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On my show:

Billy Pilgrim OR; Marching Toward Death With Wobbly Legs Like A Velociraptor

My mother and I in bed. I am the small baby and she is the handsome woman. by Joseph Harper

-An advertorial zine to jostle yr interest like no other-1-

Contents 1. Cool title page 2. Contents (the worst page in this whole stupid thing) 3. Introduction (for the reader (let’s be honest, this is for me (so damn vain))) 4. About this show 5. Chronological list of things that died when I was a child (w/ pithy commentary) 6. Why you should write about/review/whatever me (or at least come to my show) 7. Crudely rendered digital drawing of Mr. K. Vonnegut Junior, (Hoosier etc.) 8. Pity me (my ‘underdog status’ and it’s relation to you and yr copious koha or clout)) 9. Things that may or may not be in the show (so many lies) 10. Boring logistics 11. End

this is how I imagine Billy Pilgrim


Introduction Hello. Thanks for clicking on this thing. I’m sorry if yr computer isn’t good enough to be able to read this. That’s not really my fault though and I don’t think you should hold that against me or my crappy little show. I’m writing this in Auckland. I’ve just gotten home from work. It was a hot day today. Rainy too. One of those days where you get all steamy under yr skin. I was trying to teach the girl I teacher aide for how to tell time. She wasn’t really having a bloody bar of it to be honest, so we spend a good deal of the day playing boggle (which admittedly is its own reward). I am not sure what to make for dinner, though I suspect in the end I’ll succumb to something oriental. Maybe just a dish of soy sauce and a hunk of raw broccoli. Needless to day, things are rough. I hope to finish this tonight. I was supposed to do it about a month ago, in the hopes of arousing some interest in my show before you were all drowned in a vast shopping trolley filled mangrove or comedy festival press releases (promising talent and enthusiasm and ‘fuckloads of laughs’), but I just didn’t do it. In my defence, I’m living in a townhouse in an inner-city apartment complex, and I have access to a swimming pool. I’m also learning to play the euphonium. But hey, we’ve all been busy, right? Really, there are no excuses for my tardiness but I hope you’ll excuse me and consider my show. That’s why I’m making this thing. So that if you are a reporter or editor or blogger or programme manager or television personality or columnist or interviewer or tastemaker or trendsetter or socialite or gossiper or heavy tweeter, you might be interested in writing about my show or talking to me about my show etc. Or if you are a boring/normal person (just kidding, everyone’s the same), you might read this and decide to come to my show. Otherwise, maybe you will just enjoy this thing. The show is called Billy Pilgrim OR; Marching Toward Death With Wobbly Legs Like a Velociraptor and my name is Joseph Harper. Thanks for reading so far. Hopefully the following pages will convince you to take a chance on me in spite of everything, like the Canterbury Rugby Football Union took a chance on that stringy and magnificent boozer/bowlie, Andrew Mehrtens. Just think how well that worked out. From yr pal, Joseph


About this show This show is about death and dying. It’s mainly a combination of stories about me and my mother and the rest of our family and ruminations and naval gazing and the ghost of Kurt Vonnegut’s Billy Pilgrim. It is an earnest attempt at negotiating and subverting ‘Death’ and coming to terms with the fact that everyone is dying and some of those people are your family members or best friends. I hope it will be funny. At least that parts of it will be funny. I dunno. Should be good I think. This show was conceptualised in June last year and was immediately transformed into a funding application that displayed delusions of grandeur well beyond my 23 years. It began with a ripe quotation from Freud’s Der Humor and followed through for another 14 pages with exaggerated biographies, semi-formed academia, crew members who weren’t yet aware of the project, confessional anecdotes, photographs of my mother, and footnotes! footnotes! footnotes! which collapsed into each other with a clumsy kind of grace. It was bloated and absurd and fucking terrific. It was quickly dismissed. I made the show regardless. I’m performing the show in Wellington and Auckland (two nights in each place) during the 2012 comedy festival.

This is my mother.


Chronological list of things that died when I was a child 1. Sam (cat) – Fairly generic white cat (and all that that entails). 2. Joey (budgie) – Gift from an old lady neighbour. Perished en route to Dunedin. 3. Slimer and Mr. Mum (frogs) – Perished along with Joey. God, such good names. 4. Mr. Bill “Budge” Burgess (teacher) – Smoker/Grump. Much loved purveyor of non-stop cticket. 5. Various fish – Alas, they were so anonymous. 6. Various mice – Again, I am a bad person. 7. Mr. Nelson (neighbour) – Elderly man. Did he really die? Did he even exist? Oh, I don’t know. I have vague memories. 8. Cadbury (guinea pig) – Made a headstone out of a table tennis racquet. Cried at the funeral. Vividly recall how flat he was when I drew him from his little cage. 9. Joe Caddigan (neighbour) – Rugby referee of some note. My brother inherited a couch. It smelled of old cigarettes. But it folded out into a bed. 10. Bob (guinea pig) – Always second fiddle to Cadbury. Named for his ‘dreads’, which formed through lack for brushing. Probably the tragic hero of my childhood pets.

Bob and Cadbury


Why you should write about/review/whatever me Please excuse the skiting that follows. Here are some reasons why I think I am more deserving of yr interest than other shows: My ‘media release’ is more technologically advanced (avant-garde even?) than most. I am untouched by the gluggy fingers of corporate corruption. My show is the cheapest in the entire festival (I ask only for a donation). I have a proven track record of success. I am not too handsome. I am basically awash with miniature accolades (2k12 best newcomer at the New Zealand Fringe, 2k11 winner of playmarket’s ‘playwrights b425 competition’, 2k11 billy t award nominee). I come from Christchurch. I am a good person who suffers bouts of acne, just like everybody else. I am performing in beautiful venues, I am an easy option for exercising a kind of revenge on all those other comedians. Thus far my ‘massive publicity effort’ has consisted of telling my more attractive friends to come in the hope that it will have a domino effect, sending desperate/cloying messages out in an attempt to ‘dominate’ the ‘celeb picks’ section of the comedy festival website, creating a cool poster on my computer (below(no intention of printing it)), praying. You can help me take my ‘massive publicity effort’ by writing about or interviewing or publicising me and my show in some way. I promise I will be very pleasant through the whole ordeal. I’d offer forth some kind of payola scenario, but I am a poor and simple teacher aide and have no coffers from which to draw. Please pity me. Here is a list of phrases people have used in reviews of my previous shows: “unique new talent”, “rampantly inquisitive intelligence”, “wondrous dramatic unity”, “erudite”, “profoundly interesting writer”, “you can’t help but feel more human”, “utterly evocative”, “spectacular round of applause”, “genuinely likable”, “raw, honest and enjoyable”, “truly buoyant”, “a delight”, “anything but boring”, “intense yet lyrical”, “absorbing and strangely life-affirming”, Sorry for that onslaught. But it had to be done, right? So anyway. Please come to my show. Please. Really. Please. Bring friends. Here’s a little version of my little poster:


Crudely rendered digital drawing of Kurt Vonnegut Jnr.

Kurt Vonnegut Junior – patron saint of humanists and happy losers


Pity me Lets be honest, there are probably more interesting shows than mine, and there are certainly better shows/comedians than me in this year’s festival (Guy Williams, Tom Furniss, Rose Matafeo, Arthur Meek, David O’Doherty) but that’s exactly why you should sink yr publicising talons into my show! These shows don’t need yr help. They’ll float on their own. Surely. My show on the other hand, needs you. Please. I need yr help here, man. Noone knows who I am. Noone gives a crap about my show. Which is why you should! Please call me. Please email me. Please come to my show. I am so hopeless. I am limp and lame. I have a girlfriend who requires food EVERY SINGLE DAY. I need koha from people to survive. Look at me. I am a bloody sorry piece of work.

I will be doing this show. Please help me make it a success by coming/promoting it. Please. Just. Jesus. Help me out here. None of the other comedians need yr help. They are all losers anyway.


Things that may or may not be in my show (probably not) 1. Live burial 2. Honest conversation 3. Mean acting moves 4. Anxiety 5. Interviews with my mum 6. Interviews with little kids 7. Interviews with cats 8. Guns 9. Virtuosic displays of strength 10. Virtuosic displays of emotion 11. Virtuosic displays of incompetence 12. Bi-lingual feats of literary agility 13. Animals 14. Live music 15. Rolling Stones covers 16. Heating 17. A fan 18. Free drinks 19. Merch table 20. Sexual tension 21. Pomp and circumstance 22. Kurt Vonnegut re-enactments 23. Basketball 24. Bathrooms 25. Seats 26. Shitty lyricism 27. A fun time


Boring Logistics My show Billy Pilgrim OR; Marching Toward Death With Wobbly Legs Like a Velociraptor has been made for and will be performed as part of the 2012 New Zealand International Comedy Festival. In Wellington it is on at the Tararua Tramping Club (4 Moncrieff Street, Mount Victoria) The shows are on the 3rd and 4th of May and will start at 8:30pm. In Auckland it is on at the Wine Cellar (St Kevins Arcade, Karangahape Rd) The shows are on the 10th and 11th of May and will start at 8:30pm. Entry to all shows is by koha (cash only sorry). Bookings can be made by emailing me at or by texting or calling me on 0273924447. Last year in Auckland was pretty blimmin full so booking is probably a good idea. Although this year I imagine that won’t be a problem. If you want to contact me for press reasons or just to ask questions about my show then feel free to do so using the above contacts. Alternatively, go on my blog for more information –

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Thanks for reading or looking at this thing. Sorry if it sucked. I look forward to hearing from you or meeting you at the show. Otherwise, thanks again and I hope you and everyone you know are happy etc. Look after yrself.

Love from Joseph

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On my show: Billy Pilgrim OR; Marching Toward Death WIth Wobbly Legs Like a Velociraptor  

another dumb e-zine made by joseph harper. this one is to promote his show in the 2012 NZ comedy festival. such an idiot, right?