I was up very late on Friday night, doing websitey stuff, so I ended up being exhausted and tired and incapable of understanding why my other half insisted that I deal with the cats at 6 in the morning when they were bleating and making a nuisance of themselves. In the end, I got myself downstairs and fed (and secretly medicated) the cat who wanted to go out. I say secretly medicated and I mean that you can't give a pill to a cat directly - it has to be hidden in food. The food then has to be eaten and inspected for refunded pill.
Then the other cat came in and I did the same process.
I think I must have gone back to bed at some point.
All I know is that I woke up a bit later than planned and had to get to Brighton. I'd rehearsed the previous night, trying out my new PA system, and deliberately not changing the battery in one of my guitar pedals, to force myself to remember to do it in the morning and, thus, take the pedals with me.
After some more internet flummery, where I struggled with getting the thing to work that wasn't working. I got dressed and started packing the car. I'd changed the battery in the pedal. I'd got a plan for how to pack the car efficiently. I'd packed my overnight bag and got details of where I was staying. I felt on top of things...
... let's fast forward to me arriving at a venue, unpacking a car and going upstairs to set up the stage about 2 hours earlier than necessary only to discover a remarkably vital missing component. The bloody box of guitar pedals.
Don't Panic Captain Mainwaring
Some people would panic, but I did that once, and it didn't help me. Other people would choose to get angry, but that's futile too. It doesn't solve the problem.
I double checked the situation and then walked directly to the big music shop in Brighton, via the small one that didn't have what I wanted. I insistently got the staff to provide me with the equivalents of the missing items and then I handed over a credit card. With the second hand market and the nearly-new appearance of these replacements, I'd only be down a few quid.
What a good idea it had been to set up the show early.
Show 1 - The Seven Deadly Sings - a modest audience, including a reviewer. Lots of new stuff was tried out and The Improvised Love Song worked. More on that in a moment.
Show 2 - The Seven Deadly Sings - again! This was harder because I was more tired, had had to set up the show in a hurry as the previous one kicked out, and had forgotten to attach the foot pedal to the piano. A few technical hitches. An audience who were nowhere near as easy to please as the first one... in short, I worked for it, and I was a bit confused by having already performed the show once that day. Tiredness kicked in. The love song bit was great too, though.
Show 3- The Great Big Comedy Picnic - immediately following the tear down of the previous one, I was now utterly confused and exhausted, but feeling somewhat relieved that the hard stuff was done. I had some friends in the audience, but it was a definite late-night Saturday feel, with an audience who needed big stuff to make them laugh. So, we had fun, but it drained the last of the sapped energy.
Ups and downs, then. Overall, a positive experience. I went back to my hotel and went on the internet to do more website geekery, and played Angry Birds a bit. Then sleep.
Improvised Love Song
This is the new idea for this year's show. The audience are handed cards with words on. Each word is a classic boy-band love song word. They then hold their cards up in random order, as they feel like it, and we, using the hive mind, create a new love song. It's really really great fun to do. I'll be looking forward to the next 20 of those.
You can't rehearse something like this, and I guess it was a bit of a risk. I invested heavily in it, even buying a laminator so I could make the cards. One of them is blank, so the last word of the song comes from the audience member who has the card - written on with a whiteboard marker.
It makes me and the audience laugh together, which is nice.