“It sounds serious but it’s funny I promise!” – an interview with Damien Power
Barry Award nominee Damien Power is back at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival with his latest solo show! After taking to the web to decry the failings of Australians with True Australian Patriots and delve into the world of IndyCar racing in Behind the Scenes, Power is back on the stage to Sell Mum Into Slavery. Katherine Back asked him a few questions about the seriousness of his themes, working with big name acts, and the fun of making content for the web.
Your show, Sell Mum Into Slavery, will tackle the “big questions”. Which questions are these, and what should the audience expect from the show?
Well I talk about us as a species a lot, things like violence, genetic modification, evolution, aliens, consumerism and my personal life. The show is really focused on us moving to the next step in our evolution.
Will we make it? What form would a higher species take? It sounds serious but it’s funny I promise! It’s funnier than last year’s show and that show got nominated for best show in the whole festival.
What led you to make a show about these issues?
Well, I’m interested in that stuff off stage. I love science, cosmology, philosophy and sociology. I don’t know why, it really interests me. So all of that makes it into the show but only if it’s funny. If the idea isn’t really funny and only interesting then it gets cut. No one wants to see a lecture.
Your webseries (and Twitter account) takes the piss out of the racing industry’s big names, including your own brother. Was that the main goal of the series? How has your brother handled it?
My brother has a wicked sense of humour so he is fine with it. I think the series had some really great episodes and some that unfortunately had to be cut up by PR people. The goal was just to make fun of racing car drivers for the enjoyment of fans basically. It was a cool project we hope to do it again and build on what we learned.
You’ve supported some huge names in comedy, from Tenacious D to Danny Bhoy. What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen on tour? What’s the strangest thing you’ve done?
I have seen Kyle from Tenacious D show me his testicles as what he described as part of the initiation process.
What other shows are on your must-see list this comedy festival?
Oh man there’s a lot of shows I’ve seen/want to see. Anne Edmonds and Mel Buttle are two of my favourite people – they are so good at cutting into characters and what makes people who they are. The True Australian Patriots is a show myself, Anne Edmonds and Greg Larsen are in that is a satire of the Reclaim Australia movement – it’s a MUST see for the comedy savvy. Just Facebook search for the True Australian Patriots and see the page. It’s amazing watching people who get it, people who don’t, people who do and hate it, people who don’t get it andhate it on both sides of politics.
What other projects are on the horizon for you?
I hope to film this new hour, I want to return to the US to do stand up and hopefully more work with Indy Car. Also continuing work with Anne and Greg on some new projects.
Sell Mum Into Slavery is on at the Melbourne Town Hall from the 24th of March until the 17th of April. Tickets range between $22 and $29, and are available online or from the box office.