2014 Gig Eighty Eight: The Comic's Lounge

There was something a little different about last night's gig.  I was booked to host for Dave Thornton as the feature act with a few guests making up the night.  Before I tell you what it is can you work it out from this picture?  

Is there anything about the running order that doesn't make sense?

 

Due to Dave having to be up early for breakfast radio (I'm writing this at 7.30am and Dave has already been up for three and a half hours!) the show was flipped around to how it would normally work.  I would usually do about twenty up the top to warm up the audience and then we'd have a couple of shorter guests in the first bracket.  I'd then do about ten at the top of the second bracket with a support act doing 15-20 minutes. Then at the beginning of the last bracket I'd knock off five minutes to warm up the crowd and then bring on the headline act.

Instead I did five up top and then brought on Dave to do roughly 35 minutes before throwing to the first break. It isn't like I haven't done this before.  I've worked with Dave Hughes and Wil Anderson when they were the kings of breakfast radio but I haven't done it in a while.  I was surprised at how I felt really tired at the end of the first bracket. I think it was my body responding to muscle memory as it felt like the end of the night to me.  I was talking to Thorno in the first break and had to remind myself we still had a whole show to perform. I didn't have a problem with this at all.  I was just mildly sideswiped at how I acclimatised.

Overall I felt pretty flat last night.  I guess the last two shows in Adelaide were such corkers that anything less than those was going to feel sluggish.  Last night I felt like that guy who does his job.  It was a successful night but I can't say I had any epiphanies or felt like I learned anything new.  I did manage to make one thing work though and that will hopefully spill over into the next couple of nights.  Before I go any further have a look at the set lists and then we'll get back to it:

 

Set List One

 

Turning 40

Invite To Parties

Hairy Baby

 

Set List Two

 

Biker Corporate Gig

 

Set List Three

 

Glitter In Invitations

Watching Movies Out of Context

Tripping and Farting

People Wearing Your Glasses

Spooning

 

It can be a weird feeling onstage to have a night where you are doing your job but you're not quite engaged with what is happening.  It felt like I was slightly removed from the whole experience.  I had arrived at the Lounge with some ideas in mind and once I learned I had to change tact I never felt like I was quite in the groove again.  My effort was still there but no matter how much I tried I felt like I was not in my best gear.

There were still some positives to be gained from the night though.  Telling the one story in the middle bracket worked well and while I think it would have benefited from more time onstage before launching into the tale (I had planned on using it in the first bracket when I was under the assumption I would be doing longer up front) it still worked well enough that I'll probably give it another go tonight.  Since it is a Thursday night Dave will go on first again so at least I can prepare a little more.

I think I also need to trust my instincts a little more and play around with some new material in my set.  Since the Lounge is quite a long and big room I think I was a little safe in my choice of routines.  It is a fine line between doing your job and furthering your own skill set and I will always err on the side of making the night work.  Yet I think if I branched out a little more I would have felt a different type of satisfaction with the gig.

Overall a good night of comedy that the audience enjoyed regardless of the fact I was lost in my own world a little.  I think the positive to come from this is I have three more nights to be better at my craft and see what goes from there.  I should also tell you the highlight of the night for me was having the opportunity to spend time with Craig Coombes.  Craig has been diagnosed with cancer and recently had his first ever gig at The Comic's Lounge as part of his bucket list.  From all reports he had a scorcher of a gig. Craig came to the show with another friend of mine last night and it was a privilege that he took the time out to have a chat with me.  I'm hoping that isn't our last opportunity to catch up and maybe one day in the future I'll have the chance to introduce the big fella onstage.

 

Justin Hamilton

5th of June, 2014

Fitzroy North