Gig 94: Agent 284

Last night was the perfect weather for walking the streets, windy and wet from the passing storm.  There was a mania in the streets.  The wind will do that.  My friends who work in kindergartens hate working on days like this as the kids lose all control, mad dervishes who would explode if you rubbed sugar on their bellies.  After walking through the streets of Fitzroy last night it is quite apparent that some kids don't grow out of their susceptibility to the elements.  I watched young men walk into on coming traffic oblivious to the danger until cars drowned out their laughs with sudden ear splitting horns.  I walked past a young couple who spat invective at each other over what appeared to be the classic, "Nah babe, I was just talking to her" defence of the adolescent man.  It was weird out there on the streets and the mood followed me into the room. With a lovely line up and an attentive audience I threw out the play book and ad libbed my way through a 40 minute set that looked a bit like this:


Lehmo and the Midget

Slipped a Trip

World Wardrobe Nightclub

Mickey D Meets Dennis Lillee

I Could Have Been Scottish

Raised in the 70s

A Girlfriend or Lego?

Country Folk vs Inner City Folk

Bomb Chucker and "I'm Sorry"

Aussies vs New Yorkers

Homeless in New York

Double Bi

The Art of Conversation

Destroying a Nerd



My intention going into this gig was to try and find some of the spark I lost with my new material.  It had been so strong a month before but the lack of opportunity to play around with it has left it feeling a bit flabby.  A wrong word here.  A misplaced gag there.  These are the type of things that nobody notices except for you.  It is always difficult to feel good about a gig that has gone well when you know deep down it could have been better.

I abandoned this idea though as I recognised some people in the audience and since I was feeling a bit uneasy after my walk to the venue I figured it would be better to just play with some ideas and see where that took me.  Some of it was successful while a couple of the ideas lacked some jokes but definitely had the right rhythm to be worth trying again. I have a charity gig this Sunday which will not be the right place to play with newer material but Monday at the Local will be a good place to see if I can find what worked again.  Next week it is a run in Adelaide so that will hopefully get my right back on track. It is an ongoing process and I want to see if this material still has the promise of a brand new show.

Still it is nice to know that you can walk onstage and ad lib your way through a set and still find ways to bring it all together.  It was a bit messy and at times found itself trapped down a one way street but otherwise there was definitely some ideas (especially the art of conversation) there that might bear comedy fruit in the near future.  I also recorded the set thinking I might put it out there as part of a podcast but with some of the subjects I talked about onstage I think it will remain right there.  To be honest I've always believed that comedy works better in person and this night in particular should be something that I shared with the audience who were there at the time.  That was our show and if you're thinking you're missing out don't fret, our time is just a gig away.

More importantly I really enjoyed the new room. Marcus and Sean are great guys and have already set a good standard with Commedia Dell'Parte.  Fingers crossed their new room will find the audience they deserve.  Besides, I can walk to the gig from my place and that is even more reason for everyone to give it a go!


Justin Hamilton

19th of July, 2013

Fitzroy North