Q&A : Melon the human
We're interviewing up and coming Australian circus performer, Melon the Human, on his brand new hilariously absurd show Assume People Like You. Debuting at Assembly, the comically awkward show follows a robot, an alien and a human as they navigate making connection in a modern age. A fantastic portrayal of three different personalities Melon adopts to assimilate; the person he tries to be, the person he wants to be and the person he becomes due to clearly overthinking ...
Assume People Like You: Describe Assume people like you in one sentence?
Assume People Like You is a one man show about feeling awkward at a party because you don't know anyone, but you can justify everything if you are highly skilled at circus and can make people laugh.
Do you believe in aliens?
Definitely not, as my name suggests, Melon the Human, I am a human and as a human I can confidently say that aliens do not exist. Melon the Alien sounds dumb. No one would watch that.
What did you learn whilst working for cirque de soliel?
Cirque taught me to be comfortable with my skill level. There's a weird existential crisis that occurs when you turn up to the Head Quarters, meet your fellow cast, see how amazing they are and just think "oh no, I need to improve my skills." This creates an urge to train and practice and tell your acrobatic coach that you want to leave certain sections of the music empty because soon, so soon, you'll be able to do a new and amazing trick. A coach told me that it's not an uncommon feeling, and that it's important to switch midsets to "you've got to where you are because of your current skill set, so don't get anxious about your future skills." As an anxious type of guy, this broke through my cynicism and stayed with me.
Morale of the story - Assume People Like You is the culmination of my years of training, it's good, my producers told me that, so relax and enjoy.
What emotions will audience members feel whilst watching Assume people like you?
The goal is to bring out confused humour followed by genuine humour. Oh, you should watch my promo video because you can hear the laughter. And as it's a circus show, I would hope the audience go through the standard "that's impressive," "that must hurt," "that must've taken a lot of practice," "oh wow."
I've attached a list below of the emotions I'm hoping to elicit during each part of the show.
"oh that's the performer"
"oh no, what is this"
"that's pretty cool"
"He seems nice and endearing"
"is he doing theatre"
"oh I've never seen that before"
"haha why's he doing that"
"did you bring a dollar?"
"that's the coolest act so far"
"he's dancing, funny"
"I've seen those before but he's very good"
"that's uncomfortable to watch"
"that's beautiful, I wish it was longer"
"that's horrible, I wish there was less"
"I've never seen that before!"
"he's so endearing"
"I would like an ice cream"
"I did enjoy the show"
"ooooh that's the cube I've heard so much about"
For those who don't know Who is Melon The Human?
Melon the Human was a culmination of the things I enjoy most- circus, Skrillex and Borderlands 2. Obviously a human, I started street performing around Australia and then the UK whilst constantly evolving the character and the circus skills into an awkward anxious guy. My goal was always to reach a high enough level with my circus skills that audiences wouldn't care what weird things I said or did, and this reached its pinnacle when Cirque du Soleil hired me to play a villain who captures princesses and juggles a cube.
Straight to the point - Melon the Human, humour is dry, skills are high. Is he a robot, an alien?? No... human.
Are you excited to see Edinburgh in full festival season ?
I am terrified. It's exciting that it's back! And that audiences get to enjoy that experience of being in a beautiful town whilst watching a smorgasbord of new and unique shows. I remember the last two times I went as a street performer and had a magical month. However, as one of those new and unique shows, what a terrifying experience! In the last few days, my brain has run through every worst case scenario, ranging from "what will I do if the airline loses my luggage" to "what if I forget how to juggle the day a review attends." Deep down I know that everything will be as magical always, but my brain doesn't want to hear that logic at 2am. So if you see an anxious looking man trying to hand out flyers, please help him.