With the 4am wake ups of a triple j breakfast host out of the way, the worst thing Tom Ballard has to experience is the jet lag gained from travelling and gigging two months abroad.
“It is over I think,” he queries of the jet lag that clung on for a week.
In truth, there were many perks along with the early wake ups Tom had to endure in his gig alongside friend Alex Dyson (who still remains as triple j breakfast host alongside Matt Okine).
“I’m definitely a better comic for not getting up at 4am every day,” Tom jests. “But I’m so grateful for that gig and the people who listened and the people who then came along to my stand up – it means a lot.
“After four years I was thinking if I really want to be a better stand up then I should throw myself into that fully and step away a little bit. Stepping away from a full time gig at the ABC means I can be myself.”
That freedom has seen Tom delve head first into a series of shows, sharing his political viewpoints and his even stronger wit. Gone are the days of mentioning his genitals (though we’re sure they’re not too far behind). Instead one-liners of assassinating politicians, not supporting rowers and gun laws are delivered with Ballard’s oft-sarcastic commentary. There really is a freedom in going out on your own – politically and comically.
“ I like putting it out there and I think it’s important for people to talk about,” he says of discussing ethical subjects like immigration and detention centres.
“I think there’s certainly a right way to do ethically conscious comedy. It doesn’t have to be like that.”
Also with a friend in an immigration centre (as Tom has previously mentioned in standup) there’s a deeper drive for making these jokes stick. Though ultimately, Tom has thrown away the constant 4am wake ups, playlists and mixing boards of his working life to following his passion.
“If you talk about stuff in the world or something you’re passionate about – which is something I do in my standup – I found myself thinking so much more about politics and caring about it much more. And not being able to stop myself from thinking about it and finding talking about that a lot more rewarding than talking about Facebook or my private life – which I used to do a lot more. And that’s how it manifested itself,” he says.
“If comedy can be really smart and cut through but also be really funny and making a point and bringing light to stuff that we don’t always hear about in the mainstream media then that’s great.”
Tom Ballard and Geraldine Hickey perform alongside MC Cal Wilson, Luke McGregor, Randy and performances by band Arkie T. Williams & The Mudlarks and bush poet Thomas J. Watson.
Written by Amanda Sherring
When & Where: Comedy 4 Karma, Daylesford Town Hall, Daylesford – October 15