Last night's plans were made months ahead. Then, a few days ago, they were changed. I was going to double up. I had a gig in Farnham and another was offered to me in Maidenhead. Doubling up is always challenging, even when the distances between gigs are short. In this case, I was told that I'd be on stage at 9.15 at the first gig and that I'd need to arrive at the second for 10.15 to be ready to close it.
Thank goodness that the second gig, the double-up, was pulled (or at least I was sacked from it). I didn't go on stage until 9.50 last night. The prospect of doubling up would have been a building stress/impossibility. It just wouldn't have worked. Had I opened the show last night I could have done the doubling, but I'm not as good an act as the person who did open the show.
Indeed, the opener absolutely ripped. I think maybe I was laughing harder than the rest of the audience in a few places, and it's one of the first times in a while in a live comedy club that I've heard a routine that's actually made my face squeeze up with glee so much that I can barely see or breathe. A very good act indeed. Nice guy too - gave me (at my request) a few useful tips after the gig.
My downfall, was due to a combination of factors, probably including how I felt I couldn't overlap the first guy's material/tricks (some of which I have common ground with), the fact that I haven't done a gig in a couple of weeks, the fact that I wasn't at full strength (with words not quite coming out of my mouth when I wanted them to), and the fact that I insisted on trying a new song on this crowd. I didn't die on my arse. I did have a flat section. I also had a slower start than I prefer. Yet there were sections when I got the whole room, and people were generally nice to me after I'd been on.
Having said that, I had a gig downer the moment I'd left the stage. A wave of disappointment hit me. I know I can do better. But, as I was saying to someone before the gig, the advantage of having a busy diary and having done around 400 gigs, is that each individual gig is such a smart part of the whole that it doesn't necessarily matter if one isn't quite perfect.
My ex-girlfriend knows me all too well. I had intended (and I told her this) to leave the gig after my spot, go home and do some DIY. Of course, I stayed around for the headliner and to say goodbye to the other acts etc etc. So, I didn't return to Reading until just before midnight. I stopped over at her house for a shower (she wasn't in) and then went home to bed. My life is surreal, sure. Thankfully, the primary cause for bizarreness is back under my control. Silly combinations of gigging and running round the country and wearing myself out are much more the primary stupidity in my life, rather than the fact that I still rely on my ex-girlfriend for washing facilities.
I arrived home with a woozy head and a sense of exhaustion. The thing is that I've not really done a great deal of the hard stuff this week, yet. Tonight will be the really hard bit, and then keeping it together until the weekend is out will also be tricky. Next week has a Newcastle trip, but I have a morning's lie-in to use to enable me to recover.
I remember when I was doing this while still living in Newcastle. I was also spending weekends with my girlfriend and driving back on the red eye at 3am on Monday mornings. I was tired, but I don't remember it taking only a couple of late nights to make me so sluggish. Apparently, I'm getting older. Either that, or I'm out of practice. Yeah. It must be that I'm out of practice. Once I get back into the pattern of requiring little sleep and being able to function with a tired body, I'll be well on top of this.
In truth, though I woke up quite slowly this morning, I feel fairly chipper today. My brain isn't lagging far behind and my bones don't ache. Let's see how I feel tomorrow morning.