It's been a funny old week. So much so that I'm onto my second post of the year on this blog.
If the truth were told, I'm clearly not blogging on here like the diarist I once was. I've gone from an almost religious zeal to tell each day as it happened, or at least blog about the major appointments in my diary (I'm pretty sure I wrote most of 2005 retrospectively like homework).
Last year: 4 posts.
This is post two of 2019.
Highlights of the week:
- Did two gigs
- Went to a circus (today)
- Got rained on randomly a lot
- Was offered money for the rights to my online training course
If ever there was a moment's thought that my life is glamourous and going well, let's quickly establish that I was offered a mere $100 for the unlimited distribution rights to a training course that's supposed to sell on Udemy.com at $9.99 per student. I declined. Offers like that are as much insulting as they are ridiculous.
Similarly, the trip to the circus was interesting and fun, but somehow not quite the exciting thing it could have been. Call me a jaded old performer, but the crow work and structuring of a circus show seem thin and transparent and for me take away from the skill of the performers. That said, it's a matter of taste.
I for one, don't like it when the staff start applause breaks every 15 seconds or so, and I also really despise shows which run on the basis that the audience want to stand up at the end, sing along and dance... and especially I abhor shows which end with the audience on the stage.
If I'm going to go onto a stage, I'll do it because I'm the performer. Otherwise I'd prefer that I sat and enjoyed something inventive and entertaining which I can't see through.
Talking of paper-thin performances... I closed a new material night in Hereford this week and it was fun. Some of the new acts were exactly what you'd expect of new acts. There were a couple of brilliant older comedians from Cheltenham, who were a complete delight to watch and had me roaring with laughter. As a comedian, when you're cheek-achingly laughing at an act who is earlier on the bill than you, there's always a part of you thinking "how the hell can I follow that!?" but that's insecurity at best.
Every comedian can follow the previous ones. Go out there and do your best!
Last night I opened at a gig I thought I was MCing. It's a regular show I do in Bristol. Last week I opened, the first time I'd done a set there. Warming up last week's crowd took more work than MCing them, but by the end I'd dissolved their resistance and dissolved my own sense of decorum. I found myself riffing on something or other which sort of worked, but was half formed.
On the way back to the car last week, I did a what I should have said in my head, and decided to incorporate that into the bit of the set where it had happened. I tried that out on Thursday and it worked (enough to try again, at least).
Where last night I was expecting to shoe-horn it into a non-set bit of my MCing, arriving at the venue it seemed there were two MCs and no opening act. Great... a quick rush back to the car (20 minutes of power walking - good for the weightloss) and I'm back as the opening act.
So a week after making it up on that stage, I'm doing the corrected version of a bit of silliness, and to be honest I felt both delighted and cheapened by the reaction it got. Delighted, because this is how stand-up works: perform, invent, refine, perform, perfect... but cheapened, because my Sodastream Knob bit is hardly going to go down as a bit of literature!
It's all daftness... and that's worth the driving, walking and getting drenched in the British flash monsoon season for.