The final four shows of the year cover all of season 10 of The Shelf, a one off gig at the Hotel Barkly and a few of the potential pitfalls of performing when you are receiving terrible news.
This turned out to be one of my favourite gigs at the Rhino Room.
Road trip! I joined fellow comedians Victoria Healy, Simon Cumming and Chris Dewberry to drive down to Bendigo for our gig at The Shamrock Hotel. The host of the night Des Dowling was meeting us down there so the four of us left Melbourne around 5pm so we'd be able to not only arrive on time but also have enough time to squeeze in a meal as well. I don't know Vic, Simon and Chris that well but I enjoy the opportunity to hang with comedians who are at different stages of their careers. It is a good reminder for me of where I have come from as the conversation echoed down the ages and back to when I was just starting out. All three comics had interesting insights into how they're going about their careers and I found their chat invigorating. One day in the future they will hopefully find themselves in a similar situation where they'll be the experienced act traveling with new comics. I definitely hope they do stick with it.
We made good time and the bar served us meals that were good old fashioned country sized. We joked afterward that maybe the gig would just consist of four comics laying on stage digesting their food. I reckon with the correct paper work we could score some funding for this gig. Our host for the night is the excellent Des Dowling who works these types of gigs with a confident ease. Des is very good at nailing the chatty host who effortlessly slips into material before you know it. It was good to see Des as I have always enjoyed performing on the same bill as him.
I watched all the acts have great sets and decided two things for my approach. Firstly I just wanted to have fun. I wasn't going to be running in material or working on some new ideas. People had paid good money for this show so my intention was to do my best and save any work on new ideas for open mic rooms in the city. Secondly I just wanted to get all Cindi Lauper about it and have fun. I think a few weeks ago I'd forgotten that main ingredient in my performance so I picked routines that I enjoy performing. Finally I head to India with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival next Saturday so I wanted to reacquaint myself with some material that will work over there. This was the perfect opportunity to give some of these routines a run onstage.
The set list was:
Car Crash In Adelaide
Invite to Parties
Fix Your Flaws
Being an Arsehole
Little Boy Joke
I Don't Give A "Hoot!"
Hushed Angry Conversation
Tripping and Farting
I Stopped A Fight
No Need To Share All Your Opinions
Watching Movies Out of Context
Glitter in Invitations
People Wearing Your Glasses
My main goal was to enjoy the gig and I definitely did that. I have performed at this venue twice before but it has been a long time since I was last there. The room itself is a nice box shape and the acoustics are good for being able to hear yourself talk and the reaction of the crowd. I was glad that I brought out some routines that I haven't performed in a while because I was slightly off with some of the order but I found that these little mistakes are neither noticed by the audience or the fellow comedians. I also found some interesting little jokes when I confused the order and that is always a bonus when you're performing onstage.
It also gave me a great opportunity to remind myself of some of the material I have at my disposal heading into the Adelaide Fringe (tickets here) and Melbourne Comedy Festival (and tickets here). I like to perform different material from the routines that make up my show and it will be good to get some gigs under my belt that will help build those routines back up to where they were before. You have to get them match fit before you start performing at the late shows around town, right?
It was great to get out of the city to not only stretch the comedy legs but also have a fun trip for the night. I thought the younger comics did an excellent job on the night and I'll look forward to seeing how they've kicked on the next time we perform together. By the time we arrived home it was well after midnight and big thanks have to go to Chris for doing all the driving. Mick Neven is the producer of the show now and he's done an excellent job of keeping up the high level that I remember from a few years ago.
7th of February, 2014
Ever wondered what it would be like to live with a comedian while they're writing their show? Then this blog should put you right off any romantic pre-conceptions.