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Wednesday, April 29


There's been a definite something about my performances of late. I've been way too easily distracted. In some ways, flexing my performance to suit the audience is a good thing. On the other hand, a distracted performance can dilute any energy, craftsmanship or indeed humour.

Tonight was a gig where I was not quite in the right place. I'm not saying I got no laughs. Far from it, there were plenty of laughs. There were also some moments where nothing was happening in the room, I was largely to blame and I was a little spooked. Again, the consumption of too many caffeine-enhanced drinks before the gig can be held partly to blame.

Overall, though, there's a certain sense of the inevitability about my set, and I think that I've temporarily become a little bored with the same old same old. As a result, I'm taking any opportunity to slack off, deviate from the norm, do things I know I shouldn't, and generally muck about.

From the mucking about may come moments of high comedy, or there may come moments of using up the audience's reserves of goodwill. Tonight, we saw both, but it became increasingly difficult to control the audience response as I essentially wore them out.

I won't be beating myself up too much about it. The gig was nice, people had a good time, and I took a fairly modest fee for my 35 minutes on stage. So, no harm done. Also, the other comedians seemed to be capable of looking me in the eye, so no huge amount of stinking the room out, there.

I can't quite put my finger on what's been up today. Call it seasonal adjustment. Call it the side-effect of seeing the 7am hour. Call it my period. I've just been a bit on the wan and anemic side. My eyes felt dry and sore too. Aaah.

I had a bit of a plan for the arrival in Southsea - the area of Portsmouth where I did my gig. I would arrive early (check) and then I would read my book on the sea front. It made sense in my head. In real life it didn't. I was freezing cold. It wasn't going to work.

So I took my book into the pub and tried to read it over a cappuccino. This made things odd, as there was the comedy night set-up going on, and comedian arriving, and a general sense that I was being unsociable - a sense that would not have been created had I simply stayed away and read and not turned up until the allotted time (which had been the plan). Perhaps that contributed to my odd mood.

Or perhaps it was a weird moment in the toilet when I changed out of my jeans. I consider my comedy uniform to be something like "non work trousers and my watch". I had been feeling lethargic, so I thought a costume change might mark the moment when I switch from tired working man to jaunty comedian man. I went to the toilet to do this transformation and a £2 coin dropped out of my pocket and under the door of the stall I was in. I couldn't retrieve it, as it was just under the lip of the door... then I had the notion (as comedians make for themselves in their own mind) that it might look to the outside world of the cubicle, what with the dropping of trousers and the apparent offer of money just under the cubicle door, that I'd gone into there to open up (in whatever sense) for business. Ick.

Pah. No idea. Gig 695 was never meant to run smoothly. I seemed a bit bored of my old material and the new song fell out of my mouth with all the flying power of a dead piglet.

Still, people laughed and I got to go home without feeling too foolish. So a success, then.


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