2014 Gig Sixty One: Victoria Hotel

The first view of the audience can be the most interesting part of my night. When I walk out onto the stage it takes me a while for my eyes to adjust to the light and over the course of the gig you can start to see more of your crowd.  By the time the show has finished I can usually see up to about the third row.  The people you see in the front row are the people that usually inform you where the show might be going in terms of response.  Sometimes you're right.  Sometimes you're wrong.  It is always fascinating though especially by the end of the night when you go over the show in your head. Yesterday was a really slow day.  As I mentioned in the previous blog my management had put on drinks for the staff and acts.  I hadn't really been out too late but it was definitely later than I intended.  At this point of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival fatigue comes and goes throughout the day.  I haven't had a day off in well over a month and I can definitely feel it.  Last night I popped into a friend's place on my way to the city and she was sitting in watching movies all night.  I was 100% envious. I like performing a lot, I like being busy but the idea of a day where I don't think about comedy in any way seems like it would be the best day ever.

 

The view from my friend's place makes Melbourne feel a little Gotham.

 

One of the aspects that I find so tiring is the fact that you don't have time to take in any new information.  I've been attempting to continue reading and writing whenever I can but at this point when I have down time the main thing to do is either grab some exercise (I'm still maintaining a standard 15,000 steps a day to keep me moving) or some sleep. Then by the time you factor in some decent meals there is a bunch of the day gone that hasn't included work etc.

By the time I arrived in the city last night I was pretty exhausted.  I was supposed to see some shows but I knew my attention span was minimal and so I skipped out of those. The last thing I wanted to be was an arsehole sitting in the audience with a blank look on my face.  Instead I walked into the precinct and found Harley Breen who I had some nice quiet time chatting.  We were joined by Des Dowling, Oliver Clark and our friend Wade and that made for some nice down time.  I left the gang to get my mandatory double espresso (this has started late in the season but really gets me caffeinated in time for my show) and it was around this time that I bumped into Geraldine Hickey.  Gez suggested we get a drink so it was off to the Hairy Canary where we shared a tequila, some chips and a vodka lime and soda.  After chatting for a while I was finally feeling like myself again.  The set list was:

 

Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994

 

When I walked out onto the stage the first person I noticed was an elderly woman sitting front and centre.  Immediately I start running through all the material in the show. There is some swearing in the show but 95% of it comes from the character of Chook. I figured that should be all right.  Then I thought about my "Pro Choice" routine and thought I'll keep an eye on her to see how she is coping with that.  The final piece that popped into my head was the "Bronzing Up" routine.  That could be tricky.  I'd just keep an eye on her and see how she was coping.

Turns out I had nothing to worry about.  She loved the show!  I watched her clap through the "Pro Choice" material.  At one point after the "Bronzing Up" routine I apologised for teaching her a new term and she told me quite emphatically that it was more than fine. Hilarious.  After the show I spoke to her and the two people she was with (her daughter and a woman who worked for both of them) and she wanted to discuss the structure of the show and the themes.  She had not only enjoyed the show but also dissected what it all meant.  We ended up chatting for quite a while before I had to eventually get out of town.  I knew after this conversation it wasn't really going to get any better than this.

I caught a lift with my director Declan Fay and was thrilled to be in bed with lights out before 12.30pm.  Catching up on sleep whenever I have the opportunity is a must for the final week.  I've managed to keep myself in pretty good health so far but must listen to the tiredness as a sign to slow down when I can.  If I can get through the season without coming down with anything then that might be my greatest accomplishment. That and an elderly lady reassuring me that she was fine with learning about the term "Bronzing Up".

 

Justin Hamilton

Fitzroy North

13th of April, 2014