Published on May 17th, 2013 | by Dedee W0
Billy T Nominee – Rose Matafeo
Rose Matafeo is a familiar face to many comedy fans out there. You may have already seen Rose on the telly, in her job as a presenter on U Live, or spotted her on the comedy circuit in her solo shows or hosting FanFiction shows in past years. Like Tom Furniss, this is her second year as a Billy T Nominee, so she must know what she’s doing. I say this despite her claims that she’s a last minute person, and compares writing a show to staying up working til 2am the night before an essay’s due in.
Rose’s style is charmingly dorky with some very original humour and quirky insights, along with a laidback stage presence. The first time I saw her was a small show at Te Karanga Gallery on K Rd with Guy Williams and Joseph Harper. It was called The Professional Comedy Show, (a sure sign of things to come) and funnily enough, her face had been digitally scribbled out on their tiny photocopied flyers. She had some clever lines, and I was impressed at how she poked fun at typical sexist humour by introducing some special written gags ‘for all the guys in the room’ followed by ‘one for all the ladies’.
Past shows include Scouts Honour, where she gave out badges for audience participation, and beautifully titled Life Lessons I’ve Learnt From The 60s Based On Things I’ve Seen On Television.
Your show The Rose Matafeo Variety Hour is a showcase of your many skills, including a few songs. Do you enjoy karaoke and if so, what’s your karaoke song?
Tough question! If I’m doing a duet I prefer S.O.S. by ABBA so I can harmonise (I’m an obnoxious harmoniser) or Guilty by Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb. If it’s a solo performance, I’ll probably just sing the same songs but do a duet with myself.
How long have you been doing comedy and how did you first start out?
I started out when I was 15 after doing the Class Comedians programme that the festival runs every year. I had a good first set and just kept doing open mic nights at The Classic. So I guess I’ve been doing it for about 6 years! Oh my god that’s a long time.
What’s something unusual about you that you’re actually quite proud of?
I know all the lyrics to The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins by Leonard Nimoy. I shouldn’t be proud of that, but I am.
I quite enjoy seeing you do your random selection of impressions. Do you have a favourite one?
I have a new one this year of a girl out in town after 1am which I really enjoy doing. But the crowd favourite seems to be my impression of Jill from Home Improvement, that always gets an overwhelming reaction and I’m not entirely sure why.
In past shows you have mentioned your love of John Hughes films and 80s fashion, I love that you’re so into things that were before your time. Do you think you were born in the wrong era?
I think I was born in the right era, because it means I get to enjoy all the cool things from heaps of my favourite decades. But like, I genuinely enjoy listening to Coast FM, so I guess you could say I may have been born in the wrong time.
Who are your comedy heroes and mentors and are any of them at the fest this year?
Josie Long performed in the first week of the fest which was awesome, and I met her when I was 16 and just starting out so I’ve known her for a while. David O’Doherty is a very funny comedian and friend and life mentor to me sometimes. Comedy heroes include Steve Martin, Mitch Hedberg, Demetri Martin, Maria Bamford, Paul F. Tompkins, John Mulaney….we’ll be here for days if I keep going.
What’s your advice to any of the Class Comedians or up and coming young comedians who may aspire to be a Billy T Nominee in the future?
Be yourself, do what you think is funny, and remember that stand up is all a bit of silly fun – don’t take it too seriously!
Are you doing any extra shows at the Comedy fest this year – e.g. Late Laughs, FanFiction etc
No extra shows for me! Just Last Laughs on Sunday.
The Rose Matafeo Variety Hour
Dates: Tues 14 – Sat 18 May, 7pm
Venue: The Basement, Lower Greys Ave
Tickets: $15 – $18