Campfire Stories ends night with hilarity

Corner of IOOF. Photo courtesy of
http://www.ioofcolumbia207.org/

Corner of IOOF. Photo courtesy of http://www.ioofcolumbia207.org/

Trisha Chaudhary

Corner of IOOF. Photo courtesy of http://www.ioofcolumbia207.org/
Corner of IOOF. Photo courtesy of
http://www.ioofcolumbia207.org/
Odd Fellows Lodge is quite an odd place. No one is really sure exactly what it is or if it’s just open during True/False weekend, but that’s part of what adds to its charm. Odd Fellows Lodge plays host to the majority of T/F’s panels with directors, including Campfire Stories: an around-the-campfire situation where directors come and share stories of their films and lives with an audience of roughly 30 people.
Upon entering the lodge and making our way up the cramped stairs, the volunteers immediately greeted us with homemade s’mores made complete with chocolate from The Candy Factory, graham crackers from Uprise Bakery and marshmallows from Wine Cellar and Bistro. The s’mores were so rich that the instant after I took one bite, I immediately needed water. My mouth was congealed shut and chocolate was dripping down my chin and even onto my ticket. It was the best s’more of my life.
The cozy room was decked out with dim blue mood lighting, a twinkling moon and stars crafted from tiny lights, deer and other woodland creatures propped up around the room and even a speaker emitting the sounds of crickets and crackling flames. It was almost like an actual camp-out. Apart from the rows of seats and stage, that is.
David Hill was the host this year, and from the moment he walked on stage, I could tell he was quite a character with his velvet pants, silk neck tie, and golden broach pinned onto his lapel. Hill had traveled from New York City to be at the festival and started off the show with a story. He began the night by telling us of his adventures of eating gyros in the subway. Unsure of where to place his messy wrapper, Hill ended up accidentally infringing upon a homeless man’s claimed subway ground and getting a massive Gatorade jug or urine hurled at the back of his head. It was quite a story, as I’m sure you can imagine, and had the audience roaring immediately.
From there, Hill continued to introduce various directors and journalists and shared his own small personal stories or music in between ‘acts.’ We heard about the subject of Secret Screening Burgundy – an art forger – from its directors and how he had had donated several of his forgeries under their names. We heard about a former BBC reporter’s adventures in Norway and Russia and his nearly fatal experience with a large Russian man and his junior reporter. We heard the beautiful tale of a traditional wedding in Eastern Europe from Jessica Oreck, the director of The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga.
Throughout the show, Hill sprinkled in snippets of his own life and we heard the wonderfully told tales of people mistaking him for a woman: grocery clerk accidentally calling him ma’am, waiters calling him and a friend “ladies” and even random homeless women referring to him having a female reproductive system (but of course Hill presented it with much more profanity).
To be perfectly honest, I would have been contented listening to a David Hill show for the entire time. He was probably the funniest one out of them all. That being said, it was fascinating to get to hear the misadventures and ridiculous occurrences that these different people experienced throughout their lifetimes. Director of Bronx Obama told us about when him and his subject of his film wound up serving drinks in a secret society in Harvard. We also heard the story of two rival fake-Santa groups and their political ploys.
To put it in a nutshell, it was a hilarious night filled with laughs and tears (from laughing) and stomach aches (again, from laughing).
By Trisha Chaudhary
A previous Campfire Stories can be viewed here