Co­me­dian Em Rus­ciano doesn’t hold back when it comes to the chal­lenges of par­ent­ing and the sex ap­peal of John Farn­ham

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY| SHOWS - KATINA VANGOPOULOS

Hav­ing the world’s weight on your shoul­ders is ex­actly as it seems for co­me­di­ans, wretched for them just like the rest of us.

The good and bad points of go­ing through life’s joys and strug­gles are all part of Em Rus­ciano’s The Moth­er­load, tak­ing au­di­ences through par­ent­ing and John Farn­ham ob­ses­sions with a lot of swear­ing and glit­ter.

From par­ent­ing in the ’80s to her ha­tred of the Dis­ney film Frozen, the show leaves no stone un­turned, no re­la­tion­ship un­ex­am­ined, no swear word unsworn.

Rus­ciano says since be­gin­ning the tour in Jan­uary, she had a 100 per cent strike rate when win­ning the males over – though other au­di­ence de­mo­graph­ics were all but lost.

“If you’re born be­tween 1975 and 1991 you’ll get ev­ery­thing, oth­er­wise there’ll be va­cant stares to­wards the stage,” she says. “There is a trib­ute to John Farn­ham – he de­fined sexy on the Whis­per­ing Jack al­bum cover and I had my hair cut into a mul­let.

“And then in life, there are the (ex­ple­tive) parts of par­ent­ing. I love my kids – they can be (ex­ple­tive) but we all ac­knowl­edge that and hold hands at the end of it.”

De­scrib­ing her­self as Ruby Rose “who’s let her­self go”, the Mel­bourne mother-of-two mines fam­ily life for songs and sto­ries, and not much is off lim­its – putting on 40kg dur­ing her preg­nan­cies, her daugh­ter’s dif­fi­culty switch­ing schools and her other daugh­ter’s teenage re­bel­lion.

Rus­ciano has a colour­ful pro­fes­sional life as well as her per­sonal pur­suits, with a weekly col­umn at news.com.au and con­tri­bu­tions to shows like Stu­dio 10 among her projects.

The pro­lific writer, co­me­dian, singer, tele­vi­sion and ra­dio pre­sen­ter made a name for her­self in 2004 when she au­di­tioned for the sec­ond sea­son of Aus­tralian Idol, mak­ing the fi­nal 12 and even­tu­ally fin­ish­ing ninth.

That led to pre­sent­ing roles on the South­ern Cross/ Aus­tereo ra­dio net­work, and in 2010 Net­work Ten’s The Pro­ject snapped her up.

In 2011 Rus­ciano de­cided to try her hand at cabaret and wrote, pro­duced, di­rected and starred in The Saintly Bitch Sings.

Af­ter her show Di­vorce the Mu­si­cal was a huge hit at last year’s Mel­bourne In­ter­na­tional Com­edy Fes­ti­val, Rus­ciano re­turned to the fes­ti­val this year with The Moth­er­load and pro­ceeded to sell out 23 per­for­mances.

She says her rise in the com­edy world is still hard to grasp.

“From a 25-seat room at the Fo­rum to one or two thou­sand peo­ple for shows, it’s amaz­ing,” she says. “You can bomb in a room with 20 peo­ple and I think stand-ups who do that are in­cred­i­ble. I need to stay busy so that’s why I do a lot, oth­er­wise the energy I have gets me to de­stroy things.”

Em Rus­ciano got her big break on Aus­tralian Idol in 2004 and hasn’t stopped per­form­ing since.

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