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Monday, November 3

First Gig Back

Today could have been easier. It was my first day back in the office after my trip and I really didn't seem to stop. I sat in on a meeting which opened my eyes a bit. I ran round doing other things. I put my team through a rather basic, but quite useful planning exercise. I also encouraged everyone to fill in a mood check survey. This may or may not help track the mood of the team on a weekly basis. I've written it rather subjectively, and also with certain key questions in mind. But perhaps it's hard to choose between my answers. We'll see. If the results stay the same, then it will actually be a measure of people's static opinions, not their dynamics... or maybe the sample size of 6 won't allow for mood swings. I don't know.

I did use a 4 point scale, which means that nobody can sit on the fence.

Actually, I did the work on the survey last night, which probably explains why I came to work a bit worked up. I had done an hour or so last night, just to get ahead on the week. It breaks my rule of never emailing people at ridiculous times of the day, since I once had a manager that did this, and it scared me to think that things were so urgent that management were working in the small hours to issue commands. I think I got away with it, though.

So, a busy busy day. I got away from the office fairly late, and then I zoomed home, got changed, and then drove the 40 minutes to the gig I was meant to be doing.

I thought I was relaxed. I felt fairly highly spirited. I don't think I was quite prepared. I seldom rehearse, mind, unless I'm trying new material. A rehearsal might have helped. One week out of gigging and my set felt like a different creature to the one I was working with the previous Sunday (as in 8 days previously). On top of that, at some point, I had one of those moments. The stress was released. This was both the tension that always sits on your shoulders when you perform, and also a lot of built up nervous energy from the last week or so of pushing myself.

I should add, the weekend was a fairly calm affair, but it was also the weekend, and, thus, time out of the real world.

I got the audience giggling with one of my songs. It was a song I need to deliver dead pan. I'm afraid I lost it. I got the giggles too - possibly the first time I've gotten such bad giggles on that song. I was chuckling so hard, I had to stop the song and explain that it doesn't work when I appear to find it funny. My laughter and the audience's laughter had been working off each other, so it wasn't a total embarrassment. Far from it, it was actually a funny moment in the set.

Generally, the room was a bit weird, and the sound of next door's TV coming through the wall didn't help. However, when I got near the 30 minute mark, I asked the audience if I should cut to a quick ending, or do an extra song and they chose the extra song - "Oh my god. You LIKE me!?" - I exclaimed. I was surprised. Surprised and pleased. I tossed a joke at them, did my two songs and then buggered off.

It was a self-indulgent performance from me, but the audience made it ok. The laughter really helped break some of the ice forming over my brain.


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