Friday, December 18, 2009

Good Bye 2009

What an action packed year it has been!
2009 has felt like the year of foundations, time to build things up, time to commit full time to the creation of art and performance and recognition for myself and those artist I work with that all the work is worthwhile. Here are a few highlights for me from the past 12 months;

Suite 16 Studio
It's time was short but so inspiring. Get the Balance Right and How to be a Lady were born there and many lovely evenings sipping red and watching the world go by on the window sill will stay in my mind forever. It was an honor to share the space with the incredible artist and very talented stylist Ramona Telecican who is going from strength to strength with both her business and her creations.

The Time is Now
For myself and many artists friends something clicked this year, something that said it is now or never. Was is the GFC or was it just that the time was right, nearly everyone I know either wrote a new show, created a new piece of art, started that business idea they have always been thinking about etc pretty much a universal biting of the bullet.

Special props need to go to
Ryan Hodge and Tim Fulton who I think have trumphed us all in the bitting of the bullet with securing the lease on a 500 Capacity venue in Kensington which we will launching in 2010 as the newest and shiny-est year-round arts hub/live music venue/festival centre... seriously Melbourne watch this space!!

I learnt to be a Lady
writing, producing and performing my first ever solo show was the funest and most terrifying thing I have ever do
ne and I am so proud of the product. I had a dream Melbourne Fringe season and am busy organising the 2010 touring of my baby to
Adelaide Fringe (The Austral Hotel), Melbourne Comedy Festival (The Forum) and Edinburgh Fringe Festival (TBC). I'm truly living the dream.

and last but certainly not least...

The finding of Atlantis
I was also really proud of Mr Kai Smythe and Tim Mager a.k.a The Minstrels of the Revolution with their first full narrative show 'In Search of Atlantis' which won the 2009 Melbourne Fringe / Melbourne Cabaret Festival Professional Development Award....not bad for a first effort! They will also be on tour for 2010 so watch this space for more updates on their epic adventures!!!!

Thanks to everyone who had a part in the amazing year that was 2009 and here's to even greater adventure for 2010!!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Clown and Me in the News

Check out this article by Florencia Liguori about the evolution of Australian Circus

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Comic Box - Interview with Tess on How to be a Lady

Below is the episode of The Comic Box (Channel 31 - Melbourne) that I was interviewed on last week. I'm on 4th (at the 29min mark) in case you want to skip forward :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Minstrels Win 2009 Fringe Award

The Minstrels of the Revolution won the Melbourne Cabaret Festival Award at the Melbourne Fringe Awards on Sunday night for their premier show 'In Search of Atlantis'.

(Kai with the space invader shaped award!)

2010 will mark the first ever Melbourne Cabaret Festival hosted by The Butterfly Club and City of Port Phillip (amongst others), and is sure to be an event not to be missed. Kai Smythe and Tim Mager are the first ever to receive the award which offers them open access to the 2010 Festival as well as professional development support for the show and the opportunity to present the show at The Butterfly Club.

It came as a complete surprise, Kai was the only one who heard the announcement me and Tim were too busy talking about how we weren't going to win, hah!

The ever gracious David Read presented the award.

Watch this space for further development for 'In Search of Atlantis' at Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne Comedy and more!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Beautiful words for Lady

Amelia Swan came to 'How to be a Lady' at the Loft, on Wednesday night and this is what she had to say in her review. I feel really honored by the care and insight she invested in writing this review and sums up the overwhelming support that the show has received over the festival

"At the Loft at The Lithuanian Club Tess Waters is performing a fabulous comedy show called How to be a Lady. It is a solo, 60- minute show which is delighting audience after audience night after night. It is a show full of superb physical theatre, perfect comic-timing, a rare generosity of spirit with a bit of deeper social meaning to give the audience something to chew on."

Read full review at

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Reviews and Perspective

I woke up feeling very excited this morning after only a few hours sleep, then got a message from a friend saying my review had come out. Now the age old saying is 'don't put too much weight in reviews', but come on we all do.

It's the equivalent of sitting by the phone waiting for 'johnny' to call after that 'swell time' you had, and if he doesn't call we all feel a little sad/let down/lame and if he does then...well...if your wake up everyone in the house at some un-godly hour and laugh yourself silly!

Yep I'm keeping some perspective. Below are the two reviews I have received for 'How to be a Lady', I personally like the second one best, although 'hilarious mime and innovative use of puppetry' is a quote I will be definitely be using in future ;)
BuzzCuts - by Sarah Coull
How to be a Lady is a quirky take on charm
school for thirty-something’s – those who have woken one day to realise their life is beginning to resemble that of Bridget Jones’ far more than they would like. Created and performed by Tess Waters, this physical theatre show depicts the journey of a modern woman trading the vodka and undies for an apron and corset, in an attempt to find one’s ‘inner lady’.Stumbling into the audience at the beginning of the show, this woman far from resembles ladylike. Waters isn’t afraid to let it all hang out, quite literally. In the intimate space of The Loft, the audience is left cringing and feeling slightly voyeuristic when she drunkenly strips down to her underwear, unaware of being watched.

The majority of the show is dedicated to her attempt to become a lady, which is supposedly easily achieved by listening to an instructive cassette. The voiceover of a proper English woman teaching the dos and don’ts’ launches Waters into a medley of how to wear the right bra, find a husband, and be a good wife. This 1950s housewife theme, however, feels a little uninspired and overdone, even with
Waters’ hilarious mime and innovative use of puppetry.
Going from trash-bag, to 1950s housewife, to Germaine Greer in less than an hour, this show leaves you slightly confused, slightly nauseated, and left wondering whether modern day women can be both independent, and ladylike. Whilst it was good for a laugh, the bizarre performance would probably only appeal to those who related to Bridget Jones’s Diary, or simply enjoyed its honesty.

The Age - Helen Razer - 4.5 Stars
"In the instant our heroine emerges from a nimbus of vodka, cheap perfume and despair, I was fairly smitten. If the spectacle of a lush being sick into the void is your idea of a good night out, you'll be infatuated too.

The slapstick narrative sees Waters crawl out of a hangover and into ladylike ambition. A series of self-help and motivational cassettes provide the soundtrack to an internal war. Then, there is the matter of a mambo with a marital aid. This is far better viewed than described

Via means of top-drawer physical comedy, Waters easily succeeds in achieving that which eludes more earnest feminist performers. To wit: she reminds us that femininity is a performance; a set of protocols. And she manages to do this with her tights half off. Waters may of may not be conversant with post-feminist theory. It doesn't really matter because she's funny as hell."

Perspective is a good thing....then again so is enjoying the spoils and getting to second base with johnny!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Audience Feedback Vid

The Buzz from the weekend

Well I'm officially half way through the season and feeling goooood. Tonight marks the end of the middle weekend and the start of the home stretch.

The audience is getting bigger each night and the possibility of a 'sell out' is actually looking like a possibility (fingers enthusiastically crossed)!

Here's some responses from the Audience over the past couple of days

"This show was just brilliant. Tess is a beautiful performer with an ability to make the audience laugh with a look, or a stumble! Wonderful physicality, pace of show & way of story telling. Hope you get heaps more audience and you take it comedy fest/adelaide and beyond!" - Alex Desabrok

"Tess, I just wanted to say again how wonderfully funny i thought your show was and i didn't even realise it was you i was going to see!! (your promo pictures are deceiving + dont know your last name....til NOW!) anyway it was ridiculously funny, and i have to say parts of it was like looking into a mirror. congrats love and i bless you with large audience numbers for your run!!!!" - Lauren B

"Tess you and Claudia O'Doherty have re-instilled my faith in female comedians" - Mz Lola

"I loved your show, so original I've never seen anything quite like it" - Dave O

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Get the Balance Right - Day 2

Ahhh I think we've found our mover and shaker...i think the art belongs to him now

Get the Balance Right - Day 1 - Night

Evening of Day 1, came to bump out and the art had been moved and in it's place were two bins... who moved them?? Does this mean the art is rubbish?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Get the Balance Right - Day 1

Get the Balance Right - Public Art in Public Spaces
A new piece by Ramona Telecican (Fashion + Object Stylist)

Day 1

Opening Weekend of Fringe

I am so tired but so happy after a rippa opening weekend at the Melbourne Fringe Festival Hub.

It's such a bizarre feeling to have worked on my show for so long by myself in the studio and then to suddenly have people watching and laughing along with me.

Highlights from the weekend;
are opening my show to a big loud audience, awesome crew, lots of laughs, realising that it was all worth it, booty shaking at the fringe club till the lights got turned on and we got kicked out, stopping for a moment on the dance floor during 'total eclipse of the heart' to see a crowded room of art geeks spontaneously and passionately burst into interpretive dance off' one can party quite like art geeks (feels like home).

Saw 'The Courtesan' (Brigid Dolan) at Bar Open on Sunday night, was a really honest and passionate first showing of this work that she should be immensely proud of. Standout moments for me were the heightened physical sequences such as the 'washer woman' scene, and the moments of truth when Brigid really managed to embodied the character, such as when Camille fell in love. It was great to see a big crowd out to support her on her closing night, I think we will definitely be hearing more from Mz Dolan.

And finally setting up 'Get the Balance Right' today in the Bourke Street Mall. A public art piece by Fashion and Object Stylist Ramona Telecican.

It was truly surreal, got up at 6am, the city was deserted but for the cleaners and a fewer eager corporates, we got drilled by the guy at the convenience store about why we make art (7am Validation of creative selves whhatt!), then nearly got knocked over by an especially driven corporate, set up the art work and then watched in glee as the 'Big Issue' vendor decided to pick it up and position it differently. Public Art in Public Spaces.

Highlights to look forward to are;
Tight-Arse Tuesday tomorrow night,
Opening Night of 'In Search of Atlantis' at Bar Open,
Opening Night of 'Belle's Paradise' at Trade's Hall,
getting the Adelaide Fringe Registrations in on time,
seeing 'Asleep in a Secret', 'Kneu', 'Hamlet Apocalypse' and 'Donna and Damo (an asexual love story)'.

Have spent the day needing a nap but am still undecided.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Three Women

A courtesan, a clown and a love sick teenager. Brigid Dolan, Tessa Waters and Sarah Hillman-Stolz present three unique female characters in their solo performances for this years’ Melbourne Fringe Festival.

In her show The Courtesan, Brigid Dolan invites you to step into the bohemian underworld of 19th c. Paris, on a journey through the salons and boudoirs of celebrated French prostitute Marie du Plessis.

Tessa Waters in How to be a Lady is a young woman who wakes to find an audience in her bedroom and a narrator telling her what to do... If she'd have known they were coming she would have remembered to wear pants.

Self-deprecating and semi-autobiographical, Sarah Hillman-Stolz’s Belle's Paradise is about discovering how love and life changes us and whether what you learn in ten years helps or hurts you.

Three vastly different characters, three performers presenting varied and exciting new work with female stories and bodies at their forefront – all in one fantastic festival.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fringe 2009 Launched

What a morning, the 2009 Melbourne Fringe Festival was launched with much fun and frivolity (and champagne!) yesterday morning. It was really inspiring to see the room filled with such amazing and diverse artists from Melbourne and around the country.

Even the speaches were inspiring, so often at these events one has to sit through dry and meaningless spiels about the arts, using popular buzz words like 'innovative' and 'excellence' (what do they actually mean??) but I have to say Emily Sexton's speech (Creative Producer) gave me goose bumps, its so refreshing to hear an artistic leader speak with such genuine and tangible intention.

I had wonderful chats to some great artists, and am really looking forward to seeing their creations. Watch out for these shows;
'Asleep in a Secret' (p32) by Skye Gellman,
'The Antics Shop' (p60) by Justin McGinley,
'The Courtesan' (p24) by Bridget Dolan
'Belle's Paradise' (p18) by Sarah Hillman-Stolz
'The Hamlet Apocalypse' (p24) by Steven Mitchell Wright
'A tiny chorus' (p16) by Elbow Room

But most exciting of all of course was the official release of the sparkly new guide and tickets!!
So what are you waiting for follow the links below to get tickets to the premier seasons of

How to be a Lady
In Search of Atlantis

Outside Eye Mentorship Program

Exciting news for my fringe show 'How to be a Lady', I've been selected to be on of 18 participants of the 2009 Outside Eye Mentorship Program through the Melbourne Fringe Festival, Full Tilt (The Arts Centre). I am lucky enough to be working with the extremely talented and lovely award winning director Clare Watson.

'Clare has worked as a director, actor, writer, musician, designer, dramaturge and teacher for theatre. She graduated from VCA Directing in 2003. She also has an Arts Degree and a Dip Ed from the University of Melbourne. Last year she created an installation in Brussels at Les Bains::Connective during a residency supported by Aphids.

In 2006 Clare had a Besen scholarship as assistant director to Michael Kantor at the Malthouse. She also created 6 independent projects. In 2005, Clare directed Hotel a site-specific work (for which she won the inaugural Best Director Award for Melbourne Fringe), The Diabolical Ones for Melbourne University, performed at the Old Melbourne Gaol and Smashed, written by Lally Katz, for Instorage at the Storeroom, nominated for three 2005 Green Room Awards including Best Production.

Clare’s directing highlights include original/devised work such as Uninvited Guests (a theatrical installation in a crumbling art deco apartment, Outstanding Design Award Melbourne Fringe 2004), Life. Get it up ya. (Barry Award nominee Melbourne Comedy Festival, Edinburgh Festival) and Sucker (Best Solo Show Melbourne Fringe, Edinburgh, Auckland, Adelaide, London and The Studio at the Sydney Opera House). She is currently working on The Man with the September Face: A site-specific rollerdrama, inspired by a suburban skate rink.'

It's so amazing how much more focused your work becomes when you have someone in the room who can instantly identify those areas that most need work.

Also soaking up lots of tips for touring shows nationally and internationally!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Shows to look out for

Check out these awesome shows coming to the Melbourne Fringe Festival in Sept/Oct 2009.

How to be a Lady
A good Laugh by Tessa Waters
A young woman wakes to find an audience in her bedroom and a narrator telling her what to do….. if she’d have known they were coming she’d have remembered to wear pants. How to be a Lady is a hilarious physical theatre show examining how the modern girl fits in with the concept of being a lady.

In a time since past, two courageous explorers begin a dangerous journey: to discover the lost city of Atlantis. Armed with nothing but a guitar and a mandolin, these brave young men traverse into the unknown expecting to find the sunken city. What they find is beyond their wildest imaginations A musical cabaret of epic proportions; forging visual effects with live character based performances, these men will take you on a journey the like of which have never been seen.

Get the Balance Right
An installation by Ramona Telecican
Push to the left, back to the right, Twist and turn till you've got it right To go against the grain in the typical urban lifestyle. To remain true to self within the illusion of pressure. To remain active, progressive and rational amongst chaos. To be calm in a place of noise and movement.

Stay tuned to the Melbourne Fringe Festival for the where's, when's and how's!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Welcome to the new blog, I will be sharing all the exciting bits and pieces that I'm involved in, inspired by, creating or challenged by. 

There have been a whole collection of new beginings in the last little while, one of the most exciting of which in the new studio at the Nicholas Building in Melbourne, City

This gorgeous new space, will be the scene of much work to come, stay tuned for the launch in late august!

Registrations have closed for the 2009 Melbourne Fringe Festival and as well as creating my own solo show at the hub 'How to be a lady', I am also producing a new Cabaret by the Minstrels of the Revolution: In Search of Atlantis, and an installation by emerging artist Ramona Telecican.

So drop us a line if you have anything interesting going on or just feel like having a gander

Welcome and thanks for dropping by to witness the beginning of this journey.