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Speakers Profile - Em Rusciano


Writer, comedian, singer, television and radio presenter









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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. Em went on to host Perth’s 92.9 breakfast radio show for four years, where she 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.

Em currently hosts the 2DayFM Breakfast show on Sydney’s 104.1 2 Day Fm with Harley Breen. The show is enjoying a cult following, with its’ podcast recently reaching number one on the iTunes Charts. They believe themselves to be the best two dickheads on radio and, it would seem, much of Sydney seems to agrees with them.

The TV world is also no stranger to Em. In 2010, Network Ten’s “The Project” noticed Em’s special something and hired her as a presenter. Em worked with “The Project” since its first week on air and has presented many stories including “Behind the Scenes of Master Chef in New York” and the “Metro Whip” segment as Melbourne’s correspondent.

In 2011 and 2012 Em regularly appeared on the “The Circle” as a guest host, and was a panellist on “Mornings” on ch 9 and “Studio Ten” on ch 10. In 2017 Em hosted the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras coverage on SBS, which was the network’s highest ever rating coverage and was live streamed around the world.

In 2011 Em thought she would try her hand at cabaret, so she wrote, produced, directed and starred in “The Saintly Bitch Sings”. It was received so well she decided to enter a new show called “Em Rusciano – The Musical!” into the 2012 Melbourne Cabaret Festival. It sold out well before the run started and received a prestigious Green Room award nomination for her efforts. In 2013 Melbourne international Comedy festival was calling her name so Em wrote another one-woman show called “Puberty Rhythm and Blues”.

Despite being her first MICF, it was a smash. She sold out her season, added extra shows and received rave reviews, including four and a half stars 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 countries leading women in comedy. Em recently performed her new show “Divorce the Musical” at the Adelaide Fringe festival in the world famous Speigeltent which received a 5 star review.

As a writer, Em has contributed to TV week, The Herald Sun, Cosmo and various other news websites including the immensely popular website Mamamia.com.au. Her columns have a huge cult following and have an online reach well into the hundreds of thousands. 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.

Em’s first book “Try Hard” went to the top of the ibook autobiography charts before it was even released. The first release received glowing reviews from critics and fans alike. She was nominated as one of Australia’s top 50 Aussie writers by Booktopia and has won Pedestrian TV’s 2014 blogger of the year award.

Em released her debut single ‘Versions of me’ in late 2016 which peaked at number 10 on the iTunes Charts. It enjoyed huge radio play as it was added to most stations nationally. Em’s recent stand-up tour: ‘The Try Hard Tour’ sold out theatres around the country with extra shows added in most capital cities.