So I'm at a wedding, seeing relatives I mostly only see at weddings and funerals, and someone asks me what it is I’m doing these days, which is always a fraught conversation cos at best I can say, ‘I’m a freelance sub-editor – I put pun headings on articles I’ve fact-checked, corrected for grammar and spelling, turned into much better pieces of writing than when they were submitted; I’m a broadcaster – I frequently guest on peoples’ radio shows and talk about comedy and/or music; I do open mic stand-up…’
It almost always ends up with backhanded compliments that are really just thinly veiled statements of utter disbelief that could be reduced to the question, ‘Do people actually pay you for that?’
If I’m to be honest, I’d reply, ‘Not nearly as often as I’d like’.
Actually, if I’m to be really honest, I’d reply ‘No’.
This time I was able to say, ‘I’ve just been in Melbourne for the comedy festival, producing shows’ and that’s not embarrassing at all, cos that was quite successful and people actually did pay me for that. (Thanks people, you know who you are.)
And then came the inevitable ‘what were the shows’, which is fine, cos they were both good and people came and bought tickets and watched and stuff, so even if I have to begin with, ‘someone you’ve probably never heard of because they weren’t broadcast in the Gala…’, I don’t mind making sure they’ve heard of the shows and the people now. You know. For next time.
My rather awesome design for the ARTsie fARTsie poster…
But this time I didn’t quite get to talk up Julia Wilson and Greg Parker in Julia Wilson & Greg Parker are ARTsie fARTsie; I only got as far as Chris North’s show The Bloke’s Guide to Getting Married, when a second cousin I hadn’t seen for a while – since the last wedding or funeral we were both at – said, ‘Why have I heard of that? I must have read a review… no, wait a minute – I have a friend who goes to Melbourne and Adelaide every year for Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne Comedy Festival. He saw Bloke's Guide to Getting Married and raved about. I want to see it. Make sure you tell me when it’s playing in Sydney…’
And I was happy because I didn’t have to feel like the pitied, unsuccessful, probably gay relative (not that there’s anything wrong with that [hand gesture]™) at the wedding for a change. Well, I still fall into that demographic as far as most of the relatives are concerned, but now there was one less; one who’d come to see the next run of the show, what’s more.
Andre Moonen’s rather awesome design for the Bloke’s Guide poster