For Newcastle-bred funnyman Cameron James, the chance to ply his trade on home soil is always an enticing one.
But when you throw a venue like the Civic Theatre into the mix, that prospect becomes even more attractive.
Cameron will be coming home this month for the Newcastle Comedy Festival and will take to the iconic stage as part of the festival’s anticipated gala.
“I’m so excited that this is happening,” Cameron told Newcastle Live.
“The first stand-up I ever saw was at the Civic Theatre – it was Carl Baron and, to be honest, I can’t remember a single joke. I just remember the feeling I got when I saw Carl walk out onto that stage and the applause. I felt like I was going to vomit and ever since then I have been desperate to play that stage and it’s finally coming true.”
Hosted by Tommy Little, the gala will feature a litany of some of the best joke-makers doing the rounds at the moment including Aaron Gocs, Cam Knight, Luke Heggie, Gen Fricker, Neel Kolhatkar, Al Del Bene, Nikki Britton, Sarah Gaul, and Bec Charlwood.
Cameron will also be hitting up the Happy Wombat to perform his new show Strawberry Blonde, which has been going great guns st the Sydney Comedy Festival.
And while he may call Sydney home now, thanks to an increasingly busy schedule that has seen him nab a gig as a comedy writer on SBS’s The Feed, and a slot on the Comedy Central web series Share This, Newcastle will forever be a source of much comedic inspiration.
“My family is still all in Newcastle and they are some of the funniest things about that town,” he said. “They all really hate Sydney and whenever I head home there is constant bullying about why I live there and how shit the traffic is – they’re hilarious.”
Cameron added that his Novocastrian formative years had stood him in good stead for a future as a stand-up comic, admitting that he pulled more than a few pranks on one Newcastle Knights great.
“I do remember, when i was young I grew up down the road from Robbie O’Davis and myself and my mates used to knock and run his place quite a but,” Cameron laughed.
“Maybe after the gala, i could get a crew together and see how many knock and runs we can commit on the Newcastle Knights 1997 grand final team.”
The Newcastle Comedy Festival will run from May 23 to 26. For more information, visit www.newycomedyfest.com.