Gig Number One: Felix Bar

Welcome to the 2013 edition of this blog. For the rest of the year I'm going to keep a record of all my performances so we can watch how a stand up comedy career can progress from one gig to the next.  This will be an attempt to show you the highs and lows that come with live performance.  By the end of the year you should have a clear idea on what the life of a comedian can really be like here in Australia.

First gig:  Felix Bar.

I hadn't performed since the 3rd of December when I hosted the final night of season five of The Shelf.  I was beginning to get that feeling everyone has when they're away from work for a substantial amount of time:  maybe I could never go back? I figured I had to get back in the game stat, so I contacted my friend Karl Chandler (Karl produces some quality rooms in Melbourne and is also one half of the incredibly successful podcast "The Little Dum Dum Club") and booked in some open mic spots.

An open mic spot at a comedy night is usually found early in the show and lasts anywhere between 5-10 mins.  These spots are important as they're where new comedians can learn the game and experienced comedians can trial new material.  I decided to perform some material that I wrote in September to get the feel and rhythm for performing back on track.  The rhythm is sometimes the most difficult aspect of stand up comedy in my opinion.  If you can find the cadence of your routine you go a long way to making it funny.  You can have the funniest jokes in the world but if the rhythm is all over the place the jokes will fail.  If you want an example of good rhythm in stand up comedy check this brilliant piece by George Carlin here.

Karl gave me a pretty sweet spot:  last in the second bracket.  There were over a hundred punters at the gig and they were buzzing for a good night.  My friend Michael Chamberlin was hosting (My favourite part of watching Chambo perform is that he sprinkles his jokes in his stories in places I wouldn't think to and often takes me by surprise) with the hilarious Randy the feature act.  I was pleasantly surprised that there were no nerves in getting back on the stage and it felt quite euphoric to blast out the cobwebs.  The gig went down really well.  (Don't worry, if you think this is going to be a series of me talking myself up wait until we have some sucky gigs to contend with.)

The setlist for the night was:

Turning 40

Car Crash in Adelaide

Invite Who You Want To Parties

Being An Arsehole

Little Boy Joke

That is eleven minutes of stand up right there.  It was a great night that not only included a great crowd but some good comedian buddies including Greg Fleet, Jeff Green, Cam Marshall, Karl Woodberry and Xander Allen.  The highlight of the night was meeting some punters who are big fans of "Can You Take This Photo Please?" and listen to the podcast while driving back and forth for work in the Northern Territory.  A special mention must also go to young man Ciaran Lyons, a 15 year old lad from Perth who I was lucky enough to see perform his second ever gig in Melbourne.  This kid has some real skills and potential.  I look forward to him taking my work as he gets older!

The next gig:  Five Boroughs (The new Softbelly in Melbourne)

Justin Hamilton

9th of January, 2013

Fitzroy North