Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Sunday 24th October - Sunday 31st October 2010: Making up for lost time in one fell swoop

...Hi! Remember me? Sorry about the infrequent blogging, this will be quite a apologetic one, in the vain hope of making up for it that way. I know I cannot, yet we still toil and try. Damn you internet-monkeys! Will I ever be able to live up to your wishes? No.

Also included are my reasons (Excuses!) for not having written the blog from Monday to yesterday. These reasons were exciting though. So it's probably best to keep reading and replacing the Jorik-shaped hole in your favourites-list with my blog once more. Please!

First, excuses. For instance, I tend to resort to rubbishy blogs on days that I spend in my room, reading up on stuff for school, or watching crap on youtube or iPlayer. These days are far too numerous to mention. I got quite annoyed with the frequency of these days where nothing happened, but curiously didn't really do anything about that.

Apart from that I went to a bit of a sickly spell from Saturday to Tuesday, which was on my mind for a considerable amount of the time (No worries. In the end, everything was fine) and wasn't quite sure how to write about anything else than moaning about feeling crap. I'm sure you wouldn't have found that amusing; though I would have been able to take the moaning-predicated bits of the blog to a whole new level. Maybe next time.

I can't imagine how many of you are now secretly hoping I might get seriously ill in a couple of days, just to get some more moaning.

I have sort of decided to only blog when I feel like it, instead of forcing myself to do one for every day. Quality over quantity. Sorry, relative quality over quantity. There we go.

Apart from that, I've started gigging again as well. And? Yeah, pretty happy with it overall.

The first gig I did was on Thursday night, in Brighton. Apart from anything else; I was very nervous. Some people do well on them, not me. I was on second and shaking with first night nerves. Annoying at the best of times, tonight: lethal. In short, I came on, rambled a bit, tried to get in to my material but my head had decided against supporting me at this venture and closed itself off with a big Renovation-sign. No words came out of anything I (that's my own head, mind!) had written! I was in a strange schizoid conflict with myself for the first two minutes of the gig, wherein I fought and macheted my way through the first minute of material. I then decided to give up this futile fight and do a single loose joke I normally do at the end of my set which gave me a proper laugh so I could leave the stage. The crowd, credit to them, were very sweet and patient with this (so I heard afterwards) interesting study in comic death. It was both very theatrical and very inconvenient. A man I saw at the bar, later on, told me he thought I was very good when I had been speaking. Which was by no means all the time. I was hugged by the promotor and left quickly, ready to punish my own head by watching Strictly Come Dancing. As a means of mental self-flagellation. In both senses of the word.

On the plus side, I did go through that first gig and the crippling nerves I had been having for more than a week did magically disappear. So things could only get better.

I've just realised that this is not a good way to advertise me as a stand-up in any way, so I've shot myself in the foot here. I am listening to jazz now, I'm wearing a jumper and I'm very pretty. Please hire me!

The day after I was strangely pleased with myself; probably because I'd gone through the night before. It hadn't been going well, and I knew that, so I worked with it as gracefully as I could, and saved the audience genuine embarrassment. My main objective for the next 10 years is to be less mean to myself, and this thought was certainly a constructive one.

On Saturday I had my second gig, in Central London, on the Strand. With the advice a friend gave me, I first went down to buy a saver ticket for the Brighton-London train, after slowly pulling away into the rolling countryside. This part of England is very beautiful, especially sat behind a train window. Unfortunately, I'm too tall to be sitting in second class, my feet unable to reach the ground without collliding with the chair in front and my knees practically tucked behind my ears until Croydon. Not good. Seldom have people been more excited to arrive in Croydon than I have, quicly taking up the isle seat. After several minutes, I could feel my toes again (they'd probably started going black already). That was good news, cos I had some walking to do. I took the tube from Victoria to Oxford Circus. That's where I'd decided to walk from to the Strand.

It might be the novelty, but I enjoy the tube. I enjoyed finding out where I had to go, and actually spent some minutes going over the benefits of the District Line against the Circle Line. Yup, living the showbiz life.

London was beautiful that day, sunny, packed with people taking pictures of statues. Especially the one of Edward VII on a horse was popular. Trafalgar Square was fenced off, since an American Football-thing was going on. I saw a man dressed as a quarterback drive a rikhshaw. That was amusing.

I spent the next couple of hours preparing for the gig. Way too early, I mainly walked around, had some coffee, walked around some more, and went to the venue. There I could plunk down my bags and coat, so I could run through my set a couple more times. I was now genuinely concerned with my brain's capabilities of regurtitating words. I blamed it on my relative failure on Thursday. Let's just say we'd had a difficult few days, it and me. But we'd patch it up if it would deliver tonight (I can see amateur psychiatrists going: hmm. Increase the dosage!).

I needn't have worried. I had a very good time on stage. The rather jokey bits in my sets went down better than the more theatrical spielerei but I never lost the crowd or alienated them. Ad-libbing was also up to scratch, the confidence I had lacked two days previously I now had in spades. It was great. If only as a confirmation of the fact that my material, the performance and indeed my own human head hadn't ceased to function over the last two months. I'm also quite proud of fixing the mic stand whilst retaining focus and concentration. Let me explain.

All night, the mic stand had been annoying the acts and the compère alike. It kept on bending to one side, making it impossible to lean on or do anything with. It was a nuisance for some people, visibly not knowing what to do about it. The thing is, with this type of performance, it's important to stay (horrible phrase) in the moment, so it's hard to break out of that focus and (also very important) your rapport with the audience you've only just established, for some uneasy fidgeting with a piece of cold, annoying, uncaring plastic. In the bit between two set-pieces I, on a whim and a (fuck me, I'm going to fix this thing now), bend down and just fixed it. Which wasn't as difficult as I thought, leading to one of the biggest laughs of the set, and the ad-lib: Oh, thank you. I just realised I got my biggest laugh of the night, for a bit of DIY.

Quietly pleased with that.

Two hours later I was sitting on a bench in Warren St tube station, waiting to get the tube to Victoria. I was thinking about this night, and going over this first month I spent here, in Britain. Had it been worth it? The work, the loss of spare time and money, leaving my family and friends behind and going to live in a place I'd never been to before? All that for this? Five minutes with some people and a microphone? I could only say to myself: yes. It's been worth it. It's been absolutely worth it. I absolutely love this thing and I'll never ever stop doing it. It's fantastic.

An hour later I was sitting on the Victoria to Brighton train with my legs behind my neck. I could touch my kidneys with my nose. Was it still worth it? Fuck yeah.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear you had a good one on Saturday, and that you managed to get your ticket and get there OK. Look forward to seeing your stuff.