I had intended to go to see a friend do stand-up in the Mornington Crescent area of London. After an MSN chat I further developed this plan to include another friend, whom I drove to Reading to meet. We took the train to London, which was pleasant enough, if not a bit sweaty, owing to a breakdown in the air conditioning.
Arriving at the venue early, we discovered that nothing was due to happen for 45 minutes or so, so we scooted off for some food. Our burgers were ok, delivered a bit slowly, which must have included cooling time for the food, since it wasn't quite in the zone of hot when it arrived. Feeling we were running behind time, I denied my companion her requested time on the quiz machine. I didn't want to miss the gig.
The gig didn't happen. D'oh! We may as well have played 4 games on the itbox, rather than denying ourselves the 2 games that had been suggested.
Still, with the gig cancelled, and a bunch of people gathered together to watch the friend of mine perform, we had to do something. We decided to go to another gig that we knew to be happening across town. We didn't really know where the gig was, but we headed on the tube to near where it was supposed to be. As we hit the surface, I rang around a few people I know who might have known how to get there. As it was, I found someone who happened to be sitting next to an A to Z of London, which he then read on my behalf and sorted me out. From now on, I'll be calling him TomTom.
I managed to steer my little group towards the venue, despite being behind most of them, for some reason. We got into the venue and, though we'd missed the first section of the show, we managed to see the second half and have a good time, before leaving in good spirits having had a good night.
Sometimes a bit of improvisation can lead you into a good night.
Sometimes a bit of improvisation can be the hardest thing to do. I have had my fingers burnt in a bantering/MCing capacity. If I'm honest, it's only really been a couple of times that my MCing has failed me. Generally, it's been fine. I was on the front row of the gig when the show recommenced last night, and the MC decided to pick on me. Now, he didn't know that I'm an act. I also hadn't set out to perform or heckle in any way, so I just played along. The problem is that I don't know how to play along as an audience member. I'm not phased by a bit of banter, as normal punters can be. I'm also unable to avoid thinking of witty things to say, though I can't actually go ahead and say them, since it's not my show. So, I try to say things which are helpful, and they're not.
I suppose it might be nice to be a heckler. Especially at this show - So You Think You're A Good Heckler. If ever there was a show to take a bunch of professional comedians along to in order to see whether we could heckle a performer so badly that she burst into tears, this is the show. However, I'm sure she'll get the reviews and audiences she deserves. I'm not especially interested in it myself.
I was thinking about the banter with the MC last night as I was driving into work. There were a few moments where he chose to insult me or provoke me, and I just sat and took it, smiling up at him with open body language. Why would I care? I'm not scared of being laughed at. Here is the script for what might have happened if I were actually evil, rather than a cheery jolly man, who was hoping the MC would find something funny to say (which he nearly did).
Him: You're a rather camp fellow aren't you? Did you grow that stubble to look more manly.
Me: (Smiles up at him and says nothing - so far, this actually happened)
Him: You're not saying much are you.
Me: Well you're the one that's being paid to talk this evening, not me.
Him: Oooh. Look at you. Aren't you so very camp.
Me: That's brave of you.
Him: Brave of me?
Me: Yes. It's brave of you to try to make funny by insulting me, when I'm sitting here surrounded by my friends, and you're up there... alone...
I'd never do that.
It would be funny, though...
The final act picked on me too. It was slightly hurtful... since we've actually met in real life and he clearly didn't remember me. I didn't mention it. It would have sounded pseudo-homo-erotic, and I already had the reputation as a camp oaf from the MC. (Sarcasm follows) How will I ever live it down!?