Sunday, October 07, 2012

Hong Kong Comedy Competition, 2012

Last night went so well, I'm still sort of shocked by it all. I had a great set, probably the best I've ever had, in front of 400 people, all of them cheering me on and laughing so much I was struggling to get through my material.

I didn't win, but that didn't really matter. It would have been great to get a prize and to be able to say "..., Hong Kong Competition, 2012" but that wasn't what mattered; just being out there on stage was reward enough. It must have been hellish to make the judgments: apparently the top 5 comedians were within 4 points of one another, so I can forever fantasise about being in joint 4th place with somebody.

That's not to say that winning isn't worthless, or it wasn't something that I wanted, but it's good not to lose sight of the wonderfulness of being up there on stage in front of so many people, the feeling of being in the zone and just doing absolutely as well as you could.

I had many worries that day: I only managed to go through my set three or four times beforehand, and only sat in utter silence for five minutes, but that wasn't a problem. What was silly was getting a taxi to Admiralty MTR and not directly to the Academy for Performing Arts, then rushing, sweating, carrying an enormous bag of camera equipment, to the venue. I managed to get lost several times before I got onto the stage, which is impressive for a former long-term denizen of Hong Kong.

Ruben Paul was a great host for the event: after he'd got the crowd up to fever pitch, he was very efficient at bringing everyone out, making sure that he wasn't taking the limelight away from them. I suppose in some sense it was easy: with a crowd that ebullient, he didn't need to warm them up between the different competitors, but there's always that temptation to riff on everyone that you have to resist. A very fair treatment of everyone.

I was up second; I think the first half of the night was actually easier on us than the second half. After the intermission the crowd were a little quieter (had they laughed themselves out?) - perhaps it's significant that two of the top three were from the top half, but as I said, it was just too, too close. Compared to some finals (and prelims) over the years where the standard has been up and down all over the place, this was just consistently strong.

So, congratulations to the winner, Rishi Budhrani, and to the runners up, Joanna Sio and Turner Sparks, and to all the comedians, and to Ruben Paul for his sterling work, Umar Rana for creating a similar scene in Singapore that I could get more stage time on after abandoning Hong Kong earlier this year, and of course Jami Gong for making the whole thing possible. It's certainly gone a long way from that night in early 2008 when I went to a show in Elgin Street and sat there thinking 'huh, I could do just as well as those people on stage'.

Now I've just got a marathon to run this year, and a load of other resolutions to tick off...


Anonymous said...

Well done from all of your fans in Sydney.

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