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Monday, September 8

Getting Back Into The Swing

It has been my intention to write more on this blog, which is fast heading into the "don't read this, it never gets updated" category. Just as an aside, I heartily recommend adding the Google Reader to your Google home page and using it to track any blogs you read, so you get the content delivered, rather than have to keep checking to see if the blog is updated. As a result, you won't lose interest in a blog that hasn't been properly updated for a few weeks, as this one has.

It's a shame. I was in the habit of writing something for every day this year. I had entries right up to nearly the end of July. That's plenty of words, describing the progress of my year in quite some detail. Then the Edinburgh Fringe comes along and bursts the bubble. There's no time to blog while there... well, there is time, but I chose to use it for other things, even though I had my computer on, many days of my trip. So, it's my fault, but it's also how the year works.

Getting back into the swing of things after the Fringe has been quite tricky this year. There are good reasons for this, as opposed to the bad reasons that I had last year when it took me a very long time to get through the post-Edinburgh seasonal affected disorder that I suffer (and I'm still, to some extent suffering). The good reasons are that I'm socially very busy. I'm in a good place in my life right now and I'm starting to look firmly forwards and feel motivated by what I perceive to be falling into line in my life.

Last year, I had a lot of question marks and there was also the death of a lot of over-optimism to face... it was, in itself, the aftershock of a series of very stressful events, which I had thought I was coping with as they came, but really wasn't. Having said that, there have hardly been any big catastrophic events in my life in the last few years. Life has been life, and you just have to get on with it. Big catastrophes would be awful, though dealing with them is perhaps more self explanatory, since they're big and obvious things. Maybe the subtle lost dreams are harder to cope with.

I don't know.

I'm straying from the present tense, which was not my intention. Today is the start of another busy week. I should be thinking about that.

Last night (which is near enough to reflect on) I did a gig in Poole. Was it any good? Well, I endorse it (in Dorset... geddit!?). It was still a very "post Edinburgh" performance, in that I felt like it didn't quite work because I am still not feeling "match fit". It comes from the fact that I, partly on purpose, had about a week off after the Fringe and then only did one gig in the following week. As a result, I've dropped out of the habit of "being in the zone".

Other things also affected the performance. I'm still finding my gigging guitar to be a bit heavier than I expect. This is largely because I got used to playing the disgustingly light backpack guitar which I played about 70 odd times in Edinburgh. In addition, I managed to lose a string on song 3 last night, which effectively stole about 25% of my concentration on everything I was doing. Not only did the guitar feel unfamiliar, but the missing string meant it really couldn't easily be played with feel. It sounded awful and I was thrown.

On top of all of this, I was opening the gig, which it's easy to forget how difficult it is. I also arrived a couple of minutes before going on, which meant I didn't really do much in the way of getting into the zone. Oh, and I was told that there's a definite case of opening act syndrome at that gig... but would I like to do longer than the originally booked slot? Why not, eh?

Actually, I think I did pretty ok for the opening spot. I made the audience laugh. I don't think they noticed the holes that I noticed. I also think it's good that I got plenty out of them but felt like I can do better. If I'm building my strength back up and can do a reasonable gig like that when I'm not quite in my natural rhythm, then I hope I will reach some sort of level in the next couple of weeks where I start really shining.

Edinburgh audiences are strange. You can play them in a way which doesn't necessarily work outside of the Fringe. There is a risk that some of what seemed to work well during the Fringe may have to be ditched in real comedy clubs. There's also a chance that I just have to relearn how to play it to more cynical, and larger rooms. Having said that, the pleasure of stand-up comes from the mixture of trying to make a joke work and knowing that there's a killer line around the corner.

In the middle 8 of my new song, there's one line which I know will make the whole song worthwhile... so, although I want it to be funny throughout, I know there's that one line. It's that mixture I just mentioned.

So, I'm getting back into the swing of things. I will be the king of the swingers, a bit like the monkey from The Jungle Book, which I watched last Tuesday night, the DVD having arrived a few days previously - I'm back into my Amazon buying rhythm. This film was watched at someone else's house, in the company of two kittens who watched the film very closely and made attacks on the snake. It was very amusing.

I like watching DVDs. I also enjoyed watching something on YouTube. It was the song "Mystery" by Hugh Laurie, which was mentioned to me by someone at the gig I was at last night.

It all links up.

Well, it doesn't.

I'm now going to do some being busy and see how that makes the day go by.


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