I had a brief respite when I went to the gig in Coventry last night. It was a last minute booking and I'd sort of dared myself to go and do a 20 minute stand-up set without the guitar. This is not outside of my capabilities. I've done it before and I'll do it again. The problem is that it's not really within my comfort zone, either, and most of the material I would do in this situation is still in the embryonic stages, so I'm not entirely sure which bits will get a laugh.
It's good to push yourself.
It's good to rehearse and rewrite in the car on the way to the gig.
Some of what I did - maybe 70% - worked quite well. A lot of that was stuff which I'd done in some shape or form before, so it wasn't entirely surprising.
I enjoyed the gig and, though I could make a big deal of what I thought of what I saw outside of my own set, there's not a great deal of point. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion about what makes good stand-up, and what's funny, and what's a cliche. It was weird for me to be told that this performance, the third someone had seen of me, was considered to be the best they'd seen. It was weird, because the previous two performances will have been with me and my guitar, where I believe I'm stronger. I guess genre is a deciding factor sometimes.
The long drive home wasn't too long and I listened to my performance, realising that I didn't drop my stage presence, but I did drop the "being funny" a few times and, not in the least bit surprisingly, the audience didn't laugh in those sections. I could probably rewrite most of what went wrong and make the core jokes work. In fact, I might.
Yet, real life isn't very funny at the moment. I'm just not feeling it. It's the post-honeymoon-period with the house now, and I'm in the post-relationship-break-up period with my personal life. I know what lies ahead, and, quite frankly, it doesn't seem like much fun. With work, I have a team of people relying on me for the next thing to do and it's only reminding me how uncertain I was about what needed to be done when I was working on the problem alone.
It's not that I feel like everything's against me, so much as nothing's particularly for me at the moment. Even having pointless arguments on Chortle isn't making me feel better. If anything, it's making me feel worse. Even if I am right.
Tonight I'm meeting a friend after work for a bite to eat. That's something to look forward to. I just booked a ticket to see Evita next month - before it closes. That too is something to look forward to. I even had the confidence to book one ticket, rather than scratch around looking for someone to accompany me.
I'd like to see Porgy and Bess before it closes, but unless I'm prepared to pay £60, or rush to London first thing on Saturday to try to grab a cheap matinee ticket, I think I've missed the boat (dats leavin' soon for New York). Maybe I'll just listen to the Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald recording I've got of it and be done with it.
If the world had a pause button, I think I would press it now. I would grab a coffee first, then I would pause the world, get a good book and maybe have a couple of days of doing nothing. As it is, my current plan is to have the evening out, then go home and do some more clearing up of rubble before the return of the electrician in the morning. Tomorrow evening I have a plasterer visiting as well.
Sorry. Not an uplifting post, I'm afraid.