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A Gay in the Life

Today started with my husband telling me he loves me, immediately followed by:

“eurgh…that felt like being raped in the mouth from the inside”.

Thankfully he was talking about a fish-supper-hangover-burp that I hadn’t heard. Still, it framed my day for a serious of complicated misunderstandings and a few comedies of errors.

Barry Church-Woods

I work for an arts festival.  I work with artists.  Many brilliant.  Many still learning.

Today was a day of interacting with the greats.  I warn you now, I’m going to drop so many names that you may well end up with broken feet.

Did you know there’s a fetish site dedicated to Caroline Rhea’s feet?  That was the first discovery of my day and also the reason that Robbie our IT guy can no longer look me in the face.  Other things I learned about her are that she was in the pilot of Curb Your Enthusiasm, a guy in the Apple Store on 5th Avenue thought she’d be able to fix her iPhone because she’s a witch and that she hated working on Biggest Loser.

So why was I researching Caroline Rhea?  Today was The Fringe Comedy Academy: In Conversation With…  This afternoon I hosted a discussion with some of the finest comics around.  Ed Byrne, Caroline Rhea, Sean Hughes, Greg Proops and JoJo Sutherland all agreed to come to Fringe Central and chat to me about making it in comedy.  I say hosted a conversation.  Really, it was like herding cats.  Of the 10 questions I had to frame the 90 minute session, 4 were asked.  You can read the transcript here if you are interested.

This was the first time this year that I’d been star struck.  I grew up watching Sean Hughes and Greg Proops on TV.  I told them that and they both squinted to figure out how old I am.  I’m tired.  I haven’t shaved.  I also recently found my first grey nose hair. I’m coming to terms with the fact that I will need to go to the gym even though sit ups can’t fix a hairline that started receding at fourteen.  I shit you not.  Fourteen.

Still, the comics were all really up for the chat.  A few cultural differences were discussed and I offended Greg by using the word ‘pooves’ to describe a collection of young gay men.  He rolled his eyes.  I mentioned my husband in the hope that it’s like black people using the N word.  I’m not sure it is, but I eventually won him back, probably because I sidestepped punctuating my point by referring to ‘a strop of lesbians’.  San Franciscans are so right on.

Straight off of the high of the event I was plunged into a series of meetings with companies unhappy with their venues and venues unhappy with their companies.  There’s not much you can do at this stage, except listen and mediate.  I had a brief moment where I realised that I’m quite good at this professionally, but terrible at it socially.

252 copyPhoto courtesy of

I also chatted briefly with a journalist who was fairly impressed that my first ever experience of the Fringe was seeing Sandra Bernhard.  Again, this makes me seem older and more sophisticated than I am.  I fail to mention I was at school and only went because I loved Madonna.

On my way to meet my husband Joe from the bus I bumped into a well known aging American socialite who visits often.  I struggled to pay attention to what she was saying as she’s now had so much work done that her ears aren’t level.

All the launch parties are over, so this was the night that I eventually got to see some shows.  Vikki Stone followed by EastEnd Cabaret.  They’re both appearing at a show I’m programming next week, so I’m delighted that they were brilliant.  After the show we headed to one of the venue member bars and were joined by the girls from EastEnd Cabaret and Tom their producer.  Joe is in love with them all because of a chance meeting in Adelaide a couple of years ago.  We were both too drunk to be there, but neither of us could find the gumption to get up and walk away from such great company.  After asking someone their name after knowing them for five years, I decided it was time to go.  Partly due to humiliation.  Partly because I had a meeting at 8am the next day, partly because it was 3am and partly because IT WAS 3AM!!!

Walking home I realised that I missed Martha Reeves.  She was only playing 2 shows.


Categories: Barry Church-Woods Bears Bisexual Caroline Rhea Celebrities Comedy Comedy Academy Comedy Festival Coming out Diary EastEnd Cabaret Ed Byrne Edfringe Edinburgh Edinburgh Festival Edinburgh Fringe Events Fringe Central Gay Greg Proops Homosexual Icon JoJo Sutherland Josef Church-Woods Lesbian LGBT Martha Reeves News Opinion Role Models Sandra Bernhard Scotland Sean Hughes Theatre Transgender Uncategorized Vikki Stone


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