2014 Gig Seventy: Victoria Hotel

Well this season may have peaked one show early. Last night was the most delightful audience of the run including all the shows I performed in Adelaide.  From the moment I hit the stage there was a buzz (or if you've seen the show a "Buzz") in the room.  It was a warm audience that were invested from the get go and in the process it elicited a different style of performance out of me.  It was very early in the piece that I discovered that the show was a little more playful and also a little softer in approach.  I think over the last few shows that the character of Chook had maybe become a bit too big.  By dialling him back a bit I felt that he was entirely more sympathetic and easier to get on board with.  Oh, for the record the set list was:

 

Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994

 

Since the performance was a gentler one it also meant that it gave me a different rhythm onstage that allowed me to discover new jokes.  I was disappointed after the show because I nearly recorded this one for my own records and literally at the last second thought, "Nah, I'll do tomorrow night as that is the last show."  Damn it!  It would have been nice to have had this one to listen back to.  Yet at the same time it also means that performance was a once in a life time experience between me and the audience.  I don't like taking photos of everything I experience because I don't want my life to be reduced to pictures on a screen.  I like my life to be big and colourful and full of sound and vision that fills every part of my memory.  Once you have a record of something that is what it will become in the future.  This way it will continue to grow and be more of a "living" entity in my mind.

That is all sounding slightly hippy-ish but I'm certain you get the drift.

 

Here I am with the men and women I toured with in Afghanistan.  See no petrol tankers in the photo.

 

I don't really know what to add at this point.  I have loved just performing my show and having no other commitments the last couple of nights.  In fact I could keep performing this show for another month but I think it will be good to step aside from the show now so I can see some movies, read some books, talk to people who have no interest in comedy and just get back to a mildly normal life for a week or two.  I've decided to give myself a week or two off from producing the podcast "Can You Take This Photo Please?" that will not only be a break for me but also a break for everybody else.

I know that I am loving this show and that it may seem like I have been talking up the experience the whole time but even on the harder nights the show has clicked along at a night pace.  I'm certain there are people who haven't enjoyed the show but they've been kind enough not to let me know.  If you're one of those people:  thank you!  To everybody else I appreciate the kind words and am glad you've gotten as much out of this as I have. The interesting test for the show will now be Edinburgh.  We could be in for some very different blog updates from me but that is the challenge, right?  How can you improve unless you get out of your comfort zone?  How can you know where you're at unless you compete against the best?  My career has hit a point where I don't care about reviews or challenges thrown down people who have no bearing on my life.  I'm all about improvement, just getting better every day with every show.  I have friends and work colleagues that I can turn to for informed criticism and trust these people impeccably.

Right.  I'll leave you here as I'm going to get into the city early so I can see more shows, maybe join in on a couple of others and enjoy this final night of my show on the final Saturday.  When I stated a couple of years ago that I wanted to retire the storytelling that I had been building on since "Three Colours Hammo" and in the process break the cycle of performing every year at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival I honestly had no idea when I would write a solo show again.  While I was performing every night last year at the Comic's Lounge and The Shelf I still felt like an outsider because I wasn't in the trenches with my friends working on their solo shows.  I enjoyed that year.  I loved that feeling of being apart from the festival while also still watching up close the effect it was having on my friends.  I think I learned a lot then and it has made me a better person and comedian.  When this story popped into my head and I knew that it was a solo show I knew it would be time to jump back into the festivals.  It has been with profound gratification that I say thank you to everybody who has taken the time to see the show and sent me such great messages about what they have taken away from it.

One show to go so hopefully we'll see each other around the festival tonight.

 

Justin Hamilton

19th of April, 2014

Fitzroy North