Hugs achieved: x2
‘Twins’ is a split show that will feature stand-up from Jess Perkins and Naomi Higgins, with elements of collaboration between the two. What it will not feature is any references to, lines from, or adaptations of, the film ‘Twins’. “This show makes no mention to the film”, says Jess. What makes their choice of show title even more intriguing is that neither has actually seen the film! “I can’t figure out if we should watch it”, ponders Jess; to which Naomi replies “I think it’s funnier if we haven’t seen it”! With the support of a catchy title, both comedians want the structure of their show to be strong, so that audience members enjoy the overall experience in addition to the stand-up.
Jess and Naomi have known each other for just under two years but really “bonded” at Edinburgh last year. Despite having quite contrasting styles, Jess and Naomi appear to compliment each other well both on and off stage. Naomi, the sweet but cheekily dark comedian who describes herself as a “bitch onstage and a bitch offstage…but in a cute way”. And Jess, the confident and “in control” comedian who has made audiences laugh all across Australia, from Melbourne to Darwin (and some of the bits in between) as part of the MICF road show.
After launching their comedy careers circa 2015, they have both made “strong starts”, says Jess. Both were RAW Comedy National Finalists, Jess in 2015 and Naomi in 2016, and they continue to look for avenues to improve their craft. The writing process and regular gigging is vital to “making those jokes as good as possible” says Naomi. “I have a Moleskin”, she adds, when discussing their respective workshopping notepads, “mine is glittery…because why not” remarks Jess.
Where Naomi and Jess stand out is in the basis of their material. Both comedians appear to pride themselves on basing their comedy on ‘truth’, where a real event has sparked a joke or story. “I think both of us, all of our stand-up comes from real things”, says Jess. Understanding that these stories are real makes them all the more intriguing! However, this truthful approach does have some pitfalls as Naomi explains, “sometimes I worry that the people I talk about are going to hear what I’ve said about them… some of it is really specific”. While Naomi in particular may hit some hard truths, she is not one to touch on topics insensitively, “I wouldn’t want to speak for anyone else where I think they could do it better”, she wants to “elevate other people’s voices… get them talking”.
Stand-up comedy has “been great to open doors” says Jess. “We’ve been given crazy opportunities” but “there’s a reason for that”. She recently finished up at her role doing breakfast radio at JOY, having decided it was the right time to “finish up”. “It’s bittersweet…it was so much fun… but I will not miss the 4:45am alarm”! That said, Jess is continuing with her role in the ‘Do Go On’ podcast, which is steadily building an audience… but as a minor scoop, there may be more of Jess on our airwaves very soon! “I’m so excited for her”, Naomi adds genuinely. But Naomi has her own project in the works, while not quite ready for the public, is an exciting venture for Naomi and fans of her work.
The success Naomi and Jess have had in the early stages of their career has not gone to their heads as they continue to develop in various fields including writing, stand-up, radio, podcasting and television. Fame, while appealing, does not appear to be a massive focus for either comedian as they are aware of the hard work and the potential pitfalls of stardom, like missing out on coffee. “I want to be like Rove, you know, he can still go out for brunch I reckon”, says Jess.
The opportunities afforded to both of these young, up and coming comics suggests there is talent behind this tongue in cheek MICF show title. Jess feels like they are “on the right track” and that “people are enjoying” what they are doing. ‘Twins’ promises to be an enjoyable collaboration between these two talented comedians. “It might get a bit dark, but you’re supposed to laugh” says Naomi, “we’re going to have a bloody ball” adds Jess!
You can see Jess Perkins and Naomi Higgins in ‘Twins’ at the Greek Centre (corner Lonsdale & Russell Streets) from 11 to 16 April & 18 to 23 April 2017, for more information and to book tickets, click here.
Are you a fan of the ‘Do Go On’ podcast or are you looking for something new to appease your ears? As part of the 2017 MICF, you can see a live podcast recording featuring Jess, Dave Warneke & Matt Stewart at The Imperial Hotel on 2, 9, 16, and 23 April 2017, click here for more info.
If you have a Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) show you want reviewed or you want to sit down for a chat/interview about it, contact Hugging Comedians on Facebook, Twitter or through the website.