I will admit that my own confidence and my timing and being in the moment were all off tonight, but here are some other factors. Firstly, I had though about going to the gig by car. I'm short on cash at the moment, so the car, with expenses to cover it, would have made more financial sense. But I thought I'd be stuck in traffic and not get there on time. It would have been useful for carrying the guitar amp I ended up carrying on foot to the railway station in Reading. That's not a short walk. Then there was the bit where I thought about bringing my blackberry. I decided not to as I thought it would stress me out with work things. When I arrived at what I thought was the venue and found it deserted, I was really in need of access to the web to find out why.
Sitting calmly in an empty room I did some calling and texting and managed to find out that I am an arse who doesn't know how to understand the venue change on a myspace message. Then I went taxi searching. After one taxi refused to take me because it was not in the right direction, another pulled up. I managed to control my stress levels, but the fight had gone out of me a bit and I'd already come down from the pre gig build up. I thought the gig had been cancelled for a while. So it was back on. So now I was late. It was all disaster recovery. The next cab got me to the venue in time. I set up. I hadn't needed to bring my amp. I tuned hastily, which did no harm. . . Not as much harm as the hasty sound check. So many excuses abound here, but they were all influences on the outcome.
Nothing bad happens when you die on stage. There is a sense of feeling a bit foolish, exacerbated in this case by the presence of a couple of acts whom I respect but don't know well enough personally to feel too confident of their view of me. Such is life. It's not the end of the world, and I did make the audience laugh. Honest. I did exert some control over the room.
Still the evening is going to end on a down. I have things on my mind. Work. I'm worried for the wellbeing of a friend. I'm worried about over concerning myself in someone else's business, both professionally and personally. I'm worried about all the things I haven't sorted out this year and the additional problems posed by changes in my house situations. Lots of loose ends. You sometimes just want to stop the world for a couple of weeks while you sort everything out from the backlog. This is not possible.
A post gig high right now would be an antidote to all of this crap, which makes me understand why stand up is a drug and why stand ups are clearly addicts. Indeed some stand ups use actual drugs, but I'm not in their league. I'd be happy with my cheap thrills, constructed with the cheap laughter and fake adoration of strangers. It doesn't need to get any more showbiz than that for me. I am not Russell Brand. I bet he doesn't end his gigs on the train writing his tortuous prose into a mobile phone with crap software and a slow processor. I bet he doesn't worry about his weight and the inevitable dilemma of hunger plus station food temptation. I bet he has the pick of how to go home and whom to take with him. I am not him.
I am, however, me. Nobody else gets a go at that. That could be my one positive thing to take away from tonight.