Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Funny Cows

This is not about cows -- heads up for the uninitiated.
I miss this shit 
This is my final blog for the year, a year that has been very fucking funny and very fucking far from funny too.

It has been an interesting year you could say, on and off the comedy stage. I put on my first hour-long 'one-woman' comedy show at the Auckland Fringe Festival and it sold out. We even had to turn some people away. Some of my friends may never speak to me again. Serves them right for underestimating my pulling power. Hmm...

There were a lot of laughs at those three 50-seater shows and at one of them an English guy in the audience told my husband he should pack me off to the Edinburgh Fringe pronto: 'She's just as funny as that lot', said he. So you never know, after what happened later in the year, my husband may well do that.

Because after I made it to the semi-finals of the Raw Comedy Quest (to find the country's funniest new comedian), my second and final year of Raw, and performed to a very good reception on the night, applause break and all, I got royally shafted by the man who runs and judges the comp and had to watch yet another batch of less funny (on audience reaction) teenage and twenty-somethings, 70% of them male, be put through to the finals ahead of me for the second year in a row, some of them only in their first year of Raw, and I snapped. I became a very unfunny cow indeed.

And Friday last week, after months of wrangling with the Comedy Guild and then the Human Rights Commission over my claim of gender and age discrimination against that shafter in chief, I spent three hours in mediation with him and a woman called Holly who did her best to keep things civil between us but did not entirely succeed. Nothing was resolved (I'm sworn not to disclose any details of what was said there), so I might still take my complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal that is a public process open to the media, to get this thing out in the open and on record. It shouldn't happen, what he did to me. Change is needed.

Meanwhile the shafter in chief has banned me from his club, which happens to be the only comedy club in the city and the main club in the country, which has shut down my stand-up 'career' for the time being. Last month I also bailed on my Fringe show before cancellation fees for the venue kicked in, losing my nerve after all that has happened since the last one.

"Maxine Peake is magnificent in Adrian Shergold’s
unflinching drama about a stand-up on the 70's northern club circuit".
The Guardian.
All is not lost, though. I am still laughing indeed, not least at the Brit film Funny Cow, reviewed by The Guardian as a film full of 'grit and wit' that we watched a couple of weeks back and it reminded me of all that female stand-up, especially mature female stand-up, can be and and is, which was reassuring, even if I can't be doing it for the time being. It's one of the best films I've seen in years. You've got to hand it to the Brits, they do grit and wit better than anyone.

Hopefully I'll find a way back to stand-up some day soon and even make it to the Ed Fringe one day, preferably before I lose my grip on the wit.

Merry Xmas.    

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