Before the show even began I could tell the audience for my solo show was going to be some work. My caravan sits out the back of my venue and even over my house music I could hear some men talking over the songs. It wasn't that they were boisterous but it was the tone of the talking that had my radar turned up high. When my front of house girl came to let me know the show was ready to go I asked her if there was a group of men in the room ready to cause trouble. Jenny told me that there were a group of 20 men up the back who were pretty liquored up. I knew going onstage that I had two possible outcomes: they would heckle or they would be silent. I knew which one I was more interested in dealing with.
The set list was:
Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994
From the opening I knew it was going to be a quiet show. The first few jokes seemed to sail into the ether and with my eyes taking a while to adjust to the lights (as they do every night) it was important to work on maintaining a constant rhythm so as not to lose focus. Once my eyes adjusted I could see people in the audience who were enjoying themselves but there was little laughter for the whole night. Later I found out from my techie that some of the men were talking up the back and had been told off by a girl in the crowd but I missed all of that. I also found out that everyone I knew at the show was slightly put off by these guys as they weren't certain how it was going to play out. I wasn't surprised. I think they may have come along wanting more of a straight stand up show with more "What up with women?" and "Planes have terrible food" style routines. Of course I could be wrong about this but the plethora of blue lights from smart phones shining on the men's faces up the back suggests they had little interest in the show I had prepared earlier.
It wasn't a bad show but it was by far the toughest. The show finished four minutes earlier than normal and I definitely wasn't racing through the routines. That just shows you how quiet it was for the gig. Afterward I talked to a few comedian buddies who all expressed that they had endured similar type gigs. Was this the dreaded Friday night audience? An audience made up of men and women who have been working all week who then arrive at a show a little tired is not to be unexpected on a Friday night. To be honest it was reassuring to hear that everyone had those types of gigs. There is nothing nicer in this industry than companions in woe.
After my show was done it was off to Mickey D's show the Phatcave. Mickey has toured the Phatcave all over the world and it has a nice reputation amongst comedians. Mickey is one of my oldest friends on the circuit and I was more than up for hanging out and performing at his gig. I was on about half way through the show and decided to rely on the set list from the previous late night gigs.
Car Crash in Adelaide
Invite to Parties
Little Boy Joke
Watching Movies Out of Context
Glitter in Invitations
People Wearing Your Glasses
Once again I found the audience difficult to get going. Each act that was on before me seemed to take a few minutes to get the audience to where they're meant to be and once they clicked in it was fine. All night it felt like a lot of jokes were on delay and it was all about holding your position and letting them catch up to you. Another gig that ended up working but was a little bit of work when compared to the previous late night shows I'd been a part of.
Then it was down to the Rhino Room to hang out but while I was up in the late show watching Wil Anderson and Lindsay Webb onstage I decided to crash the gig. From there it was some improvising with those two and then I decided to bring Fleety onstage. I wanted the spot to descend into chaos and what I had in mind was the cabin scene with the Marx Brothers. We managed to entice a few more comedians onstage and this is the photo I managed to take after it descended into madness.
That was probably the most fun I had all night. It ended up being a late one as it was the perfect set of circumstances to blow off some steam. With tonight's show looking like it is nearly sold out hopefully this audience will bring a little more energy to the show. It is fine to be the person generating the majority of the buzz but it is definitely more fun when you're receiving the buzz as well.
15th of March, 2014