On Sunday night I did a ten minute spot at Whole Lotta Comedy at the Castle in Surbiton, which is rapidly becoming one of my favourite gigs.
On top of the fact that it’s local to me, and on a really convenient day (Sunday is the one evening when I’m almost always free), and they kindly let me do 10 spots, it’s also just a great night. They get a lot of strong acts coming in from further afield to try out new material or practice Fringe-shows, and there’s always an audience who are up for a good night.
I felt bad this week because I’d got tangled up with some family commitments and ended up arriving 30 minutes late, but just in time to open the second part of the show. It went pretty well, I got a lot of laughs and managed to fill the ten minutes without stumbling too much, although I was still feeling a little out of shape since I’ve only done one other gig so far this year, but I’m getting back into my stride.
I even managed to throw in a couple of bits of new material, with mixed success, but all in all the set went well, certainly better than my previous gig last week.
I’m determined to start cranking out as much new material as I can. I feel like I’ve got to a point now where I’ve got 5-10 minutes of tried and tested material that I can call upon whenever I need to. But it’s all about being a dad and being married, and that’s never really the kind of stuff I wanted to be doing, it’s just what worked for me early on so I stuck with it.
Now that I’ve got the security of being able to use that material if I need it, my plan for this year is to try and build a new repertoire of stuff about completely different topics and evolve my act into something more interesting. I’ve got a spot at Angel Comedy RAW at the end of Feb (they kindly rescheduled my Jan 2nd spot when I got the covid) and I would love to be able to do that show with five minutes of new stuff.
I stuck around for a bit, and watched Toussaint Douglass do a hilarious 20 minute set, which slapped me right back down to earth – even trying out new stuff he was so slick that it just reminded me how much harder I need to work to get anywhere close to that level.
I had planned to stay for some of the other pro acts, including Fiona Ridgewell, but I was exhausted after a big weekend and, seeing that the room was pretty busy so I wouldn’t be missed, I sloped off early to get some sleep. I generally don’t like doing that, you’ve got to support the gig, and I felt pretty bad so to atone for my sins I’ll go back as an audience member one night soon.
I’ve got nothing booked for this week, so I might see if I can grab a dropout spot at Beat the Blackout on Thursday, and then next week I’m doing 5 mins at We Are Funny Project on Tuesday. On Friday next week I’m doing one of Sam Rhodes Comedy Explosion’s new pop-up shows at Maltby St in Bermondsey, which should be a lot of fun since I haven’t really done any Friday night gigs before so hopefully there will be a decent crowd.