That's stand-up comedy in a small way. It's a series of remarkable adventures. Or at least it can be. If you look at it from the wrong point of view, it's a pointless drive into the middle of nowhere to mess around in front of strangers... If you look at it in the right way it's a massive voyage into the unknown where anything could happen. Preparing for this should be important, but it's also impossible. You can only put some ideas together - you never know what can happen.
So, that's why I love driving to Cradley Heath to MC a small open mic night at "The Bush" where the room can be full of obnoxious self-declared Pikeys, or can be full of people who want to laugh and who've turned up to make a merry atmosphere to try stuff out in. I've been there often enough to get to know some of the crowd and to feel like there's real love within those walls. However, if I don't turn up with new material - if I just crank out the same old shite, then I'm doing it for no development in myself - if anything it would make me complacent.
It'll never be a career move to play there, but it can be a wise way to self-improve.
I went out for lunch today and I bought me 3 newspapers. Two tabloid and a broadsheet. I also bought stationery enough to write me something funny. Nothing happened. Well, I had a panini. And a coffee.
Then, a little later, two songs, lyrics only, came. I wrote them out with an amount of crafting, but not too much.
In the car, on the way to the gig, I sang made up tunes for the songs until they started to sound like something consistent. I recorded myself singing these tunes. I sang along with the tunes. I tried to learn the new songs.
At the gig, I frantically tried to work out chords for the songs and remember how to sing the tune while playing the chords. Zero rehearsal time.
I forgot to record the performances I gave of these songs, reading lyrics from the notepad as I went. I think they went well enough for me to use the experience as a chance to develop the songs further. People were nice about it.
I also dug deep into the locker and found huge swathes of stuff I'd not done in a long while on stage. I threw that in front of the audience and they laughed. And that's why I love the bush. They laugh. They're nice to me, I can try stuff out, they ask me back, and they laugh. That's where the art of comedy drags you back in for another helping.