Gig 119: Ballaratcat Comedy

I've attempted to take a mini break to take some time to reflect on where I'm at for the year.  Over September I plan to keep the gigs to a minimum to give myself some time to read, watch and listen to everything going on around me and inside of me.  There's a new story that appears to be bubbling underneath hidden away in my subconscious and the best thing to do it is feed it with as much information as possible so when it bursts forth it is as fully formed as possible. That description of how my imagination works is best visualised as an old EC Comic in a simple grid formation.  You have to give ideas time to breathe and as I'm finally getting to the end of my manuscript I'm starting to get itchy feet as to what will be next.  The protagonist in my manuscript is such a dark character and not the nicest of people so thinking like him is exhausting.  It takes me a while to shake him off after I'm done writing for the day.  This idea for the manuscript started after the stand up shows "The Killing Joke" and "Goodbye Ruby Tuesday" so it has been formulating for a while now.  It has been fun but I think the next idea is not far away and it looks like it will be a live show.

In the meantime I have also decided to shake off the exhaustion I felt at the end of August by getting fit again.  I was feeling pretty tired intellectually and emotionally by the end of The Shelf (season 8 is up and ready to go, for tickets go here) and I knew the best way to get back on track was to get back to the gym.  I've also cut out coffee, booze and snacks.  Well, I ate a bunch of snacks as I watched the election news pour in but that was "grief eating" so I deserved that.  Within a week I have begun to feel a change and noticed that I don't really miss most of the things I'd put aside.  I was also beginning to feel bored with everything at the end of August but the tide is changing and I'm embracing the new energy that is starting to kick in.

Friday night's gig in Ballarat was my first gig in a week and I definitely enjoyed the time away from the stage.  I'm a firm believer in getting away from what you love to help remind why you loved it in the first place.  Also when you're on the road and you have a gig with three friends (Karl Chandler, Tegan Higginbotham and Daniel Connell) you are pretty much going to have fun no matter what the gig is like.

The Ballaratcat Comedy night is a new one that takes place once a month and I have to say it was an excellent night.  I honestly think the audience was one of my favourite audiences for the year.  They were smart, alert and giving.  What more could a comedian ask for?  All the comedians did very well in the first half and I in particular enjoyed watching Chandler host the night, his new stories in particular appearing to open up a whole new avenue for his comedy stylings.

My setlist was as follows:


Partying During the Week

Turning 40

Car Crash in Adelaide

Invite to Parties

Hairy Baby


Fix Your Flaws

Being an Arsehole

Little Boy Joke

Gym Story

Breaking Up Through History

Sam Worthington versus Russell Crowe

No Need To Share All Your Opinions

Watching Movies Out of Context

Glitter in Invitations

People Wearing Your Glasses



A great looking room that my camera doesn't quite capture.


I was having so much fun that I launched into the "Sam Worthington..." routine and then had a mild panic attack that I didn't quite remember how it finished. It has easily been 18 months since I last performed this piece and I was about a third of the way through the routine desperately attempting to remember how to end it.  Then right toward the end I finally remembered and could guide the routine to the finishing line. It is a funny sensation while you're performing while your head is attempting to work out what is next but the jolt of adrenalin you feel when you do finally recall the ending in time is amazing.

I was booked to do half an hour and came in just under 45 minutes.  It never felt that long to me onstage and that is a good sign that you're having fun at your gig.  I think the combination of not performing for a week and getting back on track fitness wise made all the difference.  I felt great onstage, probably the best I've felt in a couple of months and it is no surprise that it coincided with the end of winter and the beginning of spring.

There are a few gigs this week and then I will be taking another week off before heading into a busy October and November.  This is the best time to slow down the pace so I can have a good think about where I want to be at the end of the year.


Justin Hamilton

8th of September, 2013

Fitzroy North