Hosts/MC's, Music, Media, Comedy
Em Rusciano: Singer, writer, TV presenter, broadcaster, stand-up comedian, MC and mother of two.
After cracking a few good notes in the shower in her early twenties, Em auditioned for “Australian Idol”, finally making the top ten during the show’s fabulously popular second season. Then after showcasing some decent quips in her post-Idol interviews, Em was snapped up by the Austereo radio network.
Going on to host Perth’s 92.9 breakfast radio show for four years, Em interviewed Prime Ministers, traded baby-stories with suburban mums and jammed with the Black Eyed Peas. She riffed on everything from US politics, to post-natal depression to Lady Gaga’s man-bits, and drove the network to ratings supremacy, year after year.
Network Ten’s “The Project” noticed Em’s special something and hired her as a presenter in 2010.
Em has been with “The Project” since its first week on air and has presented many stories including “Behind the Scenes of Master Chef in New York”. Em also regularly presents the “Metro Whip” segment as Melbourne’s correspondent.
In 2011 and 2012 Em appeared on the “The Circle” a number of times as a guest host.
In 2011 Em thought she would try her hand at cabaret and so she wrote, produced, directed and starred in “The Saintly Bitch Sings”.
It was received so well she decided to enter a show into the 2012 Melbourne Cabaret Festival. “Em Rusciano – The Musical!” sold out well before the run started and she received a prestigious Green Room award nomination for her efforts.
The 2013 Melbourne international Comedy festival was calling her name so Em wrote another one woman show called “Puberty Rhythm and Blues”. Even though it was her first MICF it was a smash; she sold out her season, added extra shows and received rave reviews including four and a half starts from The Herald Sun and five stars from Theatre people. During the festival Em was selected to perform in the “Ladies Out Loud” comedy show alongside some of the leading women in comedy.
Em writes weekly for the immensely popular website Mamamia.com.au. Her columns have a huge cult following attracting hundreds of thousands of hits. Website founder and editor Mia Freedman was so impressed with Em’s work she asked her to host the radio extension of the site Mamamia radio with comedian Dave Thornton on the Southern Cross Austereo network.
As a writer Em also contributes to TV week, The Herald Sun, Cosmo and various other news websites.
Em has a strong social media presence with over 35,000 followers.
Em was asked to be a driver in the 2013 Celebrity Grand Prix, an intense week of training and media commitments followed and even though Em didn’t officially finish (due to crashing out in the final race) she feels she left a lasting impression on the Albert Park circuit (the entire front half of her car to be exact!)
Em has recently been named as an ambassador for Beyond Blue and the face of their 2013 Post Natal Depression “Just Speak Up” campaign.
“We recently engaged Em to MC Khloe Kardashian's recent appearance at Highpoint Shopping Centre. Em's role was to hype the crowd before she introduced Khloe. With some fans having queued to see their favourite Kardashian since 5am the day before, Em had a big job to do keeping them entertained and their energy high. Em's natural humour and energy shone through, hyping the crowd to fever pitch before Khloe made her appearance. We loved working with Em – she was so much fun, professional and super easy going. A pleasure.”
Amanda Mathews - Mango PR
“Using a mixture of script and songs to set the scene Rusciano gets “deep” sharing stories with the audience of her own experiences. Rusciano isn’t afraid of being honest… She really puts herself out there…It’s intimate, It’s hilarious. 5 Stars!”
"Something special is happening under the stairs at the Forum. Em Rusciano, who most would know as a radio presenter and occasional TV face, can do stand-up. And nail it. This gag and song-laden show is energetic, vibrant and clever. Shockingly funny, too. And boy, can she sing. This 30-something comic will take you from Glenroy to Warrandyte, from blue light roller discos to the back lanes of Irish pubs. Everything Rusciano tackles comes off - songs, stunts and audience participation. There's not a flat spot in the show. Never mind being a festival first-timer, this show would do any seasoned performer proud. Stars: 4.5"
Herald Sun 2013
"Hilarious and empowering with great sets of lungs. The audience are right there with Rusciano, feeling for her."
"Em's posts are always very popular with readers and she always makes people laugh and think at the same time. She has the ability to be sharp and hilarious - something we value highly and which isn't always easy to do."
Mia Freedman, Publisher, Mamamia
“She’s a loud, high-maintenance, shameless over-achiever, who wants to do it all. She sings, writes, presents on radio and television, she’s an ex-elite hurdler, and now she has her very own musical, which is basically just an excuse for her to prance around in the spotlight for an hour in front of an adoring audience. Em Rusciano is an attention-seeker and proud of it, and her Melbourne Cabaret Festival performance allowed her to showcase her many talents, while also preaching her strong belief that everyone must follow their dreams. And with Em Rusciano – The Musical! it is safe to say that this vibrant drama queen is definitely following hers. The musical incorporated a variety of stories and childhood memories with energetic song and dance sequences (complete with half-naked gay backing dancers), and managed to be both funny and touching, as Rusciano constantly stressed the importance of following your dreams and doing something you love. Her stories were relatable and well-written: from discussing the social statuses determined from where you used to hang out as a teenager at the blue light disco, to her competitive perspective on ‘winning’ at couples counseling, to her heart-break at discovering that her first boyfriend was gay, every tale was funny in its own way, and they were wonderfully constructed and perfectly timed. The songs were by far the strongest moments of the performance. Rusciano’s singing voice is spectacular, hitting hard-to-reach notes with ease, and managing to insert drama and expression into each song she belted out. Accompanied by guitarist Ryan Yip (or ‘straight Ryan’ as Em called him), she adjusted the lyrics to half of the songs to better suit her humorous anecdotes, and whether the songs were intended to be funny or poignant, she wholly captivated the attention of each member of the sold-out audience. The relationship Rusciano developed and maintained with the audience was admirable. She asked questions, yelled at us for being insensitive and laughing at her heartbreak, and even broke out of her script to hug a woman close to the stage after she sympathised with Rusciano’s relationship problems. Even though most of the time she chose to feign anger and fling insults at her audience, there was nothing but respect and adoration shown towards the feisty performer; basically, she could do no wrong for the entirety of the show. Em Rusciano – The Musical! was colourful and a lot of fun. If Rusciano’s dream is to be a hilarious and inspiring singing comedian, with a quick temper and a motor-mouth, who pulls off the drag queen look with ease and who can insult a room full of people and have them still love her, then she is definitely living it! Rating: 4 stars out of 5.”
Arts Hub Review 2012
“Em was fantastic! I could not recommend her more highly! She was energetic, engaging, entertaining and really warmed up our crowd in what would have been very difficult circumstances for many other MCs.”
“Can I just say, once more Em delivered above and beyond expectations once again. She is just wonderful and a perfect fit for the adidas brand.”
Jeremy Drake, Elite Sports Properties
“Emelia was absolutely fantastic as the MC for our World’s Greatest Shave. Right from the outset she drew a crowd around the event. She was very professional. We could not have wished to have had a better response. We look forward to possibly having her again next year.”
Gavin Lawrence, Manager, Shaver Shop
“You may think you know this great girl from her regular appearances on shows like the 7pm Project, the Circle or from seeing her as a top 10 finalist in Australian Idol a few years ago. But you haven’t seen anything yet. Rusciano delivers some of the best written, outrageously funny comedy I’ve ever witnessed with near perfect precision. You’ll melt to her incredible soulful voice as she sings the songs that punctuate her fantastic routine. Rusciano proves that she’s so much more than a pretty face or reality show contestant. If this is any indication of this girls talent, then Australia’s got a major freekin’ comedy star on its hands.”
Same Same Review
“Em Rusciano presents as a burlesque diva, and what a diva. Not only does she look great, tells a series of hilarious jokes – but she has a fantastic voice. Her rendition of Pony is hilariously bawdy, as much because of her suggestive gyrations as of the words. And the segue fan! I love the idea.”
Australian Stage Review
“Em Rusciano is in total control of her material, and damn funny. Her voice is strong and well trained, but it’s her stories – tit-bits from her current life and her misspent youth – that have the audience laughing. Blushing a little sometimes, too, but mostly laughing.”
Arts Hub Review
“An amazing and talented woman.”
Linda Wayman, Austereo General Manager
“A beautiful voice.”
Chris Martin, Lead Singer of Coldplay
“If Judy Garland and Freddie Mercury had a love child the result would be something like Em Rusciano.”
Michael Lucas, Screen Writer
“A voice to die for.”
Alan O’Riordan, Theatre Critic