Image courtesy of Perri Cassie.
Here is my interview with Perri Cassie (known as “Melbourne’s most fashionable comedian”- quote from other comedians)
The Australia Times (TATT): When did you start doing stand-up comedy?
Perri Cassie (PC): My first ever gig was at a RAW gig, my friend dared me to do it – I’d always been a writer, they said if you do it (RAW), I’ll do it too. I did, it went pretty well, so I just kept doing it. That was three years ago.
TAT: Why do you like comedy?
PC: Because I’m a narcissist maybe? (laughs) no, I like being the focal point of attention. I’ve always liked writing jokes. It’s great to express to a wider audience, not just people who are on my Facebook. It’s good for self-confidence. It’s nice to be able to write something and have it draw a positive reaction from people.
TAT: You do love your Facebook posts…
PC: Yeah, it’s a great way get material out, because I don’t have enough time to do as many gigs as I want to do, so I put the feelers out there. I use Facebook like a twitter account I guess, I’ve got more people on my Facebook than Twitter. I had a lot of people come to my show last year based on the fact that they had read those statuses.
TAT: What’s your day routine like?
PC: I’ve got a retail job at JB-HIFI. I sell cameras, which is okay. I used to do photography a lot, I used to freelance. It’s a good, flexible job around comedy.
TAT: How do you come up with your material?
PC: A lot of it is based on true events. It’s based on my life, so it’s pretty autobiographical – a lot of things that I hear people say. I like to write a lot about myself and things that happen to me – it’s a good coping mechanism, so if something bad happens to me it’s easier to turn it into a joke- it’s very cathartic.
TAT: Who are your favourite Melbourne based or famous comedians?
PC: Hannibal Buress, Sam Morril, Tom Segura. My favourite Melbourne comics are Jack Druce, Peter Jones and Timothy Clark.
TAT: How would you describe your comedic style?
PC: Quite dry, it’s hard to say, I’ve never really thought about what my own style is so much. I always find it hard to comment on. I just try to be myself, so maybe it’s a little bit awkward. Someone did a comedy blog at a gig I was at and they wrote that I was very understated… which I think is a compliment?
TAT: “Comedians are damaged people” discuss…
PC: (Laughs) I would probably agree with that, I don’t want to comment on anyone else, but between the first time I did RAW and the next year – I had done 10 gigs. I was in a happy relationship – I didn’t really have time for comedy. I had a bit of a bad break-up and then I started to focus on comedy quite hard – my whole style changed. I actually posted a status this morning about how my life is quite stable at the moment everything is going quite well – it’s making it very hard for me to write anything.
TAT: Do you have a favourite moment on stage?
PC: I’ve never had hecklers before. There’s been a few. I had my biggest gig to date at The Comic’s Lounge; I played to about 350 people, which was insane. I did a set that I had done three days earlier, where I timed it and it went for 4 and a half minutes, and I did it at Comics Lounge and it went for 7 and a half minutes because the laughter carried it out for another two minutes. One of the other highlights would be the final show of my Comedy Festival run last year, the last show was oversold, it was a really good vibe, we closed the show with a great skit, and I felt like an actual comedian for the first time. Yeah, that was defintely one of my favourite moments,
TAT: Do you like audience interaction?
PC: No, If I do crowd work it’s just for show, maybe that’s just a nerves thing.
TAT: Do you feel like it’s you on stage or a character?
PC: It’s me on stage. Social media wise it’s more of a character. On stage it’s a more confident version of myself. From what I’ve been told I seem quite confident on stage.
TAT: Tell me about the show…
PC: It’s a collection of my best jokes, but it will have a flow to it – it won’t just be random assortments. The way I feel that about how I write jokes is – I feel that I tune out a lot in life, I spend a lot of time on my phone, a lot of time on the internet thinking about a lot of things. So a lot of my jokes come from the things that I hear out of the corner of my ear or see from the corner of my eye – that kind of thing, so I called it Channel Perri because it’s about me finding things through the static.
TAT: Why should people come and see the show?
PC: Um. Well, I’m a very funny comedian, I do have quite a lot of sharp jokes, I’ve improved quite a large amount – I had a great festival run last year and I was very proud of it. I feel that my trajectory has built quite a lot and I’ll be able to do better than I did last year. I have worked very very hard on it.
Channel Perri is on at The Unknown Union, 1000 Pound Bend
Date: 12th to 23rd of April
Location: The Unknown Union, 1000 pound bend, 361 Little Lonsdale Street
Information: No wheelchair access
Instagram/Twitter – @channelperri