Meshel Laurie

“I haven’t done a show in two or three years. Virgin Mary was three years ago, and it was a spectacular failure, so I haven’t had one since.”

Failure how? People didn’t come?

“Yep. I had a difficult time slot. But even then, I don’t know why, it just didn’t happen and I had to cancel a few shows. Adam Richard and Crazy E did Moosehead shows that year and they did alright. I had a nun of the show one night, and that was a bit weird. That’s my defining memory of the show. I just had a bit when I walk off the stage and walk in [to the audience], and it was only then that I clocked a nun in full gear. She was laughing. She was a groovy nun.”

Do you think people are treating the comedy aspect of the Fringe as an alternative and an additional to the comedy festival?

“I think so. Now there tends to be new work in the fringe. It wasn’t that long ago that people tended to re-do their comedy festival show, or even just see the Fringe as a work in progress towards the comedy festival show, whereas now I think people tend to see it in it’s own right and want to do a new good show for Fringe.”

When you see things in real life, do you think that it’s all going to end up in your shows?

“Yep. Particularly the more hideous moments, you go: ‘At least I can put it in the show, if nothing else’. Like I had a guy abuse me the other night because he couldn’t get his balls licked. Like really tear strips off me, and I was sitting there and all I could think of was: ‘At least it’s good for the show.’ I would never have thought of that.”

What exactly is the job that you do? I thought it was just front desk stuff.

“That’s the idea. The idea of the show is, one, to take people into a brothel who have never been in one before, because when I started receptioning I had never been in one before. So I remember the things that struck me and the things I found bizarre and the things I pretended to know but was trying desperately to work out what they were. So it’s about that, but it’s also about the reality of the place, and what the job is. It’s not just answering phones. It’s so much more demanding. It’s a gruelling job, and I just want to strike a blow for all those receptionists out there.”

Do you find that people are just generally poorly educated about the goings on?

“Coverage of it tends to be very sugar coated and very way off. Sometimes in a good way and sometimes in a bad way. There are some really nice, really funny, silly things that people just don’t think of. I watched a girl in the lounge the other day and she had about five iced vovos in each hand and she was bogan dancing to ‘You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Party’. That’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen, so you know there’s lot’s of silly girliness about the place as well that I don’t think comes across sometimes. The fact of the matter is there’s up to twenty girls sitting around sometimes and you just do shit to amuse yourself. It’s like a boarding school, sometimes.”

I remember going past the Daily Planet when I was in primary school and asking my mum what this building was, because it had no windows and I used to see people going in every now and then. She told me it was a restaurant.

“That’s like me and Lyndal, when we went for our interview for our first ever reception job. And we’re standing on Bay Street for about twenty minutes, trying work out which building was the brothel, and then we decided to go ask at the big pink building with all the fairy lights out the front. And that was it! We were just beside ourselves.”

Why do both doctors surgeries and brothels have red lights outside of them?

“I don’t know. Brothels don’t need them any more, it’s just sort of a camp, sentimental thing, I think. It’s more fairy lights these days. If you see fairy lights you can bet there’s someone hocking their box inside. That’s what going on in there. So the secret is, if you’re not a prostitute, don’t hang too many fairy lights outside the front of your house.”
Kinda by Josh Kinal

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