Mel Buttle, comedian on the road to Ipswich

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Mel Buttle is an incredibly busy woman with a finger in nearly every creative pie. She writes for ABC’s The Drum, is a regular columnist in the Courier Mail, makes appearances on numerous television shows across several networks, writes two podcasts and still finds time to perform live stand up.

Currently, Mel is in Melbourne finishing off her set at the Melbourne Comedy Festival before she takes to the road on the Melbourne Comedy Road Show. Talking to Mel you get the impression that she is relaxing on a beach somewhere far away, but with that schedule it just must be the professional touch. We caught up with the comedian about her upcoming tour, where she’d like to escape to, and her plans to buy a house in Ipswich.

LifeStyleQ: I’m sure you’re getting excited about the upcoming show, although you’re a veteran by now. Is it true you made your debut in the Melbourne comedy circuit 10 years ago?
Mel Buttle: Yes. I did my first solo show in Melbourne in 2010, almost ten years ago.
LQ: And does it ever get any easier now that it’s coming up to your 2019 road show?
MB: You still get nervous, that never goes away. I get nervous if I’m not nervous. You care about the show and you want to do a good job. The time I get nervous now is very short; now it’s twenty minutes before the show instead of all day like it used to be.
LQ: I’ve been reading a bit of your bio and you’re a very busy woman, are you planning to have a bit of a break after this road show?
MB: Yeah, hopefully I can. The first half of the years been really busy, I’d actually love to try to have a little holiday after the roadshow but you never know. I need a break. I sort of just want to go to the country for a little bit, for a week and turn my phone off and head to the Gold Coast Hinterland.
LQ: I saw you’ve been doing some podcasts, You’re Welcome and The Minutes with Patience Hodgson form the Grates, is that still going on?
MB: We do it sporadically now but I haven’t been able to do it for a month because I’ve been in Melbourne doing the Melbourne Comedy Festival. We used to put them out fortnightly but now Patience has two little kids and I’m away a lot more so now it’s more like once a month if you’re lucky. That’s a really fun thing I do where there’s no expectations and there’s no money it’s just a free thing that we put out for fun, so yeah I really love doing the podcast.
LQ: Leading on from that, because it does sound like good fun, do you see yourself doing comedy forever? Or would you like to branch into something a little bit more relaxing like podcasts?
MB: Comedy is the most exciting thing, with the most adrenaline but it’s also the most draining so I sort of really go in and out of loving it. I may go and work on a TV show for about a month and then I sort of find myself missing live stand up again so it’s a ‘grass is always greener’ kind of a thing. As long as I’ve got funny things to say I’ll keep saying them.
LQ: You’re a Brisbane local, have you been to Ipswich much before?
MB: I’ve been a couple of times. I’ve done a show at the Civic Centre a few years ago but not a lot, no. I actually went and looked at houses to buy there but I couldn’t get my finances together, or find anything I liked so I stopped. It’s quite pretty. It was an idea I had a few years ago. It doesn’t really matter where I live because I work from home or I’m always away, but I could definitely spend time in Ipswich.
I should probably get organised and go and have another look but it’s a bit hard when you see a place online and it says offers from $369 thousand and then you get there and they hand you a brochure and it says $440 thousand and it’s like “oh!”.
LQ: How are you guys travelling in the Road Show?
MB: It’s all together, we all start in our home cities but then to do South Australia we’ll all have to fly and meet in Adelaide and then we’ll travel in a van. There’s a tech person and a stage manager and if there’s a musical act you need a big space for them. We sort of get a hire van and some days you are in there for five hours with other comics. It’s fun, it’s hard work and it’s always sausage rolls for lunch but it is fun.

You can catch Mel and all the hilarity when the Melbourne Comedy Road Show comes to the Civic Centre on May 14th.