Saturday, 20 November 2010

Thursday 18th November 2010: Heckling and the Theory of Evolution


After a particularly interesting seminar on Ionesco (who ever said I was elitist?) I had my first gig in two weeks. It was a good one, let's not keep you in suspense. I'm very pleased with the way it went. Things started to fall into place, structural things that I put in as a way of getting to the jokes started to be funny in their own right. I think I nailed the beginning bit as well, which I hadn't before. I was quite nervous at the start, but addressing that in a 1½ minuete ramble helped define my persona on stage. I think I'm closer to defining who I am on stage. It makes me get away with the more esoteric weird stuff later on. That can only be a good thing. (although, if I feel I've grown that much after so few gigs, I probably wasn't very good to begin with :-D )

Although I'm saying that. I had my first serious experience with a heckler tonight. Well, I say heckler, a man in his mid-forties shouting things to me incoherently. I was halfway through the first bit, when he started making noises that I, at that point, could not decipher. I mimed the the mime of misunderstanding (the hand quickly over the head), which got a laugh; which usually is a signal to the heckler that the crowd agree with the act that you should shut up. He tried a couple more times to interject. I dealt with him, not realising I did, really, though one time I was out of it for a moment. I acknowledged that, found my line and continued.

Unfortunately, in my final bit, that only really works when there's a silence in the room, just before, he said something unfunny, just in the bit before the punchline. By now me and the crowd were annoyed. In that sort of Brightonian passive aggressive way. I finished the joke anticlimactically, but the rebound worked (you see, this blog is mainly for me :-P in the mind of the artist as a young old annoyed man) and it was over. Overall, v happy. But the guy left in between me and the next person who was on (the not at all Piratey but very funny David Blood).

Only in the break did people tell me that I was handling that heckler well. I responded with, heckler? Oh, that weird guy! I had handled a heckler. Apparently. He had been saying: You're the wrong colour, mate.

I know. Oh, England. You confuse me. Brilliant night, though. Met some lovely people. Clawed back some self-worth (never bad). Bye!

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