2014 Gig Forty Two: Victoria Hotel

Before we get into talking about the show a bit of melancholy news.  I found out yesterday that a friend of mine that I had not seen in a long time has suddenly died this week.  Matty Blade was a performer that I had the opportunity to know many years ago when I was a part of the "Bunta Boys" and toured with a band called "The Clowns of Decadence".  Matty back then was known as St. Matthew the Devourer and would come on during throughout the night swallowing swords and breathing fire to really help give the Clowns that nightmare carnival feel.  From all reports that I've read so far it would appear that Matty decided to check out on his terms.  I haven't seen him in a long time but my thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends.  I understand what depression can be like having dealt with it in the past. As we grow older that feeling can be quite overwhelming and I guess Matty had had enough.  Very sad news.  If you have similar feelings and thoughts I stress not only finding a way to talk to the people closest to you but also to contact experts like the type you find at Beyond Blue.  

R.I.P. St Matthew the Devourer.

 

With that in mind I decided that the best thing I could do was enjoy my night as much as possible.  I attended the second night of Geraldine Quinn's show just to give my support. When you're directing a show you feel very attached to how it plays out and I have enjoyed the first two night immensely.  I think it is coming together very nicely. After Quinny's show I stayed in the venue and watched Kate McLennan perform her new show "The Duck's Nuts".  I laughed a lot in her show and thought it was well written and performed.  There was one part of the show that really made me laugh hard, a piece about how she feels about her partner and possibly having children with him.  I won't give it away (I'm not a reviewer for a major paper!) but it is definitely worth checking out.

This left me about twenty minutes before my show was about to begin and normally I like to spend some time alone listening to music and going over some notes.  Normally I will have some paper or my diary and what I'll do is write notes from memory which sum up all the beats and routines I want to hit in my show.  It usually looks a little like this:

 

If you've seen the show do you recognise most of the beats?

 

Instead I discarded this pre show routine.  I've decided that I am going to work less on the show, that enough work has been done and just enjoy the Melbourne International Comedy Festival as much as possible.  I work really hard on these solo shows (I've been essentially working on this show on and off for a year and really focused for the last six months) but sometimes I think maybe I stop myself from having fun by attempting to reach a level of perfection every night.  I'm coming up to twenty years in this business and have seen it all.  I think maybe I can take the foot of the accelerator and relax more into the show.  I'll still put in 100% effort onstage but I think it is time to change my approach just a little.  When you have news hit you like the news about Matty you have to turn it into a positive somehow and take stock of your own approach to life.

 

The set list was:

 

Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994

 

It was a full house and a fun show.  It was the perfect antidote for the day that I had experienced and it was great to have such an excellent audience who were focused on the show from the opening.  I was looser with the show than I have been so far and it lead to a lot of ad libbing.  I had fun with the show and the audience rewarded me with a lot of good energy.  Maybe this is how the show will develop for the MICF season?  I've done the hard work in Adelaide so now I can unwind a little and enjoy it a little more.  The hard part will be making certain that I get the balance right and don't relax too much and in the process lose what is making the show work.

After the show I caught up with Tom Gleeson and his wife, two friends I haven't seen at the festival so far.  In fact I haven't seen them in quite a while and it was nice to be able to spend some time with them last night.  I may have drunk more than I had intended and definitely stayed out much later than I wanted but I laughed a lot so that has to count for something.  It is easy to forget that the MICF should be fun and that is going to be my goal for the rest of my run because who knows where we'll all be next year?

 

Justin Hamilton

29th of March, 2014

Fitzroy North