This morning had a pleasant wake up, followed by a quick wander to the shops for emergency supplies. Then breakfast of "green butter" on toast, pineapple and toasted pancakes, was simply a perfect start to any Sunday. If only I had furniture and a room to sit in and eat these things?
Well, that was where the afternoon Ikea trip came in. A good chance to determine exactly which furniture will be making itself a permanent home in my place when the decorating and carpeting has been completed. It was also a chance to buy various items of lighting and window blinds, which could be put up any day soon. Any day. Seriously.
Back home, there was some wiring and some pasta to be made, but then the evening's trip was due to start. Off to Portsmouth to perform at a comedy club. I was the driver and had a home visit from one of my drivees, and a railway station pick up of the other. Everything seemed to be running late, but actually came about 10 minutes after schedule. As it was, the club didn't start until a bit later anyway, as the punters were not rushing to be there.
Perhaps I should take offence at this, since I was the posted headline act of this club, and perhaps the lack of punters was something of a vote of no confidence. Or perhaps it was just a quiet Sunday night in South Sea. We'll never know.
What we did know is that you play the audience you've got, despite their mood, and some of them were particularly unpleasantly disposed towards the MC - I think it was because he's good looking and quite cocky (in a good way for comedy) and someone had "issues". Just a theory, but then theories can rule the world. Look at Hitler's theories - awful. Bong. I lose. I used Hitler in an example.
Anyway, you play the audience you have and the circumstances you have. My circumstances were a bit wrong footed. I have the makings of a good cold, hence adding Berocca and Echinacea to my breakfast this morning. I also have a bit of a bushy beard thing going on. Perhaps it's ideal for winter. Perhaps it needs to come off, though it's worryingly getting beyond the itchy stage. Finally, I felt a bit lumpy looking tonight.
No problemo. Doctor Theatre took over and I wandered onto the stage and felt good. I remember giving myself the green light to walk on, and then giving myself a minute to go when I wanted to. This helped me focus myself on playing the room I had. In general, though I fluffed a few words here and there - the audience responded well and I had a joke for every occasion, even using one which doesn't work and getting a laugh from it. I knew that it would fit the moment. I was definitely in the moment.
It's odd. I remember doing the George and Zippy sing Britney Spears bit tonight and really enjoying it. I put real love and craftsmanship into something which I've had a love-hate relationship with over the years. Tonight, as with a few gigs recently, I was thrilled to bring it to the audience - I knew they'd enjoy it. I knew I'd enjoy it too. Just let the material out in as good a form as possible and it will do the work with the audience. Well, something like that. Actually, it's not the material, it's the conviction that you deliver it with and the way you signpost that it's funny.
We had quite a gig tonight, include a rather effete older gentleman, who overran his 5 minute spot by quite some way (let's say 200%), using material that was as funny as it was believable - based largely around "the thing about women". It was a window on another world.
I had a nice time tonight. It was a shame to interrupt the domestic bliss of the weekend with a gig, but the gigs are a part of the scales that keep my life in balance. At least, I believe that to be true.
You can measure the success of the gig by the look on the promoter's face when he or she pays you. You can also measure it by audience reaction. I would like to measure tonight's gig by how I felt on stage with my audience. I felt relaxed and largely in control - some songs occasionally run away with me, but I saw that happen to Bill Bailey last night, so I don't feel too bad about it. It happens, and so long as you're largely centred, I think you can declare it a good gig.
Now it's time for the mental crazy week ahead.