Hello everyone or should I howdy partners? That’s right I’m in Australia performing comedy and I thought I’d write a blog about my time so far in this fine nation. So sit back pour yourself a glass of perfectly drinkable tap water and get ready to learn about Australia.
I was so excited to get out here and perform, I couldn’t quite believe this was happening to me. On the flight over I was praying that the guy next to me would ask why I was travelling to Australia so I could tell him that I was a comedian. When he eventually broke silence 4 hours into the flight to ask if I would let him up to go to the toilet I instinctively blurted out “I do stand up comedy” to which he looked shocked and confused. Although that may have been down to his imminent bowel movements. On his return Jeremy, explained that he was also travelling to Perth for the fringe festival where he would be performing as a Trapeze artist. I instantly dismissed this as a complete lie and went back to watching a true artist at work, turning on Jason Bourne on the inflight entertainment system. As Matt Damon ran through the streets shooting generic looking Eastern Europeans wearing a selection of the blandest t-shirts in show-business I thought about my own career. How I had got to this point. By this time Jeremy was attempting to show me pictures of him performing at the Royal Variety to which I pretended to be interested in. I thought back to all the gigs I’d done, in the back rooms of pubs, the main rooms of pubs, and in the function rooms of pubs. I saw Matt Damon on the 8 inch screen in front of me running away from burning cars and I thought in many ways coming to Oz is my way of running from the burning car that is the 9-5 working life. I’ve always cycled to work so the analogy doesn’t really work but what I’m saying is I felt elated. I felt like I’d left the day job just as I was about to be consumed in the flames of eternal mediocrity, again the fire evacuation procedure at my place a of work really was second to none but it still felt symbolic. I was now a real, professional performer. By now Jeremy was talking about his charity work and his “performance” at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. I remember looking at Jeremy and thinking “this guy just doesn’t get it.”
When we touched down I was so whipped up with pride that as I stepped from the plane I shouted “AUSTRALIA JOSH PUGH IS HERE TO ENTERTAIN YOU”. In all the excitement I had completely forgot that we were actually in Hong Kong where I would be catching my connecting flight. I didn’t care nothing would bring me down. I adjusted my watch and learned how to say “please” and “thank you” in the local tongue and even bought a guide book which in hindsight was a waste of money for a 20 minute transfer. On the connecting flight I watched Jason Bourne for a second time, I just couldn’t get enough of the culture. I already loved Australia.
And now after over a month here I have nothing but a warm affection for the place, I’ve watched the entire Bourne collection in the apartment and I’ve never felt more at home yet totally excited by a place. The locals are great. I mean wow are these guys chilled out, and coming from me that is quite a statement. You’ve heard the phrase “if he was anymore laid back he’d be horizontal” well I’m so laid back that I’ve gone full circle to the point where I am actually bolt upright, giving the impression that I am not laid back at all. Something which I find highly frustrating. Well these guys take it to a new level. In the first week I met a lovely local man called Sam who I heard was planning a BBQ for that weekend. I messaged him for further details and Sam being the casual local he, is didn’t respond until a full week after the event. In fact he was so Lasse Faire that he had no recollection of us even meeting. Classic relaxed Aussie, despite having to bin over $200 worth of meat I’d bought especially, I completely understood. I was just glad that Sam had the time to create a Facebook event and invite the rest of my travelling party as I would have hated for those guys to miss out too.
The gigs have been great too, I’ve been doing 3 shows a night, I saw a billboard today with Jeremy on it, flying through the the air in a packed out tent, I thought about him, his life, our meeting and I hope that one day he too will achieve his dream. Who knows he may even be able to fill my old post at the department for work and pensions.