Aspergers on the Winnipeg Comedy Festival

Posted: September 24, 2012 in aspergers, celebrities, comedy, Uncategorized
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Holy shit, I get to be part of the Winnipeg Comedy Festival. It’s a dream come true. Most comedians spend their whole career trying to get into their city’s festival. Granted I am not in the big Winnipeg show which is a showcase for all the local talent and is the biggest show for local comedians but getting to host shows at the library is still something right? It means someone recognized I had talent. Granted, I did have to email the producer Al Rae and beg him to let me in the show, which, frankly is not as cool as if he had asked me, but if he was worried that I would shit the bed he wouldn’t have put me in the show and allowed me to host as many noon shows as I wanted right? mean granted it is better to have a comedian to introduce the acts then someone who worked in the library. But if he was really concerned he could have done it himself right? I mean he was in the audience after all. Nevertheless, this was still an act of courage, and generosity and not the last involved in last year’s festival. I mean here is someone who does not know me all that well, willing to take a chance on me when people who I regularly perform with week in and week out are reluctant to put me on their shows where the potential of a turn-out is not nearly as high as any event for the Winnipeg Comedy festival. Especially in a location, that has been extremely successful in the past and has had a big turn-out as far as I can remember when they had comedians like Al Bolden amongst others. They have also invested some serious cash I am guessing because that year they have pretty big comedians such as John Wing and Sean Cullen coming to the library to perform. If I do a  terrible job, off the top that would  sour the mood for the rest of the comedians. 

    I went to the big kick off to the festival at McNally’s. The turnout was pretty good and I got to met the people who were working with Al. I asked one of the guys how many of the days he wanted me to host, thinking that I would be lucky just getting to host even one. They want me to host all of them,  however, due to personal obligations I am only available the one day. Forunately for me the one day I can make it is the biggest one. Where I will be opening up for Sean Cullen and John Wing and not one of the other days which are not devoted to stand-up but one of them is a funny book reading. The comedians on the night of the kick-off are the ever; hilarious Chantal Marostica, OBC,  Aisha Alfa and Al Rae. It is almost impossible to sit in a restaurant and not order anything to eat or drink. Unforunately, I just realized that I have very little money on me and I do not know whether or not they accepted Debit or Visa. Therefore, I order the cheapest dessert they have. It is delicious, and oh so chocolatey, and it makes a very nice treat while watching the comedy. However, the whole time in the pit of my stomache I am worried that I will be  unable to pay. I am good friends with the other comedians but still felt awkward about everyone knowing how broke I am. Well not broke, I have plenty of money in my bank account, that just doesn’t help me if it’s not on me right? What if McNally’s restaurant doesn’t accept cards? That’s crazy talk, right?  My decision to come was spontaneous and ill-planned out. In addition, I am still worried about making a good impression on Al. I mean he does, have a hell of alot of power when it comes to the festival and frankly I have only met him a few times. After the show I  anxiously await for the bill to arrive. When I look at the time and it’s after 12 o’clock so I step away for a minute. Not because I am trying to dine and dash, the thought has never occured to me. I just need to check in with my mom if I am going to be home after midnight, she’s overprotective like that. When I get back I ask one of the other people who’se working for Al on the festival where the bill is and they tell  me that Al had covered everyone’s bill. If I knew this I would probably have been a douche and ordered a few beers and not been so cheap with ordering the cheapest thing on the menu.  After the comedy show on my way home I stopped for gas. Just as I was going through the cards in my wallet to prepay for the gas I was about to buy. It turned out like an idiot I had forgot the cards by the computer from when I was booking tickets for the Debaters. Therefore, I drove home without getting the gas but in my head I was completely freaking out because I had been counting on those cards to pay my bill and if Al had not paid for everyone I would have been royally screwed. I have no clue what they would have done with me. Would I have gone to prison? Would they have called my home and had someone have to come down with money and bail me out? Would they make me have to wash dishes? For Al’s I will forever be grateful, even if I never perform in the festival again. Though, I personally think that I have the library market cornered. Right? “Come on, pretty please?”

  The realization that I had got into the festival as a result of someone else’s generosity probably made me more awkward than I already am. For example, I would talk to other, female, comedians who had extremely long lists of credits and  had been flown into Winnipeg from Los Angeles to do several shows, and then I would foolishly point out “hey I am not even supposed to be here, as a performer” but I am doesn’t that make me sexy. Wow it’s Steve Patterson, if I did comedy for the rest of my life I hope I have one-tenth the ability you have, and now I am gushing like a little girl instead of a comedian. I am not even the best comedian fan. On the last night of the festival, everyone was partying it up at the Academy Bowling Lanes and I went up to one of the comedians and said “hey, you look familiar have I seen you on television before?” and he being the nice modest guy he is said “yeah I was on a show called KIDS in the Hall” and then I being the smart guy that I am and knowing that there were two people from the show there, Scott Thompson and Kevin Macdonald said “oh, you must be Scott Thompson” and he politely said ” no that’s Scott Thompson” over there. That was so emberassing because pretty much everyone knows who they are. It’s like meeting the members of KISS backstage and going up to Gene Simmons and being like “hey aren’t you in a band? Holy shit, your in Kiss, you must be Ace Freehely!”   I have to say to Kevin Macdonald’s credit is he was extremely humble, easy-going, forgiving and had a smoking hot wife. I mean this woman was jaw-dropping beautiful.

    The actual day:  On the day of the performance, I got to the library by bus 15 minutes earlier than the time that we said we were going to start and I was busy trying to memorize the credits for John Wing and Sean Cullen two seasoned professional comedians. I remember John saying that he wanted to go before Sean because Sean was a really tough act to follow due to his unique relationship with crowds and the energy he brings to the room. I remember being suprised because I always thought John Wing was the stage time for an asian comedian. It’s not the John part that creates that illusion in my head but the last name Wing. Why this would be the case, I am still not sure to this day. I remember making jokes to a semi-awkward crowd who warmed up much more to the other guys than me. It could be because they are used to performing in places other than bars for young people. I also remember reading the credits on stage because I couldn’t remember them and then making a lame joke about how John was old because he had opened up for a band that I have never heard of. Not that I am a music guru or anything. 

What really stands out, however, is that there was an elderly woman sitting in the corner who knitted the whole time. When I tried to rift on this it did not fare well, but the other guys were able to get some good mileage out of this funny sight.  It was the most flabbergasting thing I have ever dealt with as a comedian. Who actually brings their knitting with them to live shows? I mean yes I have knit in front of the television or while listening to the radio but that is not directly in the eye-sight of the performers. You can’t believe how distracting and how much it threw me off to have someone more focused on their knitting than my attempt to try and entertain them and I have had my fair share of bored audience members who feel that it is better to shout out random things or talk with their friends than it is to listen to the show but never any knitters.

 Not only did I met Kevin Macdonald but I met tons of awesome people like the girls from Picnic Face. I also met this super hot chick the last night, who was just a girl who came to the party even though she was not part of the festival. I thought that she was  Jewish comedian Judy Gold,  even though she had red hair which is a clear sign that people are usually not Jewish. When I asked her about it she was very flirty and unzipped my sweater jacket that I was wearing. I did not know how to respond to that at all. I don’t even remember what happened. I am not the type of person that gets into relationships easily or even knows when a girl is flirting or just being goofy. It’s an Asperger thing really. Sherry Sutton was also at that party so it was really neat getting to meet her after watching her kill her show at the library the previous year. Talking about what life is like as a Lesbian who grew up in traditional Southern Texas. In addition, she congratulated me on a show where I had no clue how I did so had mixed feelings about afterwards. Her complimenting me was a huge boost to my ego. Because in my head I was thinking that’s incredible that you like me because you are a genuinely funny professional comedian and I am a local open mic comedian.

One of the best parts of being in the show was that I recieved a performer pass which entitled to go see all the other shows that were going on…. For FREE!! It also entitled me to going to afterparties which were incredible. Great food, great company and unlimited alcohol. As I have mentioned before I am not a huge drinker because like many people with Aspergers I don’t like to feel out of control as I already have so little of it when I am sober. Nevertheless, the idea of unlimited free alcohol sounds breathtaking to my ears. All in all it was one of the best experiences in my life.

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