I've been knocking back late night gigs this Adelaide Fringe because I've wanted to concentrate on getting my solo show as tight as possible. After returning from India last week (where I was co-hosting workshops and the Indian heats for the Raw Comedy Competition) my main priority was getting enough rest in preparation for the next six weeks of festivals. It is easy to blow out a night early and spend the rest of your time playing catch up. A friend remarked that we're getting older but it isn't due to a lack of energy that I've been conserving myself. It is more that I have seen a lot of late shows, had a lot of late nights and lost a lot of days sleeping. If I'm going to blow out a night I want it to be inspired, not just another night of hanging out. I like to think I pick my party battles. Adelaide has been in fine form and I walked into the city from Mum's place yesterday. A good long walk gives me plenty of time to think over the show and after the previous show where I messed up the order of stories slightly (not that anyone would have noticed but it wasn't a mistake I wanted to make again) it was good to wander at my own pace and ruminate about the show. Check out how beautiful Adelaide is looking at this time of the year:
I'm still at a stage where before my show I like to sit down and write down certain words that represent routines or jokes. This helps me order the show in my head. When I begin a run there are stacks of words and over time they dwindle until pretty much I can look at one word and that will represent the show. I've been doing this for a number of years now and I enjoy the routine. It is a good way to centre myself about 15 minutes before I have to head out onstage. This is what the list is looking like at the moment:
The setlist for the show is simply:
Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994
I thought my performance was better than the previous night and much of that came down to just being a little more on top of the material. By slowing down my performance ever so slightly it allowed me to concentrate on getting the order correct. Having said that I also had to work a little harder as the audience was a bit more reserved than any of the previous audiences. There is nothing wrong with that, just a fact of life. Whereas on previous nights I could roll into one routine after another, last night I was holding moments a little longer or selling jokes with more animation. Some of that may have been because it was the loudest it has been in the Garden since I opened Monday night. That makes sense with it being a Friday night and therefore more people in the city coming to check out shows or just blow off some steam. In any event I enjoyed having to flex some performance muscle.
After my show I caught up with some friends and had some down time while I waited for my next spot at Comic Strip. This show has been a staple at the Garden for a while now and is produced by my friends Asher Treleaven and Gypsy. Comic Strip is a unique late night comedy event that features stand up comedians alongside international burlesque performers like Miss Polly Rae and Kitty Bang Bang from the UK. I've said no to a lot of late night gigs but I like hanging out with Asher and Gypsy and I enjoy immersing myself in a different type of show. I didn't want to perform any material from my show and since I was the last comedian appearing on the bill I used material that I knew was punchy and fun to perform. The set list was:
Car Crash in Adelaide
Invite to Parties
Little Boy Joke
Glitter in Invitations
People Wearing Your Glasses
When you perform at a late night show after you're solo show it is like playing 20/20 cricket after playing in a Test match. It was a lot of fun and once again exercises a different set of muscles. You're only out there for a short amount of time so you're aiming for the fences with all your jokes. The girls were great as well especially Kitty who finished the night with a bottle full of soy milk and a very wet front row. It was nice to be a part of a show with some A-Grade burlesque that shows you how it is really done.
The bonus moment of the night was once I was done I walked out of the Garden and found a row of taxis waiting. I had some people I could meet up with but figured the night isn't going to get any better than this. I slipped into the cab and drove out of the city content that I had made another good decision.
This probably means a bad decision is just around the corner.
8th of March, 2014