Em Rusciano talks 'Party Tricks' and politics.

Em Rusciano




Asher Keddie, Rodger Corser and Em Rusciano in one room sounds like a bit of a fantasy to me (in a strictly non-sexual sense. Well… maybe a little bit). And tonight, we get to see all three brilliant talents in one fist-pumping episode of Party Tricks.

I spoke to Em Rusciano, mainly because I wanted to know what Rodger Corser smells like in real life. She didn’t disappoint. In fact, I didn’t even have to ask…

And as usual, she made me laugh so much I had to cross my legs.

Lucy: Em. Your episode of Party Tricks is on air tonight. How are you feeling?

Em: It’s pretty much the peak of my life. When I was about 7 years old I was introduced to the great man John Farnham by going to a Whispering Jack concert with my hair cut into a mullet like his. My whole life has been building to singing “That’s Freedom” on a national TV show that he may watch.

Lucy: What will you do if he does watch it and contacts you to tell you how much he loved it?

Em: I just… I don’t know. I don’t think I can’t even compute that, my brain will shut down. I’ll be able to retire. I’ll be like ‘That’s it, bitches’. I’m really hoping it’ll lead to some kind of duet. I know he’s doing one with Livvy [Olivia Newton-John], but why wouldn’t he want to do a tour with a person who came ninth on Australian Idol in 2004?

Lucy: How was the Party Tricks experience? Good vibe on set?

Em: Awesome, it was great. I got to touch and smell Rodger Corser.


Em: And I really smelled him. Like, hard. He smells amazing, like essence of man but a hint of charming. It’s just his natural musk. Rodger Corser is a lovely human, he’s a muso too. He used to play in a Bon Jovi tribute band… He totally sings and plays guitar. So handsome. And my best friend Michael Lucas created the show, so it was good to see Michael at work. Walking around, writing things… I was so grateful. There was a sweeping crane shot like in a Wilson Phillips video clip, and I do a dramatic fist bump. There’s like two and a half minutes of me singing live, and it’s because of Michael. And my dad does all my guitaring so he’s on the show too tonight, credits and everything. It’s pretty exciting.

Rodger that.

Lucy: Were you on set with Asher Keddie? Is she a goddess?

Em: I wasn’t on set with her because it was a ‘Liberal party launch’ that I was performing at (they had to airbrush all my tattoos out, I had to be ‘liberal partied’ up – so I was in a very sensible black dress, I had my hair combed in an up-style, tasteful jewellery… it’s another side of me) but Asher is divine, I know her quite well. I’ve seen all the upcoming episodes of Party Tricks and she just gets more and more kickass and hard. Nina Proudman is dead now. Kate Ballard [Asher’s character on Party Tricks] kind of says everything I wanted Nina to say in Offspring. She stands up for herself, she doesn’t stumble over her words, I feel vindicated for Nina watching Kate go hard.

Lucy: Do you feel sad for Nina though? Too soon?


Lucy: But… but..

Em: That woman went through enough! She found a nice man, the baby’s good, what more does Australia want her to go through?! It’s done. Let the woman live a happy ever after. Maybe I’ll stand a movie or a double episode where her and old mate get married, but it’s done.

Lucy: And you could sing at the wedding, obviously.

Em: Obviously. Like some kind of ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ or something. But other than that, let Nina rest in peace. This role is amazing for Asher. You’ve never seen her like this before. She loses her mind in the most spectacular fashion, it’s amazing.

Lucy: Let’s talk politics. Victorian Election in a couple of weeks. Thoughts?

Em: You know what my thoughts are? I don’t know anything about either of the people. I think a lot of Victorians feel the same way. I know that Ted Baillieu pissed off the firemen and he’s not doing great for education. I can’t even name the Labor party candidate. Isn’t that terrible? But I think that’s the problem. They don’t really have a presence. I’m someone who has a genuine interest in politics, so it’s a concern that I don’t know anything about it.

I think politics has become about who can keep their head down and not do the stupidest thing, and then totally Steven Bradbury the win. Party Tricks is great timing. Michael certainly borrowed heavily from things going on in State and Federal politics. Michael’s dream is for Julia Gillard to tweet that she’s watching it. That would be huge.

Lucy: Do you think we’d care more if we found out that a party member slept with the opposition?

Em: (laughs) Who knows? Remember when it came out that Kevin had gone to the strippers and everyone thought that was a good thing? You just never know with the public. I think anything that would give them some personality would be good. I mean ANYTHING. They’re so boring. I don’t want to vote for them because I don’t care about them.

Lucy: Maybe YOU should run for Premier?!

Em: Oh, shit no. Can you imagine? No, that would be the worst. All the money would go to education and nurses. There’d be nothing left for business development, I’d just be looking after all the people that I like!

Lucy: So hypothetically, who would you vote for in the show? Kate Ballard or David McLeod?

Em: (reluctantly) Kate. I could never vote for the Liberal party. My mother still stands up anytime someone says Gough Whitlam’s name. I was wrapped in a Gough Whitlam t shirt when I was born. The Labor party runs deep within my family. But I do enjoy Malcolm Turnbull in a leather jacket so I could be persuaded.

Lucy: So what’s next, Em?

Em: I’ve got shows coming up in Sydney and Melbourne, but this time of year is largely about preparing for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. I’m just finishing off my new show, which is called ‘Motherload’. I thought it was time I tackled motherhood in a comedy and musical fashion. I’ve just finished writing a song about how to explain pornography to children, set to ‘Do Re Mi’ from The Sound of Music. I explain rimming in a child-friendly way. It’s going to be fun.

I’m also playing at the kids’ version of Big Day Out – it’s called Playfest in Melbourne in November, there’s all kinds of artists and kids’ stories and a nap tent, it’s going to be awesome. I’ve written some kid-friendly stuff with Dad, I’m SO excited. My blog is going off too, so that’s great and keeping me busy. I’m trying to put together a bit of a book situation as well, so that’s exciting.

Keep an eye out for Em tonight in Party Tricks. And if anyone knows John Farnham, tell him to tune in.

Seven-year-old mullet-head Em will love you forever.

Party Tricks on Channel Ten at 8:30 tonight. Also, check out this hilarious fake Twitter account following the election.


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