"Cheeky cheeky monkey, he's made me forget ladies and gentlemen... he's -laughs- made me forget... ladies and gentlemen..."*
So I'm nervous. I've done my f#cking self-talk** thing and I'm genuinely nervous about going on stage. Ruined. Not sure if I'm more or less nervous than normal. Even worse we've got three leary blokes sat right in the middle of the room. They look quite disinterested in events. They're heckling the compare a bit. Lots of the people in this room seem to think live comedy is a bit like watching telly with your mates. Chip in with "witty" comments every now and then. Where's the problem? The problem is that like in say, a cinema, people around you have to put up with your "hilarious" comments. Fuc#. I'm clearly nervous aren't I? Why hasn't my self-talk thing worked? Shi#!
"Made me forget the joke there"*
So, I've got to shoot off as soon as I've done this thing. I've got a radio show to do tonight. Will that make me look like a prick? 'Oh - done his stuff and he fu#ks off after that does he? Not hanging around to see how the others do? Selfish cu#t.' Doesn't matter. I'll have gone by then anyway. Means I'm first on though... is that good or bad? Oh my God! They're heckling some of the other acts. What am I going to do?
"Don't touch it!"*
Talking to a bloke I recognise. He's called Dan, I think. I keep forgetting his name. I'm telling him I'm not too nervous. Play it down. Why would I be nervous? He says he is a bit too. He can see. He knows things. He did a joke about clowns at the last gig I was at. There's another bloke, tall with ginger hair. He was at my first gig. He won it as I remember. I've had a pint and a half of Guinness. Is that too much? Sh#t this thing is late starting. I need to get on stage, I'm on air soon. For f#ck's sake. Why am I doing this? I've got a perfectly good career in radio. But the buzz just isn't the same. They've called my name...
*Quotes from my absolutely favourite bit of the first series of Alan Partridge series 1. Joe Beasley and Cheeky Monkey! Genius.
**Explained this in an earlier update.