Gig 124: Floriade

Cal Wilson nailing it in the Moonlight Lounge.  

How good does that look?

 

I haven't performed for nearly two weeks after taking some time off to return to Adelaide to see family for my birthday.  Once I returned to Melbourne I have been under the pump to nail a couple of other projects so it was a good time to take a little breather from performing.  Between working on a few projects and obsessing about the final episodes of Breaking Bad (if you enjoy reading about your favourite shows I heartily recommend Alan Sepinwall's blogs, click here for more) there is barely enough time to remember to eat, sleep and do whatever else takes my fancy.

Floriade announces itself as "...the perfect place to experience the beauty of spring over four distinctive weeks."  The grounds are beautiful with lush flower arrangements, ferris wheels and gardens full of smoke and lasers making you wonder if you play your cards right Katniss Everdeen might pop out from behind a tree and punch you in the throat. Just when you have a hold on what you might find amongst the gardens you turn around and stumble across this:

 

This feels like a scene from "Miller's Crossing" if it was directed by a giant baby.

 

 

Apart from a flight into Canberra that put a capital T in Turbulence (there was a point where I was desperately attempting to remember my Jack Shephard skills) the day was an absolute delight.  I have been lucky that my last two gigs away from Melbourne have been with good friends that I enjoy watching perform.  This time it was with Cal Wilson and Matt Okine.  I had seen Matt perform quite a bit before but only in 10-15 minute spurts. Watching him craft a half hour spot was great and I understand why he has so much buzz around him.

Cal is always a treat whether it is watching her perform or having the opportunity to spend time with.  Her local material she played with at the start of her set was excellent and it reminded me that this is a skill that I don't work on enough.  I am so busy playing around with material that I often think of ideas for local gags but rarely give them the time of day.  This is usually because of time constraints and also not wanting to blow out a gig.  I think it is also a type of comedy I have never been engaged enough with. Watching Cal last night I couldn't help but wonder if I have let a string to my bow sag a little over the years.  Cal definitely gave me food for thought on what skill set I could begin to work on next.

Since I hadn't performed for a couple of weeks I decided to stick to a set list I feel comfortable with.

 

Partying During the Week

Turning 40

Car Crash in Adelaide

Invite to Parties

Hairy Baby

Fix Your Flaws

Being an Arsehole

Little Boy Joke

Tripping and Farting

No Need To Share All Your Opinions

Watching Movies Out of Context

Glitter in Invitations

People Wearing Your Glasses

Spooning

 

There was a slightly different emphasis in the Turning 40 material as I am now 41.  I have almost been performing that routine for a year.  That isn't very long in the life cycle of a routine but it is amazing how I can have times where I feel like I'm letting myself down for not trying something new.  Last night was not the type of gig to work on some new ideas though.  I am being paid very well for a gig that is about a night of comedy.  It isn't a night where people are there to see me specifically.  You save the smaller gigs for the nights where you work on some new ideas.  I do have some new ideas for the Turning 40 material though so I'll work on that in the next couple of weeks.

As you can tell from the top picture there were a lot of people at this gig and I loved it.  I especially dig having so many people crowded into a small space and right up alongside the stage.  I think Cal would have brought in a lot of people with her profile being high after successful appearances on Good News Week, Slide Show etc and I for one was more than happy to be a part of that.  Our host was a performer called Elle who brought out some excellent tricks that involved large knives and axes.  As you can imagine this grabbed the audience very quickly and once she had the audience's attention she brought on Matt who promptly nailed it.

I was on next.  There was a wide age of people in the audience and I would have felt bad about some of the adult content I was performing but there are plenty of warnings before you enter the venue stating this is a big boy's (and girl's) gig so if a kid comes along and learns something new, that isn't entirely my fault, right?  The only annoying part of the night was that there were also an inordinate amount of people attempting to record our spots and we had the staff politely ask people to refrain from doing this.  If you're going to a gig please keep in mind we're really not into people recording what we do. Wait for the DVD or just hold onto the memory in your mind.  Trust me, it will be a lot better than re-watching it on a tiny screen with dodgy sound.  I know people don't mean to offend but it is rather off putting when you're onstage and you don't want to bring the mood down while you're entertaining everybody else.

Elle had to run off to her other gig so I closed my set by throwing to a small break. When we returned I performed a very small piece just to grab the audience's attention before I brought Cal on.  The next piece I performed was the Hen's Night routine.  I chose this material for a number of reasons.  First it is a bad gig story so that allowed me to praise our audience for being so good.  Second it is short, sharp and shiny so it allowed me to get in, hit hard and not overstay my welcome.  The routine did its job and I could bring Cal on as quickly as possible.

Everybody at Floriade looked after us beautifully.  After the show the three of us had a couple of drinks up at the bar that was a lot of fun.  I've barely been drinking this month but it was nice to kick back with some expensive scotch and enjoy the company of my friends before retiring to bed.

 

Justin Hamilton

28th of September, 2013

Canberra