Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow with Tom Ballard

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Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow with Tom Ballard

You’d know his voice if you heard it but chances are you wouldn’t be intimite with the jokes his penis is involved in – jokes that Tom will kindly be sharing with audiences as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow. We had a chat to Tom about what he’s been up to post-triple j and general funny stuff.
Hi Tom, thanks so much for chatting to us, where are you and what are you up to at the moment?
I’m currently in my hotel’s cafe in Melbourne, awaiting a big fat pasta lunch that I’m going to demolish with my facehole. We started this leg of the Roadshow last night in Bundoora and tonight we’re heading to Bayswater. Showbiz!
What have been some of your MICF festival highlights from this year?
I didn’t get to see a whole bunch of shows, but I loved Josie Long, Sammy J & Randy, Becky Lucas, Tommy Dassalo, Karl Chandler, James Acaster and Myq Kaplan. Hmm – I guess that’s a few. But hands down the best moment of the entire three and a half weeks was on the final night when a very drunk Lawrence Mooney slapped me in the face in the street whilst Stephen K Amos looked on and giggled.
You still have Sydney and Perth Comedy Festivals as well as the Roadshow booked in over the coming months. What are your plans for the rest of the year, will you be making any international appearances?
I will indeed – I’m going to be doing my first ever show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. I am terrified and excited and thrilled and worried and terrified. All of the emotions.
Since leaving the triple j breakfast, you’ve been very focused on your stand up, even releasing the DVD of your ‘Is What He Is’ tour and a recording of ‘Since 1989’. Have you got plans to be releasing any new recordings during this busy year?
I would seriously love to; I feel I have a new solid hour of material that I’d be keen to record in some way and get out there. It’s just the tricky practicalities of it – I’d want to make sure it’s filmed/recorded really well and could be released via my website at a reasonable price. Trust me, if it happens, I’ll be banging on about it for ages.
As a regional Victorian native, are you looking forward to heading out on the Roadshow tour?
I really am! I have a lot of family in Horsham so it will be fun to gig there, and MCing a big sold out show in my home town of Warrnambool means a lot to me. MAYBE NOW THOSE KIDS FROM HIGH SCHOOL WILL SEE I’M COOL…
Do you find the regional shows very different from the big city crowds?
Probably the major difference is their level of excitement about the gig, to be honest. For a lot of these crowds, the Roadshow is the only live comedy they’re seeing all year, so they’re PUMPED. If they get on board with your dickheadedry, it’s exhilarating.
Do you get back to your hometown, Warrnambool, very often and how do you like performing there?
I was just there at the start of this week after the Comedy Festival ended to see Mum and Dad and take advantage of their home cooking – that was lovely. Going back is great, it really is a lovely town and a bunch of my friends still live there and I love catching up with them.
I grew up performing in the local amateur musical theatre company productions which I LOVED (probably a little bit too much), but in terms of comedy, well…in 2010 I booked out the main theatre for a “One Night Only” show, and only sold about 90 of the available 320 tickets. That was a nice little reality check – turns out I’m not quite Hughesy yet.
What can fans expect from you at this year’s show?
Because I haven’t toured to any of these places before, I’ve really got about seven years of jokes to draw on, so expect me to be banging on about my favourite heckles, my penis and its whacky adventures, life, death, God, music and [INSERT LOCAL REFERENCE HERE].
As arguably one of Class Clowns and RAW Comedy’s most successful comics, what advise can you give to a buddying funnyman or woman?
STOP DOING IT IMMEDIATELY YOU’RE NOT FUNNY AND THIS INDUSTRY IS OVERCROWDED….and if that didn’t deter you, good for you. Figure out what makes you funny and try to find your original voice. Don’t panic if that takes anywhere between 5 and 20 years. Screw the money, awards and reviews – if you’re not doing it because you love comedy, then get out. Also – ignore all advice. Including this.
When & Where: Ararat Performing Arts Centre – Ararat – May 8, Aireys Pub, Aireys Inlet – May 9, The Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool – May 10, Her Majesty’s Theatre, Ballarat – June 12, Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo – June 18 & Colac Performing Arts and Cultural Centre, Colac – June 20.