Why Tom Ballard Thinks Everything's Just Perth-fect

27 January 2016 | 2:03 pm | Tom Ballard

"I can happily confirm that it is now AN UNDENIABLE WORK OF GENIUS THAT IS WORTH YOUR MONEY."

(Pictured: a fool)
Hello you. Welcome to this. 
The Music approached me to blog about my experiences as I tour around ’Straya doing shows at various festivals and I said "No" and they said "Go on" and I said "But it’s not even music" and they said "Shut up" and now here we are. 
I’ll be documenting my shenanigans and scrapes and japes and insights and nonsense for your entertainment over the next few months. I’m touring two shows in 2016: a new hour of stand up called The World Keeps Happening (covering everything from ISIS to cancer to sexism to Asian bakeries) and Boundless Plains To Share, a (hopefully) hil-ARIOUS comedy lecture about Australia’s fucked up immigration situation, from "boat people" to detention centres to Border Force to us trying to kill Johnny Depp’s dogs. 
I’ll try to give you an insight into what life is like on the road for hundreds of comedians like me (or "comedians" like me) who take to stages in theatres, tents, pubs, clubs, storage rooms and diseased alleys at festivals across the country every year so as to yell about their genitals and receive validation from strangers. There will be funny pictures and the occasional piece of audio from my show when things get shit or weird. 
Let’s bloody do this. 
First stop on the 2016 festival circuit is the Fringe World Festival in sunny-and-cashed-up Perth. I’ve flown here all the way from my home town of Warrnambool. 
Warrnambool is currently the ice capital of Victoria but I’m assured that Perth is certainly pulling its weight in the meth-stakes. Congrats! 
I’m halfway through my run here and am having a bloody lovely time. This is the "world premiere" of my show (I expect a lot of my die-hard fans will be flying in from Japan and Luxembourg and Peru to catch it ASAP) so it’s very FRESH. The first night was a "preview" in the strongest sense of the word. After a bunch of jokes going nowhere and my silly little brain forgetting a whole bunch of bits and pieces, I spent the following day kicking myself in the butt and doing a bunch of rewrites and made it hella better. That was days ago though – I can happily confirm that it is now AN UNDENIABLE WORK OF GENIUS THAT IS WORTH YOUR MONEY. 
(Pictured: a funny sign in my dressing room toilet. Bloody management!) 
This show is basically me, at the age of 26, getting worked up about the things everyone else figured out at university. I think I’m a real smarty-pants as I bellow my opinions about income inequality, war, privilege, sexism, homophobia and drugs. But with jokes. 
Unfortunately, I can’t help but feel my insightful polemic about the injustices of capitalism’s excesses is somewhat undermined by the fact that I’m in a venue called "The Gold Digger". 
The good burgers of Perth have been a pleasure to perform for, although they are sometimes…curious. On Saturday night, I asked whether there happened to be any vegans in the house and, er… well, listen for yourself: 
That same night I noticed halfway through the show that a lady in the front row had her phone sitting on her knee and was recording me. Whilst I crave attention from strangers, that really ain’t cool, people. 
(Pictured: some weird lighting thingo resulted in this on the floor of my bedroom the day of my first show. Thanks, Homo Jesus!) 
On Sunday night the one and only David Sedaris was in town and I was lucky enough to introduce him onstage before heading over to my show. When I arrived he looked me up and down and asked, "Is that what you’re wearing?" which I thought was a bit rich because he was preparing to wear polka-dotted culottes. 
Who am I kidding? They look awesome. 
But as fun as that was, there’s no question that the highlight of my time here in Perth occurred on Monday night when, during a routine I have about drugs, an audience member was kind enough to bless me with a little treat. 
Yep, that happened. He palmed a bag of weed and gave it to me in front of a tent-ful of people. 
Holy shit. 
Thanks Perth! Pressure’s on, Adelaide…

Tom Ballard is performing four more shows in Perth — one tonight, one on Thursday, 28 January, one on Friday, 29 January and one on Saturday, 30 January, all at the Perth Cultural Centre.

He's also heading to Adelaide's Garden Of Unearthly Delights from Friday, 12 February to Sunday, 28 February, Brisbane's VISY Theatre from Tuesday, 15 March to Sunday, 20 March and Melbourne's Town Hall from Thursday, 24 March to Sunday, 17 April. 

For more info, head here.