It was my birthday today so I had the night off. During the day I farted about with my girlfriend watching the Dr Who boxed set her and my housemates had bought me. She'd agreed to stay an extra night so later on we went to watch and do some stand-up comedy. It was a gong show so the plan was to get up, get some stage time and do a bit of stuff. However given that I've been locked in sticky (now resolved) contract negotiations with Hallam FM for the past month I've not really had the time to focus on this new exciting form of expression.
That and the fact I'm lazy.
A gong show works like this: new act gets up and does his stuff, during this period a few of the members of the audience have been given cards. If they get bored they hold them up and then the act gets "gonged" off the stage. It's an ingenius device because it stops you from really dying on your a#se.
Me and my flatmate hadn't really practiced much at all in fact and the plan was to go up and get gonged really early. You can imagine our surprise/horror/dissapointment when we were told "as it's mother's day and there's not many in tonight we're not gonna do the gong, just get up and do ten minutes or so.."
Oh s#it. Both our faces went white. 10 minutes? We don't even have 10 minutes between us let alone seperately. This has gone wrong. My flatmate wanted to pull out but with only a few acts there that wasn't an option. Now last time my mate stormed it. This time he was just as funny but it didn't work quite as well in terms of audience response. To be honest I thought he was even funnier this time round.
The general consensus is that I’m improving. If you'd asked me when I came off stage I’d have agreed with that assesment. I really felt it went reasonably well and I appeared to be getting laughs. 'It wasn't quite as good as Middlesborough'* I thought 'but certainly I'm getting better'. Even the compare said so. I knew it could have been better but when I was up there I could see people's cheeky little faces lighting up with laughter at all the right times.
Monday morning and I'm watching the playback on my mate's mobile phone. All my old performing habits are back and frankly it's a really bad effort. The laughs sound miniscule compared to those I had in my memory. My presence on stage has gone right back to square one. Shocking.
The only good bit of comedy related news is that this weekend the boss gave me a call and told me he wanted me to stand in on the afternoon show for a week later in April. Not only is this fantastic career news but it's also a chance for me to make more of my freetime. It gives me a whole week in which to cram in a f#ckload of gigs. So that’s now the plan. I’m going to push for as many bookings as possible. By the end of April I'll be approaching the next level of my comedy career. I'm currently on level "POOR" but if all goes to plan I could be looking at "A BIT POOR" instead. A promotion in anyone's books.
*This is still an experience that annoys me. It was a good performance. Seriously. What's worse is I deleted it last night in my excitement to make room for the newer performance.