Gig 127: The Comedy Store

If you've never experienced someone screaming when you hit a pocket of turbulence before then I am here to say it is a great way to clean out the pores.  Flying into Sydney today was always going to be a bumpy proposition especially when venturing from the cold of Melbourne to the warmth of NSW.  Add to that the bush fires and a Dave McKean inspired skyline and you just knew it was going to be more ups and downs than smooth descent.  Unfortunately the woman across the aisle from me (who had already been snapping at her twin daughters to such an extent I was certain she was going to bash one to death with her iPad) was a bad flyer and when we suddenly dropped in the air she let out a scream that Jamie Lee Curtis would have thought was over the top.  It was all summed up best by the little boy sitting in the seat in front of me, who turned to his Mum and said, "I'm only scared because the lady is scared and the flight is bumpy".  Well played young man. The next few days are the busiest and most important days of the year for me with a lot of work taking place in a 24 hour window.  I have scaled back the amount of gigs I've performed over the last few weeks to finish off a couple of projects, build up my back catalogue of podcasts, book the line up for the final season of The Shelf for the year (tickets can be found here and check out for the opening night line up) and work on a project that I will talk about soon.  Tonight's gig at The Comedy Store begins another run of ten gigs in ten days before I return to Melbourne which will then be followed by more gigs at the "Sit Down Comedy Club" in early November.

Walking from my hotel to the Store I couldn't help but feel as if I'd wandered onto the set of "Breaking Bad" as a red sun shone overhead and a mean wind whipped around my body.  I like to walk to gigs when I can so I can think through the material I'm going to play with and what I'm going to try to achieve for the night.  As I have been mildly out of the game it felt like it would be a judicious step to stick with what is comfortable so I can get back into proper performance mode.


Here is the set list


Turning 40

Car Crash in Adelaide

Invite to Parties

Fix Your Flaws

Gravity Naysayers

Destroying Right On Guy

Paul and Basic Instinct

No Need To Share All Your Opinions

Watching Movies Out of Context

Glitter in Invitations



I wasn't very happy with my gig.  I definitely felt like someone who hasn't performed as much in the past month and felt a little sluggish onstage.  I also made a mistake in working on some new material in the middle of my set that I wasn't quite across.  With a sore throat from a recent cold and not enough stage time under my belt, this was the type of gig that I should have just stuck with exactly what I knew.  Instead I squeezed in some new material that worked the previous week at The Public Bar but I was a little uncertain of the material's intent in relation to this set.  What material came before gave the new routines a different feel and I wasn't expecting that.  It felt like an awkward crunch of gears onstage and I chastised myself internally as soon as I knew what I was doing.

I know that sounds quite strange to read that I wasn't in total control but often you'll make decisions on the fly and more often than not your instincts are correct.  I didn't feel this time they were and while the set was successful it could have been a lot better.  I hate not being at the top of my game and will dwell on this until I have my next gig. Thankfully that is tomorrow and there are two for the night so that should get me back to where I feel happy.

It also reminded me that if I am going to work on new material I need to think of the intent of the routine before I walk onstage.  If I know where I'm going with a topic it makes it much easier to work it out but when you're uncertain it can lead to doubt and then that is where you can become a little lost.  Also on these nights at The Store there are so many comedians on you should stick to your time and unfortunately my new material made me lose track and I was a bit over.  Another reason to be down on myself over this gig, too many rookie mistakes and I should know better.

The positive to come out of this is the reminder that I'm not infallible and if that is the lesson learned then it is a timely and positive one.  For now I'll go straight to bed as tomorrow starts early for me and finishes late.  Time to knock this cold on the head and get my head back in the game.


I still get a buzz out of seeing my name up on the board.


Justin Hamilton

17th of October, 2013