Please don’t use my flannel for that: MFF

What was supposed to be the first step in a brilliant screen-writer/movie maker life, turns out eleven years later as a good ol’ laugh and excellent stand up material for Lou Sanz.
Please don’t use my flannel for that: MFF
What was supposed to be the first step in a brilliant screen-writer/movie maker life, turns out eleven years later as a good ol’ laugh and excellent stand up material for Lou Sanz. In her solo show Please don’t use my flannel for that at this year’s Fringe festival Lou Sanz’s shares her darkly-tragic, hopelessly-funny ‘solid story piece’, part read, part performed – a gap-year memoir (with various domestic side tours) of the destruction of her Hollywood dream. Leaving Australia in 1998 having sold her first movie script, she found herself plunged into a bleak chain of events, at the mercy of her yahoo international chat friend’s dodgy cowboy boyfriend, hanging out with the residents at Hotel America, sharing cheese, meeting staff from the Australian embassy, finding her credit isn’t so good, her job isn’t so solid, reverse charge phone calls aren’t appreciated, and that not all frat parties turn out to be fun. But somehow she manages to make us laugh about it, finding the absurdities in the most grim of circumstances. The kicker of course is that it really is based on her true story. At the tender age of 19 she headed off to LA alone having sold her first screenplay to Monster Pictures and created a reverse charges bill that still excites family discussion. However, where the show ends was just the beginning of the real life story of Lou Sanz, who’s still showing some of that show biz prodigy. After her less than successful campaign to take over Hollywood, she returned to Australia and scored a Columbia-Sony Pictures scholarship to AFTRS where she got her Masters in Screenwriting before heading overseas once more and spending the following five years between the UK and Australia. For the past few years she’s moved into TV and performing. There’s been a stint on the SBS series Life Support (2001-2003); her blog The Problematic World of Lou which helped launch her into stand-up and has become the basis for a pilot, at last year’s Fringe she performed her own show Less about me and produced Celia Pacquola’s debut solo show Am I Strange?. For the Comedy Festival she created a audio-documentary installation Who Is Priscilla Irving. She was a National Finalist in this year’s Triple J Raw Comedy Competition and won a Moosehead for Who is Priscilla Iriving and Most Promising Debut was from Comedy@Trades. And if that wasn’t enough, together with Pacquola’s she has formed The Skirt Network – something which wants/hopes/aspires to be a “social network for funny ladies of any humorous persuasion – performers, writers, producers, directors.” There’s a dark sweetness to Sanz’s performance, the sort of uncomprehending innocence of a mistreated puppy that none the less has survived her ordeal and managed to turn it into entertainment - with just a touch of acrid obsessiveness that might need therapy. The show’s peppered with great lines, observations and plentiful Gen-Y touchstones that score highly with the audience. But her self-absorbed angst inspires a sort of guilty laughter at times, the kind you get from the kid with a bucket on its head, repeatedly bashing into walls. Now and then it risks pushing into the territory of just a bit disturbing, especially where she goes off narrative into ‘my family sucked’ whining that just doesn’t ring as true. Wherever she’s been or had to get through to this point though, it’s clear that Sanz is now having a great time and thoroughly enjoying what she’s doing. There’s the sense that this really is just the first chapter in her tale -and kudos to her – there’s still a lot more of her story to tell. Please don’t use my flannel for that: The Store Room The Skirt Network Website: lousanz.com Last show is Friday 9th of October at 11pm MELBOURNE FRINGE FESTIVAL

Fiona Mackrell

Monday 5 October, 2009

About the author

Fiona Mackrell is a Melbourne based freelancer. You can follow her at @McFifi or check out www.fionamackrell.com