Monday, June 4, 2007

Just Kidding! Phoole Wins Hearts, But Not Tournament

I whiffed the Tournament. Too many rewrites? Definitely. Too much thinking? Absolutely. The contestant immediately before me went over his slot by 20 minutes, too -- I went into the ring facing an audience who'd already been asked to sit still for too long, so a verbal-only act wasn't going anywhere with them. At one minute into my act, I knew the crowd wasn't having it. No responses, no laughter, nothing. Not even crickets. A vacuum. I knew I couldn't pull out of the nosedive without suddenly developing the ability to juggle things that were on fire, so I wrapped halfway through what I'd planned and bolted to a smattering of what felt like sympathy applause.

As it turned out, what the judges were interested in, chiefly, was the ability to juggle things that were on fire, so I suppose I can take solace in knowing that even if I hadn't lost time and hadn't choked, my material never would have won anyway!

But the best consolations were these:

I spent lots of time with a fantastic audience throughout the days of the Festival of Fools at Muncaster Castle, and onstage and off, I had the absolute best time. British kids are terribly clever, and since they have to have jokes for Comic Relief Day every year at school, they were stampeding to tell me jokes, which you know I love.

Jen Higgins and I were shown the royal treatment by the Muncaster crew, from the lovely noble-and-silly Peter Frost-Pennington (who, unbelievably, collected us at the train, played bellhop and barbecue chef, and constantly supplied us with delicious Jennings Brewery ales) to our girlz Sadie Clarke and Becky Allen, without whom we would have been stranded, sad and lonely indeed. Instead we are well-traveled, well-fed, and full of adventures and stories.

And among my fellow losers were the hilarious Martin Soan and the brilliant EtiƩnne du Paris, with whom Jen Higgins and I shared many big laughs, along with Martin's stunning and charming wife Vivian. I became acquainted with many tremendous people, developed huge performer-crushes on them (yes, that's you, Joel Dickinson -- both Jen and I lost our minds over your kindness and companionship), and now I miss them with a crack through my heart, after only goofing around with them for a week. In a CASTLE. Surrounded by mountains and sheepy fields and low stone walls and ENGLAND.

Detailed tales of What I Did At Jester Summer Camp will follow soon -- I took lots of notes, and Jen took lots of pictures and 7 hours of video. Check back for updates!

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