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Monday, March 31

Maxed Out

March has been a 12 gig month. My rule is that a 14 gig month is the point at which you lose your mind. Given that I spent a week in the middle of the month ill with a stomach bug, that's actually a 12 gig month in a 3 week period. So that makes it more like a 16+ gig month. This feeling has been exacerbated by the fact that I watched a gig last Wednesday, and have been on stage every night since. So, I've been full-time gigging in some shape or form for a few days.

It's good for honing the comedy skills. I'm more confident than I've ever been. However, the flip side is that it erodes the brain. Add the change in time calculation to the mix, and tonight's shenanigans, and you can see why I've hit near breaking point.

Tonight's shenanigans were extreme. I had been asked by a friend if I would give her a lift to a gig in Nottingham. She lives in Southampton. I live in Reading. I thought it would be a laugh - perhaps she could stay at mine on the way back from the gig. However, being a comedian and, therefore, a stage-addict. I made it a pseudo-condition of the gig that she'd have to get me on stage as "payment" for the ride. I say a pseudo-condition, I wouldn't have held her to it. ROAD TRIP!

As it happens, she did get me the gig. It also transpired that we were going as a three. I felt it best not to have two people staying at my rather poorly equipped-for-guests house, and so decided that we'd leave the gig early and return back to the South via Southampton, which only adds 100 or so miles to my return journey from the North. Only 100 or so.

I was working in a different office than usual today. I had a lot of telephone calls about stand-up over the course of the day. One of them was from a promoter whose Nottingham gig I'm doing on Saturday. He'd gotten wind that I was doing a gig tonight in Nottingham. I thought he was going to be cross with me about playing the same city twice in the same week. I find it fascinating when such coincidences occur. Indeed, over the weekend I was fasincated to find that I pretty much had to go to Clacket Lane services for each gig I did. Now, having only gigged in Nottingham once before, I'm gigging there twice in the same week. Odd how these things can follow the bus-sod's-law pattern.

Anyway, the promoter wasn't bothered about that. He wanted to offer me the chance to double-up and go and do his gig in Derby. I explained that I had people in tow and probably couldn't get between the locations in time. Such is life. A double-up can be fun, but I couldn't fit it in.

An hour or so later, I got a text offering me another gig tonight. This was an "audition" gig for a show which plays the Edinburgh Festival and is prestigious enough that I was slightly nervous to be asked. There had been a drop out, would I like to step in and take an audition? Was this my only chance? Aaagh. This is a hotly contested night. I can't let my friends down... wait a minute. Isn't this club based in Nottingham? So it is.

So, I got to double up. After a slightly awkward start to the journey with train delays waylaying my friends. We got heading to Nottingham. We found the venue in the end via the use of Google Maps AND the Sat Nav. I did the opening 10-15 at the first club and then hot-footed it (well, I drove, but with warmed feet) across town to where I thought the next club was. As it happened, I had found their offices, but the organiser realised that he'd not told me the venue and rang to offer me directions, which were walking distance from where I'd parked.

I closed the second show and I had a nice time, mixing songs, lines and a bit of audience banter/moment creation. One run of jokes seemed to stop the show a bit - well it made one woman on the front row wail with laughter, which I pretended to be patient with, when I was rather chuffed about it. Then I think I probably quipped something about her laughter being "the whole point".

It's been a long journey home. There's so much else I could write about recent events, but this will have to do.


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