Gig Number Seven: The Local Port Melbourne

One of the few problems with performing in Australia is that you can sometimes find it difficult to find stage time even in a city as big as Melbourne.  The previous week had been taken up with seeing Neil Gaiman and Elvis Costello on consecutive nights sandwiched between seeing the movies "The Impossible" and "Django Unchained" to be reviewed for Botica's Bunch in Perth. It ended up being a week between gigs before I stepped up as the feature act at The Local Port Melbourne .  This time off was a minor setback as I had been attempting to find the flow in some of my material and also get back to loving performing.  In all attempts at being as honest as possible, I am not feeling the joy in stand up.  At the end of last year I was loving it but this year it has been a mild struggle to concentrate on what I need to do.  This is what is usually referred to in the real world as "having a job" and stand up comedy is indeed a job at this point. I hadn't performed at The Local Port Melbourne before and found it to be the perfect room to blow out the cobwebs.  The room is a long rectangular shape with a cabaret seating arrangement.  There were a good number of punters in the room but unfortunately nobody sat in the front two rows of tables.  This meant that not only did you have a "comedy moat" to deal with but you also couldn't see anybody through the glare of the lights.  Also just before I was introduced one of the tables closest to the stage had four meals served meaning a portion of my audience would have food in their mouth, often a setback for laughter.

The first half of the show was hosted by Joel Creasy with three acts Karl Woodberry, Tegan Higginbotham and Bart Freebairn.  I decided that I would continue to work on the routines that I would like to be a part of my headline material for at least the first half of the year and also throw in some new ideas to see how they'd go.  The setlist, with new material in bold, was as follows:

 

Turning 40

Car Crash in Adelaide

Invite Who You Want To Parties

Being An Arsehole

Little Boy Joke

Gastro

Losing Weight

Tripping and Farting

Twitter and Felix

“That Won’t Get Him A Job.”

German Village

No Need To Share All Your Opinions

 

The "Gastro" material was originally performed at The Shelf last year and was slotted in as part of my headline material during a brief run in Sydney.  There is a part of that material which I really enjoy, a bit that is quite dark but not to the point of attempting to shock, just a real feeling many of us potentially can relate to.  I won't tell you what the bit is but Sydney comedian Ben Ellwood had stated to me that it was his favourite part of the night he saw me perform thus solidifying that I was onto something good.  "Losing weight" had some good ideas but was too loose to be considered a complete success and "Tripping and Farting" was a true story that resonated well with the audience.  If it sounds base then you are correct but that is the point of the story.  The only bit that didn't seem to work at all was the "German Village" tale but I think my way into it was clunky and it deserves to have another go but only once I've given it some more thought.

I thought the gig was a pretty good one, the audience made me work in a good way and I think I learned some new lessons about the material I performed.  Once again I think maybe I've slipped back a little from where I would like to be but with a week of gigs coming up I'm hoping to gather some real momentum before I begin to travel around the country.

For now the trick is to get the balance correct between working on my stand up and the other projects I am currently working on.  At the moment I'd say my stand up is getting the short end of the stick but I can hopefully rectify this soon.  At the end of the night a young girl gave me this little picture she had drawn while I was onstage. She didn't tell me her name and gave it to me in passing as she walked down the stairs but being the vain comedian that I am, I was chuffed to see that she seems to have drawn me with a thinner face than I deserve.

 

 

Yes I know there is no jaw definition in the drawing, I just choose to believe that she drew my face thinner.  The vanity of the working comedian strikes again.

Justin Hamilton

January 30th, 2013

Fitzroy North