2014 Gig Forty One: Victoria Hotel

There was a weird vibe in Melbourne yesterday. As I walked from Fitzroy North into the city I noticed a fair bit of agitation on the street. People in arguments or dudes walking along as if they had mischief in their eyes. The weather was weird too.  It felt more like Brisbane in the winter and when I think about it that level of aggression is one I have encountered up in Queensland before. Even as I crossed over Victoria Parade the sky appeared to not connect with the city.  I attempted to capture this thought on my smart phone but I'm not entirely certain it does justice to the image I am describing:


Even the lack of traffic was weird at 6.30pm on a Thursday night.


I made my way into the Town Hall in the heart of the city to check out the show I'm directing.  Geraldine Quinn's show "Modern Day Maiden Aunt" is one of two Moosehead Award recipients (along with Rama Nicholas for "After...Ever After".) and I've had a lot of fun working on a show that is very different to the type of shows I've helped out on in the past.  Last night was the first performance of the show and I was rapt with how it played out.  All the songs landed beautifully and Geraldine did a great job with the stories.  This is a different type of show for Geraldine and it is a treat to see her adding a new skill (storytelling) to her bow.


A typical scene for long time lovers of the MICF.


After having a chat with Geraldine about her show I wandered downstairs to prepare for my official opening night of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.  I was in fact quite tired and I think the first part of getting used to this festival will be the fact that I am on later than normal.  In Adelaide the show was on at 8.15pm but in Melbourne I'm on at 9.45pm.  It is interesting how you can get into such a routine with a show that a change of time can throw you at first.  I'll have to look at how I prepare myself over the next couple of nights so as to make certain I'm properly charged up for the show.


The set list was a simple one for you:


Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994


I wasn't entirely happy with my performance for this first show.  I felt slightly off at the beginning and thought I was stumbling a little on my delivery.  After a great show at The Toff in Town on Monday I knew what level I could get the show up to but this felt more like it was early in my Adelaide run.  That is to be expected as I have to acclimatise the show to a new room.  I have performed in this room before but that was two years ago and it does take a while to find your feet again.

I think the main thing I took from last night is that I'm going to have to work out a resting schedule.  Normally when I perform at straight stand up gigs I can be on later than this but I am definitely locked physically into an earlier time slot for this solo show. Getting the balance correct over the first few nights will be my main priority.

Afterward one of the girls from my management group said that she thought it was the best performance of the show she had seen so far.  It gives me a good confidence to know that the show is solid even if I am not happy with where my performance lands. The great thing about a festival though is that you get so many more opportunities to make it right.


Justin Hamilton

28th of March, 2014

Fitzroy North