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Thursday, February 15

The Long Version

Last night was unusual for me. I think that I peaked too soon and turned into the more naggy, less hilarious version of my comic self. As a result I didn't really get that many laughs in the 8 or so minutes' stage time I'd travelled all the way to London to get. However, the experience wasn't entirely a negative one.

I left work at a reasonable hour (in other words, I'd been there for a reasonable amount of time). I got onto a train holding The Timewaster Letters, which I'd received in the post yesterday morning - better than any gosh-darned Valentine's day card in my opinion. To cut to the end of this story, I finished the book before the gig even started. Most of it was read on the train where I was laughing so much, generally silently, that people noticed the hilarity - almost to the point of being in pain - and asked me what the hell I was reading that was so good it could achieve such complete destruction of my senses. I guess I became a walking giggling advert for the book, which is very good.

Today I bought the follow up.

I arrived at the gig in plenty of time, so adjourned to a nearby cafe where I completed my book and had a nasty cup of coffee.

Then I went to the gig. I bantered with some comedians, I prepared what I thought might be a 10 minute set. I was later asked to make it a 5-10 minute spot, so I was prepared to stop at the best laugh around the 7 minute mark. I was put on later in the night than first expected, and then I hit the stage.

I never really got the audience on side. I delivered a rare combination of groaners and bad taste which didn't suit me or the room. As a result they were left with the distinct impression that I was trying out some sort of racist agenda on them. They were as wrong in that assumption as I was in my choice of material and delivery. I don't think I've fathomed bad taste out. I know it makes me laugh, but I don't know how to present it. As a result, I alienated the audience, and almost left the room in disgrace.


Although the promoter got in touch today to demand exactly what I was trying to achieve, I can't be too dismayed at what transpired. I learned an important lesson. Don't do that sort of thing... at least not like that. It's very simple. Better I should learn that lesson like that than at a high profile gig where the prospect of "dying on stage" could be coupled with that of "being beaten up outside".

Thing is, I can envisage about 75% of what I did last night actually working if I practiced it, pared out some of the unnecessary stuff and took my time. Still, I'll probably do most of my gigs by relying on the usual musical stuff. However, the occasional slap across the face with stuff I'm not good at should be good for me. Assuming, I don't build up a name for myself for being something I'm not in the process.


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