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The Prettiest Horse in the Glue Factory

With special guest:

  • Corey White
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Luckily for our guest today he always believed he was special. That belief was severely tested before too long.

Corey White grew up knowing that his father was in jail and his mother was a heroin addict. Both parents disappeared from his early life and his life journey was about to become a roller-coaster with no guarantees.

Corey is never one to sugar coat his experiences. He had to sell himself to totally unsuitable foster parent candidates in the hope they would take him in. Once in a family he was subjected to cruelty, dysfunction and in once case sexual abuse. At school he was bullied, it was all grim and he wasn’t even 10 years old.

But then some good luck. Corey was given a scholarship to a prestigious boarding school and all of a sudden he felt privileged. This stage continued until the end of his first year of University where he had another scholarship. But his background caught up with him and everything fell into a heap again.

Then another upturn in a most unlikely career choice, namely stand-up comedy where Corey finally found his métier. It is amazing that Corey has been able to use his experiences not just to learn but to express them on stage in a way that takes us by surprise. Corey now confidently performs comedy and wins awards using those bad experiences in a way that goes beyond dark humour to get us all in with his likeable personality.

All this comes out when we get to talk to the mercurial Corey White about his intriguingly titled book The Prettiest Horse in the Glue Factory which is his memoir. We go through some emotion in this program from the darkest despair to success on the international stage and in Corey’s personal life. You will very quickly discover why Corey White is such a unique character when he writes and when he speaks.

Corey White

There are few voices in comedy as unique and potent as Corey White. In 2014, Corey performed his debut stand up show, The Cane Toad Effect – a staggeringly personal story of his experience growing up in foster care, surviving domestic violence, recovering from drug addiction and dealing with mental illness. He handled this material with a deftness and humour that far exceeded his experience, garnering critical praise and winning Best Show at the 2014 Sydney Fringe and Best Newcomer Award at the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Sydney Comedy Festival.

He was later profiled on ABC TV’s Australian Story, shining a light on his and his sister’s experience growing up in the foster care system and the path that took him all the way to the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe. In late 2016 he was selected to have his show recorded as part of the ABC Next Gen comedy series. In 2018, Corey White’s Roadmap to Paradise, a series created by Corey for the ABC, finally solved all the world’s problems while continuing to advocate for change for kids stuck in our dysfunctional foster care system. He is also very funny.

Song selection by our guest: They Shoot Horses Don’t They? by Racing Cars

Listen Now (mp3)

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