2015 Blog Three: Gigs 12-13

Last Tuesday night I was doing the double of performing early at The Comic's Lounge and then heading into the city to perform in the second half of The Imperial Hotel. This is the type of thing you can do all the time in big cities like London and New York but is a rarer treat in Australia.  I had some newer material that I wanted to trial and see if it had the potential of fitting into my new solo show "Snacks!" The Comic's Lounge has been running workshops on Tuesday nights around 6pm and then producing a show that is an open mic/new material show.  It is a smart move for The Lounge and what I've particularly enjoyed is meeting young comedians who are performing at the venue for the first time.  It is easy to forget that a lot of the venues we take performing in for granted are rooms that young comics aspire to and in the process can find a little daunting.  I've met a bunch of great young comics at the Lounge recently and they're exuberance at hitting the stage for the first time has been infectious.

When I arrived I had planned a ten-minute spot but when I looked at the running order I was down for 5-7 minutes.  I had a moment of not knowing what to do and I had a chat to Greg who was helping to produce the show.  Rather than see it as a negative I did some editing and decided I would keep it as tight as possible.  What was going to work in my favour was that I had another gig where I could trial the ten minute version later that night.  My first set list for the night was the following:

 

3rd of February - The Comic’s Lounge  

 

-Getting older is bullshit

-20s, 30s, 40s

-NYE 2015

-Snacks Song

-If I wanted to be rude

-Giving My Opinion

-Opinions are like arseholes

-Bjork Album

-Scouts

 

This set consisted of a few different types of routines.  First up there were some brand new stories alongside some re-worked material that hasn't appeared in a show in Australia before.  Some of it had started off as club material but I slipped these routines into my Edinburgh Fringe show last year and liked the way they sat in the broader context of the narrative.  I've now re-worked or added new ideas to these routines and I think they'll be appearing in the new show.  With the re-polished gags placed alongside the new stories it had the potential to give me a new set.

Secondly I wanted to get an idea of the themes of the routines to get a handle on whether it would fit in alongside the new material.  If the rhythm was too similar to another routine then it wouldn't be able to fit in alongside the rest of the work for "Snacks!"  If that were the case I would strip some of the best jokes out of the material from this spot and see if I could place it in some of the routines that are ready to go in the show.

I finished up at about the seven and a half minute mark so it was a relatively tight set. I could possibly add 30 seconds of waffle at the beginning that was just me riffing off the back of the introduction that Greg Fleet gave me.  I hung around to check out some of the younger acts then headed down to the Imperial Hotel.

 

Claire Hooper was the headline act on the night and performed a great piece from her new show.

 

I arrived at the beginning of the second half of the show and I was on just before Claire's feature spot.  I thought I would add one of the sections I had dropped for the Lounge to see how this one held up.  This was the second set list:

 

3rd of February – The Imperial Hotel

 

-Getting older is bullshit

-20s, 30s, 40s

-NYE 2015

-Snacks Song

-If I wanted to be rude

-Giving My Opinion

-Opinions are like arseholes

-Bjork Album

-Siege Day

-Scouts

 

Funnily enough I thought the set at The Lounge was better for being tighter.  I was happy with the gig at The Imperial Hotel but in hindsight the fact that I had to edit my set worked in my favour.  In particular the material "Siege Day" felt like it belonged to another routine.  It still did the job on the night but the cadence to it didn't feel right and the earlier set was all the better for its absence.  It doesn't mean that the routine won't see the light of day again but it didn't fit in with this order.

A good lesson that you can still learn a lot about your material when you have some restrictions placed on you.  It might be a good test to work on some shorter pieces and to keep to time in the smaller venues.  When I head down I'm pretty lucky that for the most part I can squeeze in a couple of extra minutes onstage here or there.  I may have been doing some routines a disservice by having them go for too long.  This will be a good lesson to keep in mind for the lead up to the festival season.

 

Justin Hamilton

6th of February, 2015

Vaucluse, NSW