I’m sitting on a tram. It’s 11:41pm and the comedy festival is over for another year. I’ve just been crying a little and thinking over and over and over to myself that I exist. Because that’s what I took away from Laura Davis’ show (which I saw twice). I exist. That seems really important to me in this moment. Somehow being yelled at by a woman dressed as a ghost was really affirming.
I first saw Laura Davis because she gave me a flyer. The flyer had a brown paper bag stapled to it containing some lollies and a teabag. I liked that. I sat in the second row and there were six other people who all sat together right at the back. The show was kind of about birds. There was something about it that stuck in my brain. I saw her again last year, in the dungeon which is Fort Delta on the very last night of the festival. Afterwards my friends and I sat in silence for the entire tram ride home. That show was like having your soul carved out. It was incredible. I don’t know Laura but when I found out she won the Golden Gibbo on Saturday I yelled “yaaaaaaaay!” out loud. She’s a remarkable comedian. Laura has been the last show of my festival for two years in a row now.
My very first comedy festival, the last show I saw was Dave Warnake. Dave used to read this blog and liked it (on Facebook at least). So I went to see his show. And I really liked it. At the time we’d never had a conversation (not even on Twitter). But I remember thinking that maybe that was enough. Maybe liking the things each other creates is enough to form the basis of a friendship. It seemed like it might be a nice way to be friends. Now, years later, I think we are friends. And life is strange and precarious and remarkable.
Comedy reminds me of that. It’s so fleeting. A show happens once and you see it once and then it’s gone. There are so many jokes that I’ll only ever hear once. Even if you could somehow go back and do it again, I’m not sure I’d want to. It wouldn’t be the same as being in that dark room on that night when those jokes meant something to me.
I sometimes feel like a different person during MICF. I’m a person who goes out every night for a week, even though some nights I’m not sure I want to. I’m a person who feels at home in Melbourne. I’m a person who plans whole evenings by herself, who relishes eating dinner alone. I’m a person who walks home late at night without looking over her shoulder. Comedy brings out the best in me.
I’m going to write more about this year’s comedy and what I learnt from seeing so many amazing woman. I think there’s a couple of things coming, in case late night philosophical tram musings aren’t enough for you.