Please tell us about your brand of comedy- what can audiences expect?
It's very gentle comedy in my show. First and foremost I sing Cole Porter's songs and explore his life but I'm a big believer that comedy is the way in to an audiences heart so there's definitely lots of laughs along the way. A lot of humour comes out of the extraordinary wealth that he lived with - there's a few 'let them eat cake' moments. And remember this is the man who wrote 'Lets Misbehave' so there's laughs at him simply being naughty too! He used to host Sunday all-male pool parties at his Hollywood pad, flying the flag 'Camp Porter. Camp in every sense of the word!
Which comedians have been your biggest influence?
I'm influenced by comedians who use comedy to speak very deep truths and aren't afraid to be political or confrontational. I watched Wanda Sykes on YouTube the other day talking about the main difference between being a lesbian and being black is that you don't need to 'come out' black to your parents. It's a very funny routine and her comedy is the perfect combination of laughter, politics and sharing truths.
What random things make you laugh in everyday life?
It's embarrassing to confess but I find myself laughing out loud at silly cat videos on Facebook all the time. I groan whenever I see another one posted but invariably I get a good chuckle out of them. Especially cats beating dogs up, or recently one with cats taking out small children, I'm pretty sure I laughed for days.
Please tell us about your best and worst moment on stage so far.
My best moments on stage are those moments when you and an audience are completely in sync with each other. It only happens now and then, sometimes only for part of a performance but when you have the feeling that you can do no wrong with an audience there's nothing quite like it. It's empowering and makes the hard work and the tough gigs all worth it. As for the worst moment, I had an audience member quite recently let me know during a performance that he didn't like gay people and was quite happy keeping his back turned to me. I don't know what shocked me more - that this would still happen in 2016 or how much it upset me after the gig.
Do you still get nervous when you do a gig?
Absolutely! Sometimes very nervous but I've pretty much mastered the technique of harnessing nerves into energy. The more nervous I am, the more likely you'll see me jumping around in my dressing room, bouncing off the walls and excited to get onstage. I wish I'd figured that one out a lot sooner than I did, nerves used to ruin me when I first started out.
Why is Edinburgh Fringe Festival such a great platform for comedians?
Edinburgh each August becomes the centre of the performing arts universe. It's a special festival to connect with and be inspired by other artists and it compels you to do your best work - there's no other way to stand out from the pack except by bringing your absolute 'A game'. It's also a place where recognition carries weight elsewhere, if you can be noticed in Edinburgh then you're obviously doing something right!
Who are you looking forward to seeing as an audience member?
Being a cabaret artist first, I'm excited to see many of my mates who I've not seen since last Edinburgh. I can't wait to see Lady Rizo, Christina Bianco, Sven Ratzke, Tomas Ford, Puddles the Clown and Sarah-Louise Young. Lots of music and lots of laughs.
What is your advice to aspiring comedians?
Fake it till you make it! It was said to me a long time ago by a Broadway choreographer and I figured the time he was merely throwing away a rhyming couplet but the longer I'm in this business, the more I recognise it as wonderful advice. No one starts out having found their unique voice, choose your influences wisely and keep at it until you find out where you fit. Persistence far outweighs talent in the long run.
What is the oddest heckle you've ever received?
I was horrified when a young lady heckled me at my Madonna tribute cabaret a couple of years back, announcing to the audience that I threw a chocolate in to the crowd 'like a girl'! The show is a gentle feminist statement and subverts gender so it was especially inappropriate. I heckled right back saying I must have thrown it with 'strength and grace'. That shut her up!
What is next for you?
Lots of gigs back home in Australia to finish off the year. Next year in February I'm doing my very first tour of the States, taking my Cole Porter tribute all around California and my Madonna and Annie Lennox shows to New York. I don't know a soul in California so I need all the help I can get! I also have to start thinking about what show to return to Edinburgh in 2017 with, it's crazy to say that when this Fringe hasn't even started yet but that's showbiz!
Michael Griffiths new cabaret show 'Cole' will be at the Assembly George Square Gardens Piccolo Tent for the month of August for tickets go to www.edfringe.com