"The Dark Side of Magic"

TONIGHT at Fan Fiction Comedy, I’ll be reading my latest piece of Harry Potter Fan Fiction, “The Dark Side of Magic”

"The whisper of an echo… Rumour, less tangible than gossip but more terrifying than a child’s nightmare had encroached upon Harry’s thick, oaken desk. Something was coming…"

Fan Fiction Comedy is at 5pm at the Melbourne Town Hall. Join me there before heading to my full show, “Game Changer” just around the corner at The Portland Hotel at 6.15pm. Tickets available at the box office or here: http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2014/season/shows/game-changer-tegan-higginbotham-in 

USA 2014

Well here I am, trapped beneath my collapsed tray table on a Delta flight from New Orleans to LAX. To my left is my housemate Nato, who’s attempting to see how far he can throw Pretzels before getting told off by one of the “hot” airhostess. To my right is a stranger from Texas, who keeps asking me where I think the Air Malaysia flight has vanished to, not realising that the words “flight” and “vanished” aren’t presently particular favourites of mine. And in front of me is a gentleman playing the all-time favorite, “Guess What I Ate Before Boarding”; a fun game involving his bowls and my reluctant face. At this present juncture, I’m losing.

 

Flights are never fun. But for someone leaving a particularly wonderful holiday, they’re the absolute worst. 

 

For anyone who follows me on social media, you’ll have figured out by now that for the last couple of weeks I’ve been buzzing around the US with Nato, first stopping in New York before heading down to New Orleans. It was my first visit to The States, and not the ideal time to venture over by any means. For a start, March is one of the busiest months of my year as it marks the beginning of The Melbourne International Comedy Festival. In the weeks leading up to last years festival, I got so anxious my hair literally started falling out in huge, unsettling clumps. Oddly enough I kept forgetting about this at the time, so every day I’d wake up in the morning and congratulate myself on apparently hooking up with Thor, who appeared to have become a regular lover of mine, albeit one who moults. This year, I took necessary precautions and cut off all my hair off before “The Baldening” hit, but it didn’t stop me feeling nervous. 

 

Then there was the fact that I landed in New York in the midst of a record-breaking cold snap, which for any Australian would take some adjusting, but for someone like me whose internal temperature is colder than the relationship between Russia and the Ukraine, it was murder. In fact, it was so cold in New York that if someone were to relieve them self from the top of a building, the pee-pee would freeze before hitting the ground and turn into snow. Fascinating? Yes. But I will miss being allowed to visit the Empire State Building. 

 

Poor weather notwithstanding, New York was magical. From the museums, to Central Park, to the oh-so-wonderful “Donut Pub”, I really loved that city. Now as anyone who’s been to The Big Apple will know, the whole place is far too complex to sum up in a simple paragraph (yes, even for a very gooder righter like me). However, if I were to give it a shot, I’d say New York sounds like sirens, tastes like sugar and looks like Art Deco & smoke. The buildings are matched in size only by the enormous personalities of Manhattan’s inhabitants, and as long as you’re able to forsake a need for vitamins & personal space, you’ll adore it. I’d recommend Grand Central Station, Pepe Giallo’s Italian restaurant, MoMA and “Sleep No More” as musts. 

 

If I were to pin down a favourite moment, it would be ice-skating at the base of 30 Rock. Not only because I managed to survive the whole experience without a single fall, but knowing my good friends Adam & Rama had been in that exact spot only a few months prior was really nice. In fact the whole thing would’ve been perfect had I not yelled “Flying V” directly at fellow-beginner, causing her to freak out and smash into the barrier. 

 

Then came….NEW ORLEANS! 

 

Now, the whole reason I took this trip was because a short film I was involved in had made it into the finals of the 48 Hour Film Festival, and was getting screened in New Orleans. I can’t say that without the competition prompting me I necessarily would have chosen to go to New Orleans, and since visiting I can’t say that it’s a must-see for everyone. Because holy shit that city was intense and personally, I got a hell of a lot out of being there. 

 

After meeting up with Nick Colla, another member of the short film team who’d been unable to make the New York leg, Nato, Nick & I began exploring “The Big Easy” and discovered one of the most confusing, confronting and altogether challenging cities I’ve ever been in. One minute you’ll be getting offered crack on a street corner, in front of a crumbling building yet to receive any attention since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Then the next minute you’ll be walking amongst some of the most beautiful French architecture you’ll ever see, listening to one of the countless, super-talented Jazz bands that just set themselves up in the middle of the street and play out in the open. Within the space of a few meters you’re surroundings will morph from a dirty and over-populated sex-strip reminiscent of King Street on steroids, to a cultured, vibrant stew of music, art & amazing Cajun food. One minute you’re seeing your first ever dead body, then you’re looking at the Mississippi. A very strange place. 

 

If you do find yourself in New Orleans head straight to Frenchman Street, in the French Quarter, after 9pm. You could check out Bourbon Street if you want, but it’s very touristy. The good food is in the 7th Ward, but that’s also the very, very dangerous part. Myself and the boys went there accidentally, realised we were in WAY over our heads then jumped into the nearest cab, only to be met with a “Are you guys crazy?”, from the driver.

 

My favourite moment definitely came on my last day in New Orleans when we all had time to just sit and listen to music. The quality of the artists and musicians really is world class. Scary, scary talent.

 

But for now, that’s all done.

 

In about 24 hours I’ll hopefully be far from godforsaken planes and once again focusing on Footy, the Festival and something else beginning with “f” so this sentence works. Our film didn’t win anything in New Orleans, but I’m so chuffed I was able to show it off in the states, and really grateful I had such a wonderful opportunity to work with LateNite films on the project. A big thanks to Nato who looked after me in the US and stopping me walking directly into traffic on countless occasions and a Nick who was an endless source of positivity.

If anyone would like to see the short film “Flash” you can check it out here (I think its well worth the 8 minutes): http://latenitefilms.com/portfolio/flash/

And for Tickets to see “Game Changer” at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, visit comedyfestival.com.au 

Why I Love Jack Nicholson’s Socks- A Hard-Hitting Sports Analysis

Hey there readers! I hope you’re all doing incredibly well.

So as I’m sure you’ve probably noticed from Twitter, Facebook and the general air of “Oh Shit!” that’s settled over the comedy community, Festival is just around the corner and I’m happy to announce that I’ll be doing another show about sport! So to get you in a sporty mood, I’ve decide to write a piece about the groundbreaking, style-making, Rabbit-celebrating joy that was Sex and The City.

*Cue sports-reportesque music, followed by pictures of athletes kicking things and jumping higher than us regular folk can jump*

To give you a bit of history, the first time I met Carrie and the gang was when I saw SATC2 at Knox Ozone in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. There, in my fanciest hoodie, I watched on in a state of utter confusion as 4 women (whom I’d be told I would love and admire) acted like racist, shallow and utterly unforgivable dipshits on screen.

Now since that terrifying evening, I’ve learnt that watching a SATC movie without seeing the series is like giving birth without having been shagged (YOU MISS ALL THE GOOD STUFF!). So fortunately I’ve made amends.

I could sit here all day discussing the best bits from the show (most of which involve the character Aiden and his gorgeous, gorgeous face) but instead I’m going to focus on one of my favorite episodes, “The Real Me”. You all remember it? Carrie is asked by mouthy producer Lynn Cameron to take part in a New York fashion show featuring real models. Carrie is nervous, then realizes she spends most of her time strutting around New York anyway, so why not strut on a catwalk?

I love the episode! Not only because Kim Cattrall gets most of her kit off and I think she’s banging, but also because I’m fascinated by the idea of fashion shows.  From the runways of Paris to Mugatu’s Derelique, the idea of a room full of “it” people coming together to look at what they’re going to be wearing over the next season is intriguing. It’s the height of dizzying decadence and I fucking love it.

But in the past few years, maybe even less, the tide has shifted and the cool kids are all scrambling to get seats of a different kind. Courtside, ringside or trackside; Sports is the new place to be seen.

I’m sure you’ve all noticed the trend. It started with the genuine die-hards Jack Nicholson and Spike Lee supporting The Lakers and The New York Knicks respectively. Game in game out, these aging and borderline crazy old men can be seen yelling, stomping and generally adoring every bit of the game. On their part, the very public displays of affection they dedicate towards the NBA are in no way enacted to raise profile or nab the attention of the media. I can safely say this because 1) No one trying to get publicity wears green socks and 2) Licking a sledgehammer is much quicker.

But where Jack and Spike’s team spirit is true, there’s a new influx of hot young things who seem to use sport as little more than an opportunity to show the world how cool their friends are and how hot they look dressed casually in Burberry. There was Rhinnah and Chris brown, back in the days when she could sit next to him without flinching. Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, back in the days when Selena could sit next to Justin without vomiting. And of course, Lindsay Lohan, sitting next to whomever she could find.

Quite recently, TMZ reported that Michelle Rodriguez “upstaged the NY Knicks” when she was spotted pashing on with Victoria Secret Model, Cara Delevigne. Now whether this kiss indicated the two are now dating, or if it was a case of Rodriguez trying to suck the 21-year-old Cara’s life force out Dementor style is yet to be confirmed. But all I do know is the both looked smashing and frankly this just won’t do!

Sport is one of the very few bastions of safety where you can wear oversized jumpers in clashing colours, eat food containing unidentifiable meat products, and yell heinously at some 19 year old to “Eat shit and die” when they score well for the other team without fear of judgment. Aside from Fashions on the Field at The Melbourne Cup, which I would be more than happy to see overtake the sport itself as the dressing up doesn’t involves any HORSES DYING OR GETTING BEATEN WITH STICKS, sport should never be about looking pretty.

So dearest celebrities, please go on taking selfies and hanging out with important figures of society such as Willow Smith and Adam Sandler in public where we can all see. I honestly don’t know where mankind would be without it. But if you are going to do so whilst dressed like a God, then leave it for the runway. Sport has a uniform…and it’s all Green socks. 

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For more information about Tegan Higginbotham in Game Changer, visit http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2014/season/shows/game-changer-tegan-higginbotham-in

Upping your game: a plea to Channel 7

Amidst the top notch broadcasting of this years Australian Open, Channel 7 has gone and done themselves a massive disservice by dirtying up their coverage and giving it a somewhat trash-mag feel. And no, I’m not referring to the constant and cringe-worthy advertisements for “My Kitchen Rules” (“It needs more salt!” “Will my tears do, Manu?” “I want blood! Blood, I say ”). I’m talking about their decision to unnecessarily fuel the rift between Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens.

 

For those who missed it, the video captured by Seven shows Stephens in an obviously good mood and smiling broadly as she watches Williams lose to Ana Ivanovic from a television within a gym. The footage was aired during the Open and soon the question “Is this a video of Sloane celebrating Serena’s loss?” had traveled around the world.

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Should Channel 7 have aired the footage? I don’t think so. There’s been a fair bit of discussion surrounding what should and shouldn’t be televised when it comes to sports this summer. However when Channel 9 controversially showed footage of Michael Clarke sledging England’s James Anderson, telling him, ”get ready for a broken f—-ing arm” Clarke was on the field and the remark was made during a game. A game that was being filmed.  

 

But this wasn’t the case for Sloane. She wasn’t sitting courtside nor was she playing. It was during her downtime and despite the fact that the gym is in a public place, thus technically giving Seven the right to film there, I still believe the move was inappropriate. Just in the same way that I don’t think film stars should expect constant harassment from paparazzi because of the simple fact they chose to perform for a living, I don’t believe Sloane should have to be “on” every waking second she’s in Australia.

 

That said, I can’t understand why the footage even matters to anyone? As far as I’m concerned, Sloane is telling the truth when she says she was actually mimicking the celebrations and head-butting display from Inanovic’s support crew. Unlike Charles Saatchi, former husband of Nigella Lawson, who in 2013 tried to convince the world that having his hands around her neck was actually a sign of endearment, you know, like a love-choke or one of those comfort-hits, Sloane’s actions clearly replicate the footage she was at that moment watching.

 

But you know what? Even if Sloane had for a split second celebrated a little; Even if she’d let of fireworks in that gym, leaving her entire crew singed around the edges, could you blame her? This is a woman who last year took down one of the greatest athletes of our time. At the 2013 Australian Open, Sloane shocked the world by beating Serena Williams and has been continually answering questions about the tense relationship between the two ever since. If I was in her position and had just dodged a terrifying Williams shaped bullet, I’d be freakin’ ecstatic. If Destiny’s Child had suddenly popped up from the ground and began singing “I’m a Survivor” while Slone danced around topless, I’d still have said she was underplaying it.

 

There’s enough happening this Open, with strong match-ups, a few surprises and of course, the hype surrounding the intense and near-dangerous playing conditions brought about by the heat, that means Channel 7 don’t have to waste time on gossip and petty speculation.

 

So stick to the Tennis, Seven. Just the Tennis. You’re actually good at it. 

Tegan will now start talking in the third person as she plugs tickets for her show Comedy Festival show “Game Changer” that are now on sale, and mentions her regular Sports reporting for The Age which can be seen here:

 http://www.theage.com.au/execute_search.html?text=tegan+higginbotham&ss=theage.com.au

Tegan hopes you have a nice day.

Sexually Transmitted Crazies

Sexually Transmitted Infections are on the rise across Melbourne with many young adults confirming they don’t use condoms. But while educational bodies attempt to spread the “safe-sex” message throughout high schools, no one seems to be addressing a far more pressing and equally dangerous epidemic, Sexually Transmitted Crazy.

What is an STC?

An STC occurs when you catch “crazy” from having sexual intercourse with another crazy person. STC’s can infect both men and women and can cause serious, permanent damage to reputations and relationships with non-crazies, not to mention greatly affecting day-to-day life.

 Almost 2 in 5 adults can confirm instigating a sexual relationship with a confirmed crazy person, only to start feeling the affects soon afterwards. Whether the carrier is showing visible signs (they’re overly emotional, has daddy issues, is a compulsive cheater, is self-obsessed, says they love you after the first date, etc) or is a silent carrier, the affects can be sever.

 Nato- 30 Tells his story:

 “For a long time I’d foolishly believed that scariest sexual disease I could get landed with was AIDS, Gonorrhoea or child support. That was until I started seeing Samantha*. I knew she was crazy when she told me I wasn’t allowed to buy coffee if a woman had made it and mentioned that she felt more comfortable if I did the thinking for both of us, but I thought it was just a phase. However I soon started noticing scary changes in my behavior. I was posting selfies on a regular basis, started referring to Samantha as my “better half” or “the missus” and was even sending her goodnight (“Ni-ni”) text messages. On top of all that, I began telling friends I was gluten intolerant even though I’m not! How fucked up is that?

It wasn’t until I saw my local GP that they confirmed I was now actively carrying an STC”

Fortunately for Nato, he identified the crazy early enough to take action and after a course of antibiotics and a strong dose of common sense, he is now crazy free. But be careful. If the crazy is in your system for too long, the damage can be permanent. 

 FAQ’s about STC’s

 How do I know if a person is an STC carrier?

There are a few sure-fire ways to check if a person is STC-positive. It’s worthwhile asking a potential partner the following questions before instigating sex:

 -Do you believe the American Government is behind September 11 and faked the moon landing?

-Do you barrack for Melbourne?

-Did you vote for Palmer United?

-Do you believe Australia is “full”?

-Has your life taken more than 6 “new directions” in the past month?

-Have you started more than 3 “new businesses” in the past week?

-Is it OK if I don’t text you back right away?

-Is it OK if I stay in contact with my ex’s?

-Are you orange?

What are some of the early symptoms of an STC?

-An itching/irritable feeling when you’re not getting enough attention.

-You excrete abnormal levels of emotional discharge every time you chat with your friends.

-An inexplicable desire to write paragraph-long status updates on facebook detailing fights with friends, religious/political beliefs or how “blessed” you are.

Will wearing a condom protect me from an STC?

Condoms aren’t 100% so there is still a chance you will contract an STC. If you are dating a known crazy, medical experts recommend that instead of sexual intercourse, try patting them on the head whilst they masturbate. Chances are they are so self-obsessed they won’t even notice you weren’t physically involved.

Thats all for now on STC’s. In the meantime, spread the word and stay safe.

Dr Tegan Higginbotham MD, DC, S.H.E.I.L.D

A busy few months….

It’s been a busy few months!

As I get my next blog together, I just wanted to post a quick update on what’s been going on.

Fringe On Tour

After performing “Million Dollar Tegan” at The Melbourne Fringe last year, I was lucky enough to be selected as a Fringe On Tour artist.

“The Melbourne Fringe On Tour program sees a select program of shows from the 2012 Melbourne Fringe Festival head out on the road to play one night stands at outer metropolitan and regional Victorian venues and towns”

It was funny because before being offered the tour in late October ‘12, I was considering putting “Million Dollar Tegan” to bed. Then I had my second fight in November and suddenly I couldn’t wait to tell people about the world of boxing all over again.

One of the things I loved most about taking “Million Dollar Tegan” on the road was that none of the audiences- NONE- ever read what the show was about in advance. Now sure, it was exciting that so many people were willing to take a chance on a show they knew nothing about. But what It did mean was that things always started off slightly awkwardly when the crowd realised a) I wasn’t theatre and b) I say fuck. A lot.

But despite bumpy beginnings, I (and hopefully the audiences too) had a really great time.

New Zealand

At the beginning of July I headed over to New Zealand to try a bit of stand up at The Classic in Auckland whilst doing a few shows with The Fan Fiction crew as they prepared for Edinburgh (In a previous post you can see one of the Fan Fiction stories I read whilst over there).

Given the tone and style of all the comics I’ve met from NZ, who I’ve found to be quite experimental and delightful, I was surprised to discover how blue the New Zealand comedy scene is. I did OK during my first night at The Classic, but only OK, and had to change up my set entirely to survive the rest of the week. But from that point on things improved dramatically and I had some excellent gigs. 

The Shelf

August meant Season 7 of The Shelf.

Since being asked to join The Shelf back in season 1 I’ve jumped between doing stand up, News Of The Week with Adam Rozenbachs and group chats. This season I was thrilled to be performing with Adam McKenzie as Watson.

We performed “Watson- In the Beginning”, “Politi-facts” and “Landing on Pluto” over the three nights and I was relieved that the crowd, many of whom probably didn’t know Watson, seemed to like us. I’m kind of hoping Watson can make another appearance during season 8, starting November 18th

Tickets are available here: http://tickets.thetoffintown.com/event/view/5ygjb9p48

Writing for The Age

Over the past few months I’ve been an occasional contributor for The Age Sports.

The whole process of writing for a newspaper has been fascinating. Unlike stand up, there’s no trialing material. You just have to cross your fingers, hold you breath and hope it’s received well.

Being published in The Age has also meant I’ve been exposed to an audience that wouldn’t have known about me before. I’ve had some awesome feedback and some not-so-awesome feedback with “You absolute fucking hack of a ‘journalist’” from Oli McFarlane being one of the tamer tweets I’ve received. That said; I absolutely love the job and hope I get to write more and more.

Here’s the attest piece I wrote about growing up as a Carlton Football Club fan.

http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/growing-up-carlton-wasnt-easy-but-still-blue-skies-beckon-20130907-2tces.html

“Dinner For Three”

“Dinner for Three” is a short film I’ve had the privilege of making with Director Joel Kohn, co-writer Dylan Watson and producer Tom Davis. It’s part of the Raw Nerve initiative and will air nationally on the ABC, hopefully next year.

“Dinner For Three” was something that popped up out of nowhere. I certainly hadn’t been planning on spending the majority of August making a short.

However as soon as I met Joel and we started getting to know each other, I realised that we had very similar ideas and consequently a pretty good working relationship. We put together a script and from there on it was all guns blazing.

We completed filming over the past couple of weekends at a fabulous restaurant called Syracuse, just off Little Collins in the city. The crew was amazing, as were the two actors I got to perform with; George Lingard and Damien Bodie. I was particularly excited to be working with Director of Photography Greg Harrington, who was the camera operator on one of my favorite shows, Arrested Development.

I just saw the first draft and I am so happy with it. I can’t wait for it to be completed.

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High Wire

I’m currently making exciting things with High Wire films, the production company behind Twenty Something, Agony Aunts/Uncles and Lowdown. I can’t say much at this stage, but I’m having A LOT of fun.

Coming up…

Tonight I’ll be performing at The Local in St Kilda with Celia Pacquola, Cal Wilson, Kelly Fastuca and Laura Davis. The gig starts at 8.30 and I have a feeling it’s going to be awesome. You should come along!

JJ’s Dilemma

Last week I had the absolute pleasure of joining Heidi and the FanFiction crew in NZ for a week of shows at The Classic. I had an amazing time!

Here’s a quick story I wrote for opening night. I hope you enjoy it!

 

JJ’s Dilemma- By Tegan Higginbotham

The LA Sun was shining brightly in a modern and spacious apartment. Birds were singing, the sky was blue and not too far below women jogged giddily along the waterfront with breasts that resembled props from the set of “James and The Giant Peach”. For most people, this would seem like heaven. But for JJ Abrams, nothing could save him from his personal hell.

Around the world, Star Trek fans were heralding JJ Abrams as a god. He’d taken a dying franchise and made it popular again by trying something that had never been done before… Replacing old actors with younger, hotter ones! Genius!

And since that day, Star Trek had been growing from strength to Cumerbucking strength.

So popular was JJ that most people have even chosen to forget that he co-produced Armageddon, and is somewhat responsible for Aerosmith releasing a song with the lyrics “I kiss your eyes and thank god we’re together”, like it’s not fucking creepy.

The studios loved him and in a landmark decision they gave JJ the task of relaunching Star Wars, in the hope that he could once again make something old shiny and new.

But JJ was terrified! He knew that if he made Star Wars to similar to Star Trek, it would reignite the war that once raged between the two franchises. I’m sure no one has forgotten the massacre of Comic-Con ‘95 when 8 Trekkies were set upon by a legion of Storm Troopers and one overweight guy dressed as Jigglypuff. There were asthma pumps and plastic fazers everywhere.

JJ was worried that over his years of film and television production, he’d used up every trick he had. How on Earth was he going to make Star Wars seem original again?

 “Get it together JJ”, he yelled at his own reflection, “You can do this!”

He began writing.

Star Wars Episode 7, Attempt 1: Opening credits. The camera slowly pans upwards to reveal a giant lens flare.

"Dammit! That won’t work!"

Star Wars Episode 7, Attempt 2: Opening credits. The camera slowly pans upwards to reveal a giant spaceship. Everything on it looks like a Mac.

"Dammit! This is hard!"

Star Wars Episode 7, Attempt 3: Opening credits. The camera slowly pans upwards to reveal a giant spaceship. It crashes into an island. Something something something smoke monster.

"GOD DAMMIT!"

It was that point JJ remembered why he never wrote an ending to Lost, it was too damn hard!

Soon, delirium set in and it wasn’t long before JJ could hardly tell Star Wars and Star Trek apart anymore! The Jedi’s ability to read minds made them just like a Betazed, Han’s cocky self confidence reeked of Captain Kirk, even Jar Jar Binks reminded JJ about everything shit in Star Trek.

Page after page was written and discarded. Deadlines came and went. Soon Disney started getting anxious that JJ wasn’t trying hard enough and threatened to send around their Mousketeers to remind him of his obligations. The idea of facing off with Christina Aguilera terrified JJ, as it’s well known that she fights…DIRTY!!

Then, on the brink of hunger and starvation… JJ was visited by 2 Ghosts.

The Ghost of Star Wars Past and The Ghost of Star Wars Present.

 “Use the force, JJ”

It was Sir Alec Guinness!

“And by that, I mean….Use George Lucas”

"But, he drove Star Wars into the ground", said JJ.

“The George of Star Wars present did that. NOT the George of Star Wars past”

"I don’t understand what this is supposed to mean!" JJ didn’t understand what this was supposed to mean.

But before Alec could say much more, he was interrupted by Hayden Christensen who sounded as if he was in a serious amount of pain. And by that I mean he was acting.

“It’s not about the CGI or making things look new, JJ! You have to look back!” yelled Hayden, being super intense and deep and shit.

He threw a small toy at JJ, who finally understood what Alec and Hayden were trying to tell him. He looked down at his palm and there lay a small, highly detailed…model!

JJ was excited.

"Of course! That’s it! Instead of looking to the future for inspiration, I need to look to the past. What people loved in the first place. Models!"

Hayden and Alec smiled at each other, proud that they had been of some assistance as JJ picked up a pen and paper and feverishly began writing the NEW Star Wars.

Attempt 4, Final Draft. Star Wars – Episode 7

Opening credits. The camera slowly pans upward to reveal a ship. A ship that doesn’t look shiny, doesn’t look new and is packed full of super hot Runway Models!

WOOOHOOOO!

The End

This week I’ll be hosting a couple of gigs around Melbourne.

Tonight I’ll be at Local Laughs at The Taphouse in St Kilda with Michael Williams, Tom Ward and lots more.

Tomorrow I’ll be at Puggs In Space at Pugg Mahones, Hardware Lane with Catherine Deveny, Geraldine Hickey and heaps of other amazing comics.

https://www.facebook.com/PuggsInSpace?fref=ts

I hope to see you around!

The Reunion

Last week the lovely people from Fanfiction asked me to be a part of their Harry Potter themed opening show and I was thrilled!

Nice people+Harry Potter jokes = Tegan Happy times.

Initially I attempted to write a piece all about Cho Chang and her life after Hogwarts, but this ended up happening instead. It’s called “The Reunion” and after having the pleasure of reading it out at both Fanfiction and The Shelf, I’ve decided to put it to rest here.

Enjoy x

 

The Reunion- By Tegan Higginbotham

It was 2am in the morning in London, and in a small room down a dark street there sat a man clutching his face in his hands. A man who by all accounts had done nothing worth writing about for the past 20 years. In fact, 19 of them were so boring if I were a writer myself I’d have be inclined to skip over them entirely. Even if that not what any of my fans wanted. Even if it made them feel sad, and cheated and angry after they’d invested so much time into my stories. I still would have done it.

Silent and alone sat the man formally known as “The Boy Who Lived”

On the surface, the death of Lord Voldemort had seemed like a godsend for many. But with 56% of the wizarding community’s employment stemming from the containment, study or destruction of the Dark Arts, jobless rates had shy-rocketed. And for those few students who instead of studying during their final years at Hogwarts had dedicated their time to Dumbledore’s Army, they’d found themselves having to seek fortune in less than conventional ways.

Dean Thomas was broke after spending several years trying to introduce soccer to the magical community. Cho Change wrote a controversial tell-all story about Harry Potter and their brief love affair titled “Cho Chang is Wet”. And Colin Creevy found himself doing time in Azkaban after his enthusiasm for taking photos of students landed him in trouble.

Worst of all was Katie Bell, who earned her living at the only known wizarding strip bar “The Sordid Wand”, where she entertained guests by fitting an entire Basilisk up her.

And then, there was Harry. Once the Ministry of Magic had officially decommissioned it’s last Auror, Harry has resigned himself to a life of public appearances and inspirational speeches. But the boredom was crippling him, and he was finding it hard to breathe.

Soon light began to creep into to the tiny room.  Ginny startled Harry. Mostly because he hadn’t heard her come in but also because of her face.

“We’d better get ready for the DA reunion”, she said. “I can’t believe it’s been 20 years”.

“I can”, said Harry.

He packed his bags, grabbed his wand, and reminded Ginny to put on a little more make up. He turned and looked at his home one last time. Harry knew he was never going to return.

The 20 year reunion of Dumbledore’s Army was being held in the Hogs Head in Hogsmeade, which had been purchased and renovated by Seamus Finnegan before he accidentally exploded himself and 14 children whilst trying to play fetch with a puppy.  It was a thoroughly surprising accident.

The room was alive with greetings. Present was Neville, Luna and Susan Bones who’d most certainly taken after her father. Not only because she now worked for the Ministry of Magic, but also because she had early onset menopause and had grown a beard. Parvati and Padma Patil had accidentally splinched themselves together after a poor attempt at apparition so now lived as conjoined twins. And George Weasley was also present. Since the death of his brother, George had dedicated his life to trying to clone himself. But so far he’d only managed the make 14 Sigourney Weavers and a half alien half human.

Harry embraced his friend Ron closely. Genuinely happy to see him again.

“Have you seen Hermione?”, Harry asked.

“Not for a few weeks”, said Ron.

Once Ron and Hermione’s kids had started their time at Hogwarts, they’d felt little need to continue their crumbling relationship. Not to mention the fact that as soon as Hermione left high school she cut her hair and became ridiculously hot. Even straight people like me considered going there. And she realised she could do much better than Ron.

By this stage, the entire room was full. And Harry felt alive for the first time in years.

"Welcome, my friends", he said.

"I’m so glad you could all make it. I understand that since the battle of Hogwarts, many of our lives haven’t quite turned out as we’d hoped. In fact, since we ended the reign of Dark Magic and welcomed peacetime into our world, it has slowly been falling apart."

And Harry was right. Without anything to fight for, the magical community had soon begun losing it’s identity. The first McMagicDonals had opened two years prior. And since Steve Jobs had faked his own death and started practicing magic, iParchments were now replacing books 20-1.

Harry had the full attention of the room.

"I have been questioning my actions for many years, and I genuinely believe I may have made a mistake.

There cannot be light, without darkness. There cannot be joy without pain. And our ways will not survive, without the balance that black magic creates.”

"Harry", said Hermione, looking flustered for no particular reason.  “What are trying to say?”

"Yes Harry, what?", asked Cho, who was crying.

"It’s time for the boy who lived… to start living again"

Harry rolled back his sleeve to reveal a tattoo of a snake protruding from the mouth of a sunken skull. He pressed his wand to it and the room was suddenly dark.

“This is only time I will ask you”, said Harry. “Are you with me, or are you against me?”

"Have you gone bleeding crazy?", yelled Ron

"Lovely Jubly", added Jamie Oliver.

"No, I haven’t gone crazy. In fact, I am seeing thing clearly for the first time in my life. Join me now, or there will be a dark mark floating above every single one of your homes by the time the week is out."

Neville Longbottom, stepped forward.  And without breaking eye contact with Potter uttered two words under his breath… “It Begins”.

From that moment onwards, Dumbledore’s Army reignited under it’s new leader, Nevil Longbottom, as they fought to end the reign of the man formally known as “Harry Potter” but now known as “Lord RaterThyPro”- Good at killing, bad at anagrams.

The end.

 

Fanfiction will be playing every Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the Comedy Festival and I highly recommend you go see this joyful and hilarious show. For more info, go here: http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/fanfiction-comedy

Or keep a listen out for Justin Hamilton’s next ‘Can Yo Take This Photo Please” Podcast where he interviews two of the Fanfiction stars.

 

 

So motherhood ISN’T like the Huggies ads?

 

It’s 7.15am. Nami Clarke is in her kitchen covered in a mixture of vomit, apple puree and non-toxic paint. No, she hasn’t been on some obscure all-night hyper-coloured fruit bender.  This is just another run-of-the-mill morning for Nami, who three years ago made the terrifying decision to become a mum. Yep, she made people. Small ones. Ones that not only need help feeding, bathing and clothing themselves, but don’t even know how to make a set-top box work. Crazy, right?

As a 24 year old, single onlooker, I find the entire thing baffling.  But Nami not only manages to make all of this work whilst still jugging the responsibilities of her two growing businesses, she also seems to be happy. Really happy.

And with Mother’s Day just over a month away (I know, I know! Christmas was only yesterday, haven’t even gotten through Easter, blah blah blah), one can’t help but think about what it must be like to be a Mum in Australia. 

Personally, I’m still on the fence when it comes to having kids. It’s only in the past couple of years I’ve mustered up the courage to wear tight fitting clothes and I think I’d like to explore that for a bit longer.

However my time working alongside Nami has been valuable, not only in the sense that I can now completely confirm that the stork does not exist. But I’ve also witnessed a much more accurate depiction of what it means to be a mother and trust me, those Huggies ads are NOT it.

After the birth of her first child, Mannus, Nami suffered from postnatal depression, a condition that affects more than 15% of childbearing women in Australia. So unlike Fanny in “Robin Hood – Prince Of Thieves” who has a baby, instantly bonds then two seconds later is off fighting battles with Kevin Costner, the realities of child birth are sometimes a little different. 

In fact, Nami experienced her first ever Mother’s Day just 8 weeks after Mannus’s birth and instead of sitting around eating Roses Chocolates in a brand new pair of Peter Alexander Jammies, she was slumped on the couch endlessly crying or, for a short while, in the bathroom where she decided to shave off all of her hair. Yep, Nami did a Britney.

Nami was fortunate, not only because she has the kind of bone structure that can make a pixie cut look good, but also because she found a GP who could assist her with a mental healthcare plan. Nami was also supported by her friends and family, who took the time to understand her situation. But for some others in Australia, this isn’t the case. And with the stigmas of postnatal depression still circulating throughout the media and the general population, some people can be left feeling judged, isolated and guilty.

Nami has made it her personal goal to help fight these stigmas, and increase awareness amongst the community about postnatal depression, so that anyone struggling with it can feel assured that they haven’t done anything wrong and that they’re not alone. 

Skip ahead to Mother’s Day number two, and Nami had just enjoyed a jaunt in the country-side on a ‘baby-moon’, before the arrival of her second child in just 7 weeks’ time.  Then during what was meant to be a routine ultrasound at 33 weeks, Nami was told by Doctors that her baby girl had Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease, a rare and life threatening genetic condition.

What followed on from this were the hardest weeks of Nami’s life, as she didn’t know if she’d ever get to take her baby home and the doctors didn’t know if Dulcie would survive labor.

Thankfully, I can now tell you all that little Dulcie did survive. I know this because I few weeks ago I got to look after her for a while and she decided my chin would make for a perfect chew-toy. Fabulous.

As I finish writing this piece, it’s just ticked over to 10.30am. Nami has dropped the kids off at daycare, seen 2 clients and is getting ready for her 3-hourly “breast-pump” session (I won’t even go into this, but it frightens me on a deep, deep level). As soon as she leaves work she’ll be busy until midnight taking care of the kids and finishing off any extra work that might have popped up. If she’s lucky, she might get 5 hours of unbroken sleep.

Horrible, right? Yet for some reason unbeknownst to me, Nami thinks this is all worth it. And this Mother’s Day, instead of demanding a Victoria Cross of Australia for self-sacrifice in the face of the enemy (or baby, depending on what you want to call it), Nami will be appreciating her to kids and celebrating the mere fact that they’re alive.

C.r.a.z.y.

So in honor of my wonderful colleague, this year I implore everyone not to get wrapped up in the pastel colored, Hallmark driven hype of Mother’s Day, but instead simply to recognise the genuine effort women put into raising us shmucks. The physical and mental toll can be outrageously high and the recognition only minor. So by all means, go get your Mum some Jammies. Throw in some chockies as well. But don’t forget to thank her, ACTUALLY thank her. Because through the incredible stresses that child-raising can be, she definitely still found time to love you.

 

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Here’s Nami, Mannus, Dulcie and Andy.