Absolute Ottawa, Roasts, Sunday Papers, Hamilton, and Other Time Consumers…
When the week starts, you’re usually able to eye your dayplanner/PDA/collection-of-beer-mats-with-appointments-blurrily-scrawled-on-them and plot out your course for the week like you were slaloming down a hill with élan (meaning ‘grace and ability’, and not the ski brand necessarily…I think mine are Head…no wait…they are Elan. Huh. That’s lucky.)
The past week had me scrambling all over the place and looking for coverage for my absences. With being in Ottawa for spots at Absolute, the prep for the Ottawa Comedy Awards Roast, and finding out the Toronto Star had something to say about me, it’s been a bit cah-razay.
First the easy bit. I got to Ottawa to host all week with great friends Andrew Grose and Ben Mathai. Great line-up of great comics and got to see Alex Wood do some dandy work opening as well. I both love and hate the Tuesday nights at Tailgators and the Wednesday Pro-Am Night. I love both because I am able to see a large assortment of the comedy talent that Ottawa has to offer at once. These guys are great to work with and I welcome them to my Thursday night in Toronto whenever they want to show up. I hate these nights because there’s so many acts, I’ve got a lot of walking to do.
Best night was either Thursday night or Friday early (can’t remember which) where I did maybe four jokes over the course of 23 minutes of hosting. There wasn’t really a worst night, just more challenging. Friday late show was the young-and-drunk crowd, where Saturday late show was the laugh-stop-laugh-stop type of crowd. The one thing I remember is that all of Alex, Ben, and Andrew left the stage dripping in sweat. I remained cool and dry until the cascade of perspiration came when I tore into my bacon-Swiss burger. Why was that where my hard work came from? Good to see Zoe Randall, now of Just For Laughs, come to Ottawa to get swarmed by the barrage of “So, do I send stuff to you for the festival?” questions thrown at her. She’s dandy and I wish her the best in the new job. In talking with her again, it seems to become her. Good fits are great when they happen.
Friday night saw the Ottawa comedy scene turn both barrels on itself with the 2008 Ottawa Comedy Awards and Roast. I was asked to participate and jumped at the chance. The awards as would be expected of any award ceremony went long, but again, if you give a brace of comics full license to stand on stage and poke fun of their peers, what could possibly happen? The digs that came were badger-like; fast, furious, and vicious. It must be the cold weather that gives the comics the thicker skin. I can’t see a roast of this quality and quantity working in Toronto without a huge drunken punch-up that would make the end of most Rodney Dangerfield or Three Stooges movies look like the finale of “The Notebook”.
Kudos to Nick Carter and Don Kelly for organizing the whole thing with honourable mention to Dom Pare, Trevor Thompson (who like me appreciates The Fiver), and Oliver Gross who made the night special. It was a pleasure to be there and if they ever want me back, I’m there. But I won’t be. I’m from Toronto, and like most-to-all, went long.
Sunday had a pleasant surprise, but not for those who get the Sunday Star (http://www.thestar.com/Article/606328). They went and ran an article about me and four other people who have been laid off and are finding their way stumbling through the recession. It’s been a bit of a weird journey, but it appears to be allowing me to stay above water.
The week wouldn’t haven’t have been possible without coverage of other things. Not needing someone to bring in the mail and check the non-existent cat, I desperately needed coverage for my nights I was missing. Again, huge props to Jason Blanchard for covering McVeigh’s for me this week and keeping the Success-O-Meter in the red, and Dave Paterson for doing what he does best at On The Curve. He’ll be doing the same next week with Daryl Purvis, and if that wasn’t enough, also covering McVeigh’s for me as I begin the week again going madly in all directions with hosting the Toronto Absolute room. Crazy times.
Oh, and to cap it all off…do you remember THIS? Well, it looks like I’ll be doing it again, but way more of it, and in Hamilton. I found out this weekend that I’m going to be included in the Hamilton Fringe Festival this year. I’ll be doing a full comedy show via Twitter over the internets. Looks like my mid-to-late July is going to suffer the same fate here.