Monday 17 December 2007

I'm here all week, try the beef..

No matter how good or bad a gig goes, there is generally something to take from it. A witty, off the cuff ad-lib that can be permanently written into the material for future use or a note-to-self that, no matter how clever you think it is, the stuff about excommunication and augmented 4th chords doesn't really work and should either be dropped or re-written.

Friday night threatened to be an exception to the rule. The room was less than half full and this was in no way helped by the fact that everybody decided to sit towards the back of the room creating some kind of comedy moat. The MC, who had something of an off-night, and was unable to coax people to move forward which was unfortunate for all involved as laughter, although infectious by nature, tends to have problems bridging gaps of more than a few feet. One of the hardest things on nights like that is motivating yourself to put the requisite amount of energy into the material and its delivery when you know that, no matter what you do, the energy returned will be vastly disproportionate as your audience don't enjoy the comfortable anonymity of a large crowd.

Oh and there was the spotlight! The last time I played this particular club they used 2 desk lamps to illuminate the stage (this gives you an idea as to the size of the venue). It was quaint and charming and made it seem like the club was part of an underground comedy movement. On Friday, I discovered they had invested in a great big spotlight to shine in my eyes making it impossible to see any further than the first 3 rows - which happened to be empty. I have no idea what they were expecting me to do - but I confessed to 3 counts of murder, 1 of extortion and and 6 of aggravated assault. I also broke down and explained how the corpse of Lord Lucan was rotting in the boot of my car.

So, on to the set...

In a bold move, I opened with the new Katy French material. It had been hastily reworked because there were so few Irish people present and I'd added a new gag to it. It went down very well which I was naturally delighted with - my only grievance is that this material has a limited lifespan but there is nothing I can do about that.

From that point, given the odd dynamic in the room, I decided that tried and tested material was the only way to go so out came the material about traffic infringements, social faux pas and strange compliments. It proved as reliable as ever and allowed me to close with a string of one liners that I love but rarely include about entrepreneurial ideas, my father playing Yahtzee! with the grim reaper and the passing of Grandad Ambassador earlier this year (I know he would have loved these).

At the beginning of the gig I felt that, like a man who makes coupons for a living, I would have my work cut out. Overall though I was very happy with it - the laughs came at the right places and although they may not have been riotous, when taken in context were more than acceptable.

I also managed to bag the MC slot for a gig after Christmas which I'm excited and nervous about in equal measure. Must remember to wear dark glasses.


sheepworrier said...

Congrats BA.
If you're ever gigging up around Belshaft, lemme know.

Medbh said...

What a wonderful account, BA.
Yay to the applause.
You were right to open with the Katy material. Using recent headlines shows that you're on your toes with fresh jokes.

Are you sure they've set the lights up correctly? I don't think they're supposed to mimic and interrogation room.