2014 Gig Twenty One: Adelaide Fringe

Check this tree out:  

This tree once doubled as a space ship.

 

When I was a young boy attending Croydon Primary School, this tree was a thing of beauty.  My friends and I used to climb all over it and in fact it used to double as the Millennium Falcon when we pretended we were in Star Wars.  There were certain branches in the middle of the tree that felt like we were in gun turrets and we could fire safely at marauding storm troopers that were attacking the only ship that could make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.  I walked past the tree yesterday and it felt right that I should stand there and reminisce for a moment especially with the memories that my solo show "Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994" is bringing to the fore.

 

Out the front of Mum's place is this tree:

 

Click on the picture to find the bird hiding amongst the flowers and leaves.

 

Every morning at about 7am I am woken by the sound of lorikeets singing and talking to each other.  I don't know where their nests are but they come down for a nibble and a natter without fail bang on 7am.  If you haven't seen me at any late shows as yet this is one of the prime reasons.  Like an old man I'm enjoying waking up to the bird song and I know if I have a late night that good feeling is going to transform into a bad feeling.  Who wants to be an arsehole who can't enjoy the secret language of lorikeets first thing in the morning?  Besides what is going to happen at a late show that I haven't seen thousands of times before?  I have a couple coming up over the weekend but for now I'm enjoying the natural alarm clock of nature.

 

Before this turns into a nature blog lets get to the show.  The set list was:

 

Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994

 

Last night the show hit the mark.  There is a point early on in your run where you will get the show so right that you will now have a benchmark that you will compare every show that comes after.  Only once you have surpassed that particular show will you be able to forget about it.  It is important to have good shows early because they will instruct you for the night that the show struggles.  There will be a show very early on where the timing will be a little off, the audience won't be quite as engaged and everything will feel like a slog.  Usually this is the night that the media is in!  Having a good show early will allow you to walk away from the hard night resolute that you have a show that works.  If you struggle early in the piece then you can be in all sorts of trouble because you don't really know if what you have is good or not.  I have had two good starts but this show was the one that let me know what it can be in the long term.

There were a couple of reasons for this.  First up the show was sold out which was a nice surprise.  I wasn't expecting that on a Wednesday night so I was chuffed to find a full house.  Also the audience laughed at everything and laughed hard.  In fact they were laughing so hard at certain jokes I was a little worried for the parts of the show where it changes gears and becomes a little more fragile.  Yet with every change in pace the audience was locked in.  This gave me a lot of confidence to play around with the material and the performance.  Finally I managed to avoid the mistake I'd made at times the previous night where I was attempting to emulate some of the marks I hit in the opening show.  Last night I performed the show as if it were the first and this lent the performance a fluidity that it sorely needs.

Before you think this is a big slap on the back for me I have to point out that in the next couple of nights I will have a tough show.  A season is a series of ups and downs.  As you get older and more experienced those ups and downs become a little less dramatic but there is going to be a show waiting in the shadows ready to take me by surprise.  When you have a win you have to enjoy it, take confidence from it and then prepare for the next show as if this never happened.

 

Oh...and tonight is media night.  So be prepared for what could be a very different blog tomorrow.

 

Justin Hamilton

6th of March, 2014

Croydon