News

Dr. Duck’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival Show

There’s nothing like the presence of a live audience to bring out the best in comic actors, comedy writers and comedy producers. Everything I’m trying to do as a comedy writer and producer is channelled towards making more things before a live audience. I believe you get a better show when you come face to face with the audience. Nowhere to hide. A sense of danger elevates comedy and what could be more dangerous than coming face to face with the people who can make you or break you?

Despite almost all of my TV experience coming in the form of shows that had a live audience aspect, I’ve never produced a show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF).

This year, I’m producing and writing for a 50min sketch comedy show with my sketch comedy group Dr. Duck called “General Quacktitioner“.

Click HERE to see the official poster.

Melbourne writer and actor Andrew Keen started the group. I saw Dr. Duck’s first Fringe show last year, which I thought had a lot of potential. Couple this with the fact I’ve always wanted to be involved in a live sketch comedy show, I was only too eager to take up the offer to write and produce one when Andrew suggested we team up.

Andrew is a terrific sketch writer. I first worked with him when I was head writer of the Channel 31 show Live On Bowen. He and I, as we’ve discovered, have vastly different styles. His work tends to be very dialogue heavy, while my sketches tend to be almost completely devoid of dialogue and very physical. I think we balance each other out quite nicely and the show should be stronger because of it.

For three months, a team of writers met up once a week to write General Quacktitioner. Along with Andrew and myself, the other person who wrote some sketches that made it into the show is Melbourne comedian Ross Purdy. Additional material was also contributed by Nick Mateuszczyk, Ella Gleeson and Amanda Goode.

We’ve got a simply cracking cast: Seon Williams, Olivia Solomons, Eidann Glover, Jon Walpole, Ross Purdy and Andrew Keen.

Rehearsals have already started and things are coming together nicely. It’s always a good sign when a lot of good material ends up not making it into the show.

Following our MICF show, we plan to make a 6x30min sketch comedy TV series with Channel 31. Half of it will be shot before a live audience half shot on location. There’s nothing like putting comedy before a live audience.

I expect applications for writing positions on the show will go out during the week of the 27th March. This time we will be trying something different to how we approached assembling the writers team for our MICF show and will be putting out an open call to people who are interested. Keep an eye out for those callouts on this site!

In the meantime, come and see our MICF show!

Tickets available here: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/the-duck-will-see-you-now

We’ve shot some free sample sketches we’ll be releasing in the lead up to the show. The first one is called Doorknockers and it’s up now!

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Writing funny greeting cards

Greetings!

One thing I discovered I really enjoyed doing in 2016 was writing funny greeting cards. Turns out there’s quite a market for it too…in the UK.

I wrote about my experiences breaking into the UK greeting card market as a writer in the January edition of Greetings Today. Yes, they’re a magazine all about greeting cards.

My article is on Pg 60.

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How to get a cartoon published even though you can’t draw

Apparently the inability to draw is not a factor in becoming a published cartoonist. I’ve always loved cartoons ever since I was old enough to understand what the heck was going on in them. As a comedy writer with a deep love for visual gags, I thought it might be fun to try collaborating with some artists in Australia and New Zealand. After all, as many have told me, coming up with the idea is the hardest part. As far as I’m concerned, drawing the thing is the hardest part. The scene was set for what have turned out to be two great collaborations so far.

The first person I collaborated with, and the person who drew this now published cartoon, which appears in the summer edition of Meanjin Magazine, is a great New Zealand cartoonist by the name of Cory Mathis.

unnamed-2  unnamed-1

Since I moved back to Melbourne at the start of 2016, I’ve also started creating cartoons with Belgium-based Melbourne illustrator, Jack Chadwick. Hopefully we can get some stuff published in the new year.

Both of these guys are incredible artists and I feel very lucky to be working with them.

 

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News comedy TV show ‘The Leak’ and Community TV come to an end

After three seasons, tonight, the final episode of ‘The Leak’ is going to air on Channel 31 at 8.30PM. This will be the last community TV show I ever get to work on, after 6 years of working on Channel 31 shows, starting with Get Cereal TV in 2010.

The reason this incredibly valuable training ground for future screen media talent is disappearing is because the Turnbull Government has decided to stop funding it.

This article by Gil Fewster pretty much sums up my feelings about it.

Though it might not be TV as we know it, Channel 31 will continue online, though it remains to be seen how exactly that will work.

Despite the inevitable sadness about the ending of an era, I’m really excited about the future of TV in the online arena. After all, the show must go on. I hope some of the comedy shows I write and produce in the future actually air on television as we know it, but even if they don’t, in my heart I will always be writing for television.

Here’s a promo I wrote for tonight’s final episode of ‘The Leak’.

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Interview On Podcast “Uncomfortable Is Ok”

A couple of weeks’ ago I was interviewed by Chris Desmond on the New Zealand podcast “Uncomfortable Is Ok“. At no point during the interview did Chris make me feel uncomfortable. But if I did, it would have been ok.

We talked for over an hour. Clearly, what started out as an interview about my comedy writing turned into a first draft of my autobiography.

http://uncomfortableisok.libsyn.com/episode-14-honing-your-craft-and-killing-your-inner-editor-with-dean-watson

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Official NCEA Guide to Cheating

When I’m not writing comedy for TV, I’m writing it for New Zealand start-up company LearnCOACH. They make “Free online tutorials for NCEA students and overbearing parents”, as our slogan says.

NCEA is the national qualification for high school students in New Zealand.
LearnCOACH is the most used tutorial website for NCEA students in the entire country.
I love working with them.

At LearnCOACH we believe there is no wrong way to get high marks, so long as you learnt it through one of our tutorials. So I wrote the Official NCEA Guide to Cheating… for all the kiwi students sitting their exams in the coming months.

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