2014 Gig Sixty Two: John Safran and Gig Sixty Three: Victoria Hotel

I've had such a great Melbourne International Comedy Festival that I'm almost disappointed we're into the final week.  Everything that has happened has been great. The shows have been sold out.  The gigs have been corkers.  I've met some great people and seen a lot of my friends.  There has not been one thing about this festival that I would change.  I've thoroughly enjoyed it but I also know the reason I'm loving it because the end is in sight.  All things end and it is only when they're finished that we can truly define the experience. Yesterday I had another slow day.  I managed to squeeze in 8 hours sleep and potter about with work at home before heading in to host the Q and A section of John Safran's "Murder In Mississippi" show at the Comedy Theatre.  I thoroughly enjoyed the previous show and this was no different.  I could have sat on the stage with John for another hour I was enjoying talking to him about the book but also hearing the answers to the great questions from the audience.  It was an excellent start to a Sunday.

 

This was my view while waiting to be brought back on by John.

 

I had some time to kill so I ducked into the Raw Comedy final and managed to see Rohan Desai from India do his spot.  Rohan was the comedian that we voted through to the final of Raw Comedy when Kate McLennan and I toured India.  It was such an amazing experience and Kate and I have become quite fond of Rohan.  He did a great job and had a great response from the audience.  I was rapt.

After that it was time to grab a bite to eat, catch up with some friends and then it was time for my final Sunday night show.  I have been very lucky with my Sunday night crowds and have had three sell outs on what is potentially a quieter night.  Once again I had an audience that was locked in from the opening and I ended up playing around with this show.  The set list was:

 

Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994

 

This really is a great looking town.

 

I was in such a great mood that I was very playful within the the structure of the show. I didn't plan on doing this but I talked to my audience about the night before when I had a woman who was in her early eighties (I initially thought seventies but my techie pointed out that she was actually a bit older) had sat in the front row.  I had been worried about how she would deal with some of the material but she ended up loving all of it.  After the show we had a chat and I was chuffed to discover she picked up on all the themes and wanted to talk to me about the structure of the story.  I loved her so much that I talked about her in different parts of the show and she ended up being a mild theme that ran down the spine of the story.

That is the joy of performing.  Every night is a different show and therefore a different experience.  Even when you have a tougher night it still helps to define your run.  I'm lucky to have such a smart and engaged crowd.  I am delighted by the amount of people who stick around to talk about the show.  It is also fun to see the broad range of age.  I have had 20 year old girls point out how much they enjoyed the different representations of men in the show.  I loved that the old lady picked up on the changes in the show structure.  I've had men in their thirties talk to me about how they don't know how they'd react in that type of scenario and I've had middle aged women ask me if I can introduce them to Buzz.  After performing for 20 years this is what makes it all worthwhile.

I hope this blog hasn't given you diabetes.  It is a touch on the positive side but as I have stated in previous blogs I try to be as honest as possible about where I am at in any given moment.  When it comes to this latest festival I'm feeling on top of the world and bullet proof.  The great (scary? exhilarating? crazy?) thing about this feeling though is it could all spin on a dime tomorrow so you have to embrace the good times and use them to fortify you for any dark times that may be ahead.  For now though it is blue skies and cool breezes all the way.

 

Justin Hamilton

14th of April, 2014

Fitzroy North