As I walked to Caz Reitops on Smith St for my gig I checked the temperature on my smartphone and it was 7 degrees at 8.20pm. This didn't fill me with much hope for the gig as I knew if I had the opportunity to stay in by the metaphoric fireplace in my metaphoric hunting lodge I definitely would have. There was no way I was going to cancel on the producers of the room Trav Nash and Dean Eizenberg though. I may be many things (good and bad) but I'd like to think I'm at the very least professional. We've talked before about how the gig at Death Star Canteen provides a good opportunity to play around with new material or find a new way into old material giving it a new spin. I had a couple of ideas in particular that I wanted to experiment with and this would be my last opportunity before I head overseas next week. The gig had a great line up too: Tommy Dassalo, Jonathon Schuster, Sean Bedlam, Alasdair Tremblay Birchall and Trav Nash in the first half while Dil Jayasinha, Tony Besselink, Luke Whitby and Beau Stegmann brought it home in the second.
This was a really great gig and the people who braved the cold to check it out were in for a proper treat. Throughout the show I attempted to bring a camaraderie to the night by interacting with the acts and building in some ongoing jokes into the DNA of the show. It was loose and fun and I think I may have discovered a new mini set of material. Have a look at the setlist and we'll go from there:
"You Can Shit In Your Hat"
Country Folk vs Inner City Living
"Are You Aboriginal?"
Bomb Chucker and "I'm Sorry"
Afghanistan: Marching on ANZAC Day
“Hey, be careful!”
Soldiers are funny.
Port Power Supporters in Adelaide
Journey into Kabul
Afghanistan: The Worst Sentence Ever
Today's Tragedy is Tomorrow's Bouncy Castle
This setlist was pretty long to open up a gig but I did this for two reasons. First of all we still had people walking in when the show began so I wanted to give the room as much time as possible to settle before I brought on the first act. Second I knew I would make up the time by doing my best to roll straight through the acts so we could make up time during the first half. There was some ad libbing after each comedian had finished their set but it was kept to a minimum and helped get us slightly back on track. Looking back on it though it was still a bit too long but the new material seemed to have a good form to it.
As always the stuff in bold italics is brand new material or ideas that I have played around with in the past and I'm re-introducing into my act. I have to thank Adelaide comedian Nick O'Connell for reminding me about my bouncy castle remark which really seemed to find a good place to live at the end of the Afghanistan material. The material contrasting country folk to inner city living took some fragments of previous routines and found a new place as a lead in to the story about the woman asking the Sri Lankan man if he was Aboriginal. When you see something that awkward happen in real life I feel that it is my duty to tell as many people as possible from the comfort of the stage. The routine about "Bomb Chucker..." is also pilfered from previous material I had performed for a couple of months last year and had let slip to the wayside. It was good to bring this stuff back out and find it a new context.
Here's the material I performed at the beginning of the second half.
Tripping and Farting
Laughing at a Funeral
Laughing in Greek Class
This is turning into a small set as well and I quite enjoy performing this stuff in a block. I tried this at Five Boroughs the week before and enjoyed how it came together. It is relatively tight and is has different types of rhythm within it due to the fact I play with the tension of the narrative in the final piece by using silences and pauses. It is also just loose enough that it feels like you're just returning for a chat with the audience before you bring on the next act, a good way to have the audience re-connect with the show that doesn't feel like you're beating them over the head with the ha ha stick.This ended up being a fun night. I even had a couple of drinks for the first time in a while. At the end of the show I checked the temperature and it was a really funny three degrees. Three degrees! What a devastating surprise to be presented with when you've just had a really great night at your job.
23rd of May, 2013