So far the Melbourne International Comedy Festival has been fun. In fact I have made a very conscious decision for it to be a fun experience. In the past I have kept myself locked away making certain that I have the show as "perfect" as possible for the punters. While I don't regret that in the past it has meant I haven't seen my friends and colleagues as much. The stand up game can be a solitary one (as anyone who has seen the new show would attest to) and so when you're at a festival surrounded by the people you love it can feel like a waste not doing whatever I can to spend time with them.
As an example I love Tom Gleeson, he's a great person and someone that I can talk seriously about a subject matter or just laugh my arse off with. Tom lives in Romsey with his wife and child while I'm an inner city guy who can't even spell the word "fanily". We don't have as many opportunities to hang out as we'd like so I am going to make the effort to see as much of him as possible. I've had two very late nights but I've had a lot of fun. I think it is coming through in my performance as well. I would hope so anyway.
Earlier in the night I attended Geraldine Quinn's show for her media night. It went swimmingly well and she received a four star review today. Click here to have a read. After her show I walked down to the front of the Town Hall to see who was about and have a chat. I bumped into some of my favourite people including Cal Wilson and the delightful Elbow Skin lads. There is something very cool about hanging out with your friends between shows and I was rapt to be able to catch people like Cal. I'm very much looking forward to her show which I'm guessing will be 100% excellent as per usual.
Once again the set list was a straight forward one for you:
Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994
A full house was brimming withe energy and it gave me something very positive to feed off from the stage. I enjoy that room a lot because of the simplicity of the shape and design. It is a square box with easy access exits. It can get stuffy though and I felt a noticeable dip in energy about two thirds through the show. It wasn't like the audience lost interest in the show but it definitely felt like a slight focus went missing. This was about the time that I was really starting to sweat onstage (hello ladies!) and I wondered if the stuffiness had caught up with the punters.
Two things worked in my favour last night. Up the back of the room my techie Hannah opened the back door and let some air move through the room. This was about the time where there is a second gear change in the show. The first occurs just after we finish in Tarin Kowt which is the end of the first act. The second gear change finishes after we leave Kandahar and finishes the second act. The third act takes us to Kabul and beyond. It is a straight line to the finish and has a very different energy to the previous two acts. I know once I hit that point we're going to move along very quickly. It contains some of my favourite parts of the show to perform (Buzz, the woman in the street and the finale in particular) and once I hit it I know the audience and I don't have much longer together.
I felt very lucky to have such a great crowd last night. I have been enjoying the show so much that I have been ad libbing a lot but it isn't detracting from the narrative and is only adding a few minutes to the running time. After the show I caught up with Gleeson, Lawrence Mooney, Lehmo, the Token girls, Charlie Pickering, Gatesy, Celia Pacquola and a host of other comedians for a night that finished around 4am. I'm feeling pretty good today. So far it is turning into a fun festival and hopefully this can last another three weeks.
30th of March, 2014