Shane Adamczak is one of those names that keeps popping up. You might have heard of some of his past solo shows Zack Adams: Love Songs for a Future Girl and Zack Adams: A Complete History of Zack Adams, or if you’ve been over to Canada recently, you might have seen him making waves in the comedy scene over there. Well Shane is back in Perth right now and has a brand new show out that opened at The Blue Room last week. Trampoline is a boy meets girl tale that takes a bit of a turn. But let’s have Shane tell you about it himself…
Shane Adamczak with Amanda Woodhams in Trampoline. Photo by Mitchell Richards.
Official job title: Writer/Producer/Performer – Weeping Spoon Productions.
Tell us about your career background and how you’ve come to where you are now:
I did three years at WAAPA studying Theatre, then went on to study at a physical theatre school while also doing breakfast radio. Shortly after that we formed Weeping Spoon Productions and started writing producing our own works (both solo and ensemble work) and touring them around Australian festivals such as The Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne Comedy Festival. I joined The Big HOO-HAA! and began focusing on improv and comedy for a few years. Then branched off to try international theatre festivals overseas in New York and Canada, which is how I ended up moving to Montreal last year, where I developed this new show.
What is the best thing about your job?
Connecting with audience on a level that you don’t really get with any other artform: theatre is live, it’s immediate and it can divide people. It’s exciting every time you step out on stage. I think that’s why I love improv so much too, you’re never going to perform the same show twice. There’s nothing like really making an audience laugh.
Shane Adamczak and Amanda Woodhams in Trampoline. Photo by Mitchell Richards.
You’re new show Trampoline opened last week. Tell us a bit about the show…
The show is a dark comedy, “boy meets girl” love story. Most of my writing tends to lean towards the darker side of comedy and this show is my attempt at writing a Rom-Com love story about two people who are very likable, but also very damaged.
Damon Lockwood (director) really gets my sense of humour and style of writing, and was a huge part of steering the piece in the right direction. The cast is incredible; Amanda Woodhams plays the two female leads and is simply a delight to work with; she really brings an exciting energy to the show and Ben Russell who plays a number of characters is one the funniest actors I’ve had the pleasure to work with, which can be challenging because it’s often hard to keep straight face when that guy is on stage.
Can you shed some light on how this show has gone from an idea to the production we see before us?
It actually all started when I began writing a weird blog while I was in Montreal called “Matt’s Dream Journal” where I would write “journal entries” under the guise of “Matt”. I wrote it for about a year and no one really knew that it was actually me writing it. After a while, something that had started as a writing exercise and a bit of joke, had slowly morphed into a series of characters that I started really caring about… I decided to develop it into a show.
From that Trampoline was born. I developed it in Montreal before deciding to debut it here in my hometown of Perth.
With Love Songs for a Future Girl and now Trampoline, we can see a theme of love not quite working out with the ideal ‘Hollywood’ storyline. Are you appealing to the masses here (we all have a complicated love story!) or are you really speaking from the heart?
Yeah, I always found the messier, complicated love stories to be more interesting. If love was simple, it might not be as watchable. I think Love Songs was always a more autobiographical show where I allowed the audience into the awkward, some time cringe-worthy history of my love life, where as Trampoline has slightly more mainstream appeal, but is certainly no less odd in the way the story is told. I really wanted to create a show that was about getting back to theatre being about storytelling and interesting characters dealing with the concept of not knowing if they will ever be “normal” enough to be truly loved.
From love stories to the Sex Pistols – we hear you’ll be performing Vicious Circles, a play about the Sex Pistols, at Fringe World next year. Tell us more!
Oh boy, Vicious Circles is one of the sweatiest, sweariest, violent, punk-rock play’s I’ve ever had the pleasure to be involved in. The cast is insane. I had just finished a production of The Rocky Horror Show in Montreal playing Brad, so it was a pretty big jump as an actor to go from a straight edge nerd to a punk rock icon. In it I play the lead singer of The Sex Pistols, Johnny Rotten, which is a role that had a huge amount of pressure with it. I really wanted to make sure I did the man justice. The play won a bunch of awards in Canada and I was really excited when I got to join the cast for their encore season. Really excited to be bringing this show to Oz next year!
Which local artists/musicians/creatives do you admire?
Wow there’s a lot. It’s been great to see Tim Minchin go on to conquer the world, I’m a huge fan of that guy. All the Big HOO-HAA! crew are a constant inspiration for me as a performer and had really helped launch some amazing performers over the years.
I really just admire anyone who has the nards to keep working in the arts in Perth. Because, honestly, it’s a really tough gig and so many talented people tend to go unnoticed because it can be so hard to break through. If you want to “make it” in this industry you have to be bullet-proof and really, really to want to succeed. So anyone who works hard, makes their own work, and makes GOOD work is who I admire.
Any advice for those trying to enter into the creative community in Perth?
Find a group of like-minded people you work well with and inspire each other. Make your own work. Make exciting, new work. Make interesting work that is made for the general public, not just a “theatre” crowd, otherwise you end up just performing for the same 50 people over and over again. Make it accessible but don’t be afraid to take chances.
What do you love about Perth?
I like the camaraderie and support network within the indie theatre scene, it’s a rare thing that you don’t see in a lot of other cities around the world. The Blue Room Theatre continues to be one of favourite places that encourages and helps develop cool new theatre works and The Fringe World festival is also kicking goals in a major way as far as I’m concerned.
Also, Perth is where lots of my friends and family live, so I get to see them, when I’m here.
Vicious Circles will be showing in early 2014 as part of Fringe World.
What does Perth need?
Good bagels. Oh man I miss Montreal bagels really, really badly.
Most frequented coffee spot?
I don’t drink coffee, but I’m often at Greens & Co in Leederville for meetings with people who do and they always seem pretty happy.
Best live music venue?
Oh man. Tough. Seen some of the best gigs of my life at The Rosemount, Amplifier Bar… the Belvoir Amphitheatre is awesome in the summer. Remember the Grosvenor Back Room you guys? That was awesome…*sigh*
I’ve had some great times at City Beach. Once a year we have a “Beach Prom” party and go swimming in our suit and ball dresses. It’s a helluva party.
Up north or down south?
Down South. Dunsborough bakery all the way! Shane.
You can check out Shane’s new show Trampoline on at The Blue Room now until 26 October. You can grab tickets over here.