AND LAUGH YOU HAVE AN EXPERIENCE AND THAT EXPERIENCE COMES HOME WITH YOU AND STAYS WITH YOU FOR DAYS, WEEKS AND SOMETIMES MONTHS. ALSO MYSELF AND MY FELLOW COMEDIANS PUT A LOT OF WORK INTO CONSTANTLY TRYING TO MAKE THE SHOW BETTER, NEWER, SLICKER AND FUNNIER SO THAT OUR AUDIENCES KNOW WHEN THEY SEE “JOE AVATI PRODUCTIONS” AT THE TOP OF THE POSTER THEY ARE GOING TO GET A QUALITY SHOW. I HAVE SPENT YEARS TOURING AMERICA AND EUROPE AND HAVE LEARNT SO MUCH ABOUT SHOWMANSHIP. SOMETIMES AUSSIE ACTS ARE AFRAID OF PUTTING ON A SHOW.

 

Fluffy girly question ALERT … What star sign are you? (sorry had to ask)

ITS FUNNY HOW STAR SIGNS MEAN SO MUCH TO SOME PEOPLE AND NOTHING TO OTHERS. I ONCE HAD A FRIEND OF MINE ASK ME TO READ HER STAR SIGN FROM THE HOROSCOPE IN THE PAPER. SHE WAS CANCERIAN AND ON PURPOSE I READ HER SCORPIO’S HOROSCOPE FOR THE DAY AND SHE SAID “OH MY GOD THAT IS JUST SO SPOT ON FOR ME RIGHT NOW” – ANYWAYS TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION MY BIRTHDAY IS ON 23 AUGUST SO I AM RIGHT ON THE  LEO/VIRGO CUSP. IF YOU ASK MY CLOSE FRIENDS THEY WILL TELL YOU I HAVE QUALITIES OF BOTH. I WOULDNT REALLY KNOW WHAT QUALITIES LEO’S OR VIRGO’S HAVE. I AM MUCH BETTER AT TELLING YOU IF A PERSON HAS A NICE SOUL OR IS EVIL. I AM DRIVEN MORE BY ENERGY.

BalcattaPerth

The burning question everyone wants to know…What do you think about Nonna Paola??

SHE IS FANTASTIC A NATURAL AND A BREATH OF FRESH AIR. BIG FAN OF HER SUCCESS AND ITS BEEN A WONDERFUL RESURGENCE FOR ETHNIC COMEDY AND COMEDY ABOUT THE TRUTHFULNESS BEHIND THE WAY OUR GRANDPARENTS ARE WHICH HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE CORNERSTONE OF MY COMEDY. I HOPE THAT BY THE TIME THIS ARTICLE HAS COME OUT THAT I WOULD HAVE ACTUALLY MET HER. HER SON AND I CHAT FREQUENTLY.

 

What sort of audiences do your shows attract?

I AM LUCKY IN THAT MY SHOWS ATTRACT AUDIENCES OF ALL AGES, MAINLY ITALIANS OFCOURSE BECAUSE I BECAME FAMOUS FOR MY BILINGUAL SHOWS BUT IN THE LAST 4 YEARS I HAVE NOTICED ALOT MORE NON ITALIANS COMING TO THE SHOWS BECAUSE OF MY APPEARANCES IN IL DAGO, COMICUS ERECTUS AND THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE ETHNIC WHICH WERE AIMED AT A WIDER MARKET AND MY PERFORMANCES WERE COMPLETELY IN ENGLISH. YOUTUBE HAS ALSO DONE WONDERS IN EXPANDING THE DEMOGRAPHIC OF MY AUDIENCES. I INSIST ON MY SHOWS AND PRODUCTIONS BEING CLEAN SO THAT ALSO HELPS BRING IN AUDIENCES OF ALL AGES – FROM 8 YEARS OLDS TO 80 YEAR OLDS.

 

Have you met a famous person/mentor who has left you speechless?

YES I MET THE PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA JEAN CHRETIEN. I WAS INVITED BY HIS OFFICE TO MEET WITH HIM TO WELCOME ME TO CANADA AND TO THANK ME FOR MY SERVICES TO THE ITALIAN CANADIAN COMMUNITY. HE LEFT ME SPEECHLESS BECAUSE HE WOULDNT STOP TALKING AND I COULDNT GET A WORD IN.

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What is your “Back to Basics” show all about?

I CALLED IT BACK TO BASICS BECAUSE OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS I HAVE PRODUCED SHOWS WHERE WE HAVE HAD SKETCHES, SONGS, VIDEO ITEMS ETC AND WITH THIS SHOW THE GIMMICKS HAVE BEEN PUT ASIDE AND ITS JUST ME, A MICROPHONE AND AN AUDIENCE PERFORMING THE BEST OF MY OLD AND THE BEST OF MY NEW MATERIAL IN ITS RAWEST FORM – STAND UP.

What do you do before or after a show to wind down or relax?

I AM NOT REALLY A WIND DOWN KIND OF PERSON. I STARTED BEING BUSY IN 1999 AND HAVNT STOPPED SINCE. THE IDEA OF SITTING ON A BEACH DOING NOTHING FOR A WEEK WOULD DRIVE ME INSANE. I CANT EVER REMEMBER BEING ON A HOLIDAY WHERE FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR OR TWO EVERY DAY I WASNT WORKING.  I FEEL MOST AT EASE IN THE MIDDLE OF A BIG CITY WHERE THERE ARE LOTS OF PEOPLE AND LOTS OF ACTION GOING ON. IF I AM AT HOME IN MELBOURNE I USUALLY HEAD OUT TO MEET FRIENDS IN A BAR OR RESTAURANT BUT I LIKE TO JUST SIT AND PEOPLE WATCH CAUSE I DONT LIKE TALKING IN THAT KIND OF ENVIRONMENT. IF I AM ON TOUR I HEAD STRAIGHT BACK TO THE HOTEL BECAUSE I AM USUALLY ON THE FIRST FLIGHT BACK HOME. SOMETIMES IF I CAN GET ON A FLIGHT STRAIGHT AFTER THE SHOW YOU CAN BET I WILL BE ON IT. I KNOW ITS A BORING ANSWER. I SUPPOSE YOU WERE THINKING I WAS GOING TO GIVE YOU A ROCK AND ROLL KIND OF ANSWER? WELL I COULD BUT MY MUM MIGHT BE READING THIS – SHE HAS DISCOVERED GOOGLE AND SAYS THAT SHE KNOWS MORE ABOUT ME FROM GOOGLE THAN WHAT I TELL HER. SO FOR YOU MUM I GO STRAIGHT TO SLEEP AFTER A SHOW.

Your shows have been sell out here in Perth and we are happy to see you have now released a 3rd show at the Tuscany Club in Balcatta. Details are in the above image. 

Thank you so much for your time and we will see you in Perth very soon !

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Nicola Finetti Q & A Interview

We are fast approaching the Pierrots Model Search, which will be held on Sunday 23rd August 2015.

I wanted to take some time to ask this year’s headline designer a few personal questions.

  1. How would you describe you style as a designer? 

It is very feminine ,clean lines ,very precise and always very on trend.

  1. What sort of woman do you design for?

A women who is comfortable in her own skin.

  1. Have you visited Perth before? 

A few times and I find it very interesting everytime , I especially love the beaches .

  1. Is this your first time judging a modelling competition?

It is and I am looking forward to it .

  1. What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t designing? 

I like reading and cooking

  1. Who has inspired you most in your career? 

Azzedine Alaïa has been an inspiration from the start.

  1. Do you still visit Italy often? 

I visit very often, usually in August and January and sometimes in Easter.

 

For more information on tickets for the event please visit Eventbrite

 

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Interview with Tahir Bilgic – Here Come The Habibs


After Tahir’s recent shows in Perth for Fringe Festival,  I got to catch up with him briefly to talk about his up-and-coming new series on channel 9 ! HERE COME THE HABIBS

What inspired you to come up with the idea for this show?

I love performing arts and love coming up and creating ideas. So this idea popped into my head about a Lebanese family winning lotto and moving to a wealthy suburb and having an impact on that suburb with their “ethnic” ways. Teaming up with Rob Shehadie and Matt Ryan Garnsey as my co-creators we started working on this project and we were on our way. I am still greatly humbled that an idea in my head can eventually lead to a show on television.

Its been a while since we have seen a ‘wog’ show on a commercial network, do you think we are ready for this one?

I really believe that in this country we are starved of multicultural shows. We are such a diverse nation yet this is not reflected with our television shows. This is the first time a narrative comedy has been commissioned by a commercial network in over 15 years. It is a tough genre but I think we really are ready for a show like “Here Come The Habibs”.

“Here Come The Habibs” might contain a Lebanese family but it will represent all families of different cultures. The show is about neighbourly differences, culture clashes and also making fun of rich white people and their pre-conceived ideas on society.

How much effort goes into making a show like this?

The show took several years to make. We had numerous meetings and even after it was commissioned the writing process took 6 to 8 months alone. People don’t really have an understanding of how long and complicated the whole process is and what is involved.

Was the show really filmed in one of the ‘richest’ suburbs of Sydney?

The show was filmed in the Sydney suburb of Woolwich (right near the water and its also close to where they film The Bachelor and Bachelorette).

Do you think today’s audiences will be able to relate to the characters in the show?

I hope audiences can really relate to all our characters who are funny and down to earth. We all have neighbours and whilst we might not be at war with them … we can still have points of difference. There is a truth to all the characters in this show.

How supportive were Channel 9 ?

Channel 9 should be commended for being brave and taking a chance on this show. This is a local production made in Australia keeping people working in the industry so at the very least I hope Australia can support and celebrate such a show.
It is so easy to buy sit coms from overseas but we should be encouraging more Australian made content !

We look forward to Here Come the Habibs airing on Channel 9, Tuesday 830pm 

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For more information on the characters etc… click here

Mary Coustas

I have been a long time fan and follower of Effie a.k.a Mary Coustas, I have followed her journey right from the beginning of Acropolis Now ! She has been on a long break from performing and we have missed her. I got to chat to her briefly ahead of her Perth show THE VIRGIN BRIDE as part of the Perth Comedy Festival. Frontier Comedy are thrilled to announce that Logie Award-winning, AFI nominated writer and performer Mary Coustas (Acropolis Now, Effie Just Quietly, Greeks On The Roof) is bringing her hit one woman theatrical production Effie – The Virgin Bride

I feel like you’ve been missing from the scene for a long time, its great to have you back after all these years , how does it feel?

There is something very familiar about being back, but so much has happened in between. We started here as innocent little actors and just stumbled across this great show ‘Wogs out of Work” and from then on we went on to television, but Perth was the last hoorah before it all happened and we have looked forward to every big show here since! I’m very glad to be back in a place that holds so much history for us.

I feel like there was a big long break in between…Do you feel like you’ve got the performing bug back in your system?

 I was dreaming about this show for ten years but I was sidetracked by my bigger dream which was to become a mum.

I spent 7 months with a great team of people putting this show together and this is the encore national tour because I did it nationally in Melbourne, Perth & other cities so this is comfortable and nice and I’m able to actually relax and enjoy it !

 

So this is a one woman show, will we be meeting a few different characters?

 It’s the world around Effie’s wedding, the famous Virgin, where she gets married and pops the cherry at the same time. So it’s her Uncle Vasili that comes out from Greece to the wedding, he is her favourite Uncle and her special guest. He is her Dad’s brother.

Then I play Aphrodite, Effie’s immaculately conceived child, so she is a little flower girl, then there is another element to the show which is a surprise to the audience, I wont reveal too much! There’s a lot that happens.

Last year the show was shown as ‘Effie gets married’, but because people are new to this show this year , we have come out and proud and revealed elements of the show but kept one part a surprise, we wont publicly reveal, but we let the audience experience something they wouldn’t expect.

Is it the first time you have played a guy?

 No, no , I’ve got a real thing for playing men.

Can we say we can expect to learn more about you personally?

Yeh, as if you didn’t know enough, now you will know everything!

 

I feel like we have all been on this journey with you since the beginning, learning all your little catchphrases, what’s it like to then hear people in the street and they repeat something that you know you kind of in a sense invented?

 Well they’re just like little historical tattoos that live In the Australian vernacular now and they’re fun little things to pull out, you know like we do with an Austin Powers or a Jim Carey phrase or whatever it is we like quoting! I like the fact people can enjoy them and when we have something that is embarrassing , you can throw in a “How Embarrasshment” and make it a funny embarrassing and we all awkwardly at some point throw in a “Good Thanks” when we haven’t even been asked the question. Then we can throw it back as a bit of a joke. These little ‘joy pills’ are there to be used and to be recycled appropriately or inappropriately, just as reminders that we are all human. Its better if we can laugh at stuff rather than feel embarrassed.

 

Has Effie evolved into the world of social media?

Yeh she is on Facebook, she could be doing a lot more but she spends so much time doing her hair and being a public figure that I don’t think she is that big on the devices!! She is more a people’s person. Her Facebook page is very strong but she isn’t going to be one of these people who communicates something that’s not 3D. Also she didn’t become famous because of social media. I suppose what is in question is what are you selling? What I’m selling is the experience, and the experience can’t be had just by competing in a language that is pretty instant. That is why I love doing big shows like this so that people can come and have the deepest most satisfying experience and to have that within them. They can keep it as a really strong memory rather than a funny post. Think Junk Food as apposed to a really nice home cooked meal!

 

I remember Effie having that innocent style humour but with a lot of spunk to her…Does she still have this type of innocence?

 She is still innocent but she is more honest than she has ever been, this show is very relevant to its audience no matter who that audience may be, its not referring to some fake celebrity world, she is referring to the same things that we all refer to , who we love, who we are related to , who our friends are, how we show up to the big events in our lives, vanity. I had no interest in referring to famous people throughout the show because that what drains the audience out. So I always want to keep my material as relevant to the real people who are sitting and watching. My job is more of a social commentator and by that I think there are enough people commenting on what famous people are doing and there is a desire to know and an industry in that but its not really what I think I do best. I’m really good at taking the everyday, the urbaness of urban, putting a comical ribbon on it , amplifying it slightly so it can live on a big stage and have people totally relate to it. That’s what I think my job is, I’m sort of them but on stage…I’m a bigger more animated version of them on a stage. That’s what I hope I am!

 

What has taken Effie so long to take the plunge and get married?

Many things….

She was… and is frigid

She was… and is paranoid

She was… and is no longer picky

She was… desperate and now found Mr. Right

She went from picky to desperate, that is something that happened to a lot of us waiting for the big ticket item to turn up, then they’re like , oh no it didn’t quite turn out like the fantasy , I better get a wriggle on, otherwise I’m going to miss out on having an intimate relationship, so she was lucky she was dragged back to the school reunion and she met someone from her school and it was actually the first boy she ever kissed! He had never gotten over her and so it makes sense to her to secure a place in this relationship. The only thing is he isn’t Greek, which is good thing, but it causes problems more so for her Greek family but there’s a lot of comedy in that.

We don’t get to meet the fiancé in the show do we?

Well you feel like you know him put it that way. I mean, you get to know him, you might not physically see him but you definitely get to know him.

Is Effie a Bridezilla?

Oh she likes to call herself a Wogzilla ! Which is almost twice as bad I think! But there is a kindness to her too.

 

Effie still looks the same as she did 20 years ago, is she undergoing any enhancements of the cosmetic kind?

She doesn’t like to tamper with Gods great work, she just likes to maintain respect and not take for granted , she doesn’t like to leave her image in the hands of someone else. Her husband actually is a plastic surgeon, but she is too much of a scaredy cat and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!

 

We don’t often get to see/hear Effie in this light. She is so eloquent and well spoken. It was great to chat to the real Mary Coustas about her character. I walked away being more intrigued about this woman than ever before. She could talk anyone under the table, but what she has to say is of substance. You would want her at any party to liven things up, yet at the same time, I have a feeling this woman could hold her own in any company speaking on any subject. Im SUPER EXCITED to see her show tomorrow night in Perth at the Regal Theatre. Who is coming?

Interview by Bernadette Bosanac

Get your tix here

 

Interview with Rob Shehadie

We have seen Rob Shehadie on our TV screens since he debuted his career playing Rocky in Pizza in 2000, he then went on to do Fat Pizza, Housos and more recently the Nine Network comedy, Here Come The Habibs.

Pic courtesy of Nine Network

 

Now ahead of his new show Straight Outta Compo, Perth can get ready for a hilarious show jam packed with Australia’s finest selection of Wog Boys and their ethnic humour! I spent some time finding out more about Rob.

Who came up with the title of the show?

Tahir was the brains behind the title, there was a few names going around but that was the one that stuck, its very catchy.

Gives it a gangster feel.

 

I think you’re the first known Gangster comedians

This is the first show we’ve done where the title fits the theme of the show! The other shows have always had a play on words with a woggy edge but this we try to keep that gangster comedian vibe!

 

What audience would be attracted to this show?

We wanted to attracted a different crowd, one that wouldn’t normally go to an Avati show or a George Kapiniaris show, having said that , it’s a clean family show open for everyone.

 

What makes this show stand out from the rest you’ve done?

Well in this show we all do our solo stand up routines, then we do sketches where we are all acting together.

 

Who wrote most of the material for the show?

We all sat around and worked on it and Tahir was the Director who pieced it all together.

 

Do you guys adlib much on the night?

YES !! If we don’t have a laugh up on stage then we aren’t doing our job. We can’t keep a straight face when we are acting and the crowd enjoys it.

 

So even as many times as you’ve done the show you still crack each other up?

Yeh, well when I look across the stage and see Joe Avati wearing a Wig and he is playing an old Italian man, it makes me laugh!

 

How do you think you get away with the risqué jokes in a time of conservative humour?

We are pretty careful what we do, personally I don’t do religious jokes or get too political, yes we pick on every nationality, but its comedy we love it we have been doing it for a long time. There isn’t enough ‘wog style’ programs or shows and people enjoy it.

 

How did you find the success of Meet The Habibs?

It was a show Tahir & I pitched to Ch 9 5 years ago, and we are pretty proud of Channel 9 for taking that step, its responsible for changing the landscape of TV. This generation isn’t watching sitcoms, we grew up on shows like Fresh Prince of Bel Air & Who’s The Boss. Kids today mainly view dramas or reality TV on Free to air channels, so when they see a show with a bit of comedy they see that its different. Every nationality can relate to the Habibs. I feel that we did something right for society in that show. I’m getting a different type of person coming up to me in the street. I’m getting your older Anglo Indian man telling me how much he loves the show and in this day proves to me that this show is breaking barriers just like Acropolis Now did in its day.

 

Did you always want to be in comedy?

It was actually an accidental pathway I took to be honest.

I was actually playing Rugby Union for Australia & NSW U/19s & U/21s.

Then in 1999 someone said come try out for Fat Pizza, I did it as a joke and here we are!

These guys have made a career out of their heritage and culture and brought us much joy and laughter. They have received 5 star reviews. They will be performing in Sydney next then last stop is Perth. I can’t wait to see the show!

Straight Outta Compo is brought to us by Zaccaria Concerts & Touring.

 

Interview by Bernadette Bosanac

 

Make sure you get your tickets here.

Ticket Prices $69.90

Venue Astor Theatre Perth

Find my other interview articles here

 

 

 

 

An Interview with Courtney Murphy

Courtney Murphy

Courtney Murphy has always been one of my favourite singers since I first heard him on Season 2 of Australian Idol.

His voice with it’s distinctive gravel tones stood out to me above all the rest.

Anyone who has heard him perform can feel he has a sincere love of music.

I was lucky enough to bump into him at Mosman’s Restaurant in Perth. After he had finished his set I couldn’t resist the urge to introduce myself and find out what he has been up to all these years since Idol.

Where can us Perth peeps expect to see you playing these days?

I’m all over the place.  Wednesdays currently I’ve got a ‘residency’ at The Saint in Innaloo playing in the restaurant to the lovely ‘Innalootions’… and on a Sunday I can be found up at The Currambine bar and Bistro, which is loads of fun.  Most Fridays I’m playing at Beau Rivage at Gloucester Park, when I’m not working corporate gigs either solo or with Murphy’s Lore.

Do you play original songs or covers?

At my solo shows, I scatter a selection of originals in with the covers, not only to keep the dream alive, but because I actually have fans who come along to watch who like my original tunes.. I know, crazy right? At Murphy’s Lore shows, we’re strictly a cover band, and when I play with my brothers ‘The Murphy Brothers’, we only play originals.  That’s hallowed turf right there! 😉

Who are your favourite influential artists? 

I love answering this question as music is such a great passion for me.  My first and final answer is always Paul McCartney (which includes all side projects ‘Wings’ and a little band called ‘The Beatles’) but of course there are loads of others that have influenced not only my playing, but my vocals. Billy Joel, Crowded House, Jellyfish, The Beach Boys, Dean Freidman, oh and my brothers Chris & Kieran.  They’re remarkably good songwriters and I’m really privileged to have them as my brothers.  They bring out the best in me.

What songs do you enjoy covering?

Any song that touches me emotionally, that I can connect with and make my own.  Right now, I love playing ‘Beautiful World’ by Colin Hay, and ‘Hey Larry’ by Dean Friedman… jawdroppingly talented men.

You seem quite young to know or have the repertoire of songs that you have , who was your musical influence growing up …? Anyone in your household ?

Nope. People always ask if mum and dad are musical, and the answer is a resounding no.  It was actually again, my two brothers.  We would find an artist and present them to the other two, like it was some great discovery… Chris was heavily into the Beatles, so Kieran and I had to find ‘our own’ thing to be right into… Kieran was a ‘Queen’ kid, and I blew my mind over the harmonies of ‘The Hollies’.

How is life since Australian Idol season 2? Do you still keep in touch with any of the contestants now?

I do yeah. Life is grand, I’ve got 2 beautiful little kids now and I get the honour of being a stay-at-home dad during the day and then firing up the voice at night.  Last year I caught up a few of the Idols, we try to stay in touch as much as we can, it was so long ago, but we still have a tight bond.

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It must feel like it was a lifetime ago….

Well it kinda is… 2004 is 11 years ago.  People always get a shock when I tell them just how long it’s been.  It’s still so fresh as every new person I meet that remembers me from the show likes to have a chinwag about what they thought, and want to know some sort of goss.

What are you plans for the future?

The plan has been the same as when I was a kid;  Sing and play and hope there is an audience who want to listen to me.  I want to be a great singer/songwriter but an even better dad.

My favourite song you sung on Idol was Billy Field’s “You weren’t in love with me” Do you still sing it today?

 ‘You Weren’t in Love With Me’ is one of those songs that I’ve played non-stop for 11 years… for whatever reason, people seem to dig it.  It still makes me happy.

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Thanks for your time Courtney I hope to see you at a gig soon !

Ivan Aristeguieta Fringe Festival at The Velvet Lounge

Tucked away in the Velvet Lounge Mt Lawley on Friday night was Venezuelan stand up comedian Ivan Aristeguieta. A perfect location for comedy shows, the venue was packed and fans were eager to support this latino who has now lived in Australia since 2012. I had a chance to have a quick chat with him before the show… Heres what I found out…

Ivan Aristeguieta

His father is a psychiatrist, his mother a psychologist

He has studied food technology and brewing.

He is living in Adelaide

Sunday is his last show in Fremantle Perth 😦

The hardest English word for him to say is ‘anaesthetist’ with ‘thesis’ a close second.

He also gave me a good tip about travelling with Uber…. “Dont catch the black cars as they are corporate and cost twice as much” 😉

His comedy was refreshing and tasteful ! I never knew how many Latinos we had in Perth until I attended this gig. Not only was the room packed but from the get go he had us all in stitches. Ive been to alot of comedy shows in my time but this guy was good!

He urged the audience to experience before having an opinion or judging anyone, he also gave some quick and interesting lessons in the difference between the merengue and the salsa, I could go on but you really have to be there to understand.

Ivan said “I release tension through laughter” but Im pretty sure on the night every single one of us walked out feeling a lot better about life.

 

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An Interview with Famous Sharron. Fringe World Festival 2015

I had a quick chat with Shazza the other day and boy was it jam packed with quotes and info on life ! In other words I got Shazzified!

I happened to call her while she was in a carpark ready to go do the shopping, she didn’t seem to mind and proceeded to tell me she would stop anything for the media.

Heading into her 3rd year of being famous, she has taken it all in her stride and hasn’t let fame change her too much. What you see is what you get, no disguises here, there is casual Shazz and the Shazz you see at shows.

QU: Do you go down to the corner shop in your Famous Sharron get up?

SHAZZA: There have been Shazz sightings of me in my casual gear in my ‘sheggings’ or my soon to be released ‘shalaxy leggings’ (similiar to galaxy design leggings in case you didnt catch on)

Every now and again she gets ‘SPOTTED’ at the local IGA or Coles and fans will try and snap a sneaky selfie. She wont have it ! She encourages her fans to openly snap away and introduce themselves. She taught me you can never be famous enough and that there is always room for another selfie! (I couldnt agree more!)

QU: You take the best selfies, did you invent the selfie stick?

SHAZZA: No I’m actually not happy with the selfie stick, and the bluetooth one is a nightmare. Without the right light you look shite! Im going to invent my own. You don’t want your selfie to go on the shelfie.

(2 quotes I think I’ll be using from now on!)

QU: Do I call you Famous or just Sharron?

SHAZZA: First name Famous, last name Sharron darls.

QU: Im looking forward to seeing you at ‘Some like it Yacht’ at Fringe Festival what can I expect?

SHAZZ: Get ready for a late night dance party and ‘shabaret’ with lots of chaos and shenanigans.

It was fun chatting to Famous Sharron (double r dont forget!) and I cant wait to attend and sing along to the smooth pop sounds from the 70s and 80s.

Famous Sharron some like it yacht

Famous Sharron, will host a hilarious cabaret style show of musical guests, celebrities and old pop gems by eight-piece live band ‘Some Like It Yacht‘.

Some Like It Yacht are a Perth-based tribute band. If you like Toto, The Doobie Brothers, Christopher Cross, ELO, Phil Collins, Chicago and Hall & Oates, then you are going to enjoy this event !

Get your tickets here 

 

 

Interview with Luis LaPegna

Repost from 2014

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For those of you who love interiors, you’ve surely come across the iconic Luis LaPegna store on Stirling Hwy Nedlands. I stopped in their a few weeks ago to have a chat with Luis and see what the future has in store for him.

 

His store is filled with furniture, wall art, cushions, extraordinary pieces and lighting.

 

I can hardly make it past the front door without being distracted by trinkets and bold patterns.

 

Luis has been in the business for 15 years now and certainly has a good following and clientele who trust his judgement and experience. He has a wonderful team behind him and together they offer consultancy services, styling and can also accommodate custom made and bespoke pieces for your home.

 

What has made LLP stand the test of time I believe has been his ability to grow and change with market demand. I sat with him and asked a few questions….

Q: Where do you see your business going in the future?

  • A: LLP will strengthen as a brand and focus on a separate online store.
  • Opening a branch of the business called LaPegna Design, this will bring a lot of global pieces and replicas at affordable prices, allowing design addicts to buy a lot of the latest furniture decor of manhattan glamour.
  • April 2015 will see the beginning of LaPegna property styling, focusing on the hire of manhattan glamour style pieces and styling targeting the luxury property market.

Q: What’s on trend right now for the home?

A: Anything with metallic luxe tones i.e. bronze and gold

Q: Use one sentence to sum up LLP?

A: LLP is all about tailored luxury using bold graphic designs with pops of colour.

Q: Where do you see LLP in 5 years time?

A: Strengthening and becoming its own brand, heading for global domination.

 

We can’t wait to watch you expand LLP, Good Luck and Thank you for your time 🙂

BBx