A comedic colleague has just started a blog which she hopes to update every day. I think that it's fair to assume that, based on past performance, I simply haven't got the commitment to keep that up. However, I am blogging for the second day running, so let's not look this particular gift-horse in the mouth.
Back With The Crew, in Crewe
Since my farewell-to-Newcastle gig in December, I've not gigged very much. In fact, I've done two gigs. Considering that I did over a dozen in November, it's fair to say that I've somewhat slackened the pace. This is not abnormal for me - I usually have a quite Jan and Feb (though usually because my efforts are elsewhere - on a musical, perhaps). Anyway, the problem is that not gigging for a while can make you feel rusty and out of condition. Where in November, I could easily eat up a 30+ minute slot, I am now pondering how easily I could keep up the pace in a 20 minute slot.
My first gig of the year was at the Red Rose Comedy club in Finsbury Park, London. I opened the show and things went reasonably well. I'd prepared a bit beforehand, but felt under-rehearsed... and more spontaneous. I found new opportunities to make laughs from my material - this is good. It felt fresher.
Last Thursday (19th Jan) I drove some 185 or so miles to Crewe (I think it would have been a similar distance from Newcastle) and did my first 20 minute set of the year. The Crewe gig operates the Manchester-style system of putting the main paid support act as the penultimate act of the night, so the shorter spots, sometimes comprising newer acts (or in the case of Thursday, the break-through acts), get to warm up the crowd. The aforementioned blogger and comedian, Sarah Millican, left me a lovely crowd to come on to and I duly proceeded to have a wonderful time with them.
I really enjoyed the gig and it was good to see some of the comedians whom I'd not seen in a while. I drove one such colleague back to Birmingham, and he even graciously sat through my wild ideas about musicals, some of which involved recordings I'd made of a work-in-progress.
All That Malarkey
I've got a gig tomorrow in Manchester that I'm very excited about. It's Bar XS in Manchester. The gig is run by a smashing chap - Toby Hadoke - who was also the compere last Thursday. I don't think I've had a tough time at a gig he's compered, so I feel like I will be in safe hands... at one of my very favourite venues ever!