Sometimes the good nights take you by surprise

I had a great night at Battersea Power Comedy last week, against all the odds. It was the hottest day of the year so far, so I was expecting the mood and the turnout to be low, but as it happened there were no dropouts so we had a room full of acts and bringers, and plenty of energy.

I was glad to see a couple of my favourite acts in the bar beforehand – Thea Downey and Hubert Mayr – and a few other faces I recognise showed up too, Sam Dutton, Micah Hall and Ginnia Cheng. I enjoy doing this stuff all the same, but it’s more fun when you start getting to know the other acts and regularly bump into people you like, it really builds a sense of camaraderie.

I went up fourth – I chose a spot close to the beginning because it gave me just enough time to ease into the night, but not so long that I got distracted by the other acts and forgot my material. Another problem I have with going on later in the show is that it gives me too much time to start second guessing myself and mentally reworking my routine, instead of sticking to the plan I prepared and practiced. I like to get it out of the way early on and then enjoy the other acts.

I tried out a mix of old stuff, new versions of old stuff, and completely new stuff, and it all worked pretty well – even with an audience member dropping and breaking a glass halfway through my set I still managed to keep the room on side. I felt pretty good about it all after I got off stage. Most of the other acts did really well too, and hanging out in the bar afterwards there was a really good atmosphere. One of those good nights that took everybody by surprise.

Listening back to the recording I really notice how much I waffle in some of my bits when I could get to the punchline a lot quicker. That said, I’ve tried doing this before and sometimes the bit just doesn’t seem to work as well, even though all of the key elements are still there. Maybe the waffle is all part of the style and storytelling? All the same, I still think I need to find a way of being more economical with words without breaking the material.

There’s not much happening this month because I’m away quite a bit in August. The next gig I’ve got is back at Battersea Power on the 16th, followed by the Cavendish on the 22nd.

Gig Count: 48

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