Some gigs just don't click. Last night I had one of those gigs where I decided I wasn't into the audience from pretty early on. I've enjoyed performing at The Roxbury Hotel in the past but some of the crowd last night was just a bit "meh" with a side order of "yuck". It is difficult to perform to an audience when you actively dislike them. When you're younger or new to performing stand up you should never blame the audience but I figure after nearly 20 years in the biz there are times when the audience really are a bit shit.
I had initially been booked to host but I am interviewing Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright on Monday for my movie podcast "Helliar and Hammo Dig Flicks!" so I had to see their new movie "The World's End" before then. Unfortunately last night was the only opportunity I could see the movie so I checked the running time and it looked like I wouldn't make the beginning of the show. I suggested they book another host and I'd gladly come down and perform a spot for free to make up for having to cancel the hosting duties.
As luck would(n't) have it the movie started on time, finished early, I caught a taxi right out the front of the theatre and we literally caught all green lights on the way to the gig so I arrived ten minutes before the show began. Hilarious.
I thought all the acts on the night were excellent but the audience seemed restless and I think it was due to the fact that the Roxbury has a competition on after the headliner where amateur comedians compete. This is a good idea but on this night the crowd was loaded more toward people there for the amateur competition so basically you're performing to people who are thinking about how their sets are going to play out or people waiting to see their friends. Add to that two annoying girls who did their best to unsettle one of the acts (failing miserably but that didn't deter them from constantly yelling out at the comic) and a few people up the front who honestly looked as if they had invisible cat poo smeared across their top lips, it just wasn't very inspiring.
This was my setlist:
Tripping and Farting
No Need To Share All Your Opinions
Watching Movies Out of Context
While I wasn't enjoying the gig I was still learning from it. I knew at the beginning of the set my attitude wasn't quite right, I was a bit unprofessional and my crime was that I was a bit unfocused. Once I realised what I was doing I changed tact and ended up producing a much better performance. It is rare for me to have my emotions sitting so clearly on the surface and it was a failing in me last night that I allowed that attitude to infuse my gig. I would say I have been average the last two nights in Sydney (for different reasons, read the previous blog for an explanation) and I should do my best to get that back on track for the next three nights at The Comedy Store.
In the end your excuses are your own and whether I was justified in believing what I thought of the audience, it doesn't excuse an unprofessional performance. I doubt the crowd would have been across this but I'm the one who has to be honest with myself and make certain I don't slip into this type of funk again. I won't dwell on it. These things happen. Now the job is to make certain I am better tonight, not just in attitude but also approach.
11th of July, 2013