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Tuesday, July 26

Like an Oscar Acceptance Speech, but better

Back in April a chat on the internet led to what has been a fascinating, challenging and ultimately rewarding 3 months of my life. You can read here all about Funny's Funny, the event of which I speak.

As we pulled this event together, people fell into one of a few categories:
  • Disinterested - if this is you, then feel free not to read, or maybe do read in order to see if your interest can be piqued
  • Nay-sayers - it's easy to have a go, and some people mystifyingly decided that it was in their interests to ridicule what we were doing
  • Supporters - in truth, the majority of people we heard from fell into this category

Now the dust has settled a bit, I think it's time to say some heartfelt thanks to the latter category. I could thank the few detractors whose pointless bile made me even more resolute to do a good job, but I suspect their contribution was an overall zero.

To the people who put on the 21 (22 if you include the cancelled one) showcase events, I say a big thanks. Being there on the night, pulling together people, audience, publicity and other logistics: it made the difference. The atomsphere at the shows was universally praised and this is in part thanks to the organisers.

To the MCs who held shows together in a professional and supportive way, even though they had a dozen acts on the same bill, a big big thank you. The acts appreciated the way they were treated and introduced and we were glad to know the shows were in safe hands.

To the judges who sagely calculated scores, wrote constructive notes, and gave the acts feedback as requested, a huge and respectful thanks. Judging comedy is hard going: fairness and personal taste are not always easy to resolve. We wanted the fairest and most comedy-focused judging, and we believe that this was achieved to a very high standard by our volunteer judges. Thank you all.

Various online comedy journalists wrote about our event, interviewed us, or gave us platform to talk about what we were doing. This helped spread the word and also opened up the debate surrounding the problem we were addressing. It really mattered. Thanks.

To Steve Bennett of Chortle, who supported the event by organising the final, a massive thanks is due. The quality of the final and judging panel gave the event a credibility that we might not have achieved single-handedly. In addition, the fact that someone else had taken on the organisation of the final allowed us to focus on the performers and showcases more. Ultimately, it was an excellent climax to our event.

To the 252 women who signed up to our site, thanks to you. In the end, we managed to secure bookings for 224 of you, and had a surprisingly low drop-out rate. It seems that every performer came to this event with the right attitude and made the best of their showcase for both themselves and their fellow acts. To those who spread the word and generally told us how much you appreciated us, an extra special thanks. To those who sorted themselves out via our website with barely an email exchanged: we may not have spoken to you SO much, but it was a companionable silence and kept our workload down.

And finally to the other members of the Funny's Funny team, I can't say how much of an honour it was to work with you all. Rob, you did a huge amount of show organising while appearing to be gigging every day and doing everything else you do - the number of contacts and details you pulled together in a short space of time was amazing. Thanks. Jane, you were working in a different time-zone to the rest of us, but still managed to keep us on the straight and narrow, pull comedians in for performing, make the judging criteria equitable, and get the acts connected with the right showcases in record time. Okse, your design work and mentoring was really appreciated - the posters looked great, the logo was brilliant, and those hard moments when a friendly voice was what was needed, were provided for. Beth, your help in getting us off the ground, and your encouragement during what was a difficult time for you was greatly valued.

I could write a lot more on why this was such an amazing event to be a part of, but let's keep it brief. All I'll say to conclude is that if you put a bunch of people together with a shared goal that is worth achieving, then magic can happen. It took a lot of work to achieve it, but I think we got more out than we put in.

Thank you all.


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