Death death death. No one likes death do they? Except funeral directors. And those Americans who make the electric chairs. In fact without death both of those people would be completely out of work. That and the world would be really full of old people. Ultimately it would really help with things like history lessons or solving the problem of the missing link, as all these people would be wandering among us. On the down side, the world would be vastly over populated and we would probably have to constantly engage in an eternal battle where people can only be killed by the cutting off of their heads like in Highlander. If that happened, I’d wear a metal scarf. I’d be a brilliant Highlander. Except I’m too small, so I’d have to be a Lowlander, which would oddly be better as it’d be harder to decapitate someone that much lower than you. Anyway, I digress. Last night, I died on stage. Of course this isn’t like proper death but it used to feel like it was. Nothing sticks in your mind like a terrible stage death and you think about it for days and days as all confidence is shattered and you look for adverts in local papers for any holes you might be able to crawl in and actually die. I have a list of my worst deaths ever which include the one on the Wibbly Wobbly boat that I wrote about a few days ago, and one at the Comedy Store where I received one of the worst heckles ever ever. I also, perhaps more meanly, have a list of favourite comedy deaths I’ve ever witnessed other acts have. Its not nice to do this, and often its so awful watching a collegue have the worst gig of their lives but sometimes, just sometimes, its brilliant. My favourite was an act during our first ever season of Fat Tuesday who had ten whole minutes of excruciating silence from the crowd. Nothing he did worked and it was terrible. Then as he was wrapping up and swallowing his pride, he said thanks to the crowd, went to leave the stage, tripped over the mic stand and fell flat on his face to a standing ovation and loud guffaw from everyone. Horrible. Horrible but brilliant.
I remember being told ages ago that the longer you do comedy, the more you are able to prevent dying on stage. If something’s not working you know to change to something else, change material for banter or vice versa. While I’m probably jinxing myself, over the last 3 or 4 months I’ve only died twice. Once at the golf gig here:
And the second time was last night. Yesterday I was the token male at Girls With Guns at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Girls With Guns is a brilliant gig, and a brilliant idea, where the normal comedy night bill is reversed with all female acts and one token male act. Sadly it was let down by a complete lack of crowd last night. There were a handful of people spread as widely as possible over the room, just to ensure they couldn’t create any kind of atmosphere at all. Tiffany Stevenson went on first and she MC’d brilliantly, but the crowd were not going for anything, ever. Roison Conaty was second and did a kick arse set but the crowd were giving nothing except a few titters. Then it was time for the Douieb, and I got nothing. Less than nothing. It was as though they were dead or made of stone. Or dead people that had been turned to stone and then got deaded again somehow using stone killer. It didn’t help that the stage was very high up, or that the lighting kept going bright and dim at regular intervals during my set but ultimately, it was my fault. No matter how shit a crowd, I’ve seen comedians turn the frowns upside down and I couldn’t do it. Oddly instead of hating myself and wanting to cut small pictures of Barry Scott into my arm out of self loathing, I found it strangely refreshing. I’ve been feeling quite confident about stand-up lately and really feeling like I can walk on any stage and have a good gig, and last night was the slap in the face that proved me wrong. Not that I like slaps in the face, please don’t assume that’s what I meant and attack me with slappery. There was something nice to think that that can still happen and I need to be on top of my game to stop it from happening again. Also it was nice to know that it really doesn’t bother me too much. I know the good gigs outweigh the bad ones by a massive difference and that keeps me from going insane after one of them isn’t amazing. Saying that if the next three nights are all shit I will just fire myself out of a cannon of sadness.
Back to doing warm-up for We Need Answers tonight. Very much looking forward to watching Watson, Key and Horne’s antics once again and rambling inbetween. Should be much fun. Before that I am going to buy some new headphones because I slammed mine in my car door like a massive div and now I can only hear in the left ear piece which makes my right ear feel slightly left out. Or right out. I’m not sure.