So - first gig of the year. This one should have been last December, but I woke up on the morning of the gig to find the world had gone white (not in a Klan way). So I couldn’t get to my gig and had to pull out (ermm....not in a catholic way) which was massively annoying.
Still, my day started off well and in between gaps of having to do other stuff, I ran through my new material, and it all went well. Then a few hours later I tried it again... and I had forgotten the lot. Seriously, I couldn’t remember a single part of the gig, not a word, nothing. I stumbled over every idea and missed out huge chunks of the set. I think it can be said that I was not in a good mood about this and I was certainly not feeling happy anymore.
On the way to the gig, the OH had to get some cash. I was so consumed with my own stupidity that I missed the shop with the cash point and had to drive into town - it’ll be fine, I’ll just get some money in the local petrol station..... damn it, the fuel light’s come on....better get petrol too. Will I make it... won’t I? Yeah, it will be fine... nope... bollocks. You’re a twat it won’t be fine. .. bugger.
I didn’t run out of fuel but I got to the petrol station and not only did they have no petrol but they didn’t have any money either. I think it’s about now I realised I was having a very bad day (I never claimed to be too bright).
I walked into the gig thinking it’s got to get better, it really has to get better! So I say hello to everyone I know at the Stand and then get told I’m first on....oh for fuck’s sake.
For those of you not in the know, the first slot of the night is what we in pseudo showbiz like to call “A FUCKING NIGHTMARE!” People are just in, still getting drinks, still peeing (in the toilets not the seats...that’s a different type of club) and generally not interested or listening. So I sat in the green room ironically feeling blue about my whole day and tried hard to remember any of my gig... nope...bugger!
On went the compere, a very cool Irish guy called Simon. He did his bit while I paced nervously behind the curtain. Seriously, I was not in a good way. As the time drew near I honestly heard a voice in my head say “run...run now!” and then “don’t go out there...run!!” It insisted over and over, and I was closer than I have ever been to total and utter pre show panic. I actually had to physically shake the thought out of my head by tensing up all the muscles in my neck (it hurt). I heard my name and my legs started moving with little to no help from my brain and out I walked through the curtain.
I got up on stage and I remember saying something massively dumb (but really don’t remember what it was) as I removed my mic from the stand and placed the stand behind me on the stage. Then as if by magic Mr Brain woke up and started to work my mouth. Out of the whole set I missed one line but not one joke. I didn’t get huge laughs but that may well be the “first one on” effect as things that had gotten massive laughs before in the same club got a slight chortle from the crowd. But all in all my gig went well. And considering what I thought was going to happen I was very proud of myself. I really can’t stress enough how powerful the urge to run was, but I stood my ground.
Now, that should be the end of my gig blog, shouldn’t it. I went on, I was good, I came off. It’s over, go home.
Trouble is it wasn’t over. The night had just begun for everyone else. Now, I won’t put any names here as I am trying to be fair and not wildly slag people off, but that night I had met a “new” comedian... wait, that’s wrong - it probably should say new “comedian”. He was loud and brash in the green room banging on to everyone about how amazing he was and how his three gigs so far had made him a god amongst men. Usually I ignore this rubbish as you get a lot of it on open mic and newcomer nights. Sometimes it’s just trying to psych the other acts out and sometimes it is just ego, but either way it is best to ignore them. However, this guy, while talking (utter tosh) was busy writing on his hands (I’m not going to slag this off either - I do it too, my set list usually, 6 or 7 words) - but this guy was writing an essay on his hands. He told everyone he was going to blow the crowd away with his sparkling wit but needed a few notes to remember the details of his hilarity!
I was still sitting in the green room talking to a few of the folks I know when this guy went on. And everyone back stage went suddenly silent....
...as did the audience. I was later told you could hear the acts in the green room laughing as the guy DIED ON HIS ARSE! Not a single laugh, not a single chuckle, not even a hiccup. Mate, holding up a book titled “The Sexual Politics of Meat” and pointing at it = not funny. Again, I wouldn’t usually do this, I have respect for everyone who goes up on stage and tries to do this but he had rubbed every joke monger in the green room up the wrong way. He made things worse by storming in off the stage, grabbing his coat from the green room saying “They didn’t get it... it’s just too intelligent for them!” (Warning : dickhead Adam alert) I, of course, couldn’t let that one go and replied “Intellectual... you mean intellectual. Content can’t be intelligent.”
Strangely, that was the last I saw of him as he disappeared into the ether. Hopefully to have a long hard think about what he’d done.
As always at newcomer nights there were some highs and lows (and stolen jokes) but I was quite happy with what I’d done. Again, I wasn’t the best on the night, but I was far from the worst and felt I had been battling with my twisted brain rather than the gig itself. Next time I’m going to leave my brain at home with a zombie movie so I can scare the shite out of it for a change!