Conterpoint

Saturday morning, and time for my workshop. I think I was probably more concerned over the workshop than my GoH set, as it isn’t something I do a lot; and of the dozen or so that attend, a few seem perhaps a little dubious about the aim – to write a new and original filk in just two 1 hour sessions. But everyone soon shows enthusiasm when, after a slow and unorganised start (note – next time have a whiteboard or flipchart), things start to happen.

There are a few suggestions of subject matter and genre, and someone says “There’s always dragons”. After a brief discussion, we find ourselves writing a very self-referential lyric about a group of people arguing about “The Subject of the Song” (which is the eventual title of our song). We finish the 3-verse-and-a-chorus lyric with a few moments to spare, and everyone seems happy with the result. Tomorrow we will be working on a tune for our song.

I want to hit the business centre and get the lyric typed up, while it isstill fresh in my head and I can decypher my notes; I also need to grab some lunch. Gary volunteers to run me down somewhere, but I decide to save time – the hotel shop sells frozen macaroni cheese, and I have a microwave in my room, so I buy that and some snacks. I will be eating a proper meal later, anyway.

In the afternoon, there are several goodies in the program. I catch Erica Neely’s spot, and then Lady Mondegreen. I then go off to my room to prepare for later.

Tonight is the night of the Banquet, followed by Jordan’s spot, and then my own GoH set. I want to catch Jordon so I do my preparation before the Banquet. At the meal, I have a pleasant conversation with Bob Esty, our Toastmaster, amongst others.

Jordan’s family has come to see him, and he is quiet and very focussed when I speak to him. Once on stage, he comes alive, gains a big beaming smile, and just takes off. The best way I can describe him is filk in the style of showtunes and song & dance. Which is not surprising, as he is an accomplished actor, and has performed his share of musicals.

Jordan Mann

It is not a musical genre you encounter that much in filk – at least, not this polished – and I enjoy it immensely. Although how he performed his Marquis de Sade material in front of his mum, I don’t know (yes, she *was* laughing).

I enjoyed Jordan so much, I didn’t have a chance to worry about my own set – a five minute mike setup, and we were away. I had worked out my set, and rehearsed and timed it, weeks ago, but then made changes at the last minute, due to my newly written (and very topical) song “Cicadas”. At one point, I was planning to save this song for the song contest, themed on “bugs”, but thought it would be such a good set opener, I dropped my “cyberpunk” songs (“Biosoft” and “Lord of the Roads”) in its favour. It was a good decision – although much of my material is serious, I like to lighten it with some comedy, and starting with the audience laughing is always a good thing to do.

Another success of the set was my X-Man filk “For Magnus, Wherever I May Find Him”; my more recent material “Wakeup Call” and “Eternal Sunshine” also went down well, and I ended on two old favourites – “Dragon Flight” and “As Close As Night To Day”.

Earlier in the day, I had begun to worry that I had got my set timings wrong, and would under-run. At the last minute, I pencilled in some old favourites, in case I needed them. I shouldn’t have worried – the set, as planned, ran just a minute over time.

The Interfilk Auction then takes place, and I secure my British reputation by bidding for and winning a bottle of Aiglet’s alcoholic cordial.

Open filking follows, and I finally crawl to bed at 3am.

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