I’ve not done any gigs for a couple of weeks as Real Life stuff has got in the way, but before I slacked off I did a spot at Rising Star which ended up being a chaotic night that kind of went off the rails. I think it was the MC’s first time. If you really want to understand just how much of an art MCing is, you should watch somebody get it wrong.
It was a very mixed night and I went up after a couple of weak acts – which I think is a double edged sword because nobody wants to follow a strong act, but at the same time it can be hard if the previous acts have sucked all the life out of the room.
My set went well, but I got thrown off my rhythm when the audience gave me a big laugh at a completely unexpected point during a setup. I was confused at why they were laughing so much at a completely unfunny line, and it derailed the whole bit. I’ve got to get better at gracefully dealing with unexpected laughs.
After that gig I didn’t do anything for a couple of weeks, but I’ve got the So You Think You’re Funny competition heat coming up next Monday, so this week I needed to get some stage-time. Tomorrow I’ve got a spot at Battersea Power Comedy, and last night I got a walk-in at We Are Funny Project.
Even though it was a quiet night because of the warm weather, it was a nice gig with a couple of novice MCs (one in each half) trying out for the first time and both doing a decent job of it. Because I was feeling rust I had to rely on hand-notes again, after weening myself off them not so long ago, but I didn’t have to use them too much. I think I’ll be OK to ditch them for the competition next week.
I was happy with my set – delivered everything how I wanted to and didn’t forget any bits. Even though the audience was small, I still got laughs in the right places, and nothing bombed badly enough for me to worry about, so I’m feeling confident that after tomorrow’s gig I’ll be in good shape for the competition heat.
There were a few acts who caught my attention; Mary Taylor (who I had a good natter with in the bar), Michael Akadiri (the best amateur act of the night, I reckon), and Babetta Mann and Andrew Buchan were also strong. The professional headliner was Sunil Patel, who destroyed the room even though it was quiet and he was trying out new stuff. If you get a chance to see him, jump on it.
I’m looking forward to the competition heat next week, but at the same time I’ll be very glad when it’s out of the way and I can stop practicing the same set at every gig. I’m bored out of my skull with the material and itching to try out some different stuff.
Gig Count to Date: 41