Having poured my troubles out in the last post, as in the previous entry, rather than that bugle call, I set about having the evening that matched the day I'd been whingeing about. I got the tube to Archway, which was slowed by the inconvenience of my oyster card requiring a top up. Once at Archway I set about the brisk walk that my map suggested would take me to the gig.
I felt a sense of disquiet when there was no major lane crossing the hill I was climbing. . . Unless. . . It's not that bridge is it? No clues. No sign on the stairs near the bridge. It's typical isn't it. They put a sodding sign on the coffee machine at work to explain not to use its drip tray for random slops, but a road sign isn't needed in our nanny state culture. Anyway, after much nagging doubt and a detour round side streets not on my map, I found my way to the lane which didn't look like a bridge in 2d.
Sweating heavily and walking further, I asked for directions to the pub when I thought I must be near but couldn't see it. The people I asked indicated the building at which I had stopped them. The sign was not in my line of sight. That's my excuse.
Despite the effort and complications, I was still very early. Open spot early if you ask me. I had a well earned wee, was banished from the room where the gig happens for them to have a meeting, and managed to rescue my trousers so I could change in the toilet. My jeans made me feel more relaxed. I've no idea why. Maybe they fit better. Or maybe they're imbued with morphine. That would be cool.
Once allowed back in the room, following a seriously wanky discussion with an act on what is comedy, I asked about time and career progression in the club. I didn't book the gig and assumed I'd have a 10 minute spot. 5. I don't like doing such short spots, but the system is you do five and if the guy thinks you look like you know what you're doing, you might get asked back for a paid spot. I wasn't going to argue the toss and made that clear. I also said I was fairly experienced. . . Cos I am. That was that. 5 minutes. Among the weird and mystical collection of new acts, people trying stuff out, and people being shit. The first act was so shit he'd even faux soiled some pants, using chocolate. He underran so much that the guy running things suggested that I could do 7, 7th on the bill, closing the first half! Then a couple of acts unamusingly overran and I was cut back down. The laughs were getting thin and the audience were tired when I prepared to leap into action.
Ooh the story telling suspense. Here's me, after a fairly taxing day, ready to go on to a tired room and do a set that would feel about 15 minutes too short. How would it go? It would be one of two ways. Either it would be surprisingly easy, full of applause breaks and laughter of all sorts, or it would be a dull affair which made me look bad enough to need to come back in 6 months and do another 5 under similar circumstances.
I ignored the pressures and made it as funny as I needed to be to cheer myself up. The audience had the ability to laugh. I will be getting a longer spot next year sometime. Phew. Indeed, the gig broke my mood a bit and I'm even seeing work tomorrow in a positive light. Ish.
Strange isn't it? Little things can pick you up.