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Pay What Now?
Outro
Hearing the music
When to quit
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Tonight I was funny
Attack of the Drones
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Friday, April 30


Thursday, April 29

Ok... so I'm listening to Little Shop of Horrors again... the film soundtrack at the moment - Steve Martin is making me grin inanely at the moment. I really need to take a break.

Ticket sales for The Musical! are looking very encouraging. If we don't sell out, then it's going to be close... In fact, if the Arts Centre have sold all of their tickets (which they can't have... surely?) then we're already sold out! Crikey!

We had a "fun" run through last night - perhaps a little too much dicking around, but at least we kept it fresh. We know what we're doing now and we have a week to polish it. This is a good position, but there's no room for complacency. Hard work is all the more important now - there are more people to witness each and every inadequacy.

There's still plenty to organise, but it's, so far, coming together neatly... or should that be nearly.

Wednesday, April 28

Much fun and frolics had last night in Glasgow. I even managed to get back to my house at the perfectly respectable time of 12:30. Okay, so that's a late night in some people's books, but on a gig night, that's positively early. I could just as easily have done a gig in Sunderland and got back at that time. I know... my reality has been somewhat twisted by my behaviour in the world of comedy... I'm coping though. I even saw the office this morning before 9.30... how cool is that!?

Not very - I have a very long day's work to put in to catch up on the week so far and then get a head start on the rest of it!

D'oh!

Tuesday, April 27

Today's Musical Of The Day
Little Shop of Horrors - and why not!?

Written by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, this musical is based on the original movie with Jack Nicholson. They were part way through the writing process when they hit on the idea of telling the story using motown-style music. It's all shang-a-langs and doo wahs... and it's great! I'm currently listening to the version that's playing on Broadway at the moment. This is a nice version in many ways - lots of additional nuances that make it more interesting. However, there are two key problems with this version.

Endings - the musical director has decided that the audience needs to know when a song has reached an ending. Virtually every ending had been re-written as an applause-forcer. In a lot of cases this feels forced. The original endings were pretty good in my opinion. Sometimes you need to trust your audience a bit more.

Audrey - the actress playing Audrey doesn't do the squeaky voice which other actresses have used for her. The squeaky voice seems ridiculous, but I think it's an important part of her character. In places I think this Audrey is insipid, rather than the eager-to-please, self-loathing, fallen sweetheart that Seymour rescues from herself.

What's great about this CD is the presence of the bonus tracks. Hearing songs that never made it is an honour. I have found myself humming some of the songs which only got as far as Alan Menken's demo sessions. That's cool!

I learned a reasonable amount from the performance, though. Seymour is excellent and the dentist, in some ways, has a go at stealing the show. I have managed to improve my own stage-craft as a result of observing what worked on the stage in this show. That's pretty cool!

When you're a writer...
I remember giggling with glee at a particular gag, which makes one of my characters look a bit of a monkey (well, a complete zoo's worth). I remember the moment of laughing uncontrollably as I thought through the reveal and the audience's reaction to his obvious discomfort. It seemed the natural thing to do to one of the characters... but which? Ah... mine! Yes, I'm the fall guy in this show... which makes it very uncomfortable in many ways...

"I am doing it because it's funny"... and I'm going to keep repeating that until I believe it. When you're a writer, you're writing the dreams - you can take it to extremes, because everything is what it seems. When you have to face the harsh reality of enacting your clever ideas... well, then it becomes a little more challenging.

"I am doing it because it's funny" - no... I believe it... honestly.

Most unusual rehearsal ever?
Apparently not. I'm led to believe that the Pythons rehearsed their sketches outdoors a lot - this I discovered after spending a rather pleasant Sunday performing what was, for me, a most uncommon form of rehearsal. We did two run throughs of the dialogue of The Musical!. The first involved my partner-in-crime holding a script and correcting me as he part-read, part pulled-from-memory, his lines... all while he followed me up and down the garden as I mowed the lawn. The second run through occurred during weeding, while my colleague lay on the freshly mowed lawn and recalled the words from his head.

We finished the evening off with a full no-stopping run-through... of course. It seemed almost too normal. Mind you, in between the gardening duties, we'd had a barby and I'd done a gig... so it wasn't too conventional. Not a bad use of a warm Sunday.

Friday, April 23

I'm frequently given to looking back. Two years seems to be a period long enough to find noticeable difference in my life, yet short enough to find the transformation to be disturbing. This is, I suppose, the frequently commented upon benefit of the diary aspect to this website. It seems that two years ago I was messing around making an arse of myself in Boots and sitting up late into the night writing proper articles for this website.

Interestingly enough, two of the items from April 2002's version of this website are fodder for existing, or forthcoming stand-up routines. The events in Dublin, involving a revolving door, have been adapted into one of my regular stand-up songs and a comment on Ronan Keating is still something I plan to pull out on stage... in fact I did it once, but it wasn't very effective. I'm working on it.

The past is perhaps more interesting when viewed in contrast to the present. Today I'm joining the musicians' union, driving to Scotland to perform a gig - with TWO guitars in tow, and er... well... that's enough isn't it?

Beats sitting at home at 11pm in a towel.

Thursday, April 22

I believe that scientific papers used to be written exclusively in Latin - some sort of special way of keeping them out of the understanding of the lesser educated, perhaps.

Having spent much of this week wading through badly written documentation, some of which has made me very very angry indeed, I can confirm that scientific documentation is still not always written in English.

I don't claim to be a good writer, but I can spot bad writing.

If anyone finds any of my sentences a little difficult to appreciate, then please be assured that I could cite you some examples of proper-bad-writing, rather than my own particular brand of fluffy-wooliness!

I feel like I have to post something now... I have readers. It's official. Sometimes that scares me, sometimes I ignore it. Mainly the latter. What's the use of wondrin'?... uh oh... I just quoted (quoth) Rodgers and Hammerstein - that's not right...

...but I'm somewhat musical obsessed at the moment. This may be something to do with the fact that I've spent the last three nights locked in my dining room with my colleague rehearsing a musical show about two guys locked in my dining room. If I made a musical about my life, it would get very weird.

My view of the world is somewhat warped at the moment. I've been crossing all sorts of lines that I never expected to cross. I did my 100th gig as a stand-up a few days ago. I've agreed a contract for a large sum of money to organise a Fringe show. I've found myself in... er... predicaments of compromise (I'm not saying here - people read this) that I would never have believed of myself.

I should point out that my behaviour is entirely innocent. I'm not some sort of predatory sex-beast. Far from it. There's no time. (Like that's the reason I'm still single after 2 years...) I should assure everyone (including myself, reading this one day, retrospectively while in the future, that my intentions remain entirely honourable (more's the pity) and I am unsullied by human touch. What I was doing in the Ann Summers shop the other day is just a simple misunderstanding. All (well, hopefully not all - I have to work on suitable support) will become apparent on May 8th.

So looking back, I've not too much to talk about - it's all been much the same thing - sandwiches, rehearsals and scraps of paper as I frantically try to pull this production together. I think we're pretty much there. I'm one Amazon order and some fishing line away from my set being complete. Looking forward, it's much of the same. Tomorrow I'm off to Scotland for a one-night-stand (gig) in North Berwick. The weekend is all rehearsals and maybe I'll mow the lawn if the weather's up to it. I will probably sleep in and miss out. Erm... and that's it.

Looking further forward, it looks like I'm in London 3 times next month. Indeed, May looks to be a fairly frantic month, and I doubt it's going to get any easier. I hope that some of this frantic behaviour makes me expend a bit more energy than normal and deprives me of time to eat AND steers me away from the sort of food which I should be avoiding. Then perhaps I'll lose weight, so I can look good in my... er... costume.

Sunday, April 18

I think, all things considered, I'd like to have another go at today. I don't want to go into Groundhog Day mode and relive today repetitively until I get it right, but it has been a disturbing combination of circumstances and I'm pretty certain that I could have done it better.

I woke up disgustingly late, having become hooked into a bizarre dream about a local comedian who was fighting for the Iraquis or something - probably a combination of my usual gig-based mental state and the news on the radio alarm (which I was successfully ignoring) pervading my consciousness.

Then I managed to have a really weird meal - Goulash with pasta - owing to my misunderstanding the nature of the food I was defrosting and reheating in the microwave from the deep-freeze section of my freezer. I made it in the first place, but I never label things in the freezer, possibly to create the opportunity for such hilarious food combinations to be made. Made it was and it was pleasant. Perhaps I would have done it differently if I'd have known before I boiled the pasta up.

Then time escaped me, and I got very little of my planned tasks done before I headed to Leeds to the gig I was doing tonight. I set off earlier than I might have done, anticipating traffice or car problems.

I arrived horrendously early and spent a lot of the time before the gig in a state of great boredom.

Then I asked to be placed later on in the running order - this was a mistake. The spot I was down for would have been better. As it was, I came onto stage when the audience's attention was at a low ebb and I did nothing to capture their imagination - gong! - shameful. Still, it's nice to know that 102 gigs into the business, I can still have a bigger failure than my first gig. At least I got one laugh then!

Then I drove home and decided to postpone the dieting in favour of an orgy of calories and comfort food at my favourite A1 services. This was foolish...

... almost as foolish as the poor judgement that I made when I hit a particular roundabout at around 40 miles an hour near my house - I had no idea that there was a car coming... I just didn't see him.

Unlike my stand-up gig, where I couldn't make them laugh to save my life, I was able to perform a series of steering, braking and accelerating actions within the car and drive myself out of trouble. Indeed, given the conditions of the road, I think I could well have earned the title stunt-motorist-of-the-year... if it hadn't been for my excessive stupidity in performing the stunt in the first place.

On balance, not a good day. I think I enjoyed the "Road Accident That Never Was" more than the gig, since it gave me more of a rush while it happened, a greater sense of well-being afterwards and I didn't die.

Oh dear oh dear. Listening to old tapes of when I was a significantly less effective stand-up comedian... it's not much fun. I wonder what I'll make of my current abilities in 8 months' time. Still, at least I'm at home, warm and bathed in plenty of light. This is in stark contrast to last night's antics.

What happened last night?

Well, I'll tell you!

Actually, let's look at what I've done since the last post.

On Thursday evening I went to Birmingham - Moseley to be precise - to do a deceptively difficult gig. It looked like the sort of audience I'd have fun with, but they seemed slightly harder to please once under the spotlight and facing their stares. Still, I did my thing and left the stage after my 100th gig a little more aware of my limitations than when I went up there. I should point out that I did reasonably well, just not as well as I might have hoped. Tough gig.

Friday was a trip to Perth. Picking up a fellow comedian at 4pm and heading up to Scotland was a recipe for a long night. The gig itself was small but perfectly formed and I expected to get home at around 4 or 4.30am once we set back from the site of our most recent laughter-based exploits... but oh no... oh no no no...

We didn't go straight home. No, we went messing round on B-roads until we found the most haunted castle in the whole of Europe. That's right. We celebrated the end of the gig by going for a walk around the old haunted castle. With night-vision failing and very little light available in the middle of nowhere, we decided to wander around to see if we could find any signs of ghostly activity.

It was quite good fun... I've never been so happy about smoking in my life as when my colleague's lit cigarette provided a gentle source of light for the first part of our trip.

I had my excuse planned in case the owner called the police. We were going to claim we were from the AA-hotel guide... stealth division!

Didn't get to my home until 5.30am.

Still, it's all part of life's rich tapestry. Thank goodness for weekend gigs.

Old Tapes

Well... I've been going through some old tapes and cringeing like a monkey at how much I needed to learn back then. However, I did find the recording of the time when I was singing the words each time I cling to your kiss, I hear music divine and looked up to find that I'd accidentally been addressing them to a young teenage girl.

Thursday, April 15

Last night's gig was... well... different. I've not done a huge swathe of new material in a set in a very long time and so I planned to do around 10 minutes of new stuff last night... I didn't really know how long the new stuff took and I'm still not quite sure how much actually new material I did last night and how much was just messing around. However, I do recall making the audience laugh and having fun doing it.

Unlike a lot of gigs, where I've been able to go up there with little rehearsal and preparation and have, therefore, felt totally confident and without nerves, I had more than a slight sense of anticipation about this one. I think I threw a wee strop in the office before I left it at some point late in the evening - the aim being to make sure I've covered my hours for the week, since the next two gigs are somewhat more distant than last night's trip to Sunderland. To add pressure, there was a film crew present at the gig last night. I don't know whether they filmed me - I doubt that they did, since I signed nothing in the way of a consent form.

I don't really know how well the new material did. I got some nice laughs during it, but I'm not sure if that was just the audience being nice, or whether it was luck... I've no idea. I do know that I felt very confident in throwing these new things at the crowd. In fact, it felt fresher, since I wasn't quite sure how I was going to end up saying it. With some of my other material, I pretty much know how I'm going to phrase it, word for word, breath for breath in some cases - I have a scripted swallow between some words... more habitual than actually written in a script - it's all part of the timing. But with the new stuff... well, I just played it by ear... I think I'll use the material again at some point. I suspect some of it will, inevitably, prove not to be as funny as I thought when I wrote it. Still, the challenge of trying new stuff was great and I filled in the rest of the time with what can only be described as fucking around with my guitar... and it was fun...

Basically, I went on stage with my Stratocaster and a guitar sound modelling pedal. Hit switches on the pedal and my humble Strat (not a genuine Fender, though it is a Squier and does have a genuine Fender... er... strap) can sound like the James Bond guitar, or maybe sound a bit like I'm a ROCK GOD... what I lack in talent and skill, I make up for in clowning around. The audience were happy to applaud anything they vaguely recognised... nice crowd! I hope they realised I was being ironic. I delivered one line which I'd thought of just as I was tuning the guitar and chatting with some of the other acts:

It's hard not to look cool with one of these... but I'm doing it!

I have a tape of what happened... I'm still not quite sure why any of it worked or didn't work. I suppose I'll have to try it out again and see what another audience does.

Tonight is my 100th gig - hoorah! so I should try to make it one I don't regret. I've left the electric guitar at home - I'm more comfortable with the acoustic. I'm not really a rock god. Just a folk legend!

Tuesday, April 13

An offer I made to my work colleagues - I'll make it to any Incredible.org.uk readers too. Email me at the-musical@the-musical.co.uk if you want to take up this deal:

Hi folks,

May the 8th moves ever closer and so I thought I'd give you a little more information about "The Musical!", which is the show I'll be performing in Edinburgh during this year's Fringe Festival, and which we're previewing at Newcastle Arts Centre in just a few short weeks.

There's a somewhat limited website to read : www.the-musical.co.uk

You will be able to buy your tickets in a couple of days (I need to slice them up and number them first). Tickets are priced at £6 with a concessionary price of £5. However, to keep things easy, I'll charge the concessionary price for any tickets sold through me. £5 - imagine that!

On the 8th, the show will start at 8pm and will begin with a support act, doing some stand-up comedy and generally warming everyone through. Then there'll be an intermission, drinks will be available from the bar, and the show will close with our premiere of "The Musical!" (running time 60 minutes or so). We'll be finished performing in plenty of time to share some congratulatory drinks at the bar.

I hope you will be able to come along and support this show. Taking a show to the Edinburgh festival is a very scary prospect and could lose us a huge amount of confidence and money. If we set off to the festival with the sound of some appreciative audiences still ringing in our ears, perhaps it will be easier to live the dream, rather than pray that the horrendous nightmare ends quickly.

Oh... and it's funny. Really funny. Honestly. You'll laugh. I do.

Thanks for reading.

Ashley



Buying tights in M&S today - I felt like everyone was looking at me...

...guilty conscience...

It's all perfectly innocent and above board.

I guessed at the denier.

Spam is comedy gold. Here's another classic:

From: Britney Spears, Subject: Oops I'm Nudie Again ashley

How do they think of them!?

I had to laugh out loud at this subject line on one of the 2,500 spams that arrived in my mailbox over the long weekend:

Are Banks the Best Place for a M o r t g_a g e? elephant

I've no idea where the elephant fits into it... but it's a nice surprise word at the end of the question. Maybe it's meant to mesmerise animal lovers.

Monday, April 12

Straight talkin' rocks
Sometimes it would be cool if people came with an instruction booklet. They could just tell you what they were thinking and you wouldn't need to guess - it would be great.

Tonight, I had the benefit of such an insight and life was, for a short moment, both crystal clear and easy to follow. Sadly, it shatters the illusions of ambiguity, but at least it prevented the inconvenience of misinterpretation.

Rock rocks.

I'm not quite sure I'm making sense.

On the up side, I had the moral victory... and I won £3 on the quiz machine... and it only cost me £4 to play it.

Saturday, April 10

Today was something of a mixed bag of nuts. Woken by the postman, I decided to go back to bed for a bit. Waking up late morning it was breakfast and then a walk into town for lunch... well, actually, I walked into town, learning some lines, in order to buy clip frames. I ended up buying a few extra items - I'm like that. I should not go out of the house with money, I might save myself a lot of expense.

After buying what I bought, some of which constitutes props for The Musical!, I returned home. On the bus home (I had too much to carry) I took a shine to a nice lady carrying a large white canvas. My "shine" luckily didn't overspill in a way which she became aware of, but I sat for the journey, dying to make some comment to her about the large white canvas (which I assume she's going to paint on) - "Modern Art, eh?" - in my mind this comment was going to make her laugh so hard that she immediately proposed that we go out on a date. In reality, I got off the bus without making so much as eye contact. It was one of those moments where you realise that a throwaway gag and a complete stranger do not make good bedfellows... Still, I can publish my foolish thoughts to the entire world on the internet, that won't cause anyone any embarrassment.

Arriving home, I had time to put on some glasses and get in the car in search of carpet. Another prop. I found a carpet shop and I've bought a truly evil Wilton remnant.

Nothing exciting happened in Asda. Typical. I could have enjoyed some excitement.

Home cleaning tasks seem strangely appropriate and today has seen me cleaning the bathroom more thoroughly than I would normally have done. I've also been putting items in and out of washing/drying machines. Such is my productive nature on a bank holiday weekend.

My gig schedule feels quite lean, yet I have three gigs between now and next week. It only goes to show how much I'd become accustomed to gigging nearly every day, as I was for most of last month. There's no rest for me, though. I have plenty to organise. I really hope this stuff doesn't all go belly up - that would be most disappointing.

A day, well afternoon and evening, of spring cleaning, plotting and watching Spaced.

Wednesday, April 7

Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother is the delicate sound of freedom for me... sometimes I miss the incarceration.

Well... I didn't win last night. But I did have a very good gig. It was a big crowd, but I felt I had them throughout... in fact, they laughed so much I had to cut material in order to fit the timeslot. Sadly, I forgot to add the punchline to a routine I did... not that it was an obvious omission, but I missed it nonetheless.

I think I'm improving.

I'd like to thank "The Lads" for their support and for good company before the show. Apart from losing, I hope I didn't let the side down too much. I'd also like to give a special thanks to Mr G, whose company on the ride to Leeds was what I needed to progress from the mood I was in towards the mood I needed to be in. We did some serious anger management workshopping and had a good old bitch about a bad old bitch who is, ironically, not in the least bit beautiful.

Tuesday, April 6

Boy did I get some serious sleeping in last night. Am I still exhausted? Well, yes... but at least I know that I've given the bed some use. I've had one too many nights away from home recently, so it was nice to make use of the home I regularly pay for.

I also watched the first 3 episodes of the fantastic "Spaced", which is, itself, a lesson in comedy writing. Amazing! It really perked me up.

Tonight I'm off to perform in a competition - this should be interesting.

Monday, April 5

This is going to be a relatively restful period. Two public holidays mean that the next two weeks are 4-day working weeks. My gig schedule is also fairly lightweight. This will give me chance to work on other things - I may even do some gardening and cleaning of the house... and not before time!

Let's have a quick retrospective on what's happened since Thursday's post.

Thursday evening
Got the train to Edinburgh. Was picked up and transported to Musselburgh (where? - exactly). Opened the night in Musselburgh, watched the next two acts and then borrowed the promoter's car to drive them back to Edinburgh. Then I returned to Musselburgh where the evening closed. I had a couple of beers - one bought for me by one of the audience - a nice chap - and then it was back to the promoter's place for a night's sleep, via the naughty takeaway for some naughty taking away. (It was a real takeaway - this is not some euphemism for buying sex.)

Friday morning
Woke up feeling fairly bright-eyed, which was odd, since I'd only had about 5 hours' sleep. Got the train back to Newcastle, arrived in the office and managed to accidentally insult/annoy the two people I sit with within 30 seconds of arriving. This was similar, in some respects, to the round of applause I got within 30 seconds of arriving on the stage in Musselburgh the previous evening as I riffed with a guy in the audience - who later bought me the beer. Similar to a round of applause, except I then had to do some apologising.

In some respects, though, when someone asks the question "Is it still raining?" of a man, covered in raindrops, who has just said "That rain is pretty wet." - well, they're going to get something of a stupid answer back.

Afternoon
The decision for the Fringe venue came down to the 11th hour. After pressuring an offer out of a particular venue, I was left with an uncertain and expensive outcome. However, another venue, who had remained remarkably silent for much of the process, pulled a good offer out of the hat and we agreed. The scale of the show is larger than I'd bargained for - by more degrees than is comfortable, but comfort is not the mother of remarkable achievement.

Evening
After 90 seconds in the house spent grabbing a sleeping bag and using the toilet, I drove back to Scotland. The location was Aberdour (where?). After a lot of sitting around this gig went ahead and the audience, who were up for something, though they didn't quite know what, were very nice. At one stage a drunk guy tried to commandeer the microphone, but he was dealt with, and the short attention span crowd had some joy to give me.

After the first show, I zoomed over to Glasgow to do a gig there. Much of the room felt out of my range, except the front row. I made my performance as big as I could - to try to reach the guys at the back. This had the effect of nearly exploding the people on the front, who were bathed in my efforts - I wasn't sure where the dividing line between laughter and pain was drawn.

Then it was back to Edinburgh to my rather unusual hostel. The hostel was a bit like an opt-in prison. Lots of long corridors and bunk beds, you didn't use money in the place - you had a sort of smart card to buy stuff (not that I did) and you felt like there was a small, but tangible threat of being interfered with in the night. I wasn't interfered with, of course.

Saturday
Met up with one of my comedy colleagues and went for breakfast and chilling out in the wake of the Royal Yacht Brittania. This was a most pleasant afternoon's conversation and relaxation. Then it was an evening meal and off to Bridge of Allan for another gig. I opened the gig and took all the weird goings on on the nose - warming the crowd as best I could. My mood was variable during that section of the evening and I needed to take some time to stand outside in the fresh air, whistling Gershwin, in order to get my head clear of anger/depression. Such is the necessity when you're trying to be an entertainer while tired and far from what might be considered normality.

After Bridge Of Allan, we hot footed it to Glasgow for another gig. This was a classic - a pub full of people who would rather talk than listen to comedy. As such, the laughter for the first act was limited. I was supposed to go on third, but I got myself bumped up to second. I wanted the challenge of trying to take the whole room on and shut the swines up. I shouted them down. I got them laughing and I told them to give a lot of support to the rest of the acts - I had a moral victory.

Then back to Edinburgh, where we spent some time in a pub I've been to a few times, making conversation with strangers as a favour. One lass approached our table in desperation because she couldn't return to her table where she'd be the obvious gooseberry, since the other two users of the table were in a clinch of some description. We kept her talking as much as her inebriation and insecurity could allow for.

Another night in the hostel of no interference. I was even in the room alone.

Sunday
I needed some me time and so went for a Sunday lunchtime paper-reading in Starbucks. This was uninspiring, so I went for a walk. This was uninspiring so I went to the HMV sale. That worked well! Then I went to a bookshop who were in a state of denial over their two for one offer. I brought two books from the offer, they denied the two for one, so I brought two identical copies, which happened to have the wee sticker on, and I got the second book for free. I didn't even want the second book, I'd only picked it up, after I chose the first one, since I didn't see why I should miss out on the offer. Confusing, pointless... and moving on...

Then it was more time spent in 'bucks and then another meal. There's a lot of eating and drinking happens in the average weekend.

The final gig of the weekend was in Leith. A lovely room and lovely gig - shame that it was not better attended. I opened the show again and somewhat self-indulgently used the spotlight to honour a very important moment in my life - but I played it for laughs and got away with it. It was probably the longest set I did all weekend and I felt a lot more comfortable and appreciated than some of the larger spots I'd done.

Watching the wonderful headliner and screaming with laughter at his efforts was well worth the slightly later-than-planned stay in the city.

Back home
Driving home, I picked up a hitchhiker, dropped him off at his destination and got on with my life. It's nice to think that I gave something for nothing as the close of a weekend's efforts. I don't know what I want for myself. I don't even know why I'm doing it. Perhaps in some ways, I'm hitching myself. I'm jumping onto the next big adventure that takes me somewhere - whether it's the Ashley Frieze comedy tour, or "The Musical!" - there's definitely something to plan for and to journey through.

Ask me what it's all about in November, I suspect I'll have worked it out by then. If not, then there's no hope for me.

Friday, April 2

China in your hand
I am going to be very very very very poor.

However, I have now contracted a slot for The Musical! for this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Lord have mercy on my soul and that of my bank manager!

Here endeth the affluence.

Thursday, April 1

Well, that alarm clock was all of useless. I'm unwakeable.

Never mind. At least I get a nice lie in.

This coming weekend is going to be busy, gig-wise. I'm not quite sure how it's all going to pan out, but it's going to be strenuous. I'm on a train in a couple of hours and then, when the journey is over, I have a gig a sleep a train back to work, a day's work and then... back in a car to the same part of the world.

This is not normal.

But it feels remarkably normal.

I'm also quite tired. This is hardly surprising.

I don't know whether the stand-up comedy is leading. I know the answer geographically, just check out www.ashleyfrieze.co.uk/gigs/ and the answer is fairly clear. What I mean is that I don't know where in career-terms it's going. I'm still gigging for the love of it. There's money in it, but I'm still operating at a loss, which is fair enough. I've still got a lot to learn. I just wonder when I will have to decide whether I'm cut out for doing this indefinitely. At the moment, there doesn't seem to be any definite point to decide this. I have gigs booked up as far as September, but I suspect that I'll continue courting more gigs and accepting more gigs beyond.

So have I already decided to be a stand-up? I've only done 90 gigs. It's been 14 or so months. Am I now firmly routed in this business? If so, then I'd better think about getting a better alarm clock.

Crewe and my first Encore

Crewe: a lovely audience... an encore... feeling like a million dollars (despite my net worth of £3.68 - an Asda price if ever there was one)

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