It’s a Real Job

I think it says something about the longevity of a relationship when ‘playing doctors and nurses’ actually means giving your partner Lemsips and tucking them up because they’re not very well. Layla’s got a nasty sinus infection and is all bunged up on the sofa making elephantine like blowing nose sounds. Its not very nice for her and I’m trying to be caring and helpful, but there’s not much I can do other than make Lemsips. I think its a fairly good thing I don’t work in the medical industry as that would be my default cure for everything. Headaches? Lemsip. Nausea? Lemsip. Leg fallen off? Lemsip. Had I written ER or even much less interesting and far more poorly written Holby City, each and every episode would involve many people dying as a Lemsip does not cure a knife wound or head injuries from a car crash. Oddly while those storylines would have ruined ER, I can’t help but feel it would make Holby City a considerably better watch. I am designated carer until 5pm tonight when I head to my gig which is in the very posh Hanbury Manor Marriott in Ware. I am assured that this hotel is the five star premises that Robbie Williams and Oasis stay in when they do Knebworth. I hope that after I’ve done my gig there tonight my name will be added to that list of great guests. Its more likely I will try and nick a dressing gown and get kicked out.

Last night’s gig was unexpectedly odd, yet fun. It was at Kingston University, and sharing sentiment with Mr Han Solo, I had a bad feeling about it. The gig itself looked ok, but not great. The room was a funny shape, and there weren’t too many students there, but they had gone to effort of putting signs up saying the pool tables and bar were closed while the acts were on, which is always nice. I sat in the ‘comedian’s area’ with Danny Ward, waiting for the show to kick off, and as we chatted away and caught up on things, a young student couple strolled straight into the area, sat on the sofa infront of us and started heavy petting. The sofas were at right angles to each other and so even if Danny and I were to turn our heads away, the near shagging would have continued to be in our peripheral vision. We wanted to tell them it was the comic’s area, but they were so into it I don’t think they would have noticed. I remember some pretty frisky university moments, but they tended not to be in brightly lit room knowing there was a small audience. Still, not having a clue how to deal with is, I just stared right at them for a bit, pulling some faces, and twittering about their antics. They still didn’t notice, and now I fear I’ve unknowingly made them celebrities. Saying that, some fame was definitely deserved. They seemed very good at it, and the guy was really grabbing the girl’s boobs and they were only 4 days into uni so that’s fast work. Sluts. All of them.

The crowd looked a bit rowdy, with some hooded rudeboys to the left side of the stage and some lairy lads running to sit right at the front and shout a bit, but when the gig started they were brilliant. I spent the first half of my MCing just shamelessly picking on them all. I even had a go at one of the guys in hoods and he just backed down and didn’t stab me or anything. I wonder if this is the way to combat the youth. If we shepherd them all up, stick them in the Comedy Store and we’ll get a load of comics to go onstage and tell them they’re dickheads. It’ll sort them out in no time. Or the comedy scene will suddenly have a lot less acts. Either way, its a win-win situation. Danny went on and had a great set, and then we strolled into the interval. This comedy break started very well, with lots of the students coming over and saying how much they were enjoying it and all that but then it went horribly wrong. There was no sign of our headliner Mr Brendon Burns. I left it a while as the bar was busy, and then getting panicky, I decided to give him a call. Poor Brendon had never had the gig in his diary and was sitting at home miles away from the show. This was no way his fault and these sort of things do seem to happen in the comedy world. Its by no means the first time its happened to a gig that I’ve been at. I was a tad angry, but only because I was jealous Brendon was still at home. I would have killed to still be in my flat, instead of sitting around watching teenagers make out. Saying that, there is a chance that had I sat at home I would have gone online to watch teenagers make out. So I guess staying at the gig was more cost effective. The promoter’s phone was broken and there was initial panic from both of us, me and Brendon ringing round to see who else could do it. Brendon eventually decided like a trooper, that it would be best if he raced over but he wouldn’t get there for at least an hour and a half. After worrying about what to do, I gave the students the option of a very long interval, or me doing some material for them, before having a second interval and bringing Brendon on, and they said yes to that. So I ended up doing a full set as well as MCing. I did loads of Edinburgh show stuff and old stuff and they seemed to really enjoy it. Then finally Burns made it and kicked arse. It ended up being very long but really good. Most importantly it was quite nice to know I can cover if needs be, although I don’t really want to make a habit of it. Partly because I’m lazy and partly because you can’t really do comedy in the same way you can do supply teaching. This is mostly because supply teachers get up really bloody early and then teach kids stuff though.

It did knacker me out doing that too. The night should’ve ended at 10.30pm and instead we were done by nearly midnight. Now, and yes this is the serious bit of the blog, I have had several jibes, especially on the world of Twitter, complaining as to how comedy can be tiring when most people work 8-9 hour days. Good point, and fair enough and all that. Yes it does appear that a day’s work for a comedian lies somewhere in the region of 20-40 minutes and you would be right to think we shouldn’t really complain about that. There are however, several factors that aren’t taken into consideration here. Firstly, you have to put travel time into the equation. Last night’s gig was only in Kingston, so it was about an hour’s drive there and back, but a lot of the time gigs are quite far away, journeys being at least 2-3 hours one way. Then you get to the gig early and often I am driving someone there, so have to stay for the duration of the show which is a few more hours and if I’m MCing I have to be there anyway. Add to that the adrenalin that pumps through you standing on a stage dealing with people, always thinking and being on your feet, none of which you get sitting at a desk looking at facebook when you’re meant to be working. The really hard working comics also spend their days writing and doing many other things. I mean I don’t. I play Xbox. A lot of comics do though. All that together equals 8-9 hour days, with the depletion of adrenaline causing extra weariness and you may realise why I complain about being tired all the time. Although the real reason is of course sitting on Twitter till 3am every night. It might not appear like a real job, but it really can be at times. Last night was a case in point. Ran over. Tonight while I sit in a very posh five star hotel, getting a free very posh dinner and then only work for 20 minutes before driving 40 minutes home, I will think about just how hard my job is. Unless of course the headliner doesn’t show for an hour….

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