2014 November Gigs 179 - 184: Death Star Canteen to The Comic's Lounge

I'm looking forward to the end of the year. In fact the passing of time has felt like a proper passing of a year.  When people would say to me, "Oh my, can you believe it is November already?" I'd often think, "Yes, yes I can". Many ups and downs with the downs being particularly disappointing.  Losing three friends in a year to a variety of deaths has been particularly disheartening.  I guess that is the curse of living:  the longer you live the more death you will experience in your life. That is too depressing.  Here, check out this guy getting too close to the camera:

 

Spaceship!

 

November though has been possibly the most positive month of the year for me and it isn't surprising that it has tied into a run of great gigs.  Often a comedian's self esteem is tied into his or her work and I'm no exception.  After spending all of October pretty much working on new routines and ideas I started to feel the hard work paying off with my gigs in the latter part of November.  After a blistering run of shows with Wil Anderson in Darwin, Perth and Kalgoorlie it was back to Melbourne where I dropped into Death Star Canteen.

 

26th of November:  Death Star Canteen

 

Can’t Drink Anymore

Before the Internet

 

This room is run by my good pal Travis Nash and I wanted to have a play around with an idea before my run at The Comic's Lounge so this was a great night to test that idea. Trav was good enough to put me on at the end of the first half and after Vic Healy had done an excellent job of hosting the night I could ease into this gig.  My idea was to mix two different routines from next year's show (Snacks!) to see what might come out of it. Both of these routines were created independently of each other but I had a gut feeling they might actually work better together.  I have no logical reason to base that on, it was just an idea that popped into my head while on the flight back from Perth.  See kids, drinking at high altitude on a long flight is productive!

I was happy with the result at Death Star and used that as the basis for my run at The Comic's Lounge in the support spot.  I've often said that the best spot at The Comic's Lounge is the middle bracket because the audience have had a bracket to warm up but haven't been there long enough that they're exhausted from the comedy. With everyone there to see Wil the final bracket was always going to be the strongest but it still meant that the middle bracket was raring to go.

I think I've stated in previous blogs that when I work out a support spot I try to keep very much to the same set.  Once I work out the timing of the set I'm reluctant to mess around with it in case that has me going over time.  It is completely unprofessional and a good way to encourage the headliner to ask someone else to support for the next tour.  Once I worked out the set list on the Thursday night I made one change. Here's the first set list:

 

Thursday 27th of November:  The Comic's Lounge

 

Can’t Drink Anymore

Before the Internet

“I Don’t Give a Hoot!”

Hushed Angry Conversation

 

Michael Chamberlin hosted the Friday night show and was brilliant.

 

This initial set list came in bang on the 25 minute mark.  Timing wise this was great but it what it also meant was that I now no longer had any room to ad lib.  If I came up with a new idea over the next few nights then I would have to explore it with the knowledge that I would end up dropping material later in the set to make certain I came in on time.  I'd rather not have that hanging over me so instead I made a slight change that gave me time to play.

 

Friday – Sunday 28th-30th of November:  The Comic's Lounge

 

Can’t Drink Anymore

Before the Internet

Fix Your Flaws

 

I feel like this would be the cover to Wil and Becky's first folk album.

 

Over the subsequent shows I did indeed find extra gags and new ideas in the routine so I'm glad I made the change after the first show.  All of the shows were up there with some of the best of the year.  I had a fantastic time every night and it really gave me a lot of confidence for next year.  In fact I plan on taking a proper break over the Christmas period (This Grinch figures it has to be good for something) and what I'll do is my best to not think about any work at all.  That means the first few gigs of next year will probably be a little clunky but even Roger Federer can go out in an early round of a small tournament at the start of the season.  I think the break will be very important heading into next year.

There was one extra gig in this schedule and it was a Sunday afternoon gig at 1000 Pound Bend.  Young up and coming comedian Sam Petersen had put this show together and due to a few complications behind the scenes had been left to produce this show on his own. Wil and I had a chat to him and offered to come down and help out on the day before our gig at The Comic's Lounge.  On a hot day with no air conditioning we ended up belting out a really fun show along with some of Melbourne's best new comics. I was hosting so the set list was:

 

Sunday 30th of November:  1000 Pound Bend

 

1st Bracket

 

Election Results

Tony Abbott

Can’t Drink Anymore (truncated)

 

2nd Bracket

 

Fix Your Flaws

“I Don’t Give a Hoot!”

Hushed Angry Conversation

 

I thought Nellie Wight was hilarious at this gig.

 

Sam had done a great job getting a room that was not set up for comedy to be in a position where as the host I could get it on track.  Sam has a lot of talent and is still really young. In fact I could be his father.  Maybe I am his father?  I'll have to check that out at some point. Anyway, this was a gig that shouldn't have worked but due to the excellence of the acts and the hard work by Sam it ended up being a completely enjoyable Sunday afternoon.

This also saw the gigs for November come to a close and it was a great way to see the month out.  With only a few shows booked for December it was nice to finish this very busy month on a high, surrounded by friends, making great audiences laugh. Definitely an upswing that was very much needed toward the end of the year.

 

Justin Hamilton

13th of December, 2014

Fitzroy North