I Survived a Marathon Comedy Festival

I Survived a Marathon Comedy Festival

Exactly one year ago on this day of writing, I was down and out.

This year, I’m not exactly fighting fit, but the same set of circumstances has pushed me the distance. But it didn’t floor me.

OK, OK, I’ll stop with the pugilistic metaphors — it’s not exactly knocking you out!

Last year, I had a life-changing relapse in February. As it turns out, getting multiple sclerosis (MS) isn’t as life-changing as when it stops you from walking.

By April, with the help of the normal heavy steroid infusion, some recovery occurred, and I could just about drag myself into a wheelchair and be taken out of the house on ramps.

I returned to work — or at least I physically returned to work. The virtual me kept going. Fortunately, a lifetime in the creative arts can adapt to the travails of MS. I’d retired from the lucrative casting director part of my business years earlier (boo), but I could keep going with the creative part that I really loved (hurrah).

I only have to be physically present to direct my own satirical stand-up comedy show, “The Cutting Edge,” at London’s Comedy Store. It’s been in residency every Tuesday since the summer of 1990, so in the parlance of West End showbiz, it’s now in its 29th Glorious Year!

On May Day weekend, the problem was that we were booked for the second year running at a mini comedy festival run by a countryside pub just outside of London. So, that meant working on Sunday and Tuesday. Last year, it proved a gig too far.

It floored me!

This year, we were invited back and pulled a bigger audience. Word of mouth really works in a village.

Though exhausting, it hasn’t proved devastating.

I made it to my bedroom last night by midnight and sat for four hours recovering.

I never ran a marathon, but I now know what it feels like.

***

Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

‘In 1982 John Connor was a stand up, sketch writer & journalist – crap at all three he decided whilst watching a man performing with a paper bag on his head that as nobody else was going to write about stand up he would’. ‘Comics’ Papermac 1990. In 2009 John Connor was diagnosed with MS. In 2017 John Connor still produces/directs his own live 27 year old resident topical comedy show at London’s Comedy Store – ‘The Cutting Edge’. He was also a leading UK Casting Director specialising in comedy – including one of the hippest shows ‘Black Books’ [double BAFTA winning Situation Comedy Award] & for at least a decade the biggest sitcom on British TV ‘My Family’. TV & MS was a step too far – and we know how hard any step can be. Luckily his satirical show was a built in part time job & with the election of Trump is now in the zeitgeist. John now writes “Fall Down Get Up Again” – an irreverent journey with MS.
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‘In 1982 John Connor was a stand up, sketch writer & journalist – crap at all three he decided whilst watching a man performing with a paper bag on his head that as nobody else was going to write about stand up he would’. ‘Comics’ Papermac 1990. In 2009 John Connor was diagnosed with MS. In 2017 John Connor still produces/directs his own live 27 year old resident topical comedy show at London’s Comedy Store – ‘The Cutting Edge’. He was also a leading UK Casting Director specialising in comedy – including one of the hippest shows ‘Black Books’ [double BAFTA winning Situation Comedy Award] & for at least a decade the biggest sitcom on British TV ‘My Family’. TV & MS was a step too far – and we know how hard any step can be. Luckily his satirical show was a built in part time job & with the election of Trump is now in the zeitgeist. John now writes “Fall Down Get Up Again” – an irreverent journey with MS.

One comment

  1. Rashmi says:

    Sir,
    Your write ups inspire me, help me to really see the positive side of life…. In all the falls, God seems to have given you the ability to joke about it and spread positivity around…and yes you sure get up…stronger….

    Thanks a lot for writing…

    Regards
    Rashmi

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