Making herself known as a breakfast radio host, a charting pop-star, a best-selling author and a touring comedian, it can be pretty hard to miss Em Rusciano a lot of the time. Being a prominent media figure who is very open regarding her thoughts and opinions, Rusciano has also become a very divisive figurehead, constantly receiving both fan and hate mail. But, while her opinion might upset the online world, their comments certainly mean very little to her.
“I have received so many death and rape threats in the last year that I am just used to it. Nowadays it’s more so like ‘come at me dog’,” she remarks. “The first time was after I wrote a column saying that I let my kids swear. All I was saying was that I don’t reprimand them if they drop a swear word, if it’s in context. They know when to do it and when not to do it. They are smart girls. I posted a column about that and my god, of all the things I’ve ever said, that was what I have received the most hate mail for. But, if you ask any woman in my position they will be saying the same stories, the death and rape come quickly.”
If you hadn’t noticed, Rusciano isn’t one to judge another based on their behaviour. Instead, she loves it when emotional behaviour affects a persons actions. With a specific interest towards popularised Disney villains, Rusciano’s new comedy tour ‘Evil Queen’ focuses on these characters and what led them to their dark turning point.
“I’ve always been drawn to darker characters because I’ve always found them more interesting. As a kid, I always loved the evil characters in the Disney cartoons,” she laughs. “The show [Evil Queen] also touches on my return to breakfast radio, it touches on my miscarriage, I’ve got a three metre inflatable penis that will be making an appearance, my dad will be involved and there is a big band.
“It’s just a lot of different things that sum up the last year or so for me… Wait! Are you allowed to write the word ‘penis’ in Forte Magazine?”
Yes Em, we can say the word ‘penis’… Forte is all about edgy journalism. In fact, the mention of the three metre inflatable dong can also act as a parental warning that the Evil Queen tour is an uncut version of Em Rusciano – one without the filter of a commercial radio show.
“A lot of people who will be coming along for the first time have only heard me on the radio, so I think they will get quite a big shock,” she laughs. “But if they follow me on social media they would realise that I like to swear a lot. Because I don’t get to at my day job, I really cut loose when I’m on stage. I touch on some pretty taboo topics as well, which I think is important.”
With her own life being the basis for a lot of her comedy acts, Rusciano thinks it’s important to find the humour in a bad situation. As she simply states, “if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.”
When & Where: Palais Theatre, Melbourne – February 16 & 17
Tickets available via ticketmaster.com.au
Written by Alex Callan