2014 Gig Eight: Funny on the Brunny

I felt a strange sense of anti climax leading into my gig at Funny on the Brunny. After the weekend in Tasmania where I debuted my new solo show "Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994" I was pretty pumped.  Having taken 2013 off from writing a solo show I feel inspired to hit the festivals with a brand new offering and after the gigs on the Apple Isle I had that first sense of what the show can be.  I returned to Melbourne and figured my next step was to work on some new material and bring back a few routines to work into shape for the clubs.  I want to have a completely different club set compared to solo show so I can keep fresh throughout the first quarter of the year. This was the plan but in the lead up I couldn't find any inspiration.  I picked out some material I hadn't performed for a while and threw some new ideas together to see what shape they would take.  Yet on my way to the gig I couldn't concentrate.  I had a lack of energy and when I arrived at the venue there was a distinct lack of performance energy. I kept looking at my notes and talked with some of the local acts but nothing was really happening.  At one point I spent more time debating whether I should play this...

 

One of my all time favourite pinball machines.

 

...than I did going over my notes and game plan for the night.  This happens sometimes but it has bothered me a little because apart from the solo shows and the headline spot at Five Boroughs I have felt sluggish and a little off my game.  Let's check the set list:

 

Country Folk vs Inner City Living

Mum and Spider

Turning 41 A Bit Shitter

Girl On the Tram

Hurting For No Reason

Medical Exam

Fix Your Flaws

Make-A-Wish Comedian

 

The Mum and Spider piece was originally a part of the I Stopped A Fight routine but was edited out because it was taking us too far away from the story.  It was an unnecessary tangent.  It was still getting some laughs though so I wanted to see what it was like by itself but it needs quite a bit of work.  The basic idea behind the story is definitely workable but it is going to need a new context before it finds its feet.

A new bit about a medical exam I received last week felt under done as well.  I wanted to ad lib the basic idea onstage and see what I could find but I think it once again needs more work before it hits the stage.  That work may mean it sits in the back of my head for a while or possibly some actual writing around it.  Either way there was something a little uninspiring about the piece at this point.  In the story I took about having my first physical and I think it is a difficult piece to get a read on because it feels like it has been talked about before.  I need something a little more inspiring before it gets a retread, something that makes it unique to my experience and not mining ground that has already been covered.  There were a lot of young people at the gig too and I don't think it talks to them in this format.  Why would it?  When I was their age I didn't give a fuck either.

 

This is part of the ceiling at the hotel.  Yes, the ceiling.

 

I think the main problem was that I would have loved to have been performing the new solo show.  I am keen to get back into the polishing of the show and making some new edits.  Last week I did nothing but concentrate on the latest draft and then when I was in Tasmania did nothing but think about the show and how I was going to perform.  I was a little uninspired to return to the clubs and my lack of preparation left me a little behind the eight ball.  Last year I loved working the clubs but this year my eye is on a different prize.  I'm going to have to get my head back into gear or I will continue to have uninspiring club gigs for the foreseeable future.

 

Justin Hamilton

21st of January, 2014

Fitzroy North