Winning Australia comedian Laura Davis comes to Kuala Lumpur for the first time direct from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, with her show Ghost Machine. It's about life, of course, and has had at least one critic wanting to be her BFF. She had just about landed when Esquire sent her some mental questions:
What are you feeling right now?
Oh, Jet Lag. Definitely Jet Lag. But also I'm feeling sunshine for the first time in about six months so it's wonderful. I hate the cold. I think I should start touring exclusively around the equator.
And what are you thinking?
I'm really excited to get out and explore! I've spent my first day working in my hotel, but once the show is up and running I can start getting around. My room has a great view of the city so it's been such a tease to be stuck on my laptop.
What's the first thing that has struck you about this city? (Assuming it already has struck you, that is.)
It's so beautiful and green. I love trees and nature, I'm really looking forward to visiting the gardens here. It it was so nice to sit outside on the balcony last night working and finally being warm.
How long does it take you to resonate with where you're at?
Oh, that's a great question. It's always something I'm thinking about. I'm away from home each year for at least six months, for long and short journeys. Some places I immediately click with (Manchester, Brisbane) and some take me a while to get used to (London, Sydney). Usually though, it only takes performing one show and having one late-night meal with other comedians to feel right at home. Sometimes on short trips I feel I only just get settled into a vibe and then have to get on an aeroplane again.
London-Perth-KL. Did you plot this trajectory yourself? We know you're here for work, and that's how you got here, but why do you think you've ended up here, really?
My producer, Toby Sullivan phoned me in March, asking if I would like to bring my show here. He's really passionate about the independent arts-scene here and wanted to try to bring some Australian work over. When he called, it just happened to be the day that I had confirmed the shows in Edinburgh and London, so really I was just in the mood to pack as many new experiences into the year as possible.
How do you choose which of your shows to perform in a particular city, especially one you've just arrived at for the first time? Please let us into the head space of Laura Davis's 'market research', if only to demystify marketing speak.
It's never an easy choice, but we chose Ghost Machine because it's so different to any other piece of work. We wanted to bring over something completely new and out-of-the-box. It's a show that won a few big awards in Australia, and I'm really excited to start touring it again. I'm taking it to London, Edinburgh and America next year so I guess KL gets to be the first international debut.
Not a trick question: do (you think) we live too much in our own heads?
Yes, perhaps. But have you ever met anyone who never thinks? They're insufferable.
Is being comfortable in your own skin something that you breathe, imbibe or eat? Or all or none of the above or...
Hmm. Imbibe? I think being around positive people really rubs off. I'm so fortunate to spend so much of my time with other amazing creatives, clowns, acrobats, dancers, performers, comedians and artists. These people are so free and happy, I think being around them you really learn the value of self-expression.
Sorry if all the above is a bit angsty! Say something about Ghost Machine.
That's quite alright. Ghost Machine can be an angsty show so I think it's a perfect fit. Ghost Machine is an hour of comedy about life, performed by a ghost. It's a very fun, loud, sweet, heartfelt and silly show. I love performing it. I really hope you enjoy coming to see it.
Previews to the award-winning Ghost Machine are tonight and tomorrow (27 and 28 Sep)! The show runs from Fri 29 Sep to 8 Oct at Five Arts Centre, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. Show time starts 9pm. Tickets are available at the door an hour before the show or tap here for more details