I’m heading to Kilkenny in June for the world famous Cat’s Laughs Festival.
I’m only going to watch as I have never been part of the main program officially. But the Cat Laughs has changed my life.
A few years ago Sky T.V. was the main sponsor. During the weekend they set up some free events. One of them was a competition to pitch your idea for a T.V. show to a live crowd and the best one would get Sky T.V. free for a year. You get all the channels like CBBC, CBBC+1 & CBBC Jnr.
I sent an e-mail off to them. A week before the show I got a call saying I had been one of the twelve selected. The format of the show was going to be two minutes to pitch your show and then a chat with the judges after it. A bit like Dragons Den.
My pitch was a sitcom based on my (then) life as a porter in a Hospital in a small town. I was going to do my stand-up material about my job for my two minutes.
Before the show, I went to a panel with the then head of Sky comedy Lucy Lumsden, the guy who runs Babycow (Steve Coogan production company) and a few other comedy industry people.
The competition was on right after in the same venue. I didn’t think it was crazy to assume Lucy with stick around to watch the show. This is when my nervous went into Kathleen Turner Overdrive. What if she liked my pitch? I could leave my crappy job behind and write a sitcom about my crappy job.
All the contestants were brought upstairs of the Langton set theatre. We were given a brief rundown by host Andrew Maxwell about what was going to happen.
Looking around the room I kinda recognized a couple of faces from stand up. One stood out. A black haired girl who I had recently seen at the battle of the axe. She was very good and was worried she might be some competition.
Andrew started the show and introduced the judges. They were Neil Delamare, Karl Spain, an American stand-up and some Canadian stand-up. (Hey I’m sure they don’t remember my name either.)
I did my two-minute pitch. It went down well. My chat with the judges went ok. Neil and Karl were into but the Yank and Canuck had no clue what the hell I was talking about.
They announced the winner and it went to… the dark haired girl. I was a little annoyed. Her pitch was for a parody show called “Meal or no Meal” set in a third world country. Where starving people had to choose between boxes that may or may not contain food. Her pitch was very funny and she handled the bit with the judges great.
But in my naivety, I thought they were looking for shows that could actually make and unless Sky Living goes down a dark path I doubt they’re going to pick that show up. In reality, the judges just wanted the funniest idea and pitch.
A little while little the dark haired girl and I became friends on Facebook (All comedians add each other for networking and to see what gigs the other bastard is getting.)
I sent her a message asking did she ever get the prize? She said no and we started chatting from there and now almost four years later we are living together with a hamster.
As always shout at me on twitter @SlumberingJ