Laughter is healthy and often associated with happiness. It is a great tool to combat stress and a number of life’s difficulties. There are several industries dedicated to promoting and provoking this action, like the movie industry, YouTube, performers, and comedians. They operate independently, though you can sometimes see notable figures in festivals all over the world. One such event is the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
What Is It?
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival, or MICF, is the third largest comedy festival in the world, right behind Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival and Montreal’s Just For Laughs. It lasts about a month, between March and April. There are thousands and thousands of performers, each with their own style of comedy. Apart from stand-up comedy, there is also the cabaret, debates, musicals, and plays. It is truly a festival where comedy comes in all shapes and sizes.
MICF started in 1987 when it featured 56 separate acts. The original idea was that the festival should revolve around April Fool’s Day. One of the event’s co-founders, John Pinder, toyed with the idea of an international comedy festival as early as the 80s. A couple of years later, performers from all around the world were flooding in to make their mark at this festival.
There are several things that separate MICF from other comedy festivals. For one thing, there is less pressure, so the performers have fun while doing what they love, without a desperate need for the audience’s approval.
There are also three events/programs that are the pillars of MICF. They are Raw Comedy, Class Clowns and Deadly Funny.
Raw Comedy is, essentially, a competition between emerging comics. The competition starts in January, and it ends during MICF. To compete, you must be a resident of Australia and you mustn’t have made over $500 from your comedy acts. You get five minutes and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to amaze the spectators. There is a chance for you to compete again, but no more than three times, provided you haven’t made it to the National Final.
This is not just a competition, it’s also a program for high-schoolers who wish to hone their skills. There are workshops where trade secrets are shared among the nation’s future of comedy. So, if you’re a teen with a knack for comedy, give it a go.
To compete in the Deadly Funny, you have to be indigenous. Not only that, you have to be over 18, you can bring up to 2 friends, and your act should be no longer than five minutes. The Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders that are younger than 18 can still compete as Class Clowns.