As I write this, the word ‘Neurodiversity’ is still being underlined with a squiggly red line, like it’s not even a thing. This is insane! How are we going to push for more understanding if people think we’re a typo?!
IntroducingRare People; a series where we will hear all about what the people of Publicis do when they’re not busy makingads.
Big shoutout to Wes for photos.
Lorelei Mathias, Senior Creative and talented Writer/Performer, is this week’s feature in the 2nd edition of Rare People around 82 Baker Street.
How did you first get interested in comedy?
In 1985, my brother had trouble saying my name so he called me Lol. I was five and about as funny as a cabbage, but the name stuck. Years later the internet happened and with it, chat-speak. Soon I was at pains to qualify every introduction with ‘it’s not because I think I’m funny’ as I was so shy!
It wasn’t until I was 25 and read the first reviews for my book that it occurred to me I actually mightbea bit funny. Reading that I was capable of making a…
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My latest Comedy Short, ‘The Litter Mermaid’ is coming out in 2019. It’s the story of the plastic crisis in our seas, and the impact it is having on the mermaid community and their King. You can watch the trailer here.
It’s the first thing I’ve ever written and directed, and it was the nodal point of all my favourite things – comedy, swimming, and serendipity. I want to say the massivest thank you to everyone that helped make this. From the old friend I’d known since I was 21 who literally IS a mermaid, the beautiful Lisa, to the new friends that stepped straight off of Ramsay Street to produce and crew the thing up thanks to Brendan… to my bonkers genius housemate Michelle who dressed the set and the entire mythological population on nothing but a fin-string and made ‘spoofy condoms’ out of mayo. Basically, it was one of the best days of my life.
Which was why I was a touch blown away the next day when I was out walking with my adorable nephew in Brighton Beach, just a few shores down from Elwood where we’d wrapped 12 hours before…and we were playing the ‘hunt the lost flip-flop’ game that I often play as someone with ADHD who sunbathes on boardwalks – when we both looked down and saw this freakish message, carved into the rocks. ‘I AM A MERMAID. HELP.’ Of all the rocks in all the world… it really did seem like someone out there was ‘winking’ at us. or that the seas really have reached peak Plastic and they’re sending us a message… in a plastic bottle.
What’s it about? It’s about some mythical creatures who very much DO NOT want to be where the people are…
King Neptune and his team have been glorified maids of the sea for long enough, they’ve got zero job satisfaction and they are over it. Soon there’ll be more plastic than fish… but do the Human Resources department give a cr*p? Find out in The Litter Mermaid – a comedy about plastic, a tragedy about our world, and the melancholy fact that there’s now an island of plastic the size of France in our oceans. Shot on location in Elwood Beach, Melbourne it’s the next film under fledgling channel Melon Comedy.
It features shocking new footage of polluted oceans in Indonesia, from Rich Horner The Rubbish Diver, and with a cast & crew from Melbourne, London & Bali’s Comedy scene, and a cameo from my aquatic alter ego, mermaid Loreley.
To see the full film when it comes out, Like fb.com/meloncomedy before Feb 2019!
Full Cast & Credits:
Dave Callan as Neptune
Lisa Fineberg as Alana
Pam Rana as Human Resources 1
Jonathan Schuster as Human Resources 2
Urvi Majumder as Ariel
Lorelei Mathias as Loreley
and introducing Monty The Manta-ray, and the Balinese Jellyfish
Executive Producer Brendan Geaney
Associate Producer Emmy McMorrow
Editor Claire McGonagil
Sound Design Brendan Geaney
Director of Photography Oscar Beltran Cuba
First Assistant Director Julian Breheny
Assistant Producers Brendan Geany
Production Manager Andrew Keane
Art Direction & Wardrobe Michelle Harrington
Camera Assistant/B-Cam Samuel Wong
Sound Kristian Pilsko
Boom Operator/Runner Terry Shepherd
Post – Kyra Hendrix, Significant Other New York
Hair & Make-up Hannah Williams
First Assistant Director Julian Breany
Production Manager Andrew Keane
Driver Jeremy Densley
Catering Palmer & Pot
Written & Directed by Lorelei Mathias. Additional dialogue by the cast, Anthony Noack, and John Campbell.
Composer, musician & vocalist & original score ‘This Time That Is Mine – Alana’s Lament’ by Camilla Mathias.
We dearly love the artist Rob Ryan. We really do. Truth be told, I find his stuff so moving and unabashedly sentimental that I’ve been known to weep when faced with too many of his paper-cut poems in one go. A friend once had to physically extract me from Ryantown because it was all so romantic I thought I was going to pop.
Some friends and I got to thinking what MisterRob’s work would look like if you sprinkled a bit of um, realism over it…for realism, read clinical depression. Something all too common, but that’s only just becoming ok to admit… thanks to initiatives like World Mental Health Day. These days the Sad bell rings for 1 in 4 of us. Which is how we ended up with this curmudgeonly old bastard, Mister Bob Brian.
Dreamed up by my childhood BFF and I, Lauren Taylor, Danni Emery and illustrated by Graeme McGregor we bring you this loving, cutting pastiche. Paper-cuts from a world that’s glass half empty. More here at misterbobbrian.tumblr.com
We first made these a few years ago, and were lucky to get a lot of praise from the internet but in re-launching them for World Mental Health Day as part of our new cause-driven comedy page, I can see that looking back I can see that whilst they were funny AF to make, at least one of the artists behind it was struggling with an ‘inner Bob’ of our own. I certainly was. Perhaps a reaction to the perky, excessively whimsical perky Ryanny idealism of our twenties, and the Voice of Doom, pessimistic grumpelstiltskin Briannyness of our thirties. Perhaps the Rob Ryan bell of hope was being drowned out by the Bob Brian cacophony of doom.
But now, 5 years on – wiser, wrinklier, we’ve found our way out – through the mediums of art, in its many guises. Much like the aims behind this brilliant new initiative MADE OF MILLIONS, launching tomorrow. We all walk a daily line between choosing to focus on the clouds or the suns rays. Or trying to be someone’s rainbow… I think Bob runs in my family a bit. Just this week, my siblings and I were teasing one of our family members about needing to invest in a ‘Doom Jar’ so that every time they felt the urge to utter something pessimistic, they’d have to put a coin in. (proceeds to CALM, or MIND). And what happened? We all laughed our heads off.
Because that’s the one big thing we’ve learned – myself and my co-writer Em have both found that the only way out is through laughter. Every time something bad happens to us, we have a routine now. Ring each other and tell the story. Then there’s a 30 sec pause while we go ‘c’mon, let’s find the joke. Where’s the joke, Lol? Then. There it is! Next thing, we’re roaring with laughter. Feeling less alone. Crying happy tears again. For us, comedy is alchemy. The other side of a coin marked tragedy. Shit happens. Then, skit happens.
So in honour of Trevor Griffiths’ words, ‘Comedy is medicine. Not coloured sweeties to rot the teeth with’ we set up Melon Comedy. A cause-powered comedy collective, specialising in silly films about melancholy things. From Ghosting, to mental illness to Plastic pollution. Oh, and Mister Bob.
Follow/Subscribe/LOL at fb.com/meloncomedy