2014 October Gigs: 154 - 157 From the Imperial Hotel to the Opera House

For those of you who enjoy my rage that is directed at printers you may find my new enemy to be to your liking.  I've been dealing with back pain and spasms for the past ten days and while I can't be sure I'd like to blame the slats under my bed.  They're inability to stay in place even in the quietest moments sent me over the edge last week.  With righteous anger and unbridled fury I sent a warning to the rest of them by taking one of their brothers and doing this to him:  

That is a sweet arse clean break right there.

 

I threw it out on the street as not only a warning to any slats that might be thinking of popping over but a reminder to all the printers out there that I will be coming for them next.  Cue me as portrayed by Liam Neeson on a suitably dark poster under the title, "Blood and Toner".  Maybe the follow up movie will be, "Dirty Slats"?  Either way I'm ready to write up this magnum opus as soon as someone throws some sweet coin my way.

I returned from Adelaide feeing pretty confident in my new material and had a few gigs to begin seeing how it will work out of the safe and giving environment of the Rhino Room in Adelaide.  First up was the Imperial Hotel where I was hosting.  This gave me an opportunity to break down the material and see how it would succeed in a hosting role. The gig was a great one and helped further the cause of the Imperial Hotel as being one of the premier rooms where you can see new comedians establishing themselves alongside established comedians working on new material.

My set list for the Imperial was:

 

1st Bracket

 

Kid at the Movies

The Nerds Won

 

2nd Bracket

 

Can’t Drink Anymore

 

There is a lot more to the "Nerds Won" material but that will do for now as a summation. It was good to test one of the ad libs for the drinking related material to see if worked again.  Sometimes an ad lib works because it is precisely that.  When you attempt to recapture the energy it feels forced but the one I used in Adelaide definitely worked in Melbourne so that felt like a victory.  Thus an ad lib finds a place to live in the routine.

That Saturday I was asked to head down to the Comic's Lounge and host for headline act Adam Richard.  I don't particularly enjoy hosting as much as I used to but when I have a close friend headlining then I jump at the chance.  Who doesn't want to get paid for hanging out with a pal all night?  Right, I guessed you'd see it my way.  That night the set list for the Lounge was:

 

1st Bracket

 

Kid at the Movies

The Nerds Won

Before the Internet

 

2nd Bracket

 

Can’t Drink Anymore

 

3rd Bracket

 

“I Don’t Give a Hoot!”

Hushed Angry Conversation

 

The routines from the third set are still some of my favourite pieces to perform from my previous show.  I enjoy using them on a semi regular basis and I'm guessing I'll be using them for a while.  As long as I still enjoy performing the routines then they'll stay in the arsenal.  This will have significance in the next paragraph.  Before we get to that though, check out this picture:

 

A message for everyone I think.

 

Ever since I started taking photos of street messages for my show "Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994" I still keep an eye out for interesting pieces like this.  I can't help but wonder who John is or maybe if this is a direct message to me about my show!  I thought you might find it interesting regardless of the fact that it has bugger all to do with anything.

My next gig was back at the Imperial Hotel where I was working on my set for the "Just For Laughs" series being filmed at the mother fucking Sydney Opera House be-yatches.  (Is that how you spell "be-yatches"?  I'm so white...)  I had to send in a script a month earlier and I had a feeling that I had already moved on from some of the material.  I thought I should do the right thing and give it a go in the form it was in and make my mind up from there.

 

I stopped a fight

Fix Your Flaws

"I Don’t Give a Hoot!"

Hushed Angry Conversation

Never Act On A Crush

 

I thought the set went fine but I found myself feeling less committed to the opening and closing routines.  That was understandable for the final piece as it was lifted out of my solo show, "The Goodbye Guy" and inserted into my Edinburgh run to help flesh me out for people who had never seen me perform before.  I was surprised to find a lack of interest in performing the opening routine as it was one of my favourite pieces during all of the festivals.  I wondered if this is was a one off or if I should keep that in mind when flying to Sydney.

 

One of the few things keeping me sane is Jon Stewart's impersonation of this US spanner...er, senator!

 

Everything was pretty laid back at the Opera House and yes, I can't believe that I'm using the words "laid back" in relationship to the Sydney Opera House.  I've been very fortunate having had the opportunity to perform there a number of times for one off gigs, support for Wil Anderson and hosting an interview with Dave McKean, Len Wein and one of my all time inspirations Grant Morrison.  I should remember to be excited to perform in these types of venues as it is an icon all over the world and you should do your best not to take things for granted. I'm there again next January so I'll try to revel in the moment a little more than I did on this night.

Before it was my time to hit the stage I was still feeling uncertain about my material choices and at the last minute made a change.  I've enjoyed opening my sets with the story about the kid losing his mind at Captain America but it is the same routine I will be opening my new show ("Snacks!") with.  In the end I figured that I would only be performing the very first part of the routine and giving it none of the context that it will have in the show.  Also if anyone sees it on TV then they can remember where they saw it which will remind them that I've been on TV and therefore should give me some extra respect, am I right?  Right?  We love TV people, love me damn it!

As I was introduced I changed the script in my head and the set list looked like this:

 

Kid at the Movies

Fix Your Flaws

"I Don’t Give a Hoot!"

Hushed Angry Conversation

 

I was much happier with that decision and felt like the performance reflected that.  I hung out with a bunch of comedy pals that night and in particular had a big night of laughs with Rhys Nicholson, Kyran Wheatley and Harley Breen.  By the time I returned to my swanky hotel I was ready for bed but proceeded to have a night where sleep evaded me and I couldn't find any comfortable position to lie in.  Was this a one off or was it a portent of doom for the every loving Hammo?  You'll have to find out in the next blog...

 

(Cue the Batman TV series music to really enjoy the effect of that last night.)

 

Justin Hamilton

24th of October, 2014

Fitzroy North