Absolute Beginners, or “Someone Please Buy Me An Atlas”
Some surprises are really cool. They can be of the cool and nice variety like finding a $20 in your pocket when you put on your winter coat for the first time of the season, or finding out that it’s ‘Free Steak Day’ at the Keg. Or they can be the kind where you realize that your mail-order bride from Eastern Europe is actually a male-order bride named ‘Steve’. Last night I got the former.
Absolute Comedy opened its doors to the public last night for the first time after a whack of preparation and pressing deadlines that rivaled most episodes of ‘Restaurant Makeover’. I swung by the club about two weeks ago and they were still putting up drywall and had not one patch of carpet or stick of furniture around. But the washrooms and kitchens were in. Good thing since one leads to the other. I met up with Brian Hope and ran into a gamut of Toronto independent comics (Harry Doupe, Scott McCrae, Simon Rakoff, Martha O’Neill, Adam McFawn, newly-independent Ben Miner, etc etc and so on) looking to watch the first Absolute show ever in Toronto. Three minutes to the supposed show time we cross the threshold into the main bar. Next thing I know, Jason Laurans, owner and proprietor, asks me if I wanted to do a spot. I think he should have just told me I’m doing a spot. That would have sufficed and saved me speaking.
I got to follow the very funny Evan Carter and good friend Carrie Gaetz who were ushered to the stage by the awesome-and-first-time-I’ve-ever-seen-him Sugar Sammy. I should mention at this point that I had ran to the club from doing the opening spot at the Hot Box, so my eyes and throat were kinda sore from the, erm, atmosphere. So, I hit the stage armed with seven minutes and three minutes in my throat goes on me. Apparently no one noticed, but there’s a really good reason that you see me on stage with water. Always. Okay, not always. Sometimes at the end of a long night, it turns to Carlsberg. It’s neat when that happens. Got my voice back and carried on. It was a neat feeling admittedly in that it felt like I was in Toronto, but the same layout as Ottawa. It felt familiar. How familiar? So familiar that as I left the stage I closed with “That’s my time, thank you, Ottawa.” I’m clever, me.
Good night for meeting folks I should know (a la Rob Trick who has an awesome rookie card) and those I’d not seen in ages (like Ward Anderson who’s doing the New Years show here with Doug Funk). Night ended with Joe Minnitte. First time I’ve seen him. Hope it isn’t the last. Funny guy.
Props to Lunchbox, Simon, Carrie, and the other sneaks. Myself, I spent most of the day walking around trying to find an atlas and CAA brochures describing the difference between Ottawa and Toronto. I should have it sorted out in my head by December. January tops.