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Scout About: South Melbourne Street Fair

February 19, 2012

Once upon a time I was a stand up comedian. My last real gig was in 2008 and although I keep in touch with some of my pals from those days, I don’t think about the stage very often. Sometimes though, you’ll walk into a festival or venue and there’s that whole community. Still doing their thing. It’s wonderful.

It reminded me of a common catchcry amongst MCs introducing acts. “Please welcome to the stage, a very good friend of mine…” Some of those MCs were very good friends of mine. Some of them became to be. Some of them still are.

I didn’t know what to expect from Scout About – the street fair in South Melbourne today. I was pleasantly surprised and very impressed with the amount of street artists, comedians, stilt walkers and bands. For a short stretch of road, it was jam-packed with Melbourne talent. We have a heap, and it was an outstanding day to show it off.

Some of my pals are easy to spot. For example, Clare, who’s often the lady inside this:

Stiltwalkers Australia's amazing Giraffe (aka 'When Buildings Attack')

The costume was designed by Evan Jones. There’s a slither of him in a safari hat on the right there. I would never have imagined back in the day when I met Ev (at impro comedy classes) that we’d become such firm friends, but we have. We don’t always agree (we often don’t) but he’s one of few people in the world I am comfortable and willing to put the energy into disagreeing with. I’ve learnt a lot from him. He and Clare are a fab team and I learn from that too. Plus she loves chocolate just as much as I do.

Here’s Ev and Clare a little later… still high.

Evan (doing his Uncle Sam impression) and Clare in character for Stiltwalkers Australia

Some of my old pals are less easy to spot. But you can hear them from a ways off. Please welcome to the blog… Ryan Coffey. He says the most incredibly offensive things in the most charming manner…

Some faces I hadn’t seen for many years. When I last did comedy my hair was short. Pat Benatar short short, then Amalie short. Now it’s past my shoulders. It means people who I still adore sometimes don’t recognise me at first. One of those people is the incredibly talented puppeteer Lana Schwarcz. For this fair she had a tiny show where you looked with one eye into the stage. It has its own sound track played through earphones and it’s a short, sweet and beautiful piece. Check it out if you ever see her around.

Lana Schwarcz and Tyson (hound)

I also ran into a new friend, one of the makers of The West Winds Gin, Jeremy, was behind the counter at the Lamaro’s stand. My love for The West Winds Gin is well documented. And it was great to introduce some more people to this drop.

Jeremy pouring the good stuff

The West Winds Gin

We ate a lot of tasty morsels, but sometimes you just can’t beat the classics. Like the Rotary stand…

An Australian Institution

Classic snag

Congratulations Scout About – on showcasing some of the best Melburnians around!

ps. South Melbourne is sublime for hound-spotting!

Lovely hound.

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