Saturday, 27 August 2011

Day Twenty-Three: Dave Allen had it easy

"In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey." The captivating yet senseless opening line from Beck's Loser. 

I had trouble getting to sleep last night due to the sexual shenanigans down the hallway and feeling sick so it was a late morning for me. I had tickets to see Ricky Gervais and Warwick Davis talking about their new series "Life's Too Short". When I got the BBC, it was a bit of a free-for-all. I'd won tickets in a ballot and there was a massive queue for stand-bys. I got in anyway. I really enjoyed myself and found it really interesting. I'm a big Ricky fan. He spoke about him and Stephen's writing, about the BBC and HBO and the freedom he has to do what he wants and if they didn't let him have free reign, it would be pointless.

It was interesting to hear him talk about the drama within comedy and how he considered The Office a "Rom-Com". Anyway, the most important things I heard were:

* Re-writing is like a taking a samurai sword and folding it in half, it gets stronger, fold it again and it gets stronger etc. Just keep re-writing.
* Research the realism and then fictionalise it
* Record the reactions of people in dialogue as they're more important than speech - the essence of the Office, what wasn't said
* It's a marathon, not a race
* Do what you want to do and don't let someone else tell you

After that, I headed over to the Bar 50 to open Francis' gig. I'm bored of my jokes, like really bored. Anyway, it went ok then I headed over to Slappers after MJ had guilted me into it. Darren had text me to say that there was a hen party in. Joy. But then he text again saying that they had left and there hadn't been one laugh yet.

I walked in to almost deathly silence. Our guest act was struggling. She managed to get one laugh. They seemed not like Jonathan the compere at all. I didn't hold hope for myself. Darren went on and push his pedals to make sounds and that. There is a bit he does where he records himself doing impressions of Bruce Forsyth slagging Darren off which overlaps and repeats. It's really silly and usually lasts about 40 seconds. This time, it went on for ages. Darren was shouting:

"You're never going to make it as a comedian."
"Why are you doing the Free Fringe? The audiences are rubbish."
"What makes you think that you're funny?"
"No one likes you, why don't you just give up/"

It was hilarious for us comics and the audience didn't have a clue what was going on.

Tagline: Darren's nervous breakdown. He's blowing up balloons and then putting them down his pants whilst shouting "Brian!" A salute to Darren for trying EVERYTHING that comes into his head.

I was on last, I took a stool with me and decided just to have a chat with them as they were being so quiet. It was nice actually. I felt like an unfunny Dave Allen. The audience did respond and it was nice and conversational. I spoke about the bra fitting the other day, about my idea of feminism after a woman described herself as a housekeeper and about living with someone with a revolving bedroom door. I think they went for it. It was a very non-threatening approach to audience interaction. My last shopping centre gig - Tiffany had much more success with her shopping centre gigs.

I came home via KFC. I haven't really had any take-aways since I've been here. I had a box of something with a bit of chicken and a chicken burger and some chips. The lady behind the counter asked me what side order I wanted. I said beans. She said that they had run out of spoons. I contemplated drinking the beans or lapping them up like a cat that likes beans. Coleslaw was out of the question because I fucking hate coleslaw. I opted for corn, safe in the knowledge that I had floss at home. It was an unpleasant experience, very noisy and full of teenagers just being alive.

At home, I got into bed for a while, set an alarm and had a snooze. I woke up grumpy, shoved my shoes and rape-proof on and hobbled down the road. I am now hobbling due to two callouses on my left foot giving me trouble. It's the boots that are doing it so I'm going to wear pumps for the next few days. The trouble with pumps is that they aggravate the callous on my right foot. I should get some of those built-up shoes that rock while you walk. Or just never leave the house or something. I've probably been walking a few miles a day here. It doesn't seem like much to people that walk but for me, it's a big difference to what I'm used to.

I didn't bother flyering for Gagstro (see the pattern?). We had a near-full room. I opened. It was a quiet room and I did well under my time. I couldn't really banter as Friday night was in full swing behind the black soundproof curtain that isn't soundproof. Also, there were three obese people in the front row which was unusual, I did a lot of jokes to a man's really fat neck, it seemed to enjoy it. Mark did ok and our guest brought it home with a good response.

It was my intention to come home and have an early night watching a documentary on the iplayer about foreign music in the British charts (I know, right?) but I skyped Jon for a while and started this blog. I had a brief encounter with Romesh and his friend Robin. We discussed which Disney characters we fancied. I opted for Aladdin who was based on Tom Cruise, Tasha went for Mulan and Jasmine.

I had a run-in over email with a promoter today. I had received a mail shot asking me to vote for my favourite open-mic comedian and the winner would get paid gigs with them. What a ridiculous idea. I emailed the voting address and simply put "Please stop this if you care one iota about comedy." The promoter emailed back asking to elaborate which I did. I told them that comedy is hard enough with all these competitions without asking us individually who is the most popular. He agreed that I had a valid point but said that it was just a bit of fun and I should cheer the fuck up and come to the party that they've arranged. I thanked him for the banter, wished him luck and turned down the party offer due to it falling within the month of September. Fuck them. I'm a one-woman political fucking party.

Two more nights and mornings to endure and then this whole experience will be over. I wonder how I'll feel on my return about the whole thing. Tasha was talking to me today telling me to get off the open mic scene and I'll feel better. I need to be getting open spots at pro nights. I know this but feel that my ten minutes isn't good enough. Not feel, I know. Anyway, I've taken what she's said on board.

Tagline: I take back my disgust regarding that bloke pissing on me a couple of weeks ago, he was just trying to avoid the £40 fine.

Silent disco, they're singing Song 2 at the moment but can't keep up with the lyrics so it's just a series of "Woo hoo!"

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