Gig 136: The Comedy Store

A delay in writing about this gig as there has been some work taking up my time since I returned from Sydney. If you listen to my podcast "Can You Take This Photo Please?" or read this blog previously you may be across a little project I've been working on.  Last night I had an opportunity to check out a rough cut of the pilot we produced for the Comedy Channel called "Stand Ups Sit Down".  The idea behind this pilot has me sitting down with two comedians at a time and talking to them about stuff you wouldn't normally get to hear on your run of the mill talk shows.  My first guests were Rove McManus and Wil Anderson (no point in opening small, right?) and the team behind the scenes have helped to put together a show that looks amazing and should be a lot of fun. Having watched the rough cut of the pilot I have hope this will turn into a regular series and if you're a fan of Australian stand up comedy and have access to the Comedy Channel you will be keen to check this out.

My final gig in this Sydney run started with me checking out Wil's third trial show.  As you might know from previous blogs Wil is ad libbing whole hour sets to get himself into the right mindset to write/work on his new show.  I thoroughly enjoyed all three as they were all very distinct from each other.  The first show had that great energy that you have on opening night.  That type of energy can get you through any doubts and usually leaves you quite exhausted at the end.  The second show had an audience that almost seemed set up they were that good.  Every person Wil spoke to in the crowd gave out a response that not only set up some great jokes but also thrilled the rest of the audience.  The third show was a little harder, the audience quite clearly enjoying themselves but collectively had a, "That was great, what next?" vibe that meant there was little time for Wil to relax. It was great to see all three gigs play out in such different ways and if you're in Sydney I strongly recommend that you get to one of the shows this week, Thurs-Sun at The Comedy Store.

I was on second to last and had to follow April Macie, a very cool and slick comedian from the States.  It was nice to go on after her and before Shane Mauss as it gave me an opportunity to compare myself to successful American comedians.  My set list was this:

 

Turning 40

Invite to Parties

Hairy Baby

Watching Movies Out of Context

 

There isn't much to report here as it was a great gig that I had fun in.  Keeping it tight has introduced a lot of different challenges that I have enjoyed.  Basically what you do is take some of your favourite routines, cut out the interesting parts that aren't as funny but help set up your character and aim to clear the fences with every second you're onstage.  This is not the way I would normally work and I don't think I'll travel to Sydney in the near future to work on new material.  This has definitely become a showcase town.  To say Sydney siders don't have the concentration to work through a long complicated story might be a little harsh but the Sydney comedy scene (for the most part) has definitely made that call.  The results are on the board though and the Store was pumping throughout my run.  I am looking forward to my solo show on the 29th of November though (You can find tickets here) where I'll be able to weave some material into different shapes.

 

Backstage with Wil Anderson, Danny McGinlay and Becky Lucas.

 

All up it was a pretty creative time in Sydney.  Ten gigs including one of the Just For Laughs galas, a pilot filmed, a bunch of blogs written and a lot of podcasts recorded. Some of the podcasts are already up at the TOFOP page (click here to find them) and I'll be releasing one with Wil tomorrow on CYTTPP talking about the process going into his run of gigs at The Store.  Next week it is Brisbane and then it is time for The Shelf to return so November looks like it is going to be one of the busiest months of the year.

 

Justin Hamilton

30th of October, 2013

Fitzroy North