Another box ticked. Last weekend I met Jane Lynch, currently the funniest actress on TV as psychotic PE teacher Sue Sylvester in Glee. If you haven’t seen her Madonna tribute, click here now or burn your fingerless lacy gloves in shame.
Jane was appearing at the second LA Comedy Shorts Film Festival and I managed to grab her for a quick word before the opening gala screening at the Downtown Independent Theatre. You can see a blurry twitpic here. (The picture was taken by a professional photographer using my BlackBerry. I’m saying nothing.)
Anyhoo, as I was talking to Jane outside the theatre, a group of teenagers sauntered past and gave her a series of those terribly complex hand signals for ‘respect’ that young people do (what’s wrong with a simple handshake, I ask you?), and told her she was ‘totally freakin’ awesome’. In youth-speak that’s very high praise indeed.
Jane was charm personified and told me that she’d had a lot of fun making the Madonna video and was equally delighted that Madge herself had endorsed the episode.
But less of that. Let’s talk about the people who are also very funny but not on mainstream telly yet.
The Comedy Shorts Fest is, I think, my favourite film festival in LA and – full disclosure – Crisann Morgan their Director of Development is one of my friends and did a spectacular job directing everything that needed to be developed.
I went to as many screenings as I could and the standard of comedy was incredibly high. But biggest cheer of the weekend was for my friend Tanya Bershadsky who took home the Best Shortie Short award for her film Traffic Signals. Unfortunately, I don’t have an exclusive quote from her because now that she’s famous and being mentioned in The Hollywood Reporter, she’s not returning my calls.
The opening party at the J Lounge was also a swinging affair. Though not in that way. It had been billed as the ‘Beefcake and Cupcake’ party but Festival Director Jeannie Roshar explained that the cupcakes they’d ordered had been involved in a road traffic accident and she wasn’t sure if they’d survived. Turns out they were in a stable condition, absolutely delicious and served on trays by the ‘beefcake’ you see above.
Massive respect also to Jeannie, who runs the festival with Ryan Higman and Gary Anthony Williams, for taking her pregnancy last year and turning it into a comedy short. I won’t spoil the storyline but when I asked her about the inspiration for Bun In The Oven she simply said ‘I wanted to see how far I could go while I was heavily pregnant and have fun with it.’
And boy did she. Jeannie and her back up dancers were all heavily pregnant at the time of the shoot – in fact one of them went into labour the day before and had to pull out. Her film’s not for the faint-hearted (it has rude words in it) but truth be told I thought it was magnificent and I am now completely in awe of Jeannie’s balls.
Hold on, that didn’t come out quite right.
Anyway, I’ve promised myself that at some point in the next 12 months I shall come up with a comedy short worthy of the festival. I wont necessarily be getting pregnant to do it although after scoffing a tray of those mini cupcakes, I could have easily passed for one of Jeannie’s back up dancers.
Meanwhile, I’m going to find something funny to write about.
I might be some time.