The Just For Laughs festival is over and I’m not much worse for wear. I’ve got a runny nose, a hangover and a broken toe but that’s it. The comedians have filtered off to their respected holes, caves, lofts or houses. The JFL staff are catching up on a week of sleep. The Hyatt hotel is preparing for some other convention. I am watching a lot of television (but trying to avoid the commercial with the dude in it who snubbed me.. stupid comics.) All we have left are our memories and our broken digits.
Hank and I came by festival central for the first time on Sunday to pick up our passes. (Hank is my new name for my comedian boyfriend. I assume that It will soon become very easy to guess who we are.) The moment I got my dirty little hands around that “guest of Hank Watson” Pass I felt giddy. This was my first Just for Laughs guest pass and it was beautiful. With it I could go to almost any show and most of the parties. It was just about a magical thing. Even the yellow ‘Videotron’ ribbon it was attached to appeared stylish to me. I walked out of the press room on a cloud, the feeling continued as Hank got all excited about the former Montreal Expos player in the room. I really only came down when I looked at the drink menu, then I fell out of the clouds with a crash, drinks at JFL central cost ten dollars minimum! A coke $4.50!! I was supposed to hang out here all week?
Here the week gets fuzzy (short term memory’s for suckers) Sunday continued in a blur, at some point I bought enough Jack Daniels to fill my flask and help me through the expensive drink crisis. I attended two parties that were not affiliated with Just For Laughs and later regretted my premature purchase of the JD. Monday and Tuesday were spent at home recovering and calling my friends to try to bring up in some unobvious way the wonderful guest pass that was burning a hole in my purse. (Hank asks me to add that while I was lazing about at home he was doing shows, right right but I did cook dinners) Then suddenly it was the weekend. (Oh, weekends start on Wednesday in Montreal right?) For my sorting pleasure I will arrange the days by facebook status updates.
Wednesday’s status: is Trying to Hobnob without excessive awkwardness.
This based on my crippling fear of celebrities and the total ass I could make of myself in front of them. I soon realized that time at the Hyatt would largely be spent by Hank hopping around and chatting with the large segment of the comedy world in the room and me either amusing myself or sheepishly following him around. He would then introduce me to everybody he was speaking to and we’d both watch and see whether or not the person would feel too important to give me the time of day. By and large I tried to amuse myself. Frequent bathroom breaks were in order as there was a golden water fountain inside where I could wet my throat for free. So I would, with affected casualness, saunter slowly to the bathroom and hope to find one of my friends on the way there. If I did not they would often be inside or appear just as I left the bathroom. I loved that bathroom.
Wednesday night was the night Hank and I could go see some shows as he was not performing but he was tired so we had an evening in.
Thursday’s status: is /was a total ass but she hopes she was/ is at least interesting.
Thursday ended in a hectic drunk and began in a hectic rush. We had to go see ‘Just for Pitching’ at noon which was early for us. Surprisingly we were quite on time that day. The show was a public pitch by ten different hopefuls writing comedy series to four different studio representatives. The winner gets a CBC show. Prestigious. It was interesting to see what the execs would say compared to my reactions of the pitches. After we hung out at the Hyatt for a while again, I had a friend to talk to this time, a semi-retired comic/comedy aficionado etc. who I had once dragged on a drunken adventure through the plateau. He is better than any of my acquaintances at asking questions that hit surprisingly close to whatever I’m finding important at the time.
Thursday was also the day where I got to follow David Cross around with hungry eyes. Hank had an errand to run but I elected to stay at the Hyatt and watch a book launch where David cross was making an appearance. Since Hank was gone I was able to sit discretely near the back and just watch him be a comedian. Pace, watch the show, run up and down aisles. I was in comedy stalker heaven.
The part about me being an ass came towards evening. Hank was hosting a film event and I joined him in the green room, as did his agent, his agent’s assistant and her intern. The fridge full of beer joined us. There was plenty of time for tomfoolery and drinking while the films played so we stumbled out of the theatre and into the pass line up for Louis CK quite drunk. I didn’t become a total ass until I pulled out the flask. (I assume this will become a frequent phrase in my posts.) It was after the dirty, funny show that the comic snubbed me. Hank introduced me and assumed because we both came from Calgary we would have something in common. In his defense I was a wasted chatterbox but a snub is a snub. He is now dead to me. (Which will obviously make a huge difference in his life. Note: Hank would ask me to add here that “speaking of snubs you’ve actually met him before but you don’t remember him.” no comment.) There was a rowdy crowd outside the show until Louis CK decided to move on. I have never seen so many people behave like magnets, the whole party just moved with him smoothly, like the circus act where they try to see how many clowns can fit on a sidewalk. Hank and I and our friends spent the rest of the night eating shish taouks and pizza. Later I felt like an ass.
Friday’s status: is starstruck and trying not to be.
We had to get up early again for the “state of the industry” address with Andy Kindler. I had a wardrobe meltdown before we left. Two days at the fest and I had run out of feasible outfits plus it was raining which added the difficulty of appropriate footwear. We were late and had to stand against the wall because the room was more packed than I ever would have imagined it would be especially since this event is closed to the public. It seemed like all of English JFL was there plus George Stromboulopolous who was totally checking me out. This is the sort of thing I could brag about to friends back home but not my friends in Montreal. Pity. Especially since later that night we had a ten second slow dance to purple rain which is just the sort of story that has the element funniness to cover up the full out bragging. I had already broken my toe by the time of the slow dance. It happened at home while I was getting ready for the big eighties party, I realized pretty quickly that I had broken my little toe and should therefore not attend an open bar party where I would obviously get really drunk and dance. My reason always seems to comes immediately before the lies I tell myself. I just won’t dance, I say. I can be that reasonable. The answer is always I can not be that reasonable. By the absolute end of the evening I was unreasonable enough to walk the half hour home supporting a bike on one arm and a drunken friend on the other. My little toe was purple in the morning.
Saturday: is coming down with comedogenitus, achoo.
Saturday night was Hank’s big show so of course I locked myself out of the house right before without my bike keys and with no money for a cab. The nerves generated from climbing the downstairs neighbor’s fence (also not suggested for a broken toe) and having to eventually borrow money from my upstairs neighbor after a halfhearted attempt to break my own door, added to the general nerves of my boyfriend’s big show. He did great. of course.
By the end of the night I was sick of myself and more sick of comedians. I had spent so many days being so charming that I could no longer shut up. The energy at the Hyatt was at a fever pitch, so many famous comedians around, so many people trying to be heard. Needing to be funny.
All the other comedy wives were there, looking stunning and proud of their boys. Towards the end of the night we sort of converged together. It was like after a barbarian invasion where the looting and raping is already done and the remaining women huddle together for support. Or maybe not.
Then I rode in an elevator with William Shatner. He did not want to talk to me.