EJC 2009 day 7

Ok, so on Thursday night I hosted the last open stage show. I think I mentioned it was a looooong show, due to everyone wanting to perform at the last minute. There were also many, many other issues with the organisation of the show, problems that have been solved many times in the past, and yet some people are incapable of learning. Pola said she would be a stage hand, but instead of like last year, when such a job was really fun, it was just stressful and unenjoyable.

Thankfully all the problems were sorted by the time the show began, and the entire thing played off without a hitch. I also got to see some fun new acts, the most enjoyable being Yann Frisch from the Lido School in Toulous. He did juggling and slight of hand magic, and the audience loved it. I saw the act from behind, so could see all the tricks, but still thought it was great. We didn’t put him in the show to begin with, but so many people said “You have to! He’s the best act!” that we gave him a spot in the end. I’m glad we did!

On a personal note, my hosting of the show went pretty well. I think I could have done better in some places, but the sheer length of the show made it quite a taxing job. I performed my 3 ball and coat routine, a very old act, but of course it was new to most of the audience. Four or five people told me the next day that it was their favourite act of the show! I also sang A Cappella on stage, something I’ve never done before, and juggled while I hummed. It was a good test run on the “My Favourite Things” routine I plan to make. No (unintentional) drops, but I did step backwards and knock my prop case over at one point.

I guess I went to bed soon after. I can’t really remember.

On to Friday!

When cycling in Pamplona the other morning, broken glass lay all over the streets. The back tire of my bike popped. So yesterdays I went shopping for bike-fixing bits and pieces, and looked for a launderette.

While I was in town I thought I’d check out the Europahall, the workshop venue about a kilometer from the main convention site. I didn’t do any workshops, but looked around the halls and squash courts taking photos:

Then I picked up all the dirty clothes and spent a the afternoon reading in the launderette, then reading on the grass back at the convention site. What a life!

I fell asleep, of course, but woke up in time for the gala show.

Unfortunately, the photos from the gala show are taking ages to upload, so I think I’ll skip writing about it for now, and make a separate dedicated post.

Following the gala show Pola and I ate together for the first time that day, then I went to the 24 hour gym to work on organising the EJC Celebrity Fight Night. I wasn’t sure if there was much interest though, so just joined in with the ongoing combat session. So many people asked “When is the Fight Night happening?” that I pulled my finger out and started asking people to take part.

Pola planned to host the event, but we had no mic and amplification, and nobody could hear her voice. That meant I had to take over after about 30 seconds, and we swapped jobs; Pola keeping track of scores and I introduced the fighters.

For those that don’t know, the Fight Night event is a one-on-one three club combet tournament, with good and/or interesting players invited to take part. Last night we had 12 fighters, and I ran the tournament using a variation on the Swiss system, one which matches up abilities so each player can lose a game and still come second or third, depending on how many points they scored. This is actually what happened, with Bar from Israel and Andreas from Aachen battling for third place, even though they both lost their first games.

However, the winner is decided by a match between the only two players who win their first three matches, so for them it feels just like a straight elimination event. JJ (Jochen) from Berlin made it to the final without having a single point scored against him, going 3-0, 3-0, 3-0. I won all my matches, but normally I let early opponents take a one or to points, just to make the fights more dramatic. That said, I don’t think I could have taken Till without dropping a point.

JJ beat me in the final game though, and quite easily. The same as at the Berlin convention last month, and the same as the EJC in Athens two years ago. Jochen’s just too good! No wonder people call him the Terminator.

I’ll just settle for second place. I’ve now come second in four out of the five EJC Fight Nights so far, twice beaten by Jay Gilligan in the final round, and twice by Jochen. What I really want to see is a tournament with both Jochen and Jay taking part, with Wes Peden and Flo added for good measure. And me. Actually, I can’t remember anyone else winning a Fight Night tournament except, Jochen, Jay, me or Aaron Greg, so maybe he should join in too. I might try to make this happen at next year’s EJC.

Following my defeat, I played more combat, then showered and headed off to bed, via an attempt at uploading some photos in the info tent.

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