Monthly Archives: November 2009

The future of being awesome

Inspiration is a wonderful thing. I’m not the most touchy-feely guy on the planet (surprised?) but I do look for things to inspire me to do better. I particularly like finding something that is aimed at a particular target group that is definitely not me but it still resonates with me. When someone is able to cross boundaries like that, it leads me to think they may be onto something.

I found this sort of inspiration recently when catching up with a blog I read semi-regularly – Joel on Software. Joel Spolsky runs a software development company and his primary audience is software developers but his writing is frequently applicable to a wider audience. It isn’t a huge surprise that the piece that gave me my inspiration was Joel talking about his own inspiration for the future.

He was quoting Kathy Sierra’s advice to help your users be awesome. Joel translated this into nerd-speak as: “We help $TYPE_OF_PERSON be awesome at $THING”. In his world, that becomes making software developers be awesome at making software. I’m not involved in a software development company but I am involved in a very interesting project and I realised this motto was directly applicable to our plans.

Some very clever and experienced (not to mention downright sexy) people I know are about to launch a major initiative for comedians in Melbourne and I am helping (mainly with the online component and video production). When I read the Joel On Software post I instantly realised his aims for software development were our aims for comedy. We will help comedian be awesome at doing comedy.  

The others running this project have very long history in the Australian comedy industry as working comics as well as directing comedians and running venues. I’m more of an enthusiastic amateur which is why they are running things and I am helping. So if you’re a working comedian in Melbourne (or even an aspiring comedian) you might want to stay tuned. And sorry if you’re somewhere else but this will be relevant to Melbourne only. The type of intensive work we’re talking about doesn’t work over long distance, it has to be face to face.

One of the big reasons for this project is that the comedy “industry” in Australia sucks. It sucks balls. Not good balls. Nasty, sweaty dog’s balls. Even in Melbourne, which fancies itself as being arty and cultural, it’s a constant struggle for comedians. There’s the Comedy Festival and the Fringe Festival but unless you’re already an established star it’s pretty much impossible to make a living from them. The rest of the year there are only one to three venues that actually pay performers. In other words: it’s shit.

Seriously, my meagre earnings from the YouTube partnership put me ahead of (conservatively) 90% of people who consider themselves working comics in Melbourne.  So a big part of making life awesome for comics will be to open up more opportunities to actually make a living from performing. But the backbone will be creating an environment that gives comedians both the training and the opportunity to be awesome.

There are far too many people who are creative, talented and working damn hard but still not getting anywhere or being rewarded as they deserve. And I’m one of them, dammit! This is what’s so exciting about this project – it’s about taking control and actually creating our own success. 2010 is going to be a big year for comedy in Melbourne and for me personally. I’ll be posting more updates as the plans become reality. Like all things to do with comedy, it’s all about the timing.

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Filed under Comedy

Poll time:

OK, so I’m reaching out to the internet for help again. I’ve recently started a new regular segment on my YouTube channel called WAINGAFAT Wednesday. It’s on Wednesdays. The acronym stands for Who Am I Not Giving A Fuck About Today?

I was excited when the awesome Blordough AKA Shaun McGlinn volunteered to do me some theme music (he already did the heavy metal Angry Aussie theme I use for my TFU Friday videos). After he did the them I thought I needed some visuals for the opening as well and I’ve come up with a few possibilities.

There’s option number one:

Option number two:

Option number three:

In case you can’t tell, number two is a slightly sped up version of number three.  So let me know, which one do you think works best?

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Filed under Video Blogging

Shark punching for fun and profit

It seems summer is early in Australia. The southern states are getting a heatwave at the start of November – something we don’t usually see until January. And the sharks are active.

Shark patrols have started early because the shark attacks have already started. A spear fisherman from Adelaide is currently recovering in hospital from injuries he sustained in a shark attack. You might say he was lucky his injuries weren’t worse. You’d be wrong.

Luck had nothing to do with it.

You see, when 25 year old Dean Brougham was attacked by a shark, he didn’t rely on luck to escape. He punched the motherfucker until it let him go. That’s right, in Australia, that’s how we roll. We punch sharks. Little kids are taught it at school. Right after finger painting we do shark punching.

We don’t have surfers in Australia either, that’s just what we tell the rest of the world so the tourists aren’t scared off. Mark Occilupo, Layne Beachley, Mick Fanning… they aren’t world champion surfers. They are world champion shark punchers.  They’re only out in the surf to punch sharks. They end up surfing because the waves get in the way.

Speaking of shark attacks, check out this photo of a 3 metre long (10 foot) shark caught off Queensland.

 

Shark Bite

Now a 3m shark would be scary enough but LOOK AT THE MOTHERFUCKING BITES TAKEN OUT OF THAT MOTHERFUCKING SHARK! From the size of the bites, another shark around double the size of this one has nearly ripped it in half! So that’s a real shark about the size of the fictional shark in the movie “Jaws”. And it’s fucking with us.

There’s some 6m shark off the coast of Queensland thinking, “You know, before I start chomping on swimmers, I think I will freak them right the fuck out by sending them a little message…”

THAT is the sort of wildlife we have to deal with in Australia. The only thing saving us from being ripped in half by massive Great White killer sharks is BIGGER Great Whites that rip them in half first.

Lucky we’re a nation of shark punchers.

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Filed under General Angriness

And the winner is…

Well, there was a clear winner in the polling for which tie to get – and it arrived!  I thought I’d make a video while wearing it to celebrate.

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Filed under Video Blogging