Jimmy James Eaton performs Guilt Trip at Three Degrees
In the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this year, Three Degrees in Melbourne will play to host to several characters. Darth Vader is almost guaranteed to turn up, along with Yoda, Elmo, a collection of the elderly and a cacophony of sound effects. These all come to you courtesy of Jimmy James Eaton.
“There’s a lot of guilt that come with this job,” Jimmy reflects. “It’s like comedy erectile dysfunction.” Guilt Trip will be a close examination of neuroses but it will also feature the Jimmy James trademark: the voices.
It’s been a long road for him, getting his start on Channel V, Raw and Triple J back when he was 21. After so many years of perseverance though, Jimmy recently performed to his largest audience of 3500.
Although his major fanbase is here in Australia, Jimmy has also toured in the UK, popping over for the Edinburgh Comedy Festival. “The British are very different to perform to,” he says. “They’re great though, they have that dry sense of humour that really enjoys the voices and the characters.”
Guilt Trip is a mixed act; Jimmy wants to branch out a little bit from the voices, even though he enjoys them so much. Riding on the success of shows like When Jokes Strike Back and Improsapien, Guilt Trip has that little unique something that promises to bring out the neurotic within. “It’s like Getaway for anyone who’s ever felt guilty for no good reason,” he explains obliquely.
There is a quality to Jimmy’s work that is different though; he reports that he best thing that a critic ever said about his show is that he is “pure charm.”
“I was amazed that anyone could say something like that about me!” Eaton laughs. “But it hasn’t all been that nice. I think the worst thing that’s been said was that it was like watching a second banana warm up guy for an hour…” he stops and you can almost hear him scratching his head. “But I don’t know, that could easily be a compliment too, I suppose…”
Jimmy admits that he always liked performing, but he wasn’t the drama kid in school. He says that was the idea behind Improsapien, but that as much as he enjoys the improvisation side of comedy and performance art, he is looking forward to Guilt Trip’s structure. “Doing improv for an hour is a lot of fun, but it is very hard too,” he admits. “I like to see what happens, take things further and if I get into a tight place, I just get out.”
He may have gotten into tight places, but he’s also triumphed in the world of comedy. He’s gone home with the 2006 People’s Choice Award and become the champion of National Australian Theatre Sports, Jester Pies Comedy Cup and Channel V Masked Avenger. With so many wards under his belt, Jimmy James is something that you have to see at least once in your life.
Jimmy James Eaton performs Guilt Trip at Three Degrees from March 31 – April 21. The show’s at 8.30pm Tuesday – Saturday. Tickets are $10 - $15. Book at 3dcomedy.com.au/bookings or 0417 651 538.