"Take the plunge, have fun and have a structured set. Don't put too much pressure on yourselves and enjoy the experience," is the advice from promising Indigenous comedian, Joshua Warrior to the competitors in the upcoming Deadly Funny competition.
Describing himself as a "32 year old Aboriginal unemployed single dad with one functioning eye" Joshua Warrior is not afraid to draw on his own experiences for his stand-up routines. His upcoming show ‘Straight Outta Comedy’ at the Adelaide Fringe, 3rd-5th of March, is about the different communication styles of Indigenous Australia, as well as about his vision problems, family and parenthood.
A Kokotha man living on the Adelaide Plains, he describes growing up in the only Aboriginal family in his area as feeling “like a cocoa pop in a bottle of milk”.
Joshua Warrior said the best part of his involvement with the Deadly Funny competition was the networking opportunities it provided with other finalists. After meeting Karen Edwards from Queensland and Dane Simpson from New South Wales at the Showcase performance last year, the trio has produced their own show ‘Aborigi-LOL’ for a two-week run at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, starting from April 5th.
The competition, which is heading into its 10th year, allows entrants a workshop with a professional comedian before they perform their five minute routine for the special guest judges. The selected state finalists then go on to perform at the Finals Showcase at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Some prior comedy experience, including being a finalist in 2010, put Joshua Warrior in good stead at the State Heat with his stand-up routine.
“I was always a class clown and loved making people laugh, so I grabbed the opportunity. I'm pretty comfortable in the spotlight!”
As a finalist he was awarded a trip to Melbourne for the Showcase event at the Melbourne Comedy Festival which was hosted by comedians Judith Lucy and Andy Saunders. The $2000 grand prize was won by Nina Kirby and fellow alumni Karen Edwards was awarded the Institute Of Koorie Education Deadly Funny mentorship as runner-up, which allowed her to be professionally mentored by comedienne Judith Lucy.
Joshua Warrior will try his own hand at a hosting gig during the Tasmanian heat of the Deadly Funny competition on the 8th of March.
The three to five minute routine can be a sketch, musical piece, stand-up routine or a character or dance based piece and up to three people can be involved. The State heats of the Deadly Funny competition start from the 18th of February in Western Australia, giving up-and-coming Indigenous comedians their chance on the big stage.
As a strong believer in laughter as the best medicine Joshua Warrior claims “it can lift your spirit if you’re feeling down and it can take a negative into a positive.” So if you feel like sharing the love around register for the workshops and heats in your state by visiting the Deadly Funny website.