Gig 7: On The Funny Side @ Pulse, Manchester – 14th July 2011
July 15, 2011 5 Comments
After the lovely detour of Magical Animals, on Tuesday, it was back to out-and-out ball-crushingly scary stand up.
I started preparing this set straight after Gig 5, just over three weeks ago (far too long a gap). I started out wanting to try what I though was 1-2 minutes of new stuff. When I actually tried it out, it was in reality 6 minutes. It all seemed to hang together as a block of material, so I thought I’d stick with it. Since most open spots are 10 minutes, this was going to constitute the large part of a completely new set.
As always, I’d spent a lot of time practicing – car journeys are a particularly good place to rehearse stuff and it certainly passes the time. The endless repetition has two main benefits. Firstly, by acting out the material, it’s a good way of coming up with new lines and jokes to help beef up an idea. Secondly, I’m still really suffering from nerves and constantly feel like I’m going to forget everything. If the stuff is ingrained into your brain, then it should come back to you when you need it. So far, this has worked.
So, how did it go?
It wasn’t quite as bad as Gig 4, and I’m clinging on to the laughs I did get, but some bits just completely died. I guess it’s to be expected with new material, but it’s still tough. On the positive side, I managed to plough on through the tough bits and not let it affect my performance. This is a bigger positive than you might imagine.
The tricky part of it all is now trying to work out which bits I should save (and improve) and which bits should I ditch. The make up of the audience does have a bearing of what sort of stuff works, so I don’t want to be hasty in trashing stuff that might work in a different environment. How many attempts does a piece of material get to prove it’s worth? I guess these are the things that you need to learn as a fledgling stand up.
There was a pretty large and appreciative crowd for the gig – although they were all there as friends of one of the acts. He really has A LOT of friends. He was, fortunately, really good (I know he was called Danny something-double-barrelled, but I can’t remember the surname, so apologies).
On The Funny Side is a free night at Pulse, which is near to the Printworks in Manchester. They’ve got a great little curtained off section downstairs, which is a perfect space for watching and performing stand up. The night was MCed by Danny Sutcliffe (the regular MC) and featured David Stanier – both performed on the same night as Gig 2, so it was great to see them both again. Danny is a really warm MC, so this should develop into a great night. Make sure you get down there and give it a go.