2014 Gig Eighty: Tea Tree Gully Hotel

Just for your amusement I think Mum's cat is rapt to have me at home:  

She lets me know she loves me by ignoring me.

 

Last night it was off to the newest room in the Adelaide Comedy run up at the Tea Tree Gully Hotel.  It has been a smart move to open rooms in Adelaide's suburbs as it not only provides new venues for comedians to perform but it also gives the young Adelaide acts an opportunity to perform in different types of rooms.  It is important to be able to play any type of room that is presented to you and it is also one of the most difficult transitions to make early in your career.  Invariably you spend a lot of time honing your craft in a room or rooms that are inner city and where you also begin to get a sense of how to play that particular room.  It is only when you begin venturing out of your comfort zone that you begin to develop as a comedian and learn how to make your style work in different scenarios.  I think this new gig is going to be important for the development of the Adelaide scene.

I've been in a pretty good mood since I've been in Adelaide but I think that last night it might have been a little to my detriment.  In the first half of the show there was a guy called Paul sitting up the front of the audience that came across as mildly weird.  Not terrible, just weird.  I found his interactions with the comedians to be interesting and kept it in the back of my head that if I ended up talking to him I'd probably just shut him down and move on.  To be honest though the devil slipped into me and....we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves.  Here is the set list:

 

Lingerie Football MVP

Biker Corporate Gig

I Heard Gravity

I Stopped A Fight

Weird Audience Interaction

The Dark Knight Documentary

If I Were A Superhero

The Kid at Captain America

The Geeks Won

Qantas Rant

 

I'm always impressed with anyone who can make words out of foliage.

 

The one plan I had going in was to find a new ending for the Qantas Rant.  The ending of that routine is locked into me performing an earlier piece thus ending on a call back. Unfortunately the earlier routine is based on some news from about 18 months ago and while I can still make it relevant it does feel a bit clunky.  It might not be clunky for the audience but I think I can do better.  I wanted to tell the story last night sans clunky routine and see if a new ending might present itself.  Alas it did not and while the ending was fine it wasn't quite what I was looking for.  I enjoy performing the rant and only ever performed it for a few months so it would be nice to get back up and running. It is just going to need a new tag if it is going to be able to move forward.

On the stage there was a floorboard that was making a creak every time I stepped on it. It was slightly annoying so to avoid the creak I was moving forward on the stage (it isn't a big stage but more like a big step.) but I lost my balance at least four times and had to step onto the floor.  Once is amusing but geez, four times is too much.  By the fourth stumble I found myself stepping towards our friend Paul in the audience and even though I was mid routine (I Stopped A Fight) I thought I might have a chat to him to see where it would go. It would be an understatement to say that he did not disappoint and began telling a story about an Adelaide identity (personality would be going too far) that I have to admit I found intriguing.  So for the sake of a bit of anarchy I decided to lay down on Paul and his mate and gave Paul the microphone.

A quick note to the younger comics who might be reading this:  Please don't do this if you're a newer comedian, it is a terrible move to make.  I only did this because I was in a good mood and I knew it was a mistake.  I just wanted to see where the mistake would take us and hopefully in the process make it one of those gigs where people would hopefully in the future talk about the time I laid across two men while another told a story.  Was it successful?  I'm not certain.  Sometimes you just have to roll the dice but if you're newer to the scene I would definitely never give the microphone to anyone in the audience.

 

Tegan Higginbotham performing with what appears to be no facial features.

 

His story that began so intriguingly ended up just taking way too long and going nowhere. It is interesting to note that a lot of people who don't tell stories regularly will become bogged down in tangents and Paul was definitely lost in a maze of tales.  I know comedians will go off on tangents but invariably it is all smoke and mirrors.  We know exactly where we're going and we enjoy the moment when the audience is thrilled that we've "remembered" where we were at.  Paul was not a natural storyteller.

I deliberately let it go for a bit too long because I have to admit I was finding the situation hilarious.  After a while I had to leap up and hurry Paul along with his story that unfortunately had no ending.  If you were angry at the end of The Sopranos (not me, I love the ending!) you would have thought that was a masterpiece with Paul's tale.  To get the gig back on track I showed Paul how to tell a story and returned to the "I Stopped A Fight" routine that I had been telling before I digressed.

The rest of the gig was a lot of fun and the audience were so good they quickly focused on the remainder of my set.  As I said previously I'm not certain that whole Paul moment was a success but you can never know unless you give a moment a try. I had a point where I could have easily bailed out but I think I would have been a trifle disappointed that I didn't follow through to where the moment might lead.

Still it was another excellent gig and the local acts were once again very funny.  I like a lot of the new comedians coming through Adelaide.  There is a blossoming of new voices and that is exciting not just for me to watch but the Adelaide Comedy scene in general. Maybe tonight at the Rhino Room I might have to temper my enjoyment just a little.  If Paul turns up he definitely won't be getting the microphone again.  He had his moment to shine and like a contestant forgetting the words on The Voice there was nobody spinning around for him.

 

Justin Hamilton

23rd of May, 2014

Croydon, Adelaide