I like to arrive at The Comic's Lounge in time to watch Anthony Salame's gig as this gives me enough time to get a feel for the audience. My usual routine didn't play out as normal. I'd been working on the Moosehead Gala preparations from 8.30am (with time taken to write this blog and edit my latest episode of "Can You Take This Photo Please?") before leaving the house around 3pm to head in to the city to meet Wil Anderson to record some episodes of his podcast FOFOP. (Here's the latest episode.) By the time I left Wil's apartment and then ran some errands I had enough time to grab a meal before heading in to see Moosehead recipient Joel Tito perform his show "The Trial and Death of Socrates (No Relation)." Joel's show was great (you should see it before the festival ends so book tickets here) but it finished at 9.50pm. I'm usually at the Lounge from 9.30pm. I arrived just after 10pm which was just in time to see Anthony's last routine. Not my favourite way of preparing for a gig but these things happen during the festival. I hit the stage a little unfocused and it made for an interesting set.
It is a word in Scrabble
Tripping and Farting
Laughing at a funeral
Car Crash in Adelaide
Port Power Supporters in Adelaide
Invite Who You Want To Parties
Being An Arsehole
Little Boy Joke
Breaking Up Through History
Getting Angry as I Get Older
“You’re An Ugly Hooker!”
No Need to Share All Your Opinions
Glitter in Invitations
People wearing your glasses
There was a lot of ad libbing all around the routines. Loads of asides, ideas explored and routines expanded upon. It was interesting that a lot of the improvised jokes went down a treat but then there were two routines where I bottled the punchlines ever so slightly. As an example the "Gym Conversation" has a great last line that is fun to perform and I didn't pronounce the words clearly which dented some of the reaction. Meanwhile in other parts of the show I was improvising a lot with jokes I'd never said before and they were going down a treat. I think sometimes when you're improvising more than normal you can almost relax when you return to the routines you know and therefore be slightly unfocused. It is like the improvising forces you to make certain you're still entertaining that when you then head into the material you know back to front, you can really take the foot off the pedal.
I also placed a piece of material much earlier in the set just to shake things up. I didn't make that decision before I immediately hit the stage but I had been thinking just last week I wanted to do something to make me focus differently onstage. After my opening routine I just had the "Tripping and Farting" story pop into my head and so I followed it to see where it would lead. It definitely put me in a different head space for the rest of the gig and brought out some interesting results.
One of those results was the routine "Laughing at a funeral", a story that was originally a small tale in "Three Colours Hammo". I hadn't thought of that story in years! In fact I may not have told that story since the last performance of the trilogy which was 2008. It slipped in well with what I was talking about and I might attempt to keep it part of the show tonight to see if it still has legs or only worked as a one off appearance. You can never quite tell if the energy in the room made a certain joke work or if it has long term possibilities for future gigs so you give it a few more opportunities to fly before you make your final decision. Either that or I'll completely forget about it until I re-read this blog sometime in the future.
The joy of working every night is you can not only take audiences by surprise but you can also bamboozle yourself. I find they make for the most interesting gigs.
17th of April, 2013