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Damien Power: I Can't Believe I Cared

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by Kiesten McCauley (subscribe)
My early career was in teaching, writing, producing and directing for theatre, comedy and impro shows. Now I'm a professional creative person. Mostly high-end branding, strategy, writing, editing and digital content creation.
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Power Set for Brisbane Comedy Fest'
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Damien Power image courtesy of Brisbane Powerhouse and Token Events

Anyone who's anyone in the Australian comedy scene can tell you Damien Power is a rapidly rising star. It's pretty much the way any bio or story about the comedian starts, and who am I to break with tradition? Besides, it's one of the truest things you can say about his career.

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival Best Newcomer nominee has been going from strength to strength since he kicked off his stand up career in 2005. That's also the year he proved me so very wrong when he walked on stage and before he said a word I said to my friends that good looking people are never funny. I was forced to eat my words because not only is Damien's material laugh out loud funny, it's clever too – my favourite kind of funny.

One stupidly hot Saturday morning, I spoke to Damien about his career and his upcoming Brisbane Comedy Festival show I Can't Believe I Cared. Our phone call began with jokes at the expense of climate change deniers, with Damien deriding people who place their own interests and money ahead of the importance of avoiding mass human extinction. That's his style right there.

Damien says, "I like to make comedy out of the bigger ideas of being human and bigger concepts about society. I'm working on stuff about war and our fascination with that as a species and about evolution. I have some pretty good stuff on consumerism… that doesn't sound very funny does it?" He gives a self-deprecating laugh, but I tell him I know what he means, comedy can come from tragic circumstances, and in doing so it can help us to deal with hard situations.

Damien says, "Absolutely. I want to open people's minds to things they might not otherwise contemplate but," he adds, "One of the things I want to do, that I've been working on, I don't want my comedy to be exclusive."

Clever comedians do face a delicate tightrope walk between broaching intellectual topics and concepts without alienating the audience or going above their heads. Power's down to earth demeanour draws the crowd into a deeper understanding of complex ideas. His ultimate goal is to continue working very hard at building a following and to be the best he can be at his craft, which isn't just limited to stage.

He says, "I've been working on some stuff for TV but those things are very hit and miss as far as getting made. I'm doing some podcasts, but yeah comedy often leads to those things like radio and TV so we'll see."

Damien Power seems predestined to have been a comedian, having been a class clown. As a kid he used to do impersonations and get up and do sketches to amuse his class during show and tell. This developed into a love of performing and acting, and ultimately led to improvisation and stand-up comedy.

Of those early shows he reminisces, "Once I tried it, it was just so thrilling I just never gave up trying to work it out."

So what can crowds expect from his Brisbane Comedy Festival show?

The performer, who was handpicked to tour with Tenacious D in 2013 says, "It's going to be funny. I'm happy with the show. It's going to have a lot of deep concepts and people will take new perspectives and ideas out of the show."

This year Damien is already locked in to perform at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in February, Brisbane Comedy Festival in March, plus Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Sydney Comedy Festival in March and April. That's a busy calendar before you even mention his gigs around the best stand-up rooms in Australia.

If you can't make it to Damien's Brisbane Comedy Festival shows, or if you want to check him out before you book your tickets, head on over to his website to wacth some videos of him in action and while you're there have a listen to his podcast. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date with his gigs and daily comedic musings.

Tickets for I Can't Believe I Cared are on sale now. The show is recommended for people aged 15 and over.
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Why? See this amazing stand up before he's famous
When: Tue 10–Sun 15 March, 2015. Tue–Sat 8.30pm, Sun 7pm. Running time 60 mins.
Phone: (07) 3358 8600
Where: Rooftop Terrace, Brisbane Powerhouse, 119 Lamington Street, New Farm
Cost: Tue / Preview $20*, Wed, Thu Sun / Full $25*, Wed, Thu Sun / Concession $22*, Fri Sat / All $28* plus booking fee.
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