Anthony Locascio is undoubtedly one of the fastest rising stars in Australian comedy. He has over 1 million YouTube views, 57,000 TikTok followers, and his own Apple TV + Amazon Prime specials.

The comedian is gearing up to perform at Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Adelaide Fringe, as well as Perth, Newcastle & Sydney comedy festivals in the coming months. He also heads off on his ‘Heart of Darkness’ tour later this month.

Ahead of his upcoming Australian show, Anthony has reflected on some confronting lessons he learnt while touring the country last year on his first ever stand-up comedy tour ‘Don’t Call Me A Wog.

Here’s what he learned…

1. Rural NSW Hits Different

For my show, I had four, 60cm cubed light up boxes made from plywood and Perspex. The idea was to read a poem I’d written about stereotypes, while sitting on each of them and having them light up with a colour that most represented the emotion the poem attempted to convey.

Of course, the poems were very quickly axed from the show, because, as should have been obvious, stand-up comedy fans couldn’t give a shit about poetry. But because I dropped some decent coin to have the boxes made, I decided to keep THEM in the show, for the gag. Which meant, I had to borrow my dad’s ute and drive these bastards from Sydney to both Adelaide and Melbourne (Perth was a stretch).

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So I spent a decent amount of time in regional NSW, and what a place that is. The dusty, seemingly endless roads of kangaroo corpses hit different. The deeper you get, the more functions the servos…serve. By the time you hit Balranald, the petrol station is also a hotel, pharmacy, apothecary, tattoo parlour and Top Gun memorabilia store, all operated by Shayleen who has no time for your bullshit.

2. South Australia Is Gorgeous

By ever so slight contrast, regional South Australia is simply stunning. Once you cross the South Australian border and part with all your fruit, you are treated to trees, vineyards, lakes. Every half an hour it feels like you’re in a different country.

We drove down to the Southern most tip of the state, and found the most crystal clear, still water beaches. The cliffs were full of greenery and nuanced with ridges and hills, it honestly looks like Southern Europe.

3. Perth Rules

Perth had become my white whale. In 2020, the Perth Comedy Festival was gearing up to be my first ever interstate run of solo shows, until the big sneeze got involved.  In 2021, the same stage was set, until the big sneeze got involved yet again, and the WA Government decided to cancel the Perth Comedy Festival for just one week – the week of my show, and a far lesser known comic by the name of Daniel Sloss’.

Third time would be the charm and in 2022, I finally made it. And it was worth the wait. Perth is wonderful. It took me almost 30 years to step foot in one of Australia’s most beautiful cities; the beaches, the parks (Kings Park man!) the food. The weather is amazing – it was cold, but in the week I was there I didn’t see a single cloud.

And the people are so, so nice. My audiences were amazing and every person I encountered, from the trainer at the gym I popped into, to my Uber driver, were just lovely, wholesome, down to Earth people.

4. I Have A Melbourne Heart

As someone born, raised, and living in Sydney, it’s taken me a while to admit this, but I think I am a Melbourne person. I mean, my family is Greek and Italian, I am in the arts, and I like to complain about social justice issues I really haven’t done enough research on, so I feel like I’m halfway there.

If I go to a café with no cold-drip on the menu, I’m walking out.

I also waited too long to book accommodation and arrived on Formula One weekend, so I ended up in a little suburb by the name of Noble Park. Within 3 conversations about the place with Melbournians, I was asked twice if I’d been stabbed yet. At 3am one night we heard a scream and a big splash and woke up to find three balcony chairs and a car battery hurled into our neighbour’s pool.

I loved Noble Park.

Almost all of my 10 MICF shows were sold out, and the audiences were loud, comedy savvy and energetic. I simply cannot wait get back there in 2023.

5. I Stressed Way, Way Too Much

My debut national festival tour was delayed by two years, so the need to make up for lost time was really felt from the start. I put a lot of pressure on myself.

Although my show was not specifically designed for a so-called ‘ethnic audience’ by virtue of my background and the title of the show, I knew a lot of Greeks and Italians would show up. And because of this, I placed even more pressure on myself to deliver a show that tackled the subject matter of abhorring stereotypes about, but still embracing your ethnicity, with respect and care.

It was hard on me. The pressure of a tour like this is inherently tough; you have to sell tickets to at least break even for the travel expenses, in cities you are not from, and then stand on stage and leak your narcissism onto strangers for an hour.

Every joke that didn’t land conjured immediate thoughts of “you’re shit, you should quit this, go home” which aren’t particularly conducive to a performer people want to spend an hour with. It took me a good 15 shows to finally get out of my own head and enjoy the amazing experience.

This year, I’m not planning to waste that kind of time.

6. Australian Comedy Is On The Up

One of the best perks of participating is all these festivals is receiving a festival pass, which basically allows me to get into any show that isn’t sold out. Brandishing the pass like an FBI agent 

I got to see as many sprouting comedic talents as my schedule permitted.

Daniel Muggleton, Floyd Alexander-Hunt, Rowan Thambar, Sam Bowden; these are all names you should be looking out for in years to come. And those were the ones I got in for.

The lines for Aaron Chen, Sam Campbell and Chris Ryan were around the corner, and impossible to get in to.

For my Perth shows, my venue was the modest Chorus Room within the Regal Theatre (180 seats). Performing adjacent to me in the main Regal Theatre (1000+ seats) was Nazeem Hussein. The final act of Nazeem’s show had some hip-hop music in it. I know this because the noise bleed in this older venue wasn’t the best, and so the last 20 minutes of my show ended up with a score that night. I consider this a testament to how much the Australian comedy scene as a whole, is (literally) booming.

Anthony Locascio ‘Heart Of Darkness’ Tour Dates

Wednesday, March 15th 

The Garage International @ Crack – Adelaide

Thursday, March 16th

The Garage International @ Crack – Adelaide

Friday, March 17th

The Garage International @ Crack – Adelaide

Saturday, March 18th 

The Garage International @ Crack – Adelaide

Wednesday, April 12th 

Belgian Beer Cafe Melbourne – Melbourne

Thursday, April 13th

Belgian Beer Cafe Melbourne – Melbourne

Friday, April 14th

Belgian Beer Cafe Melbourne – Melbourne

Saturday, April 15th

Belgian Beer Cafe Melbourne – Melbourne

Sunday, April 16th

Belgian Beer Cafe Melbourne – Melbourne

Wednesday, April 19th

Belgian Beer Cafe Melbourne – Melbourne

Thursday, April 20th

Belgian Beer Cafe Melbourne – Melbourne

Friday, April 21st

Belgian Beer Cafe Melbourne – Melbourne

Saturday, April 22nd 

Belgian Beer Cafe Melbourne – Melbourne

Wednesday, May 5th 

Factory Theatre Fusebox – Sydney

Thursday, May 4th 

Factory Theatre Fusebox – Sydney

Friday, May 5th 

Factory Theatre Fusebox – Sydney

Saturday, May 6th 

Factory Theatre Fusebox – Sydney

Sunday May 7th 

Factory Theatre Fusebox – Sydney

Friday, May 12th 

The Rechabite – Perth

Saturday, May 13th

The Rechabite – Perth

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