Last night I was flown to Mildura to perform for the Sunraysia Rural Counselling Service to perform for the farmers in that area. Tegan Higginbotham was booked as my support and we flew down yesterday afternoon. We were picked up from the airport, taken to the venue where we could meet Sue Rudd (the lady in charge of the event) and her team then droppe off at our hotels to freshen up before the gig. This was a corporate gig and you may remember the one I wrote about roughly six weeks ago. When you're asked to perform at one of these events it is important to know that you are not only booked for your performance but your time as well. This was a night put together to entertain the farmers who are having a tough time in certain areas of their industry. They're proud people who want to come out, have a talk about their situation yet also be able to put it all aside for one night and enjoy a meal and some entertainment.
With that in mind there is a real responsibility to do your best. Luckily for us everyone who was involved in the night were so lovely and helpful it made our jobs so much easier. The host was a local ABC personality Anthony Gerace who did a great job of keeping the night flowing. As you know I have a lot of respect for hosts and yet can also be a bit hard on someone if I think they're not doing a great job. I am; without a doubt; a host nerd. I thought Anthony did a great job keeping everything to time, getting the audience in a great mood and knowing when to start things up again. His job was a subtle one but an important one and I thought he was excellent.
Tegan also did a great job as support. I was mightily impressed because she by far the youngest person there. Can you imagine being in your twenties and having to entertain older people who aren't necessarily going to remember being that age let alone have any chance of relating to you? I've been in these situations when I was younger too and it is one of the joys of being 40 is that I am at that perfect age of relating to elders and youths. I'm possibly starting to leave the solar system of the young but luckily my immaturity in general should hold me in good stead. Suffice to say Tegan put together a smart set that garnered many laughs and so therefore nailed it in the opening slot.
I was headlining this event and this was my setlist:
Partying During the Week
Invite to Parties
Being an Arsehole
Little Boy Joke
Break Up Through The Ages
Afghanistan: Marching on ANZAC Day
"Hey, Be Careful!"
Tripping and Farting
One on One Embarrasment
No Need To Share All Your Opinions
Glitter in Invitations
People Wearing Your Glasses
This was a really fun gig. With this type of show you have to be aware of two things: first of all you want to set a tempo that the audience follows. Let them know you're in charge and that you're all going to have fun. Second is that you have to feel them out as they go along, see what is going to stick and how far you can push things. As an example I swore once in the first twenty minutes and once it received a big laugh I knew I could relax with my language. Not that there was a lot of swearing but where it was important to the joke, (example if you're telling a story where someone in the context of the tale tells you to "go fuck yourself", changing it to "go pleasure yourself" is not only going to sound weird but throw the audience because nobody, not even the Amish, speak like this. I wish the Amish would...give them time) I could now safely leave it in.
I was booked to do 30 minutes and ended up just under 40. I also like including some audience interaction at these types of gigs as it allows the funny person sitting at the table to throw some stuff into the show. Everyone has funny friends and if you have that situation, why not use to the night's advantage? It helps bring the gig closer to the performer and therefore make it (hopefully) even more inclusive. Afterward we hung around and had a drink with the farmers and I enjoyed their company a lot. Very funny men and women who don't mind a bit of the old school Australian larrikinism which appears to be slowly fading away with the older generation.
I was dropped off at my room quite late and enjoyed the snacks in the fridge (hello Aero Caramello block of chocolate...yes I will eat half and still complain I can't work out where this weight is coming from) before settling in with a good book. When I say a good book I mean a terrifying book of thrills and chills by Joe Hill. Nothing gets the blood pumping better (for me) than reading something spooky while in a hotel room you've never been before. Loved it!
A big thank you to Sue and all involved in the producing of this gig. It was a great night and it is always a pleasure to be able to travel and meet new and interesting people in this country.
29th of June, 2013