On the Couch with Darby James

Darby James photo by Olivia MorisonWho is Darby James?
I’m an eccentric ball of queer anxious party-time, with a cute butt and eyelashes that will make you wanna punch me in the face. I write songs on purpose. My favourite pastime is eating, and my favourite food is everything I can put in my mouth. I’ve never had a curse placed on me, but I have scrolled witch-tok in an attempt to learn a thing or two about hair regrowth. I’m not balding, but I think it’s good to keep your options open in case I’d like to start a career in finance. I grew up in Canberra and my parents go grocery shopping on a Tuesday. I keep trying hard to make REALLY good baba ganoush, but I haven’t perfected the smoking technique, so I’ve decided to write a show about sperm donation instead.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I’d live on an old wooden ship and smoke a little pipe full of peppermint tea. I’d have a parrot named Peanut and we’d feast on oranges and strawberries to avoid scurvy. At night, I’d go out rowing under the moonlight to sing poetic love songs about the hotties I’ve seen stocking shelves at Woolies. I’d have a really luscious beard beaded with diamonds, and whenever I’d dock the ship, I’d find a local food market and dive into a vat of spicy street noodles.

Who inspires you and why?
People who exude sunshine. People who choose kindness. People who protest in creative and unique ways. People who make pottery thirst-trap videos. Also everyone who made the Rodgers and Hammerstein Cinderella movie musical starring Brandy, Whitney Houston, Bernadette Peters, Whoopi Goldberg. That movie slaps.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Make it a cube instead of a sphere. For way too long we’ve been conforming to this “round planet” outdated standard and honestly it’s pretty disgusting. I think the majority of us would be happier on cube-world, especially if it has Rubik’s Cube twisty abilities. The fault line chic. Having your square suddenly rotate to land beside Japan. As if you wouldn’t want that.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Buffet breakfast. You know why.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
The State Library, obviously, because it’s the sexiest place I’ve ever seen in my life. Also a buffet dinner. And then a musical or comedy show. And then a 7-eleven for a slushy and free tomato sauce.

What are you currently reading?
Too many emails and think pieces about how buffets are the cornerstone of a brighter future. Guess I’ll write a show about buffet-love next year? But in the meantime come see my show about a sailor facing existential reproductive dread.

What are you currently listening to?
Yves Blake, Fan Girls: Night of Our Lives.

Happiness is?
Telling stories to strangers in a room. Scooping all your favourite foods onto a plate, and then going back for seconds. And nautical kitsch.

What does the future hold for you?
She’s holding my backpack when I need a loo break and to do vocal warm ups. She’s holding tickets to my comedy show. She’s holding Ursula energy. She’s holding up a sign that says “Follow me @darbyalexanderjames”

Darby presents the award-winning comedy cabaret Little Squirt at the Malthouse Theatre, as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, until 21 April 2024. For more information, visit: www.comedyfestival.com.au for details.

Image: Darby James – photo by Olivia Morison