2014 Gig Thirty One: Adelaide Fringe

It is hard pressed to have a poor day when it begins with me hanging out with this little fella:  

Good to see my son takes after my looks.

 

I always thought it was a chip on my shoulder but it turned out to be a squirrel monkey. Maybe he ate the chip?  I have no idea.  I have to say it was hilarious listening to him munch munch munch on his snacks near my ear.  I was lucky enough that the Adelaide Zoo had approached my management and asked if I would like to come down for a little meet and greet with some of the animals.  To luck out and have this little guy crawling all over me while eating snacks was a fun way to kick off the day.  I was allowed a plus one so I took Adelaide Comedy promoter Craig Egan along:

 

 

Egan attempting to ply the monkey off the branch the same way he attempts to entice comedians off the stage at the Late Show.

 

The rest of the day was relatively uneventful with some work that needed finishing but for the most part an opportunity to have a quiet afternoon.  By the time I returned to the city I was feeling refreshed and excited for the show.  My manager Erin was coming along for the first time and I wanted to have a good one with her in the audience.  Once again it was like the previous Saturday where you want to impress the people that you work with. Also for anyone who has seen the show you know that Erin has one of the funniest lines in the show regarding what I should do if I am taken by the Taliban.  I was keen for her to see how well that line was going down.  The set list was:

 

Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994

 

From very early on in the show I noticed I wasn't quite on top of the game.  I accidentally left out a routine that I really enjoy performing so while I was ploughing forward I was attempting to work out where I could drop this routine into the show without ruining the flow.  I worked out where it could fit and duly dropped it in (this was the routine about performing for the Taliban in the mountains for those who have seen the show).  I just started to relax and then I noticed I'd left out the routine that described the character of Chook.  I had been so busy thinking where I could slot in the previous routine that I left out another.  I need the Chook material in the show as it has pays off throughout the rest of the narrative so I had to think twice as hard as to where it could be dropped back in without throwing the rest of the show off track.  I managed to slot that in at the beginning of the Kandahar routine and it clicked into place quite nicely.

After the show I spoke to my techie Claire to see if she had noticed but the only thing she thought happened was that I had dropped in new material.  It wasn't new, it was just placed in different spots.  I was relieved that Claire hadn't really noticed because that meant the mistake was not noticeable to anyone in the audience.  After the gig I checked in with Erin and Alison Bice (who had come to see the show for a second time) and neither noticed although Erin could tell for the first two thirds of the show that something was mildly up.  I would expect that to happen because Erin sees enough of me to be across this.

I also had some of my oldest friends in the audience and afterward they didn't notice anything either so there was a good lesson learned from this gig.  Knowing that the script is tight but is also malleable enough that if I do leave out a routine I can find places to slot it in later and it won't hurt the narrative is good to keep in the back of my mind.  I don't want to be performing a show like this again but if it happens it can be more than adequately salvaged.

It also assuaged my decision to play it as easy as possible during The Fringe (no late shows during the week etc) because I think if I was any more tired than I am now maybe I wouldn't have been as on the money to deal with these bumps in the road.  I have to say I still enjoyed the show immensely and the challenge of having to re-insert routines as I was performing was thrilling.  I didn't panic but I did have to keep dancing as it were.  A good bit of mental exercise...that I will hopefully not have to deal with again tonight.

In all honesty I blame the monkeys.  If they're going to start off my day so positively how am I expected to keep my focus later in the night?

 

Justin Hamilton

14th of March, 2014

Fitzroy North