After starting 2014 on a bit of a tear I felt a sudden downturn in energy at my last couple of gigs. I felt a weariness that I would normally feel toward the end of the year and this bothered me. I believe that not really having any time off had caught up with me and finding myself back at gigs I've performed at quite a bit in the recent past meant that there was a certain lack of fire. I decided to take myself out of the game and work on some other projects instead knowing full well that the year is about to get very busy. Knowing when to have time away from the stage can be as important as knowing when to go hard. If I returned to performing and I was a little rusty there was nothing to worry about. I'd find my feet quickly, it would just be about rating yourself at where you're at and not where you're used to being. The Kodiak Club was once known as a club called Ginger Bar and a place I frequented when I first moved to Melbourne back in 2002. Even though the decor has changed quite a bit since those days and the clientele is very different the ghosts of good times still infuse the venue. I can't help but be in a good mood every time I enter the club.
I was supposed to perform there a couple of weeks ago but the show was cancelled that night due to the fact it was 40 degrees outside and everyone in Fitzroy was either hiding in air conditioned comfort or had fled to the beach. I'm glad we didn't perform that night because there was no way anyone was going to enjoy the experience. Last night I wandered down halfway through the first half and was rapt to see a good sized crowd enjoying the show.
I decided that I would play around a little bit at the start of the gig and then I would perform some of the routines from my new show "Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994" to give those gags some time to stretch their legs onstage. The set list was as follows:
Demi Lardner Final Joke Banter
Rather Hang With My Ex Girlfriends
Thinking About Kids
“I Don’t Give A Hoot!”
Hushed Angry Conversations
I Stopped A Fight
Shit In His Hat
Pro Choice/Anti Idiot
Imagine I Might Be A Bad Dad
Destroying Right On Guy
Paul and Basic Instinct
Apart from the opening bit of banter which built off the act that was on before me (the always delightful and current "Raw Comedy" and "So You Think You're Funny?" champ Demi Lardner) the theme for the spot was about whether I would make a good father or not. The idea behind this is rather than just perform a collection of unrelated routines I would run a theme between all the stories that helped paint a picture of me and where I'm at in my life. I have never said the "Rather Hang with My Ex Girlfriends" and "Grandpa Walks" ideas onstage before but they felt like they could be something in the future. I'll hold onto those ideas and work them at my next open mic gig.
As you can see from the above picture the room is a great size for working on material and I look forward to frequenting it in the future. I was glad that I didn't work on too much new last night. There were a couple of little things that I did wrong with my routines (eg have the order of beats in a story flipped) that nobody would have noticed but (for me) blunted the effect of the routine. I also added a few words to a story that I've never added before that mildly changed the complexion of the routine. Luckily I had a couple of comics point that out at the end of the night and it has given me food for thought. Do I keep the changes or keep it the way I normally perform the routine? All good fodder to chew over this early in the game.
I enjoyed last night but I'm going to keep the gigs to a minimum for another week because once February kicks in there will be little time to rest. I have to fly to Sydney in a week or so to work on another project by day (more about this later) and I'll perform a few little gigs while I'm in town. Then it is off to India with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival to run workshops and headline some shows with fellow comedian Kate McLennan. I'll return to Australia at the end of Feb and then start my Adelaide Fringe run a few days later before returning to Melbourne for the comedy festival. I feel like I'm planning the next few weeks like an AFL coach holding one of his older players back in the pre-season so he'll be ready for the first round. If I was already feeling burnt out by the beginning of January this might be a more prudent way to begin the year. If someone can remind me to take more time off in December I would very much appreciate that too.
30th of January, 2014