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Wednesday, April 28

It's quite a thing

I don't really know how I do what I do. I don't know what I do well or not. I'm not in a position to know that, not until later on when I look back.

My day revolves around three lives, which I'm trying to live concurrently, sometimes succeeding more than other times. Those lives are:

1. Home - I have a lovely girlfriend (who reads this) with whom I want to enjoy a home life (and going out life). Going out doesn't just mean taking her to my gigs, though she's very clued up on the whole gig thing, and seems to understand how it all works.
2. Work - I have a demanding job. I seem to be somewhat required to stand in the middle of a bunch of stress and do the whole Michael Caine at the end of the Italian Job bit - "Hang on lads, I've got an idea". Actually, sometimes, I think I don't do that. Sometimes, the world's on fire and I'm saying "hey everyone, butterflies". Don't read some assumed virtue in what I'm writing. I think the key thing is that I'm deliberately an outsider in the office, and I don't really get too fussed by the assumptions people start with. I'm going to see it my way too.
3. Gigs - perhaps this is where the outside in me belongs. Right now (and probably since February), my world has revolved around a show that I'm rather hoping will push me up a rung of the ladder. I'm not talking career so much a capability. The former a result of the latter in the best case scenario. On top of the show, there's general gigging.

So I have to balance these things. Sometimes my priorities are a bit skew whiff. Tonight I accepted a last minute gig, which meant I could try out about 15 minutes of my show (as well as doing 5 minutes of "normal stuff") in front of an audience. I'm pleased to say that the material survived the audience, which is nice. I think some of it worked rather well. Better than I expected. Which is nice.

My day is a constant task switch. I start it by making tea for my girlfriend, feeding the cats and then bustling out of the house, usually later than I think it is, to then drive to work, rehearsing my show en route, stopping for a break in the rehearsal to make a work call and then returning to the rehearsal to complete the journey and then do work, with show stuff in the breaks, and gig bookings as and when they come my way. Then it's rehearsing on the way home, unless I'm doing our "decompression chat" with my girlfriend, post work, in which case I'm the doting boyfriend, unless I've got a gig to get to in which I might be the pre-gig comedian.

It's confusing.

It's also what I do. I straddle all of these things and I try to keep myself on my toes. This stops me mutating into a do-nothing-fat-lump-of-poo.

I was going to write a diatribe about something or other that bothered me earlier on today. I say today, it's now really tomorrow (well, the thing was yesterday) owing to the fact that human clocks aren't synchronised with how I live my day. I think I will not have a rant. I will say that I think you can do enjoyable comedy without being a cliche, though some of the cliches are there because they're a quick route to getting into doing what's unique.

Thankfully, my comedy is not about "Changing the lyrics to a well-known song so they're a bit dirty" which is probably the best description of the worst sort of musical comedian. That's not to say that I wouldn't use those tricks or sing a filthy song... but there's got to be more than that in stand-up, or it's not worth doing. There's got to be a back-up gag, a broader conceit, a redeeming twist. Or it's got to be a throw away... or deliberately childish so an audience buys into it as a shared game.

We could take any song and make it filthy, but it's only funny to those people trying to make it so. Here's a blue baa baa black sheep.

Baa baa black sheep, have you got the horn
Yes sir, yes sir, I'm watching porn
Then I will master
Then I will bate
Then I will put my jizz all over your plate

Easily done... absolutely pointless! If you even smiled at this, then you are wrong.

Note: I watched a clip of something doing something much less sophisticated than that earlier ad it made me cringe. At least I can think about it rationally now.

And out.


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