I needed a break from working on my masters and earning a living so I decided to spend a week volunteering at the Bristol-based Slapstick Festival.

Slapstick Festival exists to build new audiences for and an appreciation of silent and visual on-screen comedy.

I’ve been aware of the Slapstick Festival ever since I first moved to Bristol 11 years ago, but this is the first time I have ever engaged with it!

It’s unforgivable really because I’ve always been a fan of slapstick comedy and silent comedy films.

Silent comedy, in particular the works of Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, formed a major focus within my BA (Hons) in Film and Screen Studies.

Judging from what I heard from some of the people who had previous Slapstick festivals over the last decade, I have missed out on some really interesting events.

So I’m such an idiot for not getting involved with the Slapstick Festival before especially considering I am already located in the same city.

But, hey-ho, I did it this year and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it!

I spent most of my time selling merchandise on the concession stand and dealing with general patron queries and keeping the festival stars happy.

But I also got to attend many screenings and I made some new friends along the way.

Connecting back with film – which was a HUGE focus in my life until my masters took over – was much needed and a welcome break from my postgrad studies.

I’ve really drifted away from film the last couple of years.

I don’t even watch that many films these days which my younger self from a decade ago would be horrified to learn!

But I think the experience of the last week will get me back into the habit of being a regular film viewer.

Especially a silent film viewer because I want to watch more silent films.

I feel like signing up to the Slapstick Festival was one of the best spur-of-the-moment last minute decisions I’ve made in a very long while.

The whole experience has had a very refreshing effect on my mindset.

It has reminded me that I can still have fun with the things I am most passionate about.