Two very different shows last night! First of all this is what Fitzroy looked like as I walked in for my gig:
I was in a pretty good mood before my show and knew I had to pace myself correctly because straight after I had to run up to "Set List" and finish off their night. The first twenty minutes of my show was going well and seemed like it was going to be a fairly standard night at the show. Then for some bizarre reason there was a crack in the mic at a pretty important part of the show that was so loud it was like someone had taken a whip to the side of the stage. Amazingly it slotted in with the dialogue I was acting out and it was so perfect that both the crowd and I had a giggling fit. Before I get any further the set list was:
Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994
Giggling fits are rare onstage but if you didn't know better you would have thought that it had been planned. After I regained my composure I noticed there was a new energy in the audience. Suddenly the show was playing out like a pantomime. At one point I made a throw away comment and the audience reacted with a groan that had me berating them for judging a joke I had just made up on the spot. We bounced back and forth on that for a bit and then there was a cracking noise from the back of the room. At the time the audience and I thought that a lightbulb had burst but what I found out later my techie had tried to stop someone from sending text messages from the back of the room and accidentally kicked the light. Since we didn't know this (and it was just when I was about to launch into my "Pro Choice" material) we took this as a sign from God that he didn't want me to continue. It was fun in the room but I'll be honest and say going too much into it now will make it seem a bit trite. Suffice to say we were all on the same wavelength and it made for a very funny and fun show.
In fact there was so much ad libbing that I had a genuine fear we had strayed so far from the narrative that I wasn't certain I could get the show back on track. When I wanted to get the story back on course I had to slow down the show, strip back some of the language and use that opportunity to regain the footing the show needed. I was very grateful that the audience never lost the energy it had but could go with me on the gear changes I was presenting them with.
After the show I had to go up to perform at "Set List". If you haven't seen "Set List" before the way the show works is that onstage you have random sentences flashed on a screen. You have to look at this words and then turn them into a routine. The trick is to make that routine seem like it is one of your best, a routine that you have performed hundreds of times before and know back to front. It is exhilarating and scary and inspiring and exhausting. Mainly it is awesome. Considering I write down all the set lists I perform I can barely remember any of the words that flashed up at me on the screen at me last night. There is this picture though:
You may think I look a little blurry in that photo but that was how much I was vibrating during the set. I do remember flashes of my set which included having sex with a grandma on a plane, stabbing someone while crying to the cops and a misinterpretation of the Koran. The Koran piece was my final routine and the way I approached it was to talk about why I wouldn't be taking it on. This was told by talking about all the horrible stereotypes of people who live by the Koran but in such a nice way that it seemed like I was being politically correct. I then finished with "...and that was my misinterpretation of the Koran". So my deconstruction of why I wouldn't tackle the subject ended up becoming the subject. That is pretty much the only part I can remember in any detail.
You are so in the moment attempting to think about what you'll talk about next that it is difficult to retain information. No time to think about how a topic just went down because you've already got the next one up and ready to go. It is so exciting but afterward I was exhausted. I headed down to the Hi Fi Bar to watch Rob Hunter's show "Late O'Clock" with a plethora of guest stars. It was fantastic, big crowd and in a sign that it is going well: the comedians weren't talking up the back. They were all watching the show and that is respect right there.
At the end I was out of there. I am very tired now. After next Monday when I write my final blog for the 2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival I'm going to take a couple of weeks off from podcasting and writing just so I can get some new ideas in my head, some exciting information that makes me think about anything else but what I've been doing. Until then there are five nights to go so it is all systems go. Thank goodness the festival has been so much fun.
16th of April, 2014