“Omemee, Omymye”, or “A Fish Called Mittens”
Two shows this past weekend with two completely divergent themes, but similar content needs. That being, custom-written not- performed-before-for-quality-assurance material. Saturday was a curling club awards show in Omemee, Ontario. Before you go bounding for MapQuest, it’s outside of Peterborough. Not a bad night in all. Went up with Brian Hope who opened the show.
Writing material for the show on the 2 hour drive up, we got to Omemee and ate at a place called Brian’s which instantly reminded me of Milano’s back in Gan. Anyplace in a small town that is a walk-up/take-out/eat-in type place that serves subs, burgers, and pizza is going to do the trick for me. Brian’s did just that. One assorted sub later, we’re at the curling club. I had done my writing for the show previously. Brian when he met the organizer and saw the crowd realized there would have to be some editing done. Rather a lot of editing. Brian did his time fairly decently with goodly amounts of laughs. Highpoint of the night came when he discovered half a dozen people in the audience knew his soon-to-be mother-in-law in Peterborough. Quoth Brian, “If I could swear right now, I would.”
I went up and did my time, rather a lot. The new stuff that I wrote for the night specifically went really well and went longer than I expected so I was in the enviable position of being able to chop out stuff out of a set list instead of desperately grappling for something to throw in. So, one good night down.
Sunday had me with Chris Brazeau at her friend’s wedding where they had asked me to perform. I’d met up with the couple and got details about them, stuff like how they met, how the wedding plans are going, that sort of thing. Good thing. All the custom material killed. Anything canned I had, well, canned. They had wished a five minute set at the beginning of dinner, a ten minute set after dinner during dessert, and then five minutes prior to the bouquet/garter time. Lesson learned: One continuous set is best. The better times that were had for me were the five minutes on the top and the five at the end. The middle ten had be stalling with material while people ate cheesecake. A need for focus? Maybe. Rule one: Never compete with dessert. Regardless, glad I could help make their small wedding a good time. Great couple and wish them well.
Shock of the night came when the groom’s brother told me that I taught him in public school…16 years ago. Now he’s a police officer in Toronto with a lovely wife and family. He asked me, “What’s new with you?” I thought back over what I could tell him I’ve done with my life since I’ve seen him and all I could come up with was, “Well, I’m drinking skim milk now…”
Oh, and I have a pet now. The table centrepiece at the wedding was a goldfish bowl with one goldfish within. I got the li’l guy home and he survived the night. I have called him Mittens. I’ll let you know when he’s dead.