Gig 9: Comedy Knight @ Mello Mello, Liverpool – 1st August 2011
August 2, 2011 8 Comments
So, after last week’s strange interlude of Gig 8a, I’m pleased to say that I made it to the next integer and completed Gig 9. That’s not to say that there weren’t hiccoughs on the way, but I’ll get to that.
The set for this gig was going to be largely the same as last week, with a couple of exceptions. Firstly, I changed my opening (again), going back to more or less my original “Picasso” opener. After realising that I couldn’t start with a direct question, I tried to tweak last week’s opener by reframing it. However, this just led me to completely lose faith in it. For inspiration, I looked back at my notes for Gig 2 (so far my most successful performance, which is a little depressing) and I realised that I opened with a gag that led into the Picasso bit. I duly decided to do this.
The other change was that I would not read the “play” from a piece of paper to see if it would aid the performance – and I went back to the play from Gig 8 as it was set in Liverpool and so played the local knowledge card.
Aside: Strangely, in my gig report from last week, I mentioned that I might stop reading the plays from paper because it didn’t seem to work, but, in the comments on the post, Dannie, “the lovely young German lady” from the audience, said that she liked that I read from the paper. Trying to make sense of this comedy lark is a nightmare.
I had a pretty busy weekend, so didn’t have much time to practice, but at this stage I know all this shizzle pretty well. That is until I get to the venue, of course, when I feel like I’ve forgotten it all. It’s a horrible feeling, but luckily, so far, it’s always come back to me when I step on stage.
Comedy Knight is an alternative comedy (i.e. sketches and characters, as well as stand up) night held at Mello Mello in Liverpool. It’s a lovely studenty type venue with a proper stage to make you feel like you’re Live at the Apollo (maybe I’m exaggerating).
There were 9 acts scheduled to perform but, incredibly, 6 dropped out. Yes, 6. That’s two thirds. Totally unacceptable. The three acts that were left were Matty Delaney (who I believe was performing his first gig, but I could be wrong), Me and resident sketch group Legion of Doom. Fortunately, there was an actual audience, so we pressed on.
As I sat waiting to go on, I came to the realisation that I was probably old enough to be most of the audience’s dad. I’m exaggerating, but only slightly. What should have been a low pressure set, in a lovely venue with a nice audience, now became a pressure cooker of terror as I desperately reeled through the myriad of cultural references that I’d use that they’d be too young to get. In the end, I decided to just plough on and make the occasional reference to the age inappropriateness of my material.
As is becoming the norm for my self-reviews, it went “OK”. I find it genuinely hard to judge, and if you don’t absolutely kill it, how do you rate the performance? Some jokes got big laughs all round. Some bits got good laughs from some sections of the audience and not a lot from others. Some bits got good laughs from audience members I wouldn’t have expected them too and not a lot from audience members I might have. All in all, it went OK.
Oh, I should probably mention. The opening is still a bit obtuse, but I’m sure there’s a way I can make it work. I just don;t know what it is yet. Thinking cap to the ready. The short play definitely flowed better without the paper, but perhaps lost a bit of its charm. I think the Liverpool play might have worked better from paper, but the one I did last week better without.
After I’d finished, I went into my usual bipolar mindset. Half of me thought: “I’m shit. I need to throw away all my material and start again.” The other half of me thought: “He he, that was amazing. I loved it and doing all the stuff that I think is funny. He he.” I have issues.
When the show was over, I was approached by an audience member, who also happened to be an open mic comic, who gave me some positive feedback. A bit of feedback makes all difference, and not in an ego stroking way. It’s just nice to know you’re doing something right when you only think you’re doing OK.
Comedy Knight was fun, despite the dirty drop-outs and I suspect that it’s a different beast when the students are in town. I’d love to give it a go then, although perhaps in character and perhaps with some more up to date cultural references.
I’ve just remembered the best bit. The biggest laugh came when I used my favourite and only modern cultural reference. It usually doesn’t work with people who have jobs. God bless the students.