The home of the haikulator



Sentence Generators
My Stand-up & gigs
The Coding Craftsman

The Musical!
Incredible Productions


Previous Posts

Not The Best Start
I Should Be Asleep
It's A Mystery
The Day of the Contingency Plan
Addicted to Work
Darting Hither
It's Not Always Gigs
I Can Do This
A Convenient Truth
A Night Of Escapades

Blog Archives

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
January 2018
August 2018
September 2018
July 2019
August 2019
May 2020
June 2020
July 2020
August 2020
September 2020
December 2020
January 2021
July 2021
September 2021

Wednesday, October 15

Oh What A Feeling

Some gigs work and some gigs don't. This is the nature of the beast. A good gig is the drug that keeps you coming back for more. It's the reward for the challenge. It's the reason you do all the other gigs, and the vindication that the whole thing is not just a big fat waste of everyone's time. A good gig has good cheer pouring out of everyone involved and it's a joy to behold. Good gigs can come for free, with an up-for-it audience, or they can be bought at considerable expense by ploughing on with an audience that aren't quite sure, and then reaping the rewards when they fall in on your side.

In short. Good gigs are great. Of course they are. That's why they call them good gigs. They would call them something else if they were awful.

Bad gigs on the other hand are a strange thing. While you can be inspired by a good gig, a bad gig is a lesson of sorts. It can also be the losing bet that makes the gambler double the stakes for next time. This is a bad simile, but I worry that it's also accurate. Generally speaking, you learn from a bad gig. You also, usually, get some sort of pain from doing one. Every joke that falls flat takes some of your credibility with it. Since stand-up is really about duelling egos, this is not necessarily a good thing - no, it's bad. So the result is that you feel your cheerful energy getting drained and you feel like you've died, except in body.

After bad gigs you can feel like writing something as soporific as this, which is no good thing. But it's a learning experience.

Tonight's gig was weird. Of course it was. We're on the start of the rainy season after a bright bit. Nobody knows how they feel when the weather's like this. The football's on. The crowds weren't in force. The night was fairly low on features with just an opening act, the MC (me) and a closing act. There was the distinct absence of the Sketch show, for which many of the audience had been accustomed to coming month in, month out. Generally speaking, something was bound to be afoot.

Note: this already reads like the self-exonerating excuses list that I bemoan other stand-ups producing when a gig goes wrong for them. Let me add some chest beating to this.

I had drunk too much coffee, so I was wired. My energy levels weren't in the right place. I didn't really prepare for the gig so much as talk crap at the back of the room with the first act. I didn't really engage with the audience and let them know that stuff wasn't quite working as it failed. As a result, I found all manner of awkward moments, which I sometimes managed to wring laughs out of, and sometimes managed to amplify by being genuinely knocked back by them. Some of my "quips" were worthy of the across-the-desks-office-banter, which I've always pointed out is awful. In short, I wasn't feeling it as the show started.

When the first act was eventually allowed a go, it turned out that it wasn't just me. I'd done my best to give him a fair audience, including distancing him from my poor performance. It was hard. He asked me to time him and provide the light when he reached his time. I did and I wondered how much he'd be hoping for the light to go. The time really creaked by.

I red-lighted him at 20 minutes, but got a laugh from the audience, as I back-announced him, by telling them that I'd make him run to 25 because it wasn't going well.

This is the thing. I got laughs after his set. I actually snapped out of my bizarre frame of mind, relaxed, found the funny and made the show work. From that point onwards, it wasn't a bad show. This is where the curse of the MC didn't hit me. If you die on stage as an MC, then it can become increasingly uncomfortable to return to the stage. Tonight, I was really after another crack at the audience, and though they could never have been described as "mine" or in the palm of my hand, they were enjoying me towards the end of the night, so I feel like I somehow redeemed myself.

I didn't take a fee or expenses for the gig. I reckoned that, as my expenses were zero, I could walk away from charging, as I would prefer not to have to have charging for my first half's performance on my conscience.

I have a conscience? Apparently so, but it can be assuaged with money.

In other me-news, I continued to write computer software today. It's what I do. It won't last. Someone will make me do "organising" again!


Post a Comment

<< Home

All content ©2001 - 2020 Ashley Frieze