Comedian Tanya Losanno

The Homefront grant is helping Tanya Losanno turn her award-winning comedy show into a book. Photo: Mel Fernandez

17 February 2021

Tanya Losanno can twist every situation into something comical.

The Canberra comedian recalls possessing this skill from a young age – her high school peers even voted her “most likely to be a stand-up comedian” in their Year 12 yearbook.

“I think I’ve always just liked to make people laugh… for me I think it’s almost like a coping mechanism. I don’t find it hard to do, it’s something I’ve always done,” Tanya said.

Three decades on, Tanya has had a successful career as a comedian, and is now turning her award-winning stand-up show, The Good, The Bad and The Elderly, into a book with the help of a Homefront grant.

Homefront was part of the ACT Government’s response to the impacts of COVID-19, with up to $10,000 offered per grant.

The funding supported 125 Canberrans in the development and the sustainability of their arts practices.

Tanya’s show, and soon-to-be book, is about growing up as a first generation Australian, and, the emotional toll of looking after her elderly parents as well as her own children.

“It’s the kind of show where I take people on a journey, I’m very much a storyteller. As well as laughing you have to be prepared to cry … it’s the whole gamut of emotions,” Tanya said.

The Homefront grant gave Tanya the opportunity to develop skills in transforming her comedy show into a book. She joined the Australian Society of Authors, the ACT Writers Centre, and completed master classes and writing retreats.

Another Homefront recipient, Daniel Becker is collecting the first four issues of his comic book series Master and Apprentice, into a trade paperback graphic novel.

Daniel Becker's comic book Master and Apprentice
Daniel Becker's comic book Master and Apprentice.

The comic is a Persian-themed fantasy that celebrates the thrill and danger of discovery, both literal and metaphorical.

“The story so far follows a young and inexperienced apprentice of sorcery that must use his wits and skills to overcome dangers, but also learn what it really means to be a master of sorcery,” Daniel said.

The Homefront grant provided Daniel with funding to keep his business, Invisible Ink Studio, afloat during the peak of COVID-19.

“It helped fund not only me to do the artwork and the writing, and to dedicate the time to do the project, but to also pay other artists to help for the project as well,” Daniel said.

“It’s that fluidity of money, the concept of you give people the means to do what they care to do, then they will spread it around.

“It goes a long way and makes a big splash in many different ways, that’s truly important to a healthy vibrant society.”

For more information on the Homefront funding, visit https://www.arts.act.gov.au/funding/homefront

All Canberra

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