So, I’ve just returned from attending the London Comedy Writers Festival at the weekend (did I mention I won my ticket in their Laugh A Minute comedy scriptwriting competition? I did? Oh, sorry).
Anyway, apart from all the insightful stuff that everyone else is blogging about, I thought I’d share some of the other stuff I learnt this weekend…
- I need to work on my networking technique. Standing alone in a room full of people staring at my mobile phone isn’t much of an icebreaker. I’m convinced the mobile phone was invented, not as a groundbreaking communications device, but as means of making shy people feel slightly less awkward at social events. If Charles M Schultz was to write Peanuts today I’m pretty sure he would have given Linus a mobile instead of a blanket.*
- I really need to work on my networking technique. When I do finally take a deep breath and strike up a conversation with someone, I need to choose my opening gambit carefully. “So what do you do?” doesn’t really demonstrate awareness when you’re at a writers festival.
- Nor does “So what kind of stuff do you write?”. You’re at a comedy writers festival, for God’s sake.
- When eating from a self-service salad bar, make sure none of the constituent salad components are individually priced before piling them on willy nilly.
- When eating from a self-service salad bar where the hard boiled eggs are individually priced, put them in your little plastic tray first and then pile the coleslaw camouflage on top.
- When eating from a self-service salad bar where the hard boiled eggs are individually priced but you didn’t realise that until after you’d plonked one on top and sealed up your little plastic tray, no amount of tray shaking or strategic thumb placement will hide that egg.
- I spend too much time at salad bars.
- Business cards have a certain currency, so if you’re handing them out like you were handing out flyers for a student nightclub without even speaking to me first, there’s a good chance I’m going to treat it in the same regard as I have for flyers for student nightclubs.
- The rules of normal social etiquette apply. Just because I’m at a comedy festival doesn’t mean that everything anyone says is necessarily a joke, e.g.
Me: So what draws you to comedy?
Other: I find it helps ease my depression caused by the fact that my three children have got that hairy face disease that makes them look like the Wolfman.
Me: HAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Nice one. Classic.
- Seriously, I need to work on my networking technique. How about “Hi. Have you checked out the salad bar?”. Maybe not.