Getting Naked with Joel Creasey
Rising star on the Australian comedy scene Joel Creasey is bringing his hit show Naked to the 2012 Feast Festival. He spoke to Peter Burdon.
Starkers but for a strategically placed sign, the promotional shot for Joel Creasey’s 2012 show Naked has had the punters storming the box office wherever it’s been. A huge hit at the Melbourne Comedy Festival this year, it’s been his biggest success so far, and he’s happy he’s coming to Adelaide, and even happier that he’s in the Feast program.
“Putting a show together is such hard work,” says Joel Creasey with a laugh, “I was really lucky in my first year when I won the Newcomer award at the Melbourne Comedy Festival in 2010, but I didn’t really have a clue about how to go about actually doing comedy for a living! But I’d made a lot of friends who’ve got lots of experience, and I realised that you’ve more or less got to do a new show each year, then you run with it, do a few trials, see what works and what doesn’t, and then you’ve got something to work with for a while. So in 2011 I did my first full show Political Animal which was great fun. Someone called it a beginner’s guide to becoming Prime Minister, which I liked, because that means the Prime Minister would be gay. Take that, Tony Abbott!”
So for 2012, Joel created Naked. “I decided it was time to get a bit more personal, I guess,” Joel continues, “I’ve had a great start in comedy, and people seem to like it, so I figured it was time to turn to the best source of material any comedian has, which is family and friends! I’ve done a lot of work with Fiona O’Loughlin and her family supplies all her material, and everyone loves it. But it’s all coloured with her own view of people and events, because that makes it obvious that it’s really yours, it’s not as if you’re just reading someone else’s lines. And if you’ve got a sense of the ridiculous, then it’s even better.”
And the reaction to Naked was off the chart. “I did an interview while it was still running in Melbourne,” he says, “And at that point we’d done three weeks completely sold out. And we had a first night I’ll never forget, there were like twenty reviewers there, which never happens, usually they only arrive after a week or so, but they were all there, newspapers, online, everyone, and the reaction was awesome. It was a risk that paid off.”
“What’s great about Naked is that it’s a show I really like doing each night,” Joel continues, “and I think everyone can identify with what I’m getting at. I mean, everyone’s had a dream about finding themselves naked somewhere. And how scary is that? What I mean is that it’s really personal. And I figure I’ve got the balls [oh dear. Ed.] to be personal so why shouldn’t I stand up and tell stories about myself and my family that are ridiculous and funny and all true!”
Joel is happy to be headlining an all-gay comedy line-up at Feast in 2012. “It’s a fantastic program,” he agrees, “and I can’t resist giving a big plug to Nath Valvo, you’ve got to see his Grindr show. We used to flat together so you can imagine how gay that house was. And being Adelaide it means you’ve got the fabulous Lori Bell, who I call the Meryl Streep of the Adelaide scene!”
“If you’re doing a show that’s a bit more focussed on you,” Joel continues, “then for me that means being gay is part of it. I mean, it’s who I am and it’s not a secret! I’m proud and happy to be known as a performer who’s gay. Anyone who’s been around for a while knows that there’s heaps of material there for a comedian!” Though it hasn’t all been fun. “Yeah, there was one night when I literally got chased out of town by a pack of about twenty homophobes. Love you, Colac! And some guy walked up to me not all that long ago and simply said, “I hate you. I despise you.”
“If you’re going to put yourself in the public eye then you have to take it. I get abused regularly on Facebook and Twitter. What they don’t realise is that they’re giving me material for the next night on stage, so thanks, guys!”
Joel Creasey plays from 21 to 24 November. Tix at www.feast.org.au or tel 84630684.