My parents bought me a pass to the writers festival as an early birthday gift.

While I'm excited to go, I also know very little about what to see. My comfort zone is a sprawling music festival - I can navigate my way through the crowds and always find a concert I want to see. I can spend endless hours soaking in live music. I can sneak in just enough alcohol to get myself good and ripped. You music folks - you know what I mean. No doubt I'll be seeing you out and about this summer.

But how do I approach authors? I read plenty, but I'm not familiar with a lot of the writers who are coming to the fest. And which events are good, anyway? Who's going to knock me out? Who's going to make me giggle? Who's going to make me want to throw things? (Actually, after glancing at the schedule, I think I've figured that part out)

I know nothing of this world. I realize that plenty of writers read this blog - please advise! What would you see? I've been to the fest several times, but I was always the hired musician and I stopped into the events on my way to the stage. This time, I need a bit more knowledge going in. Please lend me your brain.

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Tuesday night, I went and saw some really bad comedy.

I've been struggling with how to tell you about it, because I have nothing nice to say about the comic who hosted the evening. I've decided not to tell you about it in detail, because frankly, I would get angry pretty fast. Instead, I will offer some advice.

Make up an alias.

No, seriously. If you go see standup comedy and you're not sure about the comic, arrive with a fake name, occupation and relationship status. This will give you a layer of protection from some lame-ass, dick of a comic who makes his living insulting people. And when he says he'd like to see you naked just to get a rise out of you? You can close your eyes and imagine that he's talking to your alias, and your alias is right about to kick his ass into next week.

Feel free to use mine: My name is Susan, I work in high tech, and I'm single. And if the comic is a jerk? I have a black belt in karate.

5 comments:

aandjblog said...

who did you go see? I'm really curious. I've normally had very good experiences seeing comics. If you can email me i'd be curious.

Hannah said...

That's unfortunate that you had a bad experience with a bad comic. Last time I went to Absolute Comedy, all of the entertainers were hilarious! I swear I never laughed so hard in my life. But your idea for an "alias" is a good one.:)

Lynn said...

I haven't been to the writer's festival in a few years, but my favourite events are the Writing Life panels -- were three authors get together and just chat.

Also looks good:
Extraordinary Canadians panel chat
Adrienne Clarkson talk on Biographies
BC Scene (because i LOVE Evelyn Lau)
Fantastic Fiction panel (good personalities there)

Have a great time!

Stella said...

Thanks Lynn!

Amanda said...

my literary highlights are over at ottawafocus.com under bywords on the left hand side of the site, if you're interested.
the fiction and poetry cabarets are what i go for.
see you there!