Having taken part in a few comedy competitions before, I was pleasantly surprised when I turned up at Shenhai in Reading for The Olympia New Act 2011 competition last night. I used to study in Reading, but couldn’t really remember my way around and had never heard of the place the night was being held. I pictured a little curry house with hardly any people in, who didn’t know there was supposed to be comedy that night, which would altogether make that journey back home seem even longer before I rocked and cried myself to sleep in regret of what I was doing with my life… Fortunately, that didn’t happen. I started off by google mapping it and amusingly found this…

Now to any red blooded male this is the height of comedy. What could go wrong when you only metres away from a shop which supposedly has a copious stock of knobs! Well, I have to say, as I walked into the venue I thought I had the wrong place. With it’s large corridor and marbled flooring it felt more like a wedding venue. I was shown the event room and there were ACTUAL people who had come to watch the comedy. Suddenly it dawned on me, “Shit, I need to be funny tonight!”

There started my usual internal panic of bombing on stage and as I knocked back my fourth, nay maybe fifth Redbull, it was my turn next. I couldn’t judge how it went at all, didn’t think I did overly well but had done all I could. Now the wait as the votes were counted up…

“In third place Paul Ricketts” He stood up to take a bow, I thought “Damn, now I’m definitely not in with a chance”. Paul had been going a lot longer than me and was just such an accomplished act there was no way. The guys had done so …. “Second place, Hyde Panaser” – Wait a f*cking minute that was my name, I’d only just come in as the Runner Up of The Olympia New Act Competition 2011. F*CK ME. I couldn’t believe it… The journey home didn’t take as long as I thought it might.

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