2014 Gig Twenty: Adelaide Fringe

So I didn't know this was going to be happening out the front of my venue every night:  

Have a closer look if you don't notice at first.

 

They're not only cooking pigs but have their heads proudly crackling away for everybody to see.  I'm not into this.  In the last decade I've managed to cut red meat entirely from my diet and only eat a small portion of white meat.  Even now I am attempting to cut that as far back as possible.  I'm not one of these people that harasses others for eating meat for this is my choice.  I don't like the way animals are harvested for meals.  I don't necessarily think we shouldn't eat meat, we are animals and everything is up for grabs. It is the cruel ways that animals are treated that I have the problem with and anyone who says that they're dumb and don't know what is happening has never heard the distress in an animal as it is lead to the slaughter. Without getting on my high horse (a horse that I will never ride but will gladly feed it carroty snacks and keep well away from the glue factory) I don't really want to be turning up to my venue every night to see some poor pig's head being cooked.

The problem is I've turned up halfway through the festival and unfortunately the people who enjoying cooking pigs heads out in the open were definitely here first.  So I will have my little rant here, I will warn my friends who are coming to the show not to look to their left and I hope that everyone who eats from there gets the shits.  I am glad that my show is a tight show that tells one particular story.  If this was a straight stand up show I would end up talking about this for hours.  At night when I walk out of my venue and look over it feels like I've walked onto the set "Lord of the Flies" and taking into account some of the folk down at the Garden I might not be too far off the mark.

 

Ahem.  Shake it out.  Back to the show.

 

There were some pitfalls that I had to avoid for the second show and in all honesty I did stumble a few times.  The set list was:

 

Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994

 

I was attempting to avoid trying to repeat how I delivered a joke from the previous night and still approach it in a fresh manner.  When you nail something early in a run you can make the mistake of trying to deliver that routine word for word.  Stand up doesn't work that way.  Well, not for me anyway.  You have to be in the moment and deliver your stories like this is the first time you've thought of the tale.  If you try to replicate a certain type of delivery you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

I was aware of this when going in.  I made certain that I cleared my mind as best as I could before hitting the stage and I made a deal with myself that I would forget the previous night.  Then at certain times in the show I did exactly what I promised that I wouldn't do.  It was only a few times in an hour show but I was frustrated that I fell into a habit.  It is amazing how your head works as your mouth delivers lines and I was berating myself when I made those mistakes.  It is really annoying.

 

Here's a much better sight of the Garden as the sun sets and the lights come on.

 

Otherwise I was pretty happy with the show.  It can still use some tightening and I think my performance hasn't quite hit the stride I'll be happy with but it feels like it is moving in the correct direction.  It is great to finally add the production to the show (which consists of music at the start and end...not much really.  What I'm attempting to pull off is the feeling you have when you watch the end of an episode of an HBO show.  See if you can pick up that feeling when you come along.  If you come along!)  and there are certain signposts in the narrative that help the audience know roughly where they are in the tale. I can only speak for myself but it feels like the show zips along at a nice pace.

Before the show started I got back into flyering, something I have not partaken in for a number of years.  With so many shows on at the Garden I figured I had to get over myself and jump back into the fray.  I was pretty depressed at the idea.  My first Adelaide Fringe show was back in 1996 and I remember being told by the older comics that if you do it right you won't have to flyer when you're older.  Either I have made a grave mistake somewhere or times have changed.  I'll be honest with you in that I feel like I am suffocating on humble pie but I think I slipped back into the grind of it well. Not brilliantly but well.  The big lesson from flyering yesterday?  Don't approach pretty girls about coming to your show because they're on the way to see Wil Anderson.  Good to see some things do in fact remain the same.

I've also been trying to keep costs down and have been catching the train back to Mum's place each night.  The tunnel under the train platform is closed so I have to walk back along where I came from and walk down stairs to get across to where I have to be.  I stood in the middle of the tracks last night and looked at the city and back at the station. It was suitably eerie, like something from the TV series "The Returned" (one of my favourite shows from last year.)  Check this out:

 

Feels like something bad could happen here...like getting hit by a train because you're taking a photo.

 

I think the only thing that could have creeped out that photo more is if I'd turned to my right to walk home only to find a man cooking a whole pig on a spit, the skin crackling, the snout blackening and my dreams infused with the type of terror one associates with little boys fighting over who gets to wield the conch.

 

Justin Hamilton

5th of March, 2014

Croydon