2014 Gig Nine: Laughter at the Rochester

I had set myself the challenge to prepare more thoroughly for my latest gig after the previous night where I felt underdone onstage.  I haven't really clicked this year with my gigs and apart from the solo shows in Tassie I have lacked a little fire.  My goal for this gig was to get back on track and gain a little confidence. Unfortunately the day did not play out like I had intended.  I recorded two new podcasts for "Can You Take This Photo Please?" (which will be coming back on the first Tuesday of February) and then had to do some work on the Moosehead Award show I am directing. I also had some press for my Fringe season in Adelaide for the new show "Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994".  By the time I sat down to work on some new material for this gig I was working on a friend's show.  When I checked the time I had half an hour to get from my place to the gig.  This can only be described as a big failure on my behalf, my time management skills being slightly all over the place.

 

Here's the set list:

 

French Hotel Opportunity

Medical Exam

Invite To Parties

Fix Your Flaws

 

The top routine was a brand new one coming off the back of my experience in Hobart last Thursday.  In fact you can read about it on the blog and I wanted to see if it had legs as a stand up routine.  It seemed to work okay but there is potentially something slightly unreal about it.  Often you can add some sizzle to a story to make it work as a stand up routine and people will believe it 100%.  Then other times you can tell a story exactly as it happened and for some reason you can see the audience looking at you as if you're exaggerating.  This routine feels like it might have a touch of the exaggeration even though it is bang on the truth.  I didn't know that until I was telling it onstage but it was good to learn this early on.

The Medical Exam story still feels like it is lacking something and I might put it aside for a bit so it can sit for a while.  I'd like to think about it some more before I tackle it again. There is something lacking with the routine at the moment and once I give myself proper time to nut it out I am certain I'll be able to find the proper shape for it.

Something I have noticed at the beginning of the year is that there is a lack of energy in most of the audiences.  I don't know if it is because it is the beginning of the year and people aren't back into the swing of things yet.  It could also be people feeling just a bit tired after the scorching heat we had the week before.  There is little engagement with Melbourne audiences so far and while I'm prepared to take into account my sluggish start to the year there isn't really anything too inspiring about looking at blank faces when you begin your set.  You should never blame your audiences, my problems are my problems but after talking to a few comics who seem to agree I thought it might be worth mentioning in this blog.  When it is all boiled down I should just be better.

I'm pretty happy with bringing back the Fix Your Flaws routine.  It is one that has only ever had a handful of performances but every time I've given it a go it has worked.  I think this might become a staple for the beginning of the year especially if I nail the rhythm of the routine.  It is fun to perform and I should concentrate on putting together more routines like that for my next set.

I also have some time off before my next gig as I am seeing Arcade Fire tomorrow night and attending the Big Day Out on Friday.  January is already ahead of the curve show wise and since I didn't really have any time off it might be a good idea to enjoy this time away from the stage just to recharge a little.  Between getting back into gigs, preparing the solo show for Tasmania, recording new interviews for "Can You Take This Photo Please?", starting up my reviews, working on the Moosehead show and a few other odds and ends (not including walking roughly 10 kilometres a day...maybe we'll talk about this next time) I should be a little kinder to myself and accept I am mildly fatigued. Healthy mind and all that jazz.  I'm going to enjoy this down time and then hopefully find that hop in the step I feel I've been missing in the clubs.

 

Justin Hamilton

21st of January, 2014

Fitzroy North