I haven't performed at The Comedy Store in a couple of years. This was a regular destination for me in the early part of the century. I worked my way up from a couple of open mic spots to support to regular host to finally headlining. It always felt like the correct journey in what is possibly the best room in Australia. The beautiful red curtain, the familiar intro music, the audience packed in nicely and close to the stage, everything works perfectly. Even the stage is on an angle so you're taking in the whole room without ever feeling like if you turn too far to one side you will inadvertently leave the other side behind.
I used to initially travel from Adelaide to Sydney quite often and then when I moved to Melbourne it became an even more regular haunt. I would perform at the smaller rooms around town like The Friend in Hand, The Oatley Hotel, The Fringe Bar and Manly Boatshed. Then you'd settle in for a week at the Store and that would make up my run in Sydney for a few months. Then over time things changed. The managers at the old Comedy Store ran the product into the ground. I was never paid for my last run of headliner gigs which to this day still annoys, not so much for the money but because I know that the ex manager pulled a swifty and has another pub elsewhere, pulling in cash and never giving a damn about the people he ripped off. Bad skills. Hopefully some form of karma is waiting out there in the darkness for him.
Over the last few years my trips to Sydney have become rarer for no other reason than there has been a lot of work throughout Australia which has paid really well and that meant our biggest city just fell of my radar a little. There were the odd corporate gigs where I would fly into Sydney and be gone the next day but other wise my focus on performing here wavered. It was only at the end of last year that I decided to change this and flew up for a run of smaller gigs to get back into the swing of things. Now this time it is an opportunity to re-introduce myself to The Comedy Store and in turn the new managers.
With their jam packed line ups that comprise of 8 comedians (and a host) all performing roughly ten minutes each, it is a really opportunity to come out and treat the gig like a 20/20 cricket match. No time to find your feet, you hit the stage, dictate the terms and do your best to have as many jokes clear the fence in your allotted time. With that in mind this was the setlist.
Car Crash in Adelaide
Tripping and Farting
No Need to Share All Your Opinions
Watching Movies Out of Context
This ended up being a great gig. Cam Knight did an excellent job as the host, the audience were buzzed, there was a 12-year-old boy sitting in the front row who provided everyone with comedy fodder (head to my Twitter account here and you can click on a great photo of me performing with the little fella in the front row) and the sold out show was a huge success. Having not stepped onto that stage in such a long time, it felt like returning "home" from the moment the curtain slid to one side. In fact it felt like I'd only performed there a week ago.
It was so intoxicating to perform there again that it has inspired me to make certain I return to Sydney on a regular basis again and also spend more time once I am here. It was a great show, a great night and to be honest, a ten minute spot is so little pressure that you feel like you can just open up and enjoy the time you have onstage. I knocked down 45 minutes at the Harold Park Hotel on Tuesday night without breaking a sweat so 10 feels like a leisurely jog around the park.
I'm definitely looking forward to getting back onstage tonight.
12th of July, 2013