Its been a bit of a lovely morning. To start I had breakfast with Layla for the third time in 3 days. She’s on her Easter hols and it means we actually see each other a bit. Its almost a novelty. We’ve spoken and not just over the phone or internet. Its really nice. I hope it doesn’t ruin our relationship by seeing too much of each other. If things start to get tense I’ll just go and stay in a hotel round the corner for a few days. And now we’ve just returned from a lovely stroll to Islington via the Holloway Road. Its incredible how such beautiful sunshine makes any area lovely. Blue skies, birds tweeting, some pigeons eating someone’s sick and a women with a black eye crying streams of tears while a chavvy man in a football shirt shouted at her. I love this time of year.
Did the semi-finals of the English Comedian of The Year last night, an event that I was very much non-plussed about to begin with. After the events of this blog – http://tiernandouieb.blogspot.com/2009/02/3rd-one-with-hairy-chest.html – I felt a bit like I should make more of an effort with the semi-finals. To be massively shallow about it the winner of the finals gets a substantial cash prize, which would really help towards Edinburgh. So with the motivation of money in mind I actually prepared my 7 minutes. A good crowd appeared from out of nowhere and they seemed in the mood for comedy. I was unlucky enough to pick 1st in the line-up out of the hat, but felt quite happy about it. Going first has never bothered me as it means although you often deal with a less than warm crowd you get it all over and done with straight away. At a normal gig it also has the advantage of ensuring you might get home at a reasonable time which is nice. Unfortunately in a competition you have to stay around till the end anyway and being first just means that by the 9th act on stage the crowd tend to have forgotten who you were.
Either way, I had a lovely gig and walked off thinking I’d sealed the deal. Its rare I think that, but I belted out 7 minutes, including one old gag I had forgotten about and got a good response from the crowd. Job done. Then I sat at the back and watched the others actually starting to naively hope I had got through. Act after act went up and all were of a very high standard. All that is except for a pair of girls who kicked female comedy back about 20 years by singing tepid songs about periods. There was a fairly supportive air to the show last night but while they were on the rest of the acts sat at the back with heads in hands wondering if the night could get any lower. But the crowd loved it. They really really loved it. Its times like that that you realise the public haven’t got a clue. No wonder Corne and Horden have had a second show commissioned, there are crowds still laughing at women doing bad jokes about periods. It was the sort of set that would have made Germaine Greer feel smug and Emily Pankhurst turn in her grave and wonder why she bothered. It was only after they had been on I started to really hope I had got through. If only to ensure they didn’t.
The night went on, with an interval spent racing Okse to see who can put posts on Twitter quicker which I think is an incredibly tragic state of affairs. But only because he won. Then after what seemed like a long time that I could have spent at home finishing season three of The Wire, they announced the winners. Before this I had noted that while some of the acts had a vast amount of friends in the room, I had none and as the bits of voting paper were being handed round I assumed that perhaps that wouldn’t make too much of a difference. I struggle to get friends along to things like that. Partly because they have seen me do 7 minutes lots of times before and partly because I didn’t really tell them about it and when I did, I didn’t place much emphasis on it being remotely important. Of course, having no friends there made a difference, and I’m not sure why I was surprised by this. I remembered that I’ve never had much luck in competitions, and so put my jacket on before the announcements hoping to leave fairly quickly. I was right, I didn’t get a placing. The three acts that did were all very good so I wasn’t too bothered. But then there was a further announcement that the 4th place was only 4 votes away from 3rd and that the 4th place was the terrible double act. That hurt. I have been beaten by that. Even if they had friends in the crowd, those friends knew it was anonymous voting and cant surely be supportive of such crimes against musical comedy? For the first time in about 3 years I left that gig feeling all a bit gutted.
After getting home I stopped caring anymore, but I wished I had followed my initial instinct and not entered. There’s a reason why I don’t enter competitions anymore and while I’d like to pretend its because I am past them, its more because I’m a crap at losing. Still I managed to watch two episodes of the Wire and have decided that if all else fails I will become a Balitimore cop. Or a dealer on the low-rises. Well low-rises at least until I can secure a high rise and then eventually become Stringer Bell. It may take some time, and surgery, and growth hormones, but I’ll get there.
Other than that it was a pretty good day. I received a phone call that was very exciting and may prove to be really exciting, but I cant mention what its about incase I jinx it. In fact mentioning it at all is probably jinxing it, so I will now just leave you all hanging in suspense. Instead dwell on the further exciting news that I’ve had my haircut which means I no longer look like a tiny scruffy lion and more like a tiny well groomed lion. I say lion, I mean meercat. Or infact something even less dangerous and bitey. A dead meercat maybe.