The home of the haikulator

 

Links

My Stand-up & gigs
The Coding Craftsman
BurberryAndBroccoli
MarkInventions

The Musical!
Incredible Productions

apostrophell
backlash
incredible
haiku


Previous Posts

A Quick Insight
I am not a number
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Scan My Joke
I posted some uncharitable comments on Twitter ton...
Don't Watch This
It's easier to destroy than to build
Friday Night is Music Night
Reading over the shoulder and the fun at the airpo...
Writing Is Important

Blog Archives

January 1970
October 2001
November 2001
December 2001
January 2002
February 2002
March 2002
April 2002
May 2002
June 2002
July 2002
August 2002
September 2002
October 2002
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
August 2009
September 2009
January 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
October 2011
December 2011
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
May 2014
July 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
July 2016
August 2017

Global Domination

Locations of visitors to this page

Thursday, May 24

First Nightmare Syndrome

My first night of discograffiti - my new show, now playing in Brighton - was something of a baptism of fire for me. Don't get me wrong. I have done first nights before and I had a reasonably decent set of expectations on audience number and response (some might even say retaliation) to my material. However, it was the unexpected things which made my first night into the ultimate challenge to keep my hair on.

The story unfolded undramatically at first. Unlike last year, where I managed to arrive at the venue minus some rather important equipment, the physical side of setting up in the venue was a doddle. I arrived before the previous show was even starting, enabling me to store my stuff in the relative safety of the room in which the show would be happening. Then I went downstairs to compose my thoughts, read my script and generally prepare for the evening ahead.

I had no presales. This was not a surprise to me. I have serious doubts that The Brighton Fringe is worth doing unless you are Brigton based, or have a loyal Brighton following. That said, it is worth doing from the point of view of running in a new show, so game on.

I knew from last year that flyering within the venue woud be enough to recruit a small audience, so that is exactly what I did.

I am an equal opportunities flyer hander outer. I will offer you the chance to see my show no matter what your station in life. One especially vulnerable seeming couple took a flyer and I concluded that they were possibly too drunk and broke to bother coming upstairs, but that was fine.

Just before the show was due to start - it started late because the audience were being all Brighton about the concept of time - the bloke from this odd couple approached me and asked about my two for one ticket offer. I repeated the offer and he said he was coming.

While I had made the small audience sit at the front, I allowed this couple to go to the back of the room, reasoning that they would probable be safe and sound out of the way. I asked my show helper to charge them, but told her not to move them. I think she misunderstood as she did neither, and I wasn't that fussed about making a scene over it. Perhaps if we had made a fuss of charging and moving them they would have been more under the spell of the show than they proved to be.

Some of the show's material was both untested and under-rehearsed. While some might say you shouldn't inflict this on a paying audience, I would counter that the audience were in for half price and half the show was pretty tried and tested. Also, I am lovely and worth seeing... and this was put to the acid test.

Getting momentum in the first section was difficult as the drunk couple at the back kept chipping in. This wasn't the only factor as my recent rewrites would bear witness to. However, it really didn't help. I managed to stay pleasant, working the heckles into jokes and stopping the show when the bloke had a coughing fit, to see if everything was ok. What I got back was playful banter, but disruptive nonetheless and clearly out to steal focus. It wasn't helping the show and the paying audience were not enjoying the interruptions.

Halfway through the show I stopped and told the couple that enough was enough. I said that I had tried my best to be nice to them, but that they were disrupting the show. They were welcome to stay, despite not having paid, but only if they stopped this behaviour. They had to choose between staying and behaving themselves or leaving.

Firm words.

They had a little argument between themselves but eventually left. During this time I didn't perform or particularly pay attention. We just waited for them to leave.

As the door shut on them I improvised a quick four bar song on how awkward the whole things had been. It got a laugh, we moved on.

I had to skip a major banker within the script, partly for time, and partly because I knew it worked and was really there to test the other material. The show didn't really ever recover. It already needed work, and the early audience problems had pretty much fatally wounded it. On top of that there was music leaking into the microphone channel from somewhere else, just quietly, but removing any dignity I might have had left.

We packed away and had a post-show drink where I asked my show helper to look out for certain bits of material to see if they would get a laugh the next time.

So to bed.

I managed to keep my energy levels up, reasoning that this sort of experience was a one off and that there were some positives one could take from the situation. My hotel room was in Worthing, so I journeyed the 30 or so minutes there, listening to a rather fine podcast, the Answer Me This podcast. Very good.

My hotel was closed for the night.

I rang the bell. I rang the phone. I even spoke to some other residents, but there was no point in them letting me in, since I didn't know which room was mine.

I kept my temper.

Then I travelled around Worthing looking for hotels that were open and had rooms. That killed an hour. So I asked the last hotel where a nearby services might be found so I could try the hotel there. The Premier Inn in Littlehampton was the obvious candidate. I rang the booking line who told me "sorry, there is noone available to take your call and you can't leave a message". Twats.

I drove there on spec. Someone was around and booked me in... into their Bognor Regis branch.

Eventually, still with a calm voice and a smile on my face, I checked in at Bognor Regis. Nice room, good wifi, comfy bed. Result.

How I didn't have a massive sense of humour failure is anyone's guess. I suppose I'd already been pushed to the max and just kept on surviving. The show the next night would be, and was, a lot better.


0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

All content ©2001 - 2012 Ashley Frieze