It’s the Tyrell Corporation Comedy Hour!

On Friday, 20th October, I was the guest storyteller at Brisbane improv troupe Big Fork Theatre’s “Cool Story Bro“.

At “Cool Story Bro,” the guest storyteller shares tales from their past, based on audience prompts, which then become fuel for improv sketches by the troupe. It’s an interesting format with roots in the work of the Upright Citizens Brigade, which has been home to the likes of Amy Poehler, Donald Glover, and Aziz Ansari.

You can watch Tina Fey doing this kind of storytelling here:

I’m no Tina Fey, but I did my best. My stories came from the audience call-outs “cats”, “whales” (or “Wales”), and “first kiss”. As always with these things, it was entirely terrifying & nerve-wracking right up until the moment you stepped on stage and just had to do it.

I’ve been getting all excited about memories lately – how they blur the bounds between fact and fiction, how they might be shared or transplanted between us. And I like challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone.

I found stories from my life and told them messily and honestly, with plenty of detail for the improv troupe to riff off. In turn, they made skits about talking meteorites, a school for nervous possums, and TV cookery shows. It was fun to see your experiences reworked into something that preserved only the vibe; details warped and reworked into new contexts, themes you hadn’t spotted in your own tale coming to the fore.

Read more

#NotEnoughScifi: John M. Ford & the Funny Business / Part 2

Life is messy. The structures and services we design need to reflect that.

Creative responses to the world resist programming and procedure. You have to be flexible when you seek to address the challenges of this uncertain, unpredictable existence.

And if you’re going to plan and scheme a better future, that process should be intellectually stimulating, exciting: fun, even. Because if a vision of the future doesn’t engage, convince, and inspire, how are you going to make it work?

Let’s talk about Star Trek.

915sai2l15l

Read more

Marvellous, Electrical: …and, kill Hitler!

I visited South Australia last week, so of course I had to say hi to the Adelaide-based creators of Danger 5, one of the most unusual and provocative Aussie TV shows of all time.

The action comedy pits five Allied agents against the forces of Nazism in a warped version of World War II incorporating mind-controlled dinosaurs, a seagull-headed military officer, and the lost city of Atlantis.

In its second season, the show takes a dark and dramatic turn, becoming a serialised revenge epic set in a strange version of the 1980s, ripped from the shelves of a VHS rental store.

The whole project is the brainchild of filmmakers Dario Russo and David Ashby. I talked with them about their surreal brand of action adventure, the need to laugh at Hitler, cosmopolitanism, fascism, and the glorious world of B-movie pulp.

Read Marvellous, Electrical: …and, kill Hitler! here.