Sunday, 11 October 2009


Don't believe it
Victoria, September 3, 2009

So, blimey, it's already Thursday, only four short fringe days left, and I'm just about holding it together. I've done three shows, they've gone OK-to-good numbers-wise, while the audiences are great, the reviews are great, and the show feels very together.

And well, I keep enjoying myself, with swimming, walking, sea-gazing, beers, Chinese food, etc. Except various people keep bringing me down and bumming me out, by trying to convince me the B.C. provincial government has cut the arts budget by 90%. Which is 90, not nine, or nineteen, or even nought-point-nine. But 90.

But I don't actually believe it. I reckon the people trying to convince me have got their maths all wrong.

Because, I mean, no one cuts a budget by 90%. Do they? That's ridiculous: it's AN ADMISSION OF FAILURE THAT NO POLITICIAN IS EVER GOING TO MAKE. Isn't it? I mean, no electorate in the world is going to regard this as anything other than grand incompetence by people obviously not fit for office.

I mean, politicians never admit they've ballsed up, do they? And this lot're not new in power are they? They've been in a few years, haven't they?'

So they've got to go.



But not cretins. As it's plainly not true. It can't be. No-one is that stupid. And if they are, and they're politicians, they can't ever, ever, admit it.

So, as I don't believe that, I won't worry about it, and I'm going to enjoy myself. Like I am right now. So I'll tell you about my ticketyboo days in the sunshine.

Like Monday, a lovely day resting and swimming at Sooke Potholes with Lana from Grandpa Sol …, Anders from Uncalled For, and Laura Harris from the show Pitch Blonde. Which isn't here this year, but which did great here two years ago, and which just completely killed in Edmonton.

I mean, she sold out a 200-seater there at least three times. Which is genuine success. And do you know how much money that is? That's a lot of bloody money that is. That's 2 grand a show. Which is a damn sight more than one particular young actress and writer from Victoria ever made in a day in her short life before.

I bet.

Which is, of course, only possible for her because she got so much help at starting her still-new career. Much of it from the Victoria Fringe. Which is Intrepid Theatre. Who just had their budget slashed, apparently. Apparently. And who will, apparently, have to shut one of their spaces. A small space they just expended years of energy trying to open.

So, while Laura has benefited hugely from Intrepid Theatre and their funding, what happens to the next Laura Harris? Who doesn't get that help? Who maybe doesn't get the career in the arts that Laura Harris, as a talented young writer-actress, will get? Because they didn't get the same help in starting? Who won't get to contribute back in so many ways to the quality of provincial and national Canadian life, financially and artistically. As Laura Harris very likely will.

But as I don't believe any of that is actually going to happen, because what politicians ever so FREELY ADMIT THEY ARE IDIOTS … BY HAVING TO SLASH A BUDGET BY 90%? I mean, politicans don't do that, do they? ADMIT THEY ARE INCAPABLE OF GOVERNING. Do they?

So, as I don't believe any of that is actually going to happen, I'm going to keep enjoying myself.

Like the next day, Tuesday, when twenty of us go and jump in a lake.

Do you have that phrase in Canada? Go and jump in a lake? Well someone saw us crawling abjectly out of one downtown bar into another, the festering flesh of the fringe mess that we are, and shouted, go and jump in a lake.

So we did. Lake Thetis.

Very nice thank you. And warmer than Sooke Potholes.

Twenty of us, Uncalled For, Like A Virgin, The Honeymoon Period …, The Accident, Straight From That Side …, Moving Along, Grandpa SolPornstar, Take You With Me, and more, with a picnic, which included mangoes. Because I just got off the phone from my sweetheart, who is having a lousy time out in baking-hot Dauphin Manitoba. And I'm trying to convince her that my latest joke is really funny.

While she is not convinced. At all.

I mean, I already have the worst joke on the whole fringe tour in my show. So I'm obviously pretty great at knowing what makes a bad joke work.

So here goes. It was inspired by watching Jonno Katz and Gemma Wilcox attempting to eat a mango.



Isn't that funny? I think that's funny.

Ho-ho. Ho ho ho-ho-ho.

And I'm prepared to put my money where my mouth is. And prove it.

Because there's a stand-up night on Friday. A fundraiser for the arts. Supposedly. Because some joker thinks some jokers have cut the arts budget by 90%. Which can't be true. Because NO-ONE CAN BE THAT BAD AT THEIR JOB AND STAY IN IT, can they?

No one.

It doesn't make sense.

So, if you're around, I am inviting myself onto the bill of the fringe-fundraiser stand-up comedy night at the Fringe club on Broad Street. I mean, it's run by Jimmy Hogg (from Like A Virgin) and he's from Plymouth, which means he can't possibly say no to me. I mean, he can hardly take on airs if he's from Plymouth, can he? No he can't.
So that's Friday. 11-ish. It will be funny, trust me.



I mean, it's funnier than Kelly, House-Manager at my venue, who said she's been trying very hard at acting, and she's just started getting paid work, as an actress, which everyone realises is damned hard, and she was hoping to, realistically, give up her job, and be able to support herself, from acting, but the cuts mean she's going to have to stay in her proper job, for another three, or four, years.

Its funnier than that, isn't it?

On the other hand, I'm writing this blog, and I'm not being paid for it. Which is cool. Except I was chatting with Gemma Wilcox, from The Honeymoon Period …, and she said she did a blog at Edmonton where she got paid 50 bucks a blog and made two grand in total.

And you know what? That's really not funny. That's not funny at all.

At all.

However, I just received a message from the Vancouver Fringe. And apparently the provincial government's new budget will cut Arts and Culture Funding from about $48 million in 2008/2009 to just $3.7 million in 2010/2011. So, with cuts to the BC Arts Council in 2011, the Vancouver Fringe will have a shortfall of $83,000.

Blimey! Gadzooks! And sheee-it! … Here I am trying to have a party and enjoy myself, to spend a jolly session blogging before the clear flat sea of sunny Gonzales Bay, and these people keep bumming me out by trying to pretend these are dark hours.

Whatever, I'm jumping in the hot tub. Cos I've come over all aquatic. Lovely.

See you later.

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