The home of the haikulator



My Stand-up & gigs
The Coding Craftsman

The Musical!
Incredible Productions


Previous Posts

Bradford Photos
About Last Night
Play The Game
A Pox On You
Feed Me!
Bring It On
Rubble Rubble Rubble Rubble Ah ah ah ah ah ah
The Hard Labour
Steering Clear Of Danger

Blog Archives

October 2001
November 2001
December 2001
January 2002
February 2002
March 2002
April 2002
May 2002
June 2002
July 2002
August 2002
September 2002
October 2002
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
August 2009
September 2009
January 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
October 2011
December 2011
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
May 2014
July 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
July 2016
August 2017
January 2018
August 2018
September 2018

Global Domination

Locations of visitors to this page

Friday, April 20

It's Just Another Case Of History Repeating

I went out to see some comedy last night. Like I don't see enough comedy. In fact, I don't think I do see enough good comedy. I rarely play the larger clubs where the larger names play. Although I have the pleasure of seeing a few headline acts, I seldom see a bill full of professional comedians doing their thing. I seldom see an audience over 60 in number. In other words, my comedy outlook is really on the small-fry end of the scale.

Sometimes, you just have to see how the other half lives.

So we went to Jongleurs Reading last night. It's a whole different way of staging comedy, and it's a whole different way of enjoying it. I wouldn't go to Jongleurs expecting a good night on principle. I would, however, go to a Jongleurs if there were acts on the bill whom I wanted to see. In this case, the headliner was an act I really enjoy and have seen a few times before. I have his CD. I'm a bit of a fan.

I was pleased to be there and I was amused as the Jongleurs style show-intro started. It was different to what I'm used to from my own comedy career (though I have played on a Jongleurs stage a couple of times) and yet familiar and fairly obvious.

The compere came out and did a good job of taming the room and getting them focused for the first act. Had I been the compere and used the techniques I used the previous night in a small gig in Fleet, I would have died a horrible death. This particular guy knew how to play this sort of room and did it with great confidence and apparent inner calm. It was a useful thing to see. I need to think about developing myself to that point.

The first act was someone I'd wanted to see for a while. He's a blind comedian, which you'd think would make him a novelty act in some way, but he quickly got the audience over this particular aspect of himself and then went into a set that was rather geeky and linguistic. He was interested in words, and crosswords, and wordplay. You needed intelligence to get his stuff. He was so genuine and warm in his intro, that the audience worked hard to understand his stuff. I say they worked hard, because I'm arrogantly assuming that a certain quantity of them were thick... or alcohol addled. I got where he was coming from and I was thrilled that he was in front of a lowest-common-denominator crowd doing a smarter set than they might more easily be assumed to enjoy.

He did very well.

Second act did well too, though what he had in style he lacked in substance. Indeed, if I could simply have deleted his entire set from the hard disk of life, I think I would have done. Waste of hot air, I'm afraid.

The closing act was good. He got the laughs. He is a funny comedian. However, I've heard most of this material before on his CD. I've heard how he sounds when his heart's in it. I've heard him with excitement in his voice. I've heard him milking the minor punchlines as well as the major ones. I know when a comedian is doing a readthrough of his set and when he's actually "in the moment". He varied. Sometimes he was rocking with the set. Sometimes he was just doing it. The audience laughed regardless.

What I saw was a great comedian, who made me laugh a great deal, actually give a fairly restrained and disinterested performance. This could be for any number of reasons. I think he looked a bit shaken up. He's recently been the victim of on-stage violence. I don't think I'd feel that happy about going up there and doing my schtick if I thought I could rekindle some hatred towards me. Maybe he was tired. Maybe he'd had a bit too much to drink before going on, though he didn't look drunk. Maybe it was a random off-night.

I suppose, this is one of the problems of the seasoned performer. How can you make it fresh and interesting to you every night. You could swap something reliable for something fresh and untested. But what if that new bit doesn't work? Then you have to recover. You have to recover, using the stuff you're bored with, because it has the properties of being some special incantation which makes the laughter.

I wasn't disappointed in the performance last night, but I felt a bit of empathy for the guy in question. It must have been a less-than-enjoyable experience for him doing that gig. However, I have the immortalised recording of him going on stage in a club where they loved him, were clinging onto his every word, and he knew it. That's gotta be good. And if it means that you sometimes have to go through the motions between those gigs, and just reel off a bunch of stuff which made some people laugh last time, then maybe it's not a bad gig, after all.

I suppose, though, if your material has made someone act violently towards you, it may feel like that special incantation isn't as worth repeating as you would have wished.


Post a Comment

<< Home

All content ©2001 - 2012 Ashley Frieze