If laughter be the food of life, laugh on laugh on. My elementary school days taught me that if I could be funny, almost everyone liked me. Even school bullies can’t beat up the funny guy, or they’d be laughed at. High school showed that by making fun of myself, I could receive even more applause. Comedic roles on stage provided the arena to promote my natural talent for being silly. The more pratfalls the better. Although I will admit, it’s tough to get a laugh doing Macbeth.
Once during instrumental music class while I was talking rather than paying attention, the teacher told me to stand holding my instrument above my head, Unfortunately, I played the tuba. After five minutes, with aching arms and sweat dripping from my brow, the teacher asked, “Well Feist, what have you got to say for yourself?” I had no choice but to reply. “I wish I played the flute, sir.” Even the teacher could not help but laugh.
English Lit class gave me a chance to put my humour on paper. I wrote essays worthy of a Pulitzer only to have them returned with scores of red strokes indicating faulty grammar or punctuation. However, often there would be a note at the end saying how much the teacher enjoyed the story. After many theatre and TV appearances, my writing began taking centre stage.
My weekly newspaper column, ‘Feist or Famine’ ran for ten years in the Muskoka Sun. These short humorous stories were about everyday events happening within my family unit. My involvement with the Muskoka Authors Association showed me that everyone has a story. This put me on a path to begin extracting snippets from my past and create short stories, eventually morphing into a literary fiction novel of 83,000 words. My brilliant masterpiece, ‘Broken Anchor’, is receiving rave reviews.
I love working with words. I find it fascinating how the manipulation of word structure within the same sentence can make it read so many different ways. Each way creating a nuance of change, so subtle, yet so exacting.
The joyful response elicited from audiences as I read my stories aloud, feeds my soul.
Laugh on laugh on.