It looks like clubs are getting ready to open again. This week I got an email from Beat the Blackout in Greenwich to let me know they were starting to book spots for their Thursday night gong-show, starting on May 27th and I was able to grab one for myself on June 3rd.
Hopefully I’ll be able to find some other spots before then, but at this stage who knows how things are going to unfold. If my first return to open mics after a year off has to be a gong show then, fine, I’ll take it. I’ve done the Blackout once before, and had a good time.
I’ve been thinking about where things go from here and whether I even want to keep trying to do standup, and I’ve reached the conclusion that this is a golden opportunity give it a second shot with the benefit of some prior experience and an enforced break to spend some time reflecting on it all.
My main failing the first time around, I think, was that I never really practiced my material enough, so I was always dependent on having notes scribbled on the back of my hand. If I had a shit gig, not being able to remember my stuff was usually a contributing factor.
There are a couple of reasons for that.
- I’m a lazy piece of shit
- It was hard to find the time and energy to practice, given that most days I was travelling an hour and half each way to work on the other side of London
Right now it looks like I’m going to be working at home permanently, so I’ve got no excuse for not finding the time to rehearse material and get it locked into my brain.
Another part of this is that, because I was spending most weekdays out of the house from 7am to 7pm, I could only really gig once a week, otherwise my wife and kids would never see me. With such limited stage time, it was hard enough just to work on my main set, never mind trying out new stuff. But now I’m home all the time, so doing two or three gigs most weeks feels like a much more realistic proposition.
At this stage it’s all pie in the sky – we don’t know for sure whether standup is going to bounce back from covid, which clubs will re-open at all, what the open mic scene will look like. But being optimistic, and assuming it all kicks off again later this year, I’m up for taking another run at it, and trying harder this time round.