December 3, 2012 1 Comment
Having had fun previously at Bad Language – the spoken word type night – I managed to get an open spot at their 2nd birthday gig, which, coincidentally, was on the same day as my actual human birthday. As it was going to be a busy night, I was asked to make sure that I stuck to 4 minutes for my spot, and I thought the easiest way of achieving this would be to do a few short stories. After plundering The World of Sherby57, I found myself with 7 stories that I felt would be good to try. Each of these would take between 1 and 3 minutes to perform, giving me enough material to be able to pick and choose on the night. I reviewed each of the stories, made amendments where necessary and was all set.
As it was my birthday, my beloved and myself thought it would be rather pleasant to go for a meal beforehand. Bad Language starts at 7:30, so we booked a table for 6:15 at the nearby The Northern Quarter Restaurant. Rather naively, we set off at 5:30, and didn’t take into account the rush hour traffic, meaning that, by the time we had parked, we arrived at the restaurant at 6:40. This still gave us enough time to eat, so we were all set.
Or it would have been if a party of 20 pensioners hadn’t ordered just before us. Old people. They suck, don’t they? Always clogging the place up and that. ”Oh, let’s go to the post office between 12 and 2,” said the pensioner. “People with proper jobs won’t be annoyed by us at all.” WRONG! YOU’RE WRONG MR/MRS BIDDY. STOP DOING THAT.
Anyway, I don’t know if they were all actually pensioners, but, you know, my point still stands. I became increasingly anxious as the clock drew closer to half past seven. I’d say that I’m generally quite a laid back person, but I like to be in charge of my own destiny, and it was driving me potty that I was going to be made late through something out of my control. In other circumstances, the delay wouldn’t have been an issue. We weren’t there for that long, it was clear that the problem was due to exceptional demand, rather than any incompetence by the chef, the staff couldn’t have been any more helpful and friendly and the food was delicious when it did arrive. But, I was going to be late for a gig, so I was rather melodramatically freaking out. It didn’t help that I’d already had to cancel a gig this week (NOT Gig 88); the thought of it happening a second time in three days was enough to make me have a near breakdown. That said, the meal was really delicious, so it’s handy to know that I’m able to postpone mental episodes in the face of fit food.
We managed to get to The Castle for about quarter past eight, and, fortunately, the first act was still on. The running order had also been switched around to accommodate my tardiness, so I actually had plenty of time to sit back and enjoy the show. Well, technically, I was stood up, but you know what I mean. During the first interval, I had to go and move the car – the car park shut at 10pm and I was due to go on later than that – so that was a whole other faff I could do without.
I was on second to last, and, as it turned out, I only had time to do two stories: So Unfair – A Thundercats Fanfiction and The Band. So Unfair went down really well. It was the story that I liked most, but it got an even better reaction than I had anticipated. I wasn’t entirely happy with my performance; I was tripping over my words far more than I should have. Luckily, the audience enjoyed it enough for this not to be an issue.
The Band felt more of a struggle. It’s a story that revolves around one bit of wordplay, so the reveal of this is pretty much the only joke in it. This made me much more self-conscious of my word trippery and I was desperate to get to the end. I was so fed up with it that I actually cut it a bit short and just made a feature of me getting fed up with it (a la Gig 64). It’s a handy trick to have up my metaphorical sleeve.
So, the lesson learned from the night was: don’t worry about things you can’t control, it will probably be alright anyway. Obviously, I won’t pay heed to this lesson next time something like this happens. C’est la vie.