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Monday, July 2

Weekend Funnies

I had a really good time this weekend. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that the last week or so has been very good. The post-Glastonbury come down was, in fact, more of a rev-up. All the hurting and aching that's been going through my soul (and I mean that in the sense of my inner thoughts, rather than some spiritual horse-doo-doo) has abated. I'm happier than I was. I'm not a depressing misery guts... and that's good, because I'm really shit at being miserable.

So, as a result of being more centred in myself, and as a result of having my optimism back, it's no surprise to me that I had a weekend of being funny and enjoying the funny. This is what I want from life, so it's nice to take time out to enjoy it.

On Friday, after work and after post-work diversionary-type-things-that-I-won't-mention-yet, I nipped home, got changed, sat on my Glastonbury camping chair and watched the world go by... that is until the part of the world going by was a fellow comedian, on his way to meet me for me to drive us both to a gig in Slough.

We drove to Slough. We did a gig with a bill full of comedians, some new, some less new. It was a small and perfectly formed audience, watching a sporadic (in terms of how frequently it's run, as well as how consistent a bill it was - stylistically and also qualitatively) show. I was on last. By the time I went on, the room was tired and it was getting late. It was my job to ride the silences and try to fill them with laughter. I had a nice time. I was confident, but I was also being funny.

I'll qualify this, as always, with some explanation that I was being funny against my own scale of funniness, rather than against some absolute scale which might make me look like a self-aggrandiser. However, if you compare my behaviour to the Hampton's gig, where I wasn't being in the least bit my funny self, or the gig I did in Woodley, where I wasn't feeling funny, but I knew how to act through my set and make it work in itself, this was a different experience. When I'm in the zone, I move in a mysterious way (not like god - such a being doesn't exist). I mean, I adopt a series of behaviours intended to look in some way different and intended to catch the imagination of the watcher. It's the "being" of being funny.

I don't quite know how or what, but I do know it's more inside my head than anything else, and I just express it physically and in terms of confidence.

So, I did my thing on Friday night and it was fun.

I had a lazy day on Saturday. This was, in my opinion, fully justified. I'd had a tough week. After a bit of computery-jiggery-pokery, I got in my car and went to see a friend who had just moved into a new house. We had tea and coffee - I got to use my new coffee pot - and then went out for a meal. Very pleasant indeed. Then we had a stand-up workshop, which was fun and maybe even vaguely useful. I hope my part in it was useful.

I learned that it's good to have an opinion, it's good to try out ideas, but you can't assume that you can comment on just anything without receiving a face full of sugar.

I managed to rise out of bed and do some work on the house. In this case, I applied some more ceiling insulation to the ceiling in the kitchen. When I was completely filthy, I showered and went into town for the evening's gig.

I was MCing a gig at the Cooper's Arms in Reading. I was also in loco promoter, as the promoter was off on holiday. I had an act drop out on the day. I had a couple of acts come along to fill in. I had all the stresses of running a comedy night and also the challenge of trying to break my MCing "duck". The last MCing gig was that ill-fated one in Southampton.

Just to mention that Southampton MCing gig. It was bad. I wasn't in the zone... but it wasn't that bad. I did make the room laugh as a room a few times. I did come out with a few lines here and there that were based on original thought. The other acts were able to look me in the eye and the promoter wasn't disgusted with my skills or behaviour. So, the opinion of other comedians and the promoter was certainly not causing the pit of negativity that I allowed myself to fall into subsequently. Sometimes you're not feeling it. That's just how it goes.

MCing, though, is harder when you get it wrong. You have to keep returning to the microphone, and you feel the need to do a bit of material between acts - so it's like lots of repeated mini-gigs. If it's not working, it can be increasingly tough.

Owing to a nice audience and a lot of good will in the room, and perhaps also owing to my "I'm happy to be here" mood, I pretty much hit the audience right from the start. We had a little banter, we had a few bits of new material of mine which worked. We had some stuff of mine which didn't work, and I didn't even care about it. It was a lovely night and it had some lovely moments in it.

I enjoyed the gig and went home full of the joys of spring - well early summer.

And that, my friends, is entertainment.


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