There was quite a bit of drama at our gig last night. The day had been a pretty relaxed one where I managed to sort out some work stuff that was building and still have time for a kick of the footy with some of the crew on this leg of Road Show. There is nothing better than going out to a park, running around like an idiot chasing a ball, having a laugh and then suddenly remembering you are in fact 40. Luckily as I write this it only hurts where my body is covered in skin.
I had also decided to record a podcast backstage at the gig because I have so many cool people surrounding me it seemed like too good an opportunity to waste. Dave Williams, Geraldine Hickey, Heath McIvor (who is the minder of puppet Randy) and Greg Fleet make for a pretty great group. With Mel and Katie doing all the important work behind the scenes (getting tech gear ready to go, booking the room, co-ordinating five idiot comedians) this has been such a good team the only issue I'd have with it is we're only together for four nights.
Before we get to the drama I'll fill you in on my set. The night before I felt I had opened with material that was better suited for the city so I decided to change it up a bit at the start to have a stronger opening. This was the first time that Yarram had the Comedy Festival Road Show come to their town so you want to give them a great night. Here's the setlist:
Car Crash in Adelaide
Tripping and Farting
Being An Arsehole
Little Boy Joke
No Need To Share All Your Opinions
Glitter In Invitations
People Wearing Your Glasses
Watching Movies Out of Context
A fun gig and possibly a little tighter than the night before. I did seem to swear a bit more than I would have liked especially with some older people in the audience. It didn't appear to bother anyone but I would have liked to have held back on some of the language. It wouldn't have been excessive for a city audience but for an audience receiving the Road Show for the first time it might have bordered on a bit too much. I don't know why that happens sometimes. You'll be onstage thinking too yourself, "Don't do that" as your mouth just goes and says things. It is a weird situation that only occurs a couple of times a year but nonetheless I'll attempt to rectify it for tonight.
While the show was playing I had decided to interview the comedians for my podcast "Can You Take This Photo Please?" (you can listen to the episode that covers this gig here). I had already interviewed Dave and was in the process of interviewing Hickey when Heath burst into the back room to tell us something terrible had happened. In the middle of Fleety's gig someone in the front row had slipped off her chair and possibly (as far as we knew at this moment) had a fit or something even worst. The show had to be stopped and an ambulance was called.
It turned out an older lady named Molly had been suffering from these turns where she would become too hot and essentially pass out. Luckily she was with friends and they were able to look after her. By the time the ambulance had arrived Molly had been able to get to her feet and walk out to the foyer to wait for the medics. How did I find this out? While I ventured out front to see if there was anything I could do to help it turned out nearly everyone in the theatre knew Molly so there were plenty of people filling me in on her medical history, where this had happened last and how she would recover from it. It turned out Molly was also a tough old bird, good Australian country stock that is so tough she informed everyone she would be fine and the show should continue without her. I love her!
We had a protracted break and then when it was time to start the second half Dave reset the night and we continued from that point. That is the amazing thing about stand up that I love so much. It is a robust and muscular art form, it can take these types of moments and ride out the shockwaves and then continue without losing the energy in the room. Quite a few years ago in Traralgon when I was hosting that leg of Road Show I had a young boy have an epileptic fit at the beginning of the second half of the gig. We immediately stopped everything, had people move out of the theatre and into the foyer. A couple of the comedians joined me in talking to everyone outside while the medics came in and saw to the lad and once we knew he was going to be okay we restarted the show. It was a booming night and I remember the young lad and I exchanged gifts (I sent him some Triple J cds and he posted to me the cutest card) in what ended up being a weird but lovely highlight of any Road Show I've been a part of.
An amazing night in the end, you never know what is going to happen when you hit the stage, how your night will pan out and where you'll be at by the end of the night. Considering out day began with a kick in the park and ended with high drama, there is just a little possibility that in the end, this is one of the many stories that take place on the Road Show.
4th of July, 2013