Another double gig day at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. First up was Fan Fiction Comedy. The last time I worked with the Fan Fiction Kids was at last year's MICF and I wrote a three part sequel to the Christopher Nolan Batman universe. This year I decided to leave the superhero world behind and wrote a piece based on the new Russell Crowe movie "Noah". I'll put that up for you to read as a separate post. I enjoy working on this show a lot as it allows me to delve into subjects I'm not only interested in but also to have some stupid fun. I wasn't a big fan of the movie (I am well in the minority with this flick...I know stacks of people who loved it leaving me quite mystified.) so I decided to use an old school comedy trick and "Aussie it up".
The show moved along at a cracking pace and it was great to work with the FFK agains. Also Paul Verhoeven was a guest on the show for the first time and it was very much a natural fit for both parties. As I said before I'll post the story I wrote in my blog so you can have a read if you're interested.
Next up I went and checked out Celia Pacquola's show for the MICF. Having seen Celia working on the show in the lead up I was curious to see how she had pulled it all together. I thought she was brilliant and the show was very, very clever. Celia makes it look easy but if you're paying attention there is so much craftsmanship going into the show that it really pays off at the end without losing one beat of laughter. With all the new wave coming through and shaking up the industry I think Celia is the heir apparent to being Australia's best comedian. You know a show is great when you rave at that person after the show and in the middle of a conversation with Celia after the gig I had to just stop myself from rambling any more than I already had. Definitely worth seeing if you can find a ticket.
After being inspired by Celia's performance it was time for me to head down to my show. I had a packed house and was pretty rapt considering it was a wet Thursday night. I was in a pretty good mood and the show ran longer than it has previously. The setlist was:
Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994
It is amazing how a good mood can inspire you and last night was no exception. I don't remember ad libbing that much but my show came in at 63 minutes which is about ten minutes longer than the average time it has been taking. I can't even really pin point where the show blew out. I did have a conversation with Greg Fleet during the day about one of the routines not quite landing as well I'd like it to. The routine about passing on the sins of the comedy father has been going well but I've felt like it could be even better. After having a chat with Fleety I decided that I would give the story a little more context. There is a section in the story about Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" which is a song I figured everybody was across. After doing a little research with people over the course of the day I realised that some people have no idea who Thicke is or haven't even heard of the song. I know in that section of the show I gave the clip and song more context but surely it wasn't ten minutes extra?
I did find that the piece worked a lot better but I'm also not certain if that was because the night was such a cracking show. The audience were fantastic and almost bordering on being a pantomime in some places. Lots of "ohs" and "ahs" at reactions to stories where people weren't being their best. It was fun, I enjoyed that aspect of it a lot. When we came to the stories in Afghanistan the silence was palpable (this is a good thing just in case you haven't seen the show and are wondering why I'd be rapt with this outcome) and resulted in some of the biggest laughs of the night when I returned to the jokes. Still tonight I'll play around with this piece again and then see where it is at. Hopefully it is moving in the correct direction and will continue to improve.
After the show it was a hectic catch up with a lot of friends, some I didn't get as much time with as I would have liked but there was a good vibe in the city last night. Loads of acts were hanging out and in good spirits. I wonder if this is because we're over the hump and looking at the end of the festival which is suddenly in our line of vision. I know that my fatigue felt like it had fallen away slightly and that I had some renewed energy about me. Hopefully this will continue into the weekend and for the rest of the festival
I'll post my Fan Fiction piece in the very next blog for you.
11th of April, 2014