I have a confession to make. I’ve been a huge dingus.
I won tickets to see Tim and Eric this past weekend at the Danforth Music Hall and it pretty fucking much blew my mind. (Not the confession)
Admittedly, I wasn’t all that familiar with the show/the guys prior to winning the tickets, (gasp) (the confession) other than the occasional praise and constant imitation (not that I would have known) from my Humber colleagues. I thought they were just making stupid noises and making up bizarre names for the hell of it. Turns out it was SO MUCH MORE.
I really should have been listening to them then because I’ve now become obsessed.
This must be what people felt like while watching the Kids in the Hall in the 80s. Or the 90s I guess, considering I’m a bit behind in my discovery.
Either way, what I’m trying to say is… Mom and Dad, NEVER watch this show. Seriously. It’s amazing, but you’ll hate it.
It’s Sketchfest season again everybody! Hooray and celebrate! This year, I am not working quite as diligently with the organizers as I’ve done in the past, mostly because I’m too busy with the day job to sustain all the evenings of hilarity and drinking and fun times. Fun times are exhausting, you guys. Anyway, I have been checking some of the shows and so far they have been GREAT!
Speaking of great, I wrote another article for She Does the City and it 100% has to do with Sketchfest, so please go ahead and check it out:
The idea was that I interview all the all-female troupes (Templeton Philharmonic, Ladystache, 2 Weird Ladies, LadyBusiness & She Said What) participating in this year’s Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival & find out more about them, their style, and why the readers of shedoesthecity.com should check them out. It was a lot of fun. I quickly became aware of why podcasts are so popular, because interviewing other comedians is really fun and insightful. I wouldn’t want to do it all the time, because transcribing takes a LOT of time, but the sitting down and talking to funny and interesting, hardworking and genuinely great people was a lot of fun!
Tonight, I’m off to check out the Kids in the Hall (if only 16 year-old Brie knew how many opportunities she would get in the future to see these guys live) as they do a live reading of their film Brain Candy. It’s going to be great! I love how they all hated one another when they made this movie, and now they’re revisiting it as older, cooler buds.
As the festival continues, I will attempt to post more, but don’t just sit here and read. Make sure you go out and see as many shows as possible. This is seriously such a great comedy festival, a wonderful place to study styles and methods of performing the art and basically just a really sick party.
My highlights of the fest so far are:
Bri-Ko (but they’ve already went back to Chicago, so you missed them. Sorry. Check them out if ever you’re in Chicago though, because they blew my MIND!)
Peter n’ Chris (they’re done with Sketchfest too, but you CAN check out this video pilot for their new webseries thing coming out, which is a lot of fun. It’s called Hardly Men and you can catch a glimpse here:
Clown College is officially over!!!! (with the exception of graduation, which will be happening in June, but who cares about actually graduating??!?! [I do, I made the Dean’s list!]) When I finished University, my Mom really wanted graduation photos, but I never got around to taking them. She might get what she asked for this time around, except I need to warn her, she’s not allowed to complain about the giant red nose.
On a different note, as the impending sense of dread looms nearby, we were given one last educational tidbit before calling it quits for the summer. Pam Thomas, casting agent, producer, manager (etc.,) who’s worked with Lorne Michaels at SNL, with KITH, with some of the SCTV crew and managed Maya Rudolph (etc.) came by to talk to us a bit about what happens après Humber…
Everything she said made sense:
Get an agent
Get a demo reel
Get a website
Move the fuck out of Canada
A one-on-one meeting with the guru turned into a one-on-two with someone who graduated 7 years ago and is currently touring the Yuk’s circuit while simultaneously working retail to get by. That’s what we call an “eye opener.”
I was worried there wouldn’t be much use for a blog that was meant to document my time at Comedy School after I graduated, but it looks like this is really just the beginning. There’s probably enough in the self-reflective element of this business that will keep me (and hopefully you) interested… for the next 7 years at least!
It’s the first time Humber contributes to our troupe (Free Food, anybody?);
We’re performing ALL NEW sketches;
One of my sketches got in;
We might make some money if enough people come, which will help us with future projects, etc.
We were also selected as the one troupe from Humber to be submitted into the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival (which my class friends and colleagues are quick to point out is only due to the fact that we are currently the only performing-sketch troupe in the program so far this year. To which I say: Default performance in SketchFest is better than no performance at all.)
Why this is exiting:
Two of the Kids in the Hall are performing in this festival. OMG!;
Other AMAZING sketch troupes are performing in this festival;
Our program coordinator at Humber, Andrew Clark, likes us enough to recommend us to the organizers;
We get to showcase 15 minutes of our best material to date (none of which was written by me… sigh.);
We get unlimited access to see all the shows in the festival;
Vest of Friends got to do it last year, and this year they might make it to Just For Laughs… just saying…;
For everything there is to be excited about, it’s difficult because there are always some people ready to downplay the achievement, however meager it may be in our just-beginning careers and for what purpose? I simply do not understand. Are they still in that “it’s cool to be apathetic” stage? Do they simply not want to be a part of this but feel obligated to stay on? But again, for what reason? I just don’t get it.
I wonder if it’s to do with the fact that I’m older. Or that apathy has naver been in my nature. I crave DOING. I crave things to give a shit about! Maybe it’s relative to what you put in. I put a lot into LaughDraft, creatively and professionally. I do a lot of the organizational aspects of it, I try to keep our meetings on track. I often meet with Andrew to discuss Humber’s involvement and have done since the very beginning. Because of that, I expect the same enthusiasm from all the others. Here’s the problem. It’s not them. It’s me. Maybe I just have unrealistically high expectations. When something excites me, I expect it to excite the others in the group. And it does some. And others not.
And who cares, at the end of the day? It’s no big deal. But I do. That’s the problem.
Some things just can’t be the same the second time around, but, you make of them what you can. This was my second year volunteering at the Canadian Comedy Awards. This was its 12th year and was originally supposed to be held in Ottawa. I have no idea why they decided to bring it back to Toronto, but hey, who’s complaining?
I volunteered by checking in award nominees when they arrived to the Delta Chelsea hotel in Toronto. I got to meet a lot of fun performers just sitting at a table, handing out sweet swag bags.
By chance, a man I had met last year, who organizes the Stand-Up gala portion of the Awards weekend recognized me and asked me to help out at the gala. I turned him down, obviously. What? No. Of course not, I went and met Shaun Majumder, who was hosting (and was a super nice guy!) and some of the other featured performers for the evening.
By virtue of my selfless acts of volunteering, I was allowed to attend two nights of after-parties, which were both very fun.
Was it because the Kids in the Hall were there last year? Some of my heroes? That I actually got to see the Awards show? That it was my first time surrounded by such talent because I hadn’t been up that often performing yet? Was it the booze? I don’t know, last year’s party just seemed a bit crazier, a bit more exciting.
But it was still a great time and I’m excited to even have been allowed into an “industry-only” event. I’d encourage any of the Humber students to volunteer, except, then I might not have got my spot and would have had to fight more people off to get into the after-party. So. Yeah, stay at home and watch TV, kids!