Sometimes the best gigs have so little planning that you find yourself halfway through a routine and you're left wondering how you ended up at this point. Yesterday Greg Fleet and I let Adelaide Comedy promoter Craig Egan know that we were keen to jump up onstage together. Since it was the final Rhino Room show for 2013 we figured it could be a one off for the gig. Egan was keen so we were locked in as the last act before Dave Callan would finish the night off as the headliner. To back up the story a little Fleety and I have spent a lot of time hanging out over the past week and a half. I'm taking all of January off from producing podcasts for my show "Can You Take This Photo Please?" so I can concentrate on polishing my show for the festivals next year. I also like to give people some time off from me promoting the podcast and January is a good time to take a step back. I'm also looking at (hopefully) producing two podcasts a week next year so while I won't be publishing any early in 2014, I'm still going to be recording interviews to have in reserve.
Fleety and I have recorded two podcasts so far that I think are great and also show the breadth of our friendship. One is quite serious in tone (even if it is still fleshed out with many funny moments) and the second one is just us riffing. This is pretty much an example of how we hang out bouncing back and forth between serious and stupid within the blink of a sentence. Now because of this recording and hanging out we're in a pretty good zone with one another and the idea of us just going onstage to riff together felt pretty comfortable.
This is pretty our set:
Justin's World Title Fights With Santa
DC Comics vs Marvel Comics
The key to a successful ad lib combo is that Fleety and I never mentioned anything within the stories that the other one didn't just go with. If one of us said, "Look at that monkey on a tricycle" the other one would immediately reply, "He's handsome, isn't he?". These are basic tenets of improvising, that no idea is too outlandish and you always build on what the other person has said. We also took a very soft approach to the story telling, taking our time and not putting too much effort into the performance. This also gives you the opportunity to take into account what the other person is talking about without talking over the top of them. Nothing worst than watching two people trying to out duel each other onstage. Fleety and I knew that it didn't matter who was scoring the laughs because it was benefitting both of us.
There really isn't too much to talk about with this. We managed to talk through my three fights with Father Christmas for the world championship of boxing. There was quite clearly some bitterness on my behalf over the loss I experienced in the first fight (Nobody ever talks about how we fought in snow and that hampered me...then again nobody talks about how we fought the second fight in Rio where the heat hampered Santa) and there was even controversy over the third fight where people claimed we were too close as friends to put on the type of fight the world wanted to see. Riveting stuff and possibly would make a great 30 By 30 documentary.
Definitely some of the most fun I've had onstage all year. It was also a great reminder of what I love about the Rhino Room, a room that is so creative that you can nail a tight stand up set or improvise a whole story about boxing with Santa and it all feels like it should belong.
22nd of December, 2013