So I'm at a wedding, seeing relatives I mostly only see at weddings and funerals, and someone asks me what it is Iâm doing these days, which is always a fraught conversation cos at best I can say, âIâm a freelance sub-editor â I put pun headings on articles Iâve fact-checked, corrected for grammar and spelling, turned into much better pieces of writing than when they were submitted; Iâm a broadcaster â I frequently guest on peoplesâ radio shows and talk about comedy and/or music; I do open mic stand-upâ¦â
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, âDo people actually pay you for that?â
If Iâm to be honest, Iâd reply, âNot nearly as often as Iâd likeâ.
Actually, if Iâm to be really honest, Iâd reply âNoâ.
This time I was able to say, âIâve just been in Melbourne for the comedy festival, producing showsâ and thatâs 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 âwhat were the showsâ, 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, âsomeone youâve probably never heard of because they werenât broadcast in the Galaâ¦â, I donât mind making sure theyâve heard of the shows and the people now. You know. For next time.
My rather awesome design for the ARTsie fARTsie posterâ¦
But this time I didnât 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 Northâs show The Blokeâs Guide to Getting Married, when a second cousin I hadnât seen for a while â since the last wedding or funeral we were both at â said, âWhy have I heard of that? I must have read a reviewâ¦ no, wait a minute â 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 itâs playing in Sydneyâ¦â
And I was happy because I didnât have to feel like the pitied, unsuccessful, probably gay relative (not that thereâs anything wrong with that [hand gesture]â¢) 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 whoâd come to see the next run of the show, whatâs more.
Andre Moonenâs rather awesome design for the Blokeâs Guide poster