Gig 113: The Shelf

When you finish a season you may as well finish big.  The final show broke a new record for The Shelf by clocking in at a marathon 4 hours.  The amazing part of this is that I would say 80% of the audience lasted until the very end.  Next season my plan is to book less acts.  I'll aim for a show that finishes at 9.30pm so when it blows out to 10pm it will only be 10.15pm by the time we're done. This was the running order:


7.00pm:  Doors open

7.30pm:  Justin Hamilton

7.40pm:  Justin and Adam Richard

7.50pm:  Hayley Tait

7.55pm:  Lessons with Luis

8.05pm:  Colin Lane

8.15pm:  Girls Uninterrupted

8.25pm:  Dave Hughes

8.40pm:  Break

8.50pm:  Justin and Charlie Pickering

9.05pm:  Claire Hooper

9.15pm:  Watson

9.25pm:  Asher Treleaven

9.35pm:  The Stevenson Experience

9.45pm:  Break

10.00pm:  Xavier Michelides

10.10pm:  Adele (Cal Wilson)

10.20pm:  Elbow Skin

10.30pm:  End of Show


"How did that line up blow out?" He asks knowing full well the answer.

A great line up of acts who were all in fine form.  We had everything from the experience of Colin Lane and Dave Hughes to Hayley Tait, a sixteen year old girl who was performing her first ever stand up spot.  That is correct.  We are equal opportunists at The Shelf...when it suits us.

My opening set was the following:


Have Little Faith in People

Reconnecting to True Feelings

Smashing Printers

"You Think Too Much!"

Inspiring Women by Calling the PM Names

Make-A-Wish Comedian




I felt like my opening wasn't quite as good as the week before.  The previous week I really nailed the opening where this one felt about 80% there.  I was pretty fatigued going into this show after a heavy week and the behind the scenes machinations of producing The Shelf really wear on me by the third week.  I think we will stick with three show seasons as four shows leave me totally exhausted.  It might seem pathetic to think three shows can take so much out of you but between booking the acts, managing the acts, producing the show, staying on top of ticket sales and hosting the actual event, there isn't much energy left by the end of the run.  I love it but it is very tiring.

I thought the show itself was great and really capped off what was our best season.  The audiences have been on the money, incredibly astute and generous.  Highlights from this show included Hayley Tait nailing her first ever stand up spot.  She showed us some real talent and continues to work hard and aim for consistent improvement she could really be somebody worth keeping an eye on.  Girls Uninterrupted had a very funny moment where one of the girls threw her partner a curve ball that meant both of them erupted in giggles, a very funny and endearing moment.  I enjoyed being angry at cantaloupe and creating Amish political adverts with Charlie Pickering.  Adam Richard insisting on explaining anal sex and the rules of "Courtesy Fingers" was another high/lowlight.

I was really impressed with every act who brought great energy, fun ideas and a professional demeanour to all the shows.  It was fun watching one of our core cast in Tegan Higginbotham bring her duo Watson to the show and thus not only giving us another look at her talent but also brought Adam McKenzie to hang out with us.  I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this season and am looking forward to season 8 which will be on these dates:  18th and 25th of Nov, 2nd of Dec. We'll make an announcement as to when we're going on sale through and our Facebook page.

Personally I felt my work was a bit up and down on the night.  I thought I nailed some aspects of the show and missed the mark a little bit on others.  I can pinpoint two mistakes I made:  one was with Pickering which was a complete brain fart on my behalf with me essentially asking two different versions of the same question in a row.  He really saved that piece by launching into a rant about how I wished it was Wil Anderson alongside of him and a funny Wil at The Shelf impersonation.  Yes, beer was spilt.

The other mistake was where I was a bit harsher in my language than I intended with The Stevenson Experience when they were onstage.  I loved that they joined in the spirit of the show but I used language that sounded way meaner than I intended and so I gave them some man love after their set while onstage.  I didn't want anyone to think I had taken what they said seriously.  I know the lads were fine but I have to take into account the audience and I am certain some people would have thought it was a bit mean which was definitely not the intention.  These are moments I should be better at and will keep in mind for our next season.  Sure I ad lib a lot at The Shelf and not everything can be perfect.  Yet resting on your laurels only leads to more mistakes and you don't want to miss an opportunity to grow as an act. They might only be considered blips on the night but I push myself to be better every time and the only way you can improve is if you embrace even the smallest of failures.

Still it was a great show filled with fun people that I enjoyed hanging out with all night. Special mention needs to go to our publicist Jodi Crocker who does much more than is asked of her and helps keep the show in check.  Our techie Jason Young is just as much a part of the show as any of the acts now and we couldn't imagine him not working with us. He even turned up to the first show five days after having hernia surgery!  What a fucking hero!  A big thanks to our photographer Regina Karon who I am certain is putting some filters on her photos of me...I appreciate that more than you realise!  To everybody at The Toff in Town, (Emily, Stephen and the rest of the gang) thanks for letting us use your room and we apologise for making it so grubby with our product.

Until next season...



Justin Hamilton

21st of August, 2013