Broriginals at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
Broriginals Live brings you a roller coaster ride of stand-up comedy, sibling rivalry, podcasting and race politics. All safely packaged up by two of Australia’s most Successful Aboriginals™
Are we allowed to laugh at that? Even worse, are we allowed to ask questions? Brothers Texas and Travis will unpack the mysteries of an intersectional, post-colonial, post offensive world in their unique blend of agony aunt, self-improvement and audience stimulated show.
Rosie spoke with Texas and Travis about why they created Broriginals and how we can use comedy to unpack the political. Read the full interview below:
Texas and Travis De Vries
What inspired the creation of Broriginals, and what did you set out to achieve with this podcast?
Broriginals came out of the two of us (Travis and Texas) goofing around, playing online video games. We actually hadn’t really hung out for about 10 years and we’d led really different lives. Travis had moved to the city, established an arts career and Texas had stayed in our hometown and had a beautiful daughter and was really involved in the community. When we got online together though our old playfulness from when we were growing up immediately came back and we had other people online laughing the whole time. Travis was a producer for a couple of different podcasts so it just kind of came naturally to start recording ourselves.
In terms of what we set out to achieve we both feel that in terms of representation of Indigenous voices in the arts there is a trend to show ‘worthy’ or ‘trauma’ as a mirror to non-Indigenous people. We wanted to do something different and just express who we are. We like to think we are your average, Aboriginal boys next door.
Broriginals was originally established as a comedy podcast, now brought live to the stage. How do you think a live audience will change the way you perform comedy? What benefit does a live audience have to Broriginals?
The show is all about the audience, even in the recorded versions. The show is based around listeners asking for advice on how to better and more Successful Aboriginals TM in their day-to-day lives so the live show extends that in a great way. These are prompts for us to riff and improvise. The live show really amplifies that, the audience can really get involved, grill us and hold us to account. Also you get tee opportunity to come face to face with a real Aboriginal, it’s the cultural tourism you didn’t know you were looking for. Who wouldn’t want that?
Why is comedy such a strong avenue to unpack and investigate the political and taboo, and how does Broriginals use comedy to examine this?
We always felt growing up that if we could laugh at ourselves harder nothing could touch us, we grew up in a pretty red necked area of the world and if we didn’t laugh at ourselves we would have been fighting and/or crying the whole time. But denigrating someone else because they are different is never ok, we’ve both dealt with depression in our lives and a big trigger for that has been racism.
With Broriginals we like to think we’re finding a different way to look at these and other issues, there is a positive way to do comedy that we tap into and when we don’t we like to think that in terms of the taboo, politics and racism exposure to sunlight is the best antiseptic.
Broriginals now has over 50 episodes distributed across a number of streaming channels. What would you like to see the podcast develop to?
We have some really exciting plans for the future, we’re making a special 3 part kids version of the show as well as collaborating with some friends to make a very cool narrative based show where we play monster hunters in a small NSW town (kinda like Supernatural but with Aboriginal monsters). We’re also really excited about developing a network with other Indigenous podcasters. These things are all in the works and coming soon.
You’ve trademarked your own titles so I’ve got to ask: what exactly makes a Successful Aboriginal™?
This is probably the butt of the joke of the show, like the symbology of the snake eating it’s own tail. Travis moved away from his community and family and had an amazing arts career and Texas (up until a couple of months ago) works a few days a week as a groundskeeper for the local primary school, where we both went as kids. Texas gets to spend time with his family and be a part of the community there. The real answer is that every Aboriginal is a Successful AboriginalTM and there is no one way to be Aboriginal, and deep down that’s really want this show is about.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS:
Favourite production you have ever seen?
Travis: Hofesh Schector’s Sun, I assisted on presenting the show at the Sydney Opera House and loved every minute of it.
Texas: I haven't seen many live productions but my favourite of the few would be Feather by Bangarr.
You’re getting on a plane tomorrow and you can go anywhere in the world, where do you go?
Travis: Japan, I’ve never been and I would love to go.
Texas: I really want to climb to Machu Picchu. It looks like an amazing place and also incredibly mysterious. The Aztecs were badass.
Dream show to create?
Travis: A BRORIGINALS Musical, if you know anyone that wants to help hit us up!
Texas: My dream to create is a retro gaming show online where I play my favourite retro games, mostly screaming about how crap I am now with my old man reflexes. Doing this in a theatre setting could be even more hilarious.
Plays or musicals?
Texas: Musicals for sure. I've not seen many live but I love a good Disney musical
A hobby you have beyond the theatre?
Travis: I play a lot of Magic the Gathering. Not YuGiOh
Texas: Gaming would be my biggest hobby but also conspiracy theories and cryptid creatures is a big one.
What’s next for you after this show?
Travis: We’re working on some things!
Texas: I'm not too sure what's next for me. I want to start doing lots of podcasts and some YouTube stuff as well. Online media is the way of the future. I want to say unfortunately because I'm very tech illiterate
Broriginals opens at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre on August 17, 2019. You can get your tickets here.