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Friday, August 21

Back To Blog

For those people who are reading these posts on Facebook, thinking that I'm writing some pretty long notes to myself, think again. This isn't Facebook-noting, it's blogging. Blogging is what we had before we had twitter. Twitter, with its 150 character limit, to me, is the epitome of the "can't be arsed" culture. I know that some people will have stopped reading this entry by about now, as a direct product of the fact that I've reached the 150 character, limit. The simple truth, though, is that you can't express yourself fully in only 150 characters.

As a special treat, though, here is how good writing could be condensed into the brainless youth-speak of twitter:

Romeo and Juliet
A couple of kids from the wrong families, yeah, fell in love, but ended up committing suicide. They was in the wrong gangs, know what I'm sayin'?

Obviously the above couldn't be a youth-speak twitter as it has punctuation. I can't omit it, even when I'm being sarcastic.

Anyway, while I have a strange period of time between waking up and actually feeling like facing the world, I may as well put some words down for posterity. I don't care who doesn't read this. I read back on it from time to time, and it's nice to have some first-hand reports from my own history. Indeed, reading some of these blog entries is so vivid, I feel a bit like Doctor Sam Beckett, quantum leaping into a life in history, only in a totally disconnected and incapable of changing anything sort of way.

On with the blether about yesterday. The day was quite broken, at least in its first half. I started out with a cycle into town for breakfast, only to discover that the place I wanted to get breakfast from was way way too full. My second choice was fine, and I read the papers and had my coffee.

Then the rains came. I'd say rain, but I think it was two rival gangs of rain coming from different directions - a bit like "the rumble" in West Side story. Sometimes it was quiet. Sometimes we had the patter of one shower's worth of rain, and sometimes it looked like we were trapped in the only shelter in some sort of soggy apocalypse.

It made me order more coffee and wait it out. Eventually it seemed dry enough for me to cycle back to the flat get my guitar and walk back to the venue to meet my comedy other half to prepare for our show.

The good thing about our show is that it's going well and we're learning how to play it to various audiences. The bad thing about it is that there are a few hiccups - a few flat bits we need to fix. We were to meet at 12 to discuss it. Then I got the text that my other comedy half was ill and would not be well enough to be on stage for an hour. You can't pause a show for your partner to rush to the loo, so we had to pull it.

I decided I would stay in the venue and do some random stand-up if the need arose. I think it was simultaneously a stupid and edifying experience to have made that decision. In the end, though I could have exit-flyered some people to make up the numbers and didn't because I had nothing to exit flyer them for, three people turned up to see the show. Two of them decided to stay and one of them, who behaved suspiciously like a reviewer, opted to leave when they discovered it was a replacement show.

So perhaps illness saved us from review on our quietest day.

I offered the two gents, who came into my room for the show, the chance of walking away without bothering. An audience of two for stand-up can pretty much ruin the illusion of a show. I explained what we were doing and ran through some stuff. It was odd, but I learned a bit about playing it all differently and turning on the not-giving-a-shit mode even in a potentially socially difficult situation. I say that, perhaps it was just mental. I suspect nobody would have minded if I'd just sent the two fellers off to see another show.

I didn't organise a collection at the end of my one-man comedy jukebox. It would have been arse-clenchingly embarrassing.

I wandered towards the next venue and caught up with my house-mate/other-show-mate, and we had a coffee. Then we found ourselves in front of a weird audience at the next show. They just couldn't or wouldn't relax and let the laughs out. After a cavalcade of trying to make them laugh, and after I'd even explained what they were doing - which was suppressed silent giggling - I came off stage, in no way sure of whether I'd amused them or not.

One of the comments I amused myself with was the line "I've done this song about 600 times - it usually has a laughter track".

Then we hot-footed it to the next show, which I opened. I had some fun bantering with the crowd, but ended up feeling like they needed hitting with a bunch of solid bankable material. Sometimes an audience seems forgiving - these guys were nice, but wanted all guns blazing at them. So that what we did. Their generosity of laughter proved an alternative to other forms of generosity, according to the financial reckoning, at least.

Three differently weird shows complete, I ditched my guitar at the flat, removed the contact lenses and then set out on an evening of show watching.

I squealed, giggled and roared with laughter at Pappy's Fun Club. I appreciated, and occasionally roared at Andrew Lawrence, and I had a nice mixture of reaction to the various acts on at the BBC Comedy Presents show.

It made yesterday a nice 6 show day and I ended up energised and on the up.

Now try relating all that in 150 character segments.


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