MOSH!! *Operator: Cris Pearson(firstname.lastname@example.org)*
Paul Interview here....
Thursday, 07-May-98 10:26:18
This is the second installment of the interview out of the book that Rachael mentioned in a post further down the board (thats where the 1st part of the interview is under)
SO BY 1986 YOU WERE LOOKING FOR OPPORTUNITIES OUTSIDE CANBERRA?
We finished our courses in 1985 so we didn't have any more commitments in Canberra. We got a show together properly and started writing material rather than standing on street corners making it up as we went along, or rehearsing five minutes before we went to town. We used to invent things on the street and if it worked we put it in the show.
A lot of people found us very aggresive at first. This was because if you come from a busking tradition you really have to grab the attention of the audience because if you dont, you don't get their money and you don't feed yourself in that week. That aggresion was coming out because we were interested in people watching us. Transferring that to a theatre show, where people couldn't get away, made it seem more aggresive than most acts around at the time. That interested audiences.
AND YOU AS WELL, TO PUT ON A MASK?
Oh yeah, I'm a very aggresive person as you know.
WHAT EFFECT DID MOVING TO TELEVISION HAVE ON THE WAY YOU WORK?
Television gives you a ver limited time to get ideas across. In a live show we had ninety minutes to two hours. On "The Big Gig", to start with, we only had three minutes. So you just home in on one specific thing and build up the imagery you'd like to associate with those ideas- and the jokes, if there are any there ar the time.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR TIME AT THE EDINBURGH FESTIVAL?
We went over to Ediburgh in 1987. We wanted to go over in '86 but there was a slight act of deception by our agents at the time. They told us they were booking us in- which they didn't do. We confronted them and they said they hadn't booked us, that it was a big world out there and we were being too ambitious and so on. We said: "We're young, we're meant to be ambitious. We shouldn't wait for things, we should go out there and make them happen". Anyway we went... [Mc Dermott empites his teapot out the window into the Swanston Street alleyway.] It hits the street out there. You do it in the morning and you hear the garbos yell out: "Get f---ed".
The first thing we did when we got to Londeon was to go straight to Covent Garden. Fortunately it was a Sunday so we wre in luck. There were buskers everywhere. We had to go and check out with the busking authorities to see if we could play. Tim flirted outragously and managed to get us a site to perform on and we didn't have to do the normal two week audition. We got this great space at Covent Garden and spent two weeks there before the Edinbugh Festival. That was quite an eye-opener as well because we were suddenly making a lot of money busking, enough to exist in London anyway.
There was this great fraternity of buskers there which we never knew about in Australia- professional buskers. They were a great help to us and showed us the tricks of the trade. The weird thing is we meet these people all over the world. We get to Montreal and there'll be buskers we met in San Francisco or you go to Paris or Amsterdamad they'll be working the streets. That's quite incredible and something we were totally oblivious to in Australia because it was always such a lone profession. The standard of buskers here used to be someone with a couple of Neil Young or Bob Dylan songs and that was it.
Ok folks, that's it for this exciting episode. Stay tuned for futher developments.......
(it's too long to type out all at once and I'm tired now and want to sleep!)
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