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Tuesday, February 27

MyTech - Night of The Geeks

I do technical things for a sketch show called MySketch. Of all of the things I've gotten involved with over the years, this is rapidly becoming a favourite. I get all the pleasure of putting on a show without any of the real effort. My commitment would appear to be a meeting a few days before the show and then turning up on the night and running a quick technical rehearsal before then running the show. As a result of this, I get to steer the cast through their sketches, running the sound and the lights to keep the show flowing, and I get treated like I'm somehow doing a smashing job, when in truth, I'm just pushing a few buttons and moving some sliders, with occasional slips here and there (which maybe only I really notice).

Last night's show was the second and it was reasonably well-attended. It went pretty well too, though, as is probably the case with most sketch shows, some sketches went better than others. We overran by a bit, and we'd already started late, but nobody noticeably minded, which was nice. I'd taken along a microphone so I could do some announcements from the technical box. In addition, I was able to use it to run the technical rehearsal - announcing very clearly what all the cues meant and which bit of the action I needed to see in order to get them right. It was fun.

I like playing with faders and buttons.

I also like meeting new people, people who are a creative mind-pool of talent. That's right, a mind-pool.

I travelled to the show last night by train. I'm getting over-familiar with the Farnborough-Waterloo trip. I had my laptop with me, which was brilliant. I spent the journey writing emails. I couldn't send them, since there was no internet connection, but they sat in a queue ready for sending when I got home. I've this on trains before and it really passes the time. I wish I could gig by train more. Maybe I will. It just takes planning. So many possibilities.

Arriving in London in plenty of time, I went to the bar I was supposed to be meeting some of the show-folk in. It turned out to be where I thought it was, but with a different name than the one I'd been given. I needed the toilet so desperately that I went into this bar to use the toilet and ask where the bar I was told to go to was. That's when I discovered I was in the right place, but with the wrong name, and got myself a drink, and sat down with my laptop to kill some more time.

I ended up editing a script I'd recently received comments on and then re-reading the follow-up script I'd written in the same "series". I laughed out-loud on a couple of occasions reading this second script. I didn't remember it being all that funny. This has encouraged me to consider doing more work on it. If I had any time I probably would.

In fact, I now have time. I'm doing nothing until a week today (excepting DIY, and seeing a friend this weekend, but he's coming to me). So, maybe I'll do some more writing. I hope so. Just writing this blog is good, but it's not the only thing I want to do.

When one of the MySketch people turned up at the pub I had already gone through the script for the night's show and marked on all the cues. We went through it all and I realised that I'd made an error compiling the CD of cues, which I'd done the previous night. This wasn't a problem. I'd anticipated a need for remaking the CD and had brought some blanks. It took all of 5 minutes and I had a new CD. I am suspicious of CDs that only take 5 minutes to burn, despite having 40 minutes of music on. I'm suspicious of dodgy CD players too. This disc, played a bloody treat in the CD player in the theatre. I'm very happy. This is why you should have a nice new laptop and Sony CD-Rs to burn in it.

So, we did the show. Then I went home. It was late.

As I got to Waterloo, I realised I couldn't find my return journey ticket home. So, I did the honourable thing and bought a single (about 30p cheaper than the original return). Then I reasoned that my return ticket must have been with my credit card and if I'd lost the one, I'd lost the other. Worried about the loss of a credit card, I opened my wallet again, and found the credit card with the return ticket sitting right behind it. D'oh!. I explained this to the man at the ticket desk and he refunded me for the single right away. Very good. I don't know if this is policy, but I was polite to him and he responded in kind. It was a good exchange.

I was very hungry and contemplated getting something unhealthy to eat. There was a train leaving right away for Farnborough (well, Southampton) and the next one wasn't for quite some time. I decided to park my hunger and rush for the train. The train was running about 10 minutes late, but this was really in my favour as I managed to board it in the bizarre limbo between its allotted departure time and its actual departure.

The guard never even checked my ticket.

The laptop's battery was too low to bother turning it on.

So I listened to my MP3 player. I have a new favourite album - Twelve Stops and Home by The Feeling. It's cheesy and it's got a few surprisingly good songs on it. A bit of a softcore version Queen/Beatles/Cliff Richard (I know, Cliff!?, but not as lame as Sir Virgin, so I'm going to say that it's what Cliff should have been if he wasn't such a knob). There's no real edge to the album, but sometimes you want to have the musical equivalent of a duvet day.

Stopping only to recommend some books to someone who was reading a Kathy Reichs novel, I lstened to my MP3 player until I got off the train where I got into my car and put the same CD on my car stereo - where it's been since I got it.

Then home, via somewhere that sells late-night-sandwiches. I bought a reasonably healthy wrap and no high-calorie treats. Good me.

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