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Sunday, February 24

Had I Been Watching...

Sometimes I think I lead bits of my life as though there is an audience watching me. You know, I make to-camera quips, or conduct myself in my own private affairs as though I am being seen. I suppose this is the performance instinct in me. I can easily cure myself of feelings of lack of attention by standing on a stage with everyone looking at me, as I did tonight. I wonder how I would have judged my own performance, over the course of the day, had I been the "viewer at home" watching my day unfold.

On the one hand, I think I would have approved of my own impromptu lie-in. I had gone to sleep rather late, having had a session where I read my blog out-loud to myself to see how it sounded (particularly with some of the more angst-ridden entries from last year). I had also spent time on the phone with a slightly-disillusioned friend and then read my book. Bed time was late last night. So I think I would have understood my lie-in. It did reduce my capacity to get much done in the house, which is clearly in need of a lot of things doing.

I wouldn't have watched myself eating breakfast. It was hurried and tinged with a certain sense of pathos as I went mid-breakfast to the porch, which I'd ignored the previous day, to see whether the mail contained any birthday cards at all. The answer was that it did.

Following breakfast was a DIY session. There was the hanging of a shelf which went wrong in every conceivable way it could, but which I eventually sorted out. The shelf is higher than I wanted it, but it should sit there fairly level and looking good enough to stick my recipe books on. I hope it will hold them! I would have noticed myself returning to the adoption of the "not giving a shit" system, as I started sanding and priming various bits of wood which need another 3 coats of paint before they're finished. In the end, there's just not the time to fanny on trying to make perfection. Perfection isn't necessary. It'll look good when it's done. Honest.

I would have approved of my quick jaunt to the piano to write out some music for a friend. I'd failed to teach this friend how to play a little something I can play from memory, so I thought I'd write a few bars of it out. It's easier to do with a piano than from trying to hear it in my head and play air-piano. Laptop and piano were brought together and the transcription was relatively painless.

Car journeys and picking friends up would have been fast-forwarded in the DVD of my life. The dinner party which followed would have been scrutinised. I would have watched my behaviour and wondered if I was gracious enough at the efforts which had been put into making it a joyous occasion for me. There was company and cake - two of the finest of the three top c-words I know.

To be honest, I would probably have looked away for most of the duration of the gig I did. I wouldn't have found a large quantity of what I did and said very funny. There were flashes, highlights as it were, where things were worth watching, but a fair bit of me posturing around the stage with no particular plan. Stuff happened and laughs came. I made one joke which I spoiled by enjoying it too much. The joke wasn't bad under the circumstances. Someone in the audience had said something about a woman with a wood fetish. I commented that you shouldn't have sex with a wooden condom, you might get a veneer-ial disease. This impressed me so much that I spoiled it. That's truly sad!

Overall, though, tonight's 500th gig in my stand-up comedy career, and my first night out as a 34 year old were worthy of looking back on fondly. Sure, I may have milked every last drop out of the evening, and chatted to people who made me feel rather old - why do 22 year old girls have to be so young!? - but why not, eh? I can't complain about the wealth I had in friendship today. Being able to see, for what it is, the value of friendship is something that's far more relevant than being able to see what's missing from one's life.

So, speaking as a more mature person. Let's go back to a glass-half-full view of the world. Hell, maybe get a smaller glass, then it will look more full!

Bizarrely, I totally failed to identify one of the acts, with whom I'd had the classic "so, how long have you been doing comedy" chat in a non-comedy social about 5 days ago. How sad is that!? Context. Context.


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