The past few months…

Happy Winter, everyone!

Yes, it’s winter. And holy shit is this year flying or what? Did you know that Christmas is tomorrow? Like, actually tomorrow! … Or the next day, BUT IT’S SOON!

In the spirit of time flying, I also realised that the Comedy Festival finished quite a while ago and I’m yet to thank a few very important people who really made this year come together. So here goes:

The Audiences; who for another year supported me. I’m eternally grateful.

Harley Breen, my Director. “Put the script down, Tegan!”. He was very right.

Adams Management, who produced me this year. You guys were smashing!

Nato and Al, my housemates who put up with mental absence for a month.

K is a letter nothing starts with.

Susan Provan and everyone else who works for the festival. You guys bust your balls and I appreciate it!

Hammo… an endless source of support and advice.

Everyone who saw my ramshackle trial shows and offered feedback.

Angela, Tom, Jacinta, Julie and all the other wonderful staff at The Portland.

Paul Verhoeven, for the post-show drinks and the pre-show pep talks.

Some other person I forgot….

I’d also like to offer a particularly special thank you to Max and Ivan for allowing me to be a part of their monumental show, “The Wrestling”. Not only was it one of the most enjoyable performance experiences of my life, but it meant I got to meet and work with all the amazing people from Melbourne City Wrestling, fight choreographer Dan Head, wrestler Rishi Ghosh and of course, Sam Simmons; who was one of the highlights of my entire festival.

(Sam Simmons “Suplexing” me. Photo by Jim Lee) 

Stuff on Camera:

Some of you may have had a chance in this past year to watch the hilarious online series “Written it Down” created by Matt Saraceni and Dave Zwolenski. Well, thanks to iView’s ‘Fresh Blood” initiative, the boys were able to make a third series featuring Luke and Wyatt, Liam Ryan, Gillian Cosgriff, Michelle Nussey, Paul Verhoeven and heaps more. You can read more about it in the Sydney Morning Herald here.

Aunty Donna and Fancy Boy will also have their work screened by Fresh Blood, so make sure you keep an eye on iView and twitter for updates.

In other film news…”Flash”, the short horror film I worked on last year with the team from LateNite films (latenitefilms.com), just screened at Cannes Film Festival! I can’t confirm whether or not Nicole Kidman saw it, but I can’t see why she wouldn’t have, right? And “Dinner For Three”, directed by Joel Kohn and produced by Tom Davies, finally screened on ABC2 as well as showing at The St Kilda Film Festival this week!

Shot from the making of “Dinner for Three”

Fringe on Tour:

For the past year or so I’ve had the pleasure of travelling my show “Million Dollar Tegan” around with Emily Taylor from “Cannonball” and our tour manager Nathalie Devilliers as part of “Fringe On Tour”; an initiative that takes shows from Melbourne Fringe out to rural parts of Victoria. Two weeks ago I performed ‘Million Dollar Tegan” for what will most likely be the very last time in The City of Kingston and despite being very sad to put the show to bed, I was incredibly grateful to have the support of The Fringe for such a long and rewarding season. 

Tasmania and AdelaideComedy.com:

I’d like to say a big special thanks to the hilarious Tracey Cosgrove, Steward Bell and the ever-supportive Craig Egan for inviting me to travel interstate and perform at their venues. I’ve had such a good time over the past month meeting new comics and audiences. If you do live in Tassie or SA and haven’t yet visited The Waratah Hotel in Hobart, Fresh in Launceston or one of Craig’s many Adelaidecomedy.com rooms, you’re missing out! Michael Workman will be hitting Tassie soon and Adelaide has Akmal and Claire Hooper to look forward to in the coming weeks. 

And finally, some links to other work:

"Jimmy Moves House"- A new children’s series illustrated by Paul Verhoeven and written by myself.

"The Bump, just like chocolate but easier to ban"- My latest piece for Sunday Age Sports.

My Instagram account…because I didn’t think I was addicted to my iPhone enough.

Logies Wrap Up… With added zombies

So how marvelous were those Logies, right guys? The glitz, the glamour, the awkward silences whenever the audience forgot to laugh at one of the masterfully crafted jokes. Stunning! In fact, the only bit I didn’t love was the ending, because I couldn’t help but think “Oh no! What on Earth do I have to look forward to now?” But then I remembered…the Brownlow is coming up! And the Melbourne Cup! Then it will be Christmas! Soon after that, we’ll celebrate New Years, and all that “Going Back to School” advertising will kick in. Maybe they’ll release a new iPhone? Then it’s Easter again and before I know it…more Logies! Wow. Don’t you just want to kill yourself?
 
Ok, so I didn’t love the Logies that much. In fact, I sat there for most of the night hoping, nay, praying that something would happen. Something to mix things up a bit. To break our repetitive, cyclical lives out of the mind-numbing rut they’re in. Did I want a boob to fall out? Not really. We’ve all seen that before. Maybe somebody could get his or her cock out? It would at least be different. But then again, startled wang is rarely visually appealing.
 
I didn’t quite know what I was longing for until I saw the brainless cast of Home and Away hit the stage to accept their “Best Drama” award (PS: Very deserved!). No brains. No…brains? OH! THEY SHOULD ALL GET EATEN BY ZOMBIES! Seriously, how amazing would that be? Sure, we’d lose some good men and women in the fray. Essie Davis was a genuinely good actress and Carrie Bickmore looked tremendous (it’s always sad to see someone with such impeccable style get eaten by Zombies).
 
Granted, a few would survive. The Biggest Loser trainers, of course. Not only would they manage to escape but suddenly they’d have the Zombies doing sit-ups whilst simultaneously stripping down to their undies and crying. And Matt Preston would also get out by somehow turning the tables and eating the zombies instead (with a piquant pomegranate jus). But all in all, the Logies would become a raging celebrity blood bath….and instead of reading about “Who Wore It Best” the next day, like we do every year, we’d get to cancel work, contact loved ones and start planning our survival. Great!
 
Is it just me, or does anyone else feel that life has become so damned repetitious they’re feeling borderline numb? I know that Zombies aren’t ideal. And please don’t confuse me for someone who wants people to die. My motto in life, (other than “don’t be a dick”) is generally a simple “I hope everyone is ok”. But seriously, something has to change. If I read another article outlining the benefits of eating dark chocolate (Really? REALLY? Please tell me because I haven’t already heard this TWENTY BILLON TIMES ALREADY!) I may end up topping myself.
 
I’m willing to negotiate on what sort life-shaking apocalyptic disaster the world needs. I’m not beholden to the whole zombie thing. An alien invasion could be fun! Not only would it shake things up a little, but we’d all have an opportunity to connect with our inner crop-dusting/fighter-jet flying war hero and finally get an excuse to shout things like “All right, you alien assholes! In the words of my generation: Up Yours!”- a line Tony Abbot can be heard yelling regularly at the vastness of the ocean that separates Australia from Indonesia. 
 
In fact, as long as the disaster doesn’t originate from another human being, I’m open to all options. Triffids, Gremlins, Mummies, Wolves that bum people to death. Even ghosts! I promise, if you wake up being dragged out of bed by an invisible demon, you know what you’re not going to be worrying about? Eddie McGuire saying c*#@ on television.
 
I think technology, fashion, greed and My Kitchen Rules have affected us to the point that we as a society are now fractured. Priorities are muddied, and our core values have diminished. So for the sake of our brains, we need something to try and eat them. We need a reboot. A gritty, Christopher Nolan style reboot. Because when the best drama in our lives in Home and Away, you know you’re in trouble. 

"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!