Sweeney Preston, star athlete and winner of the recent West Side Open Mic comedy award, tells Benjamin Millar he is a big fan of Seddon’s hot chips and city skyline views.
What’s your connection with Seddon?
I’ve lived in Seddon since day one. The most quintessentially Seddon thing I can remember occurred during my primary school days. I would walk up Charles Street every Friday night to get fish ‘n’ chips and hire a movie from Gamon Video, while dad bought a bottle of wine. We also used to have an enormous lemon tree in the backyard, which we would harvest the lemons from to sell to the chip shop. While Seddon’s popularity has risen, it has kept its local charm. There are so many great new shops popping up, new people visiting, new events to go to, while never becoming too big for its boots.
What do you like best about living here? What could make it even better?
One of my favourite things to do is look at the city lights from Charles Street. It’s one of the only suburbs with such a clear line of view into the city. Whenever there’s fireworks, it’s only a matter of walking outside to watch them. I don’t know of many things that could improve honestly, we’re pretty much spoilt here.
Has this area shaped who you are and if so how?
Most definitely. I blame Seddon for my extreme laziness, since I’ve grown up never needing to walk more than a few hundred metres for something I needed. If you can’t find something in Yarraville, Seddon or Footscray, you’re not looking hard enough.
What drew you to comedy and what is your favourite thing about performing comedy?
The money. It’s so much easier to do taxes when you can use your fingers to count your dollars. In all seriousness, I have grown up watching comedy on stage and on TV, and with so many great role models out there, it’s hard not to want to be involved in such a creative industry.
What else do you enjoy doing with your time?
I write other things aside from jokes, such as song lyrics, raps, poetry and the odd article for my school magazine. I love singing and acting too, this year my school is performing West Side Story which I’m very excited to be a part of as Riff, the leader of The Jets. I love the friends I’ve made through acting and I find that the different disciplines of performing I’m involved with, complement one another. Athletics, and my part-time job at the Sun Theatre are also big parts of my life. At this stage, I’m just trying to do as many things as possible.
What does winning the recent Westside open mic mean to you?
West-Side Open was my first senior comedy competition. It gave me a tremendous confidence boost and it’s a great credential to put on the stand-up CV. I put many hours into crafting my jokes and the recognition from the audience voters meant the world to me. It was a great reward for effort.
What’s something people would be surprised to find out about you?
I haven’t found a date for my year 12 formal. I’ll probably just end up taking mum, but I honestly think I’d cramp her style. Maybe dad would be keen?