Q&A : Grant Busé
In his new show SentiMENTAL, Australian comic, Grant Busé takes his audience on a trip to the past: equally celebrating and mocking the never-ending nostalgia assaulting our modern senses. It’s a nostalgia-extravaganza, a music-fuelled deconstruction of our selective memories.
Grant is known for his skills as a musical comedian, actor and MC. He has also done a variety of professional musical, film, TV and radio work, including a returning guest role on Australian soap Neighbours (RIP). In 2020, Grant created a series of short films and music videos that have been screened in various international film festivals to critical acclaim. Clean My House won Best Comedy at the LA Music Video Awards (USA) and Rome Music Video Awards (ITA). In his directorial debut in 2021, his short film Breaking Up With Corona won Best Rom-Com Micro Film at Portland Comedy Film Festival (USA) and Best Micro Comedy at Best Short Fest (CAN).
Faced with a wave of nostalgia ourselves, we asked Grant for more details of his work.
Would you say that selective memories are the real explanation for nostalgia?
I remember Furbies fondly. They were these cute little creature companions. Apparently, according to my mother, I was absolutely terrified of them, and she hid mine from me to stop the nightmares. So am I remembering Furbies or am I remembering how fun it was to be a kid and the toys I once had?
For centuries nostalgia was actually considered a disease. Forget COVID- everyone has caught the nostalgia bug. Perhaps our selective memories are just a symptom.
Your hair is utterly impressive. Would you call your hairstyle nostalgic, or perhaps just timeless?
Firstly, thank you. I’ll be sure to put that quote on my next poster! I’d call my hair precision laziness. It takes a lot of work to look this dishevelled. With this hairstyle, I guess it depends when you grew up. In the 60’s - I’d be considered a hippie. In the 80s - a rockstar. These days I’m just your average barista. If it helps sell tickets, I’m happy to tell audience members what conditioner I use at the end of the show.
The show was conceived in 2020, in the UK, but the pandemic forced you to move back to native Brisbane, Australia, where you ended up living with your parents, in your childhood bedroom. Would you say you started to resemble your childhood bedroom posters?
I’m really odd. I never had posters on my wall! Probably because my father thought Blu-Tack would rip off the paint. I did have those giant mirror sliding cupboard doors on one wall. So I guess spending 21 years looking at myself constantly does explain a lot. I mean, I’m a musical comedy performer - that job description basically boils down to, “look at me, look at me!”
I also wouldn’t be surprised if putting up bedroom posters is a dying tradition. These days the only wall children post on is Facebook. Who am I kidding, kids don’t use Facebook anymore.
Do you think people have already developed nostalgia for 2020?
It was a horrific time in human history but time has this healing yet dangerous way of editing our memories into dwindled down re-imaginations. I already know people who long for the good old days in lockdown. Getting to work from home for 2 years and not having to deal with office politics, smelly crowded commutes and your annoying boss telling you to put on trousers at work. 2020 was a vaccinated introverts dream. Personally, I miss how much I spoke to my friends on a regular basis. Sure, it wasn’t in person, but we all have that one friend who benefited from having a mute button.
What do you think are some of the bad things we already forgot about the pre pandemic world?
Remember when Australia was on fire… that was 2019. So much sh*t has happened in the last two years it’s hard to keep up with all the trauma. I think our brains can only deal with so many tragedies at one time so to keep us sane we literally just forget the bad and fill that void with the latest reboot of Sex And The City. Personally, I completely forgot about Notre Dam burning down until I watched Carrie return to the Paris bridge in ‘And Just Like that’.
Are we actually always living in “the good old days?”
I guess that depends on how accurate your memory is. It’s a question I delve deep into a lot in my show. All I know is that you will remember fondly for years the day you purchased that ticket to Grant Busé: SentiMENTAL at Edinburgh Fringe!
Grant Busé: SentiMENTAL!, Gilded Balloon, Teviot (Nightclub), 8.30pm, 3-29 August (not 15)