I have difficulties when I'm not running around doing all this nonsense. January has been a slow month for me. I'm not going to dismiss the benefits of getting sleep and spending nice long evenings in with my lovely other half. There's quite simply nothing bad to say about it. Admittedly, our choice of watching a lot of Torchwood hasn't quite elevated my mood as perhaps watching Doctor Who would have done. The problem with Torchwood is that it's sometimes frustratingly puerile and it's frequently dark and depressing to a point where you wonder what they were trying to achieve emotionally with the show. It's still reasonably well made (excepting JB's overacting) TV and enjoyable... but it makes you feel like you've spent an entire evening on a sofa, going nowhere, which you have.
Now, there's no reason that anyone should expect to go anywhere on a sofa. That's not how they roll. Sofa's are fairly static, except in earthquakes, which are exciting, but for the wrong reasons. And I don't think excitement is quite what this is about either. There's no doubt that gigging is an exciting thing to do - the body goes through all sorts of adrenaline situations in the build up to the gig and then comes back down - this is an adrenaline junkie's dream (though not the reason I do it). I think it's about doing something. It turns out that I'm good at relaxing, but I don't think it suits me. I slow down and get fidgety. I can lose myself to relaxing, but I don't like what I become. Lazy. Very lazy.
Just Do Something
I like two things. I like totally impossible and insane tasks. I also like doing thing after thing to completion. This is probably why I'm a natural born computer programmer - we have to make magic with machine by breaking stuff down into task after task. To make software you sit down and make bit after bit of your program work. You also prove yourself capable of mastering the problem, which proves youself capable of achieving the unachievable... well, it can feel like that, even though it's probably, by definition, achievable... otherwise how did it get achieved. Surely the act of achieving something makes it achievable?
So with stand-up my feeling is much the same. It shouldn't be possible or logical to go all over the place and make audiences laugh, travelling maybe 300-400 miles in an evening sometimes in the pursuit of a few minutes of nonsense with a room full of strangers. It shouldn't be possible to commit yourself to several tens of dates in the future and expect that, somehow, the week will flex around this sort of nonsense to make it possible to arrive in time to do what needs to be done. It is possible, though people who don't do it may well marvel at how ridiculous a proposition it seems. This appeals directly to who I think I really am - a silly-minded show-off with an urge to keep doing interesting things.
Back on the road
I'm planning the future and getting myself back into the swing of gigging. There has been a semi-deliberate slow-down for me in January. I can see that it's not good for me to be at this end of the spectrum, just as March will be quite insane as I gig just a little more than is reasonable. Sorry about that, by the way.
I'm planning gigs in Brighton, an Edinburgh show, various other random stand-up dates (or rand-ups), and I should also make sure to put some "us time" in for the "us" that is my girlfriend and I, since we're best as a couple, rather than a stand-up and his comedy-widow.
The Wonder of the World
People are odd. This is because every individual is working from a totally unique point of view. What seems normal for one person seems totally ludicrous to another. When utter insanity becomes normal to a lot of people, you've probably got yourself a religion. When it becomes normal to a select few, then you've maybe got a cult, or the toleration of someone who's like a cult, but spelled differently. If you're not like the people around you, then you need to change something. That's humanity and society, pretty much.
I think I like to embrace the nonsense around me wherever possible. Sometimes I'm less tolerant than I should be. Sometimes I try to see other people's points of view. I'm quite judgmental, which is odd, since I'm also quite a permissive individual. Somehow these forces conflict between my conscience and unconscious reactions. I do my best to arbitrate wherever I can. Sometimes it annoys me if someone laughs like a goat, and sometimes it makes me glad that they have their own unique way to express something unconscious within themselves. I'm a comedian, surely I should love all forms of laughter. The dilemma, eh!?
Back to Laughter
I write these blog entries for my own benefit. Some of my previous entries have been a bit alarm-bell-like, prompting offers of support. Actually, this is me giving myself some support. Some of these words need saying. I'm quite a logical individual. I know, for instance, that my weight problem is 90% behavioural, and I need to say that out loud sometimes. I also know that the lack of creativity and laughter in my life right now, is largely my own doing. I'm the one who can make people laugh or can laugh heartily... all I have to do now is go out and do it. I don't even need a stage.