2014 Gig Ninety Six: Road Show Upwey

This was the first sign I read yesterday morning:  

Is this a new sport from the future when society falls apart?


I noted in the previous blog that we returned to Melbourne for a couple of hours before heading out to Upwey for our show at the Burrinja Theatre.  This was my last appearance on Road Show this year and while it has been short it has definitely been sweet.  I wanted to throw my set list around even more and I ended up beginning with a routine that I have not used in a while.  Check out the set list:


Little Boy At Wedding

"I Don't Give A Hoot"

Hushed Angry Conversations

The Kid At Captain America

Budget Fury

Turning 40

Invite To Parties

Gym Story

Biker Corporate Gig


After my slip up on the first night (I missed the light to signal for me to wrap up my set) I have been diligent about making certain I know exactly where the light is before I hit the stage.  I was annoyed with myself for going over and wanted to make certain that didn't happen again.  Our stage manager Alison pointed it out where the light was before the show began and it was to one side of the stage rather than being straight ahead as they had been in previous shows.  The configuration of the room was also different with the comedians performing on the floor and the audience seated in front of us.  This ended up being a problem for me and not one that I foresaw in any way.


If there is a dryer there Neil will use it even if his hands are dry.


Once the show began we could tell the audience was fantastic and full of energy. Sometimes a Sunday night audience can be a little tired or distracted at the prospect of having to go to work the next day but this crowd was locked in from the moment Dave Callan hit the stage.  It was a strong opening between Dave and Neel Kolhatkar so I was in a pretty sweet spot to take advantage of that and have some fun.

Since there wasn't a proper stage I attempted to use as much of the space as possible and found myself at time very close to the audience.  I like to lean out into the crowd to help build a subtle relationship and with the stage lights illuminating a large part of the floor I had plenty of room to work.  By the time I had reached the "Turning 40" part of my set list I began looking for the red light but it wasn't flashing so I continued to enjoy the gig and have fun.  At one point (I think it was around the Gym Story) I remember while the audience was laughing I looked around for the light to such an extent I felt like I was moving my head like Stevie Wonder.  I still couldn't see a red light flashing so figured one last story would suffice.

I have noticed the Biker Corporate Gig story can take up a large chunk of time and I've worked on paring it back.  Now the story is a little more muscular and gets to the point a little better.  About half way through the story I was in the middle of explaining the shape and size of the bar where the story takes place when I noticed the red light flashing. Great.  That meant I had five minutes to wrap up and that was about how much I had left in the story.  I finished the tale and was very happy with how my set was received.  The audience was great and I'd had a lot of fun.

When I left the stage I discovered the light had been flashing for ages and I had gone quite a bit over my allotted time.  I'd done it again!  Ugh.  I was so pissed with myself. We worked out that what had happened was that I had moved so far forward towards the audience that I literally couldn't see the light flashing.  It wasn't until I was fleshing out the story that I had found it again.  I felt awful.  I hate comedians who chew up time especially when there is more show to come and now I had managed to do that twice in five nights.  What an arsehole.

I have to point out that everybody was fine with me but I felt like I had been unprofessional.  It didn't matter that I had been looking for the light.  The fact remained that I had gone over again.  The second half of the show was still fantastic and the audience never wavered in their enthusiasm for the gig.  It just left a slightly sour taste in my mouth that I had been unprofessional again.

By the time we returned to Melbourne it was time for me to bid the crew adieu and return home.  I've loved the past five days with this gang and hopefully I'll get opportunities to work with all of them again soon.  Yet even though I loved the trip there is nothing like crawling into your own bed on a cold night and letting sleep take you away.  I was asleep within moments and woke today feeling the better for it.  If you're in a town that has the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Road Show coming to you make certain you book a ticket because it really is the best way to see a broad spectrum of the talent that plays at the Festival.


I took the outer position as penance for going over time.  I think it suits me.


Justin Hamilton

16th of June, 2014

Fitzroy North