I find your use of hyperlinks superfluous…

FML, but not really.

I’ve been lucky enough to get a job editing The Pun, a website dedicated to independent coverage of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. This job involves a lot of things. To be honest I’m still working out what some of those things are. But the first thing it involved was picking which of the more than 400 shows we are going to review. Picture the scene- me, my laptop and a PDF containing over 400 press releases…

Sunday 19th February
6:35pm- Every single sentence ends in at least one exclamation mark. Press releases- you are doing it wrong.
6:40pm- When writing a press release for a comedy show, I can’t help thinking the word “hilarious” is something of a tautology.
6:47pm- Hit a problem I was anticipating. Can I just throw people in because I know them? That’s allowed right?
6:51pm- The use of inverted commas in that “positive” quote makes me seriously wonder if you took it out of context.

Monday 20th
5:45pm- Just paining my nails in preparation for a Quidditch match and reading press releases for comedy shows. Its ok to be jealous.
5:42pm- “Unique”. Is that really the way you want to present your show?
6:02pm- HOW CAN I ONLY BE UP TO PAGE 378?! (I started at Z for reasons that made sense at the time.)
6:06pm- Sudden desire to quit and have a nap.
6:13pm- Why do so many comedians have outrageously posh surnames?
(Yes, I’m still here. Resisting the desire to nap.)
6:30pm- If I do this for too much longer I’m going to start picking people based on their names alone. Not that anyone would ever have to know I did it that way…
6:31pm- Although I wouldn’t be able to judge people for their inappropriate use of caps if I did it that way.
6:33pm- Do all the musical comedians have names in the first half of the alphabet or something?
6:41pm- So I was about to skip over your press release and then you used the words “Press” and “Gang”.
6:54pm- With credentials like that, you should have a better edited press release.
6:57pm- I think only one of these press releases has actually been funny which, given the circumstances, is a little surprising.
7:29pm- So that sounds more like the description of a panel at a writers festival but you threw a joke in there so what the hell!

Tuesday 21st
9:59am- Its odd realising that my mood is going to affect whether or not we review a show. Sometimes I’m feeling generous, sometimes I’m not. Life is almost certainly full of these sorts of variables. That’s never occurred to me before.
10:16am- Why did you just put an asterisk in the word penis…
10:27am- Problems I have with the media book- if something has a ‘The’ in front of its name, it has been filed under ‘T‘.
10:30am- Why is this under ’T’? Where even is the ’T’ is this?
10:32am- My list keeps developing new subcategories.
10:44am- My computer battery is dying, my handwriting is becoming illegible, I’m starving and I need to make a cake.
10:53am- I think maybe I should be less of a sucker for musical comedy.
11:03am- There’s this page that is just refusing to load. Hope there’s nothing interesting on it…
11:05am- You had me at the name of the show.
11:09am- I’m beginning to think that Raw Comedy is just a clever ruse by the festival to fill venues.
11:42am- What’s that? I’ve officially read OVER 100 OF THESE. *does slightly exhausted victory dance*.
11:43am- *bails to go play Quidditch*

Wednesday 22nd
1:01pm- Got bored of bumming around on the internet/cleaning the house and was about to head into uni early when a little voice in my head yelled “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? READ SOME GOD DAMMED PRESS RELEASES!”
1:26pm- In the top corner of each page it tells you what category this show fits into. Like “stand-up” or “theatre”. This one just says “comedy”.
1:31pm- 11 press releases read. Nothing on whatever the ridiculous amount I read yesterday was but not bad.

Friday 24th
12:55pm- Got all my other jobs done with surprising efficiency. Have no choice but to spend the remainder of the day reading press releases.
12:57pm- I told you, unique is not a good word. Especially not when it is used that many times in three paragraphs.
12:59pm- Rapey is my favourite adjective. Use of it in your show description means an automatic yes.
1:04pm- Just goes to show that two sentences and a solid show title can be more effective than a whole page of appraisals.
1:32pm- I’ve closed all social networking tabs. Shit just got real.
1:57pm- Theory to be tested- people called Michael are funny.
3:32pm- I take a break for lunch and my computer decides to crash and revert to 1997 speeds. Bugger this. I’m going to go wash my hair.
4:21pm- Finished washing hair only to be rung by parents (to be clear it didn’t take me a whole hour to wash my hair, I may have got slightly sidetracked). My father has informed me that a friend from school has a boyfriend. Now doing some hardcore Facebook stalking.

Tuesday 28th
11:24am- Talked to Lefa yesterday. The good news is I’ve been doing it the hard way. The bad news is the easy way needs to be finished by Friday.
11:28am- So a lot of the shows aren’t labelled the same way in the media book and the press invite thing I have to tick them off on. Plus the page numbering in the media books starts at about page 8 so it doesn’t line up with Google docs.
11:45pm- Someone has put an appearance on ‘Ben Elton- Live from Planet Earth’ on their press release. I thought we were all pretending that show never happened…
3:35pm- Sitting at a table outside the uni bar listening to a mixtape on my portal cassette recorder, picking shows. This is the person I want to be all the time.
4:16pm- Playing bingo while working. Multitasking FTW.
4:34pm- Totes just won bingo.

Wednesday 19th
11:53am- For such wild party animals, comedians seems to have a very conservative view of what constitutes “late night”.
11:57am- I am getting really good at adding 8 to things. So this whole experience has at least taught me one thing.
11:58am- Is there a specific reason my printer has not printed any of the Ls on this page?
1:35pm- Do all lines of work come with these “I THINK I CAN I THINK I CAN!” exhaustion levels? Or is it just all the lines of work I’ve ever tried?
1:42pm- Strange how often writing and cup-a-soup go together.
2:13pm- I think everyone should just go see Howl of the She-Leopard (that’s Dead Cat Bounce’s new show- go see it) on that night. Nothing could be better than that amount of tight pants and rock comedy.
2:33pm- My brother is watching 30 Rock. I think this might increase my productivity.
3:42pm- Just got briefly distracted instigating an IRL poke war via Facebook chat.
4:14pm- This might sound harsh but if you can’t spell I don’t want to see your show.
4:17pm- Almost forgot to go to class. But then I DIDN’T forget to go to class. Ten points to me.

Thursday 1st March
9:03am- I think yesterday I may have accidentally complained about the various jobs I have done. I take that back. Jobs that can be done in bed > than jobs you have to get dressed for.
9:11am- I find your use of hyperlinks superfluous…
9:20am- During this process I’ve started wearing my hair up specifically so I have somewhere to put my pen.
9:25pm- Unless a show says otherwise I’m going to assume it contains “adult themes, sexual references and some course language”. Putting a disclaimer in your press release is kind of unnecessary.
10:28pm- I find it odd that Tumblr is a legitimate website platform. You guys know that Tumblr is for posting gifs of people from TV shows doing things which make them look gay right?
10:57am- This guy just got in because he likes Adventures of TV-Land on Facebook. This is a legitimate reason to review his show.
11:03am- SHOW SELECTION DONE! Now to start arranging them… I have to sort the shows into a sort of timetable. Where possible each reviewer will see a block of shows in a night.
11:24am- I’m putting all the venues into a map on Google so I can pretend I know stuff about Melbourne geography.
11:25am- My internet connection is making this very difficult.
11:33am- I think it is very unkind to assume people will automatically know which of the two Victoria Hotels in Melbourne your gig is located at.
11:39am- Hey Google? I’m not saying I know more about stuff than you do but I’m pretty sure this gig isn’t in Edinburgh.
11:45am- Google? You may notice a pattern in the places I’m searching. I’ll give you a clue. None of them are in Newcastle.
11:46am- Yeah I do mean BOTH of the Newcastles. Australia AND UK.
12:16pm- There is  Sherlock Holmes themed pub in Melbourne. Filing that under “while not seeing comedy.”
12:39pm- I’ve just had this horrible thought. The MICF probably already has a map of venues. I refuse to look this up and admit I’ve probably wasted an house of my life.
12:40- NO I DEFINITELY DO NOT MEAN THE BAR IN LONDON I THOUGHT WE HAD GONE OVER THIS.
12:44pm- Yep. No. Totally positive none of these places are in the UK.
1:09pm- Apparently Google spread sheets insists on putting times in military 24 hour time. Which is a little bit cool really.
1:10pm- I will see you at 21 hundred hours for laugher and frivolity. *salutes* *clips heals*
1:20pm- It seems Friday the 30th is going to be a bitch.
4:11pm- I was really on a roll (you can tell when I’m really on a role because I don’t even blog) but then my internet decided I should go back to being really frustrated instead.
4:13pm- Note to self- doing the entire thing in a Google Doc spread sheet is convenient and all but it is kind of a bitch when your internet stops working.
4:15pm- Hey internet? I want you to sit in the corner and think about your behaviour. I’m going to go cut my finger nails. When I come back, you better be feeling more cooperative.
4:20pm- Occasionally Vodaphone realises that I’m actually getting reception and takes it away for a while so as not to risk loosing it reputation.
4:36pm- Giving up and going to uni early. On a related note- it is WAY to hot for Quidditch training.
6:01pm- Trying to pick shows while participating in a meeting about the Quidditch Society Constitution. Doing pretty well.
6:35pm- The best part is I can ask Rachel’s opinion on the feasibility of running between two venues in a given time frame.
6:41pm- The worst part is that I’m involuntarily mumbling to myself the whole time.
7:33pm- Meeting is pretty much over. A few stranglers are still standing around chatting. I am lying on the floor chatting to myself.
7:42pm- Shows on the other side of the river have been causing hell all day. Just found TWO shows on the other side that can go together.
7:43pm- Realised I’d been muttering “Aha! Yes yes yes!” under my breath when one of the others laughs at me.
8:03pm- Go home. East BBQ chook. Watch Coupling. Fall into fitful sleep.

Friday 2nd
8:29am- Back at work again. I’m almost there. Once I’m done I am going to reward myself by lying in bed reading Great Expectations. Or possibly starting on the pile of uni work I have. But probably not.
9:14am- WHY WOULD YOU PUT YOUR GIG OVER THERE?!
9:16am- PLEASE SEE PREVIOUS STATEMENT.
9:20pm- I’m sorry. Is Friday 13th April officially “Obscure Venue Day”?!
9:41am- DOOOOOOONE!

This post marks the beginning of your Pun coverage. I’m flying to Melbourne for two and a half weeks at the end of March. During that time I have no idea what sort of nonsense you’ll get in the way of blogs. Keep an eye on http://www.anewleaf.com.au to make sure I’m still alive.

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year