Interview: Tessa Waters

17 April 2017

Tessa Waters is arguably Australia’s best physical sketch-comedian. Her sense of humour is novel, and weaves its way through the imagination – manifesting all kinds of hilarity from basically thin air. We race up four flights of stairs into the Radio Fodder studio, as Tessa keeps me laughing the whole way up through her funny facial expressions – a feature of Tessa’s comedy which she is perhaps best known for.

Tessa grew up in regional Queensland, attending a yoga school set up by her parents in the middle of “Pauline Hanson’s stomping ground”. The incongruences of doing yoga every morning in the middle of beef-country Australia has given Tessa a nose for sniffing out absurd humour. Tessa discusses growing up with “the biggest rodeo in Australia,” citing it as “not safe at all”. Tessa ascribes her desire for a carny lifestyle, travelling from place to place performing around the world, because of being impressed by both “the glitz and the glamour, as well as the filth of growing up next to a rodeo”.

When Tessa moved from a rural environment to the halls of The University of Melbourne to study masters – Tessa decided not to “just eat chips, and smoke weed all day,” but to throw herself into the city of Melbourne. Tessa has an incredibly vast view of the world, she’s completed clown training in France, which she says, “Gets a bit of a bad rap, is it scary clowns? Big shoes? Red noses? But it’s quite study-based.”

All these components of Tessa’s wealth of diverse life experiences come together in her show Fully Sik at The Greek Centre- which features sketches such as ‘Woman brings a bottle of wine to a house party,’ “Which I’m sure students of unimelb can relate to,” Tessa laughs.

Tessa is raking in incredible reviews and is a must see before she continues her carny lifestyle, leaving Melbourne to deliver love and laughter to people around the world.

Tessa Waters is performing her show Fully Sik throughout the Melbourne International Comedy Festival at The Greek Centre. You can buy tickets here.

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