In summary: 'so I'm a lonely geek and I collect comics and love science fiction and I talk to my action figures...any auld chance?...
What the fuck am I doing was what I was thinking for most of Monday evening last. Tom Moran has been running the very successful UEA comedy night LoL @ Rose and I had vaguely mentioned doing something for the most recent showcase but delibrately didn't tell friends in case I totally bombed, doing it in a place of work was nerve wrecking enough.
This was based on a back-of-my mind hankering to try stand up for years and a recent overdosing on Bill Hicks. There seems to a trend in recent stand up of saying something outrageous (be it on sex, race, disabilitity etc.) and then kind of saying 'but I don't really mean that, I was only trying to get a laugh. I prefer the more philosophical storytelling angle, with material you really believe in. State side at least there is a lot of comedians referring to geeky subjects David Cross, Jen Dziura, Patton Oswalt and Morgan Murphy. (Not to mention Tim and Eric, but that's a whole other bag). Am slowly realising I shouldn't slag random Americans on the state of their stand-up, there is great stuff out there, but they haven't really hit over here yet. It's just we get the most sacchrine and shit American comedy, of the Everyone Loves Raymond variety.
I even looked on the Internet for advice, like that helped (gawd, it's getting like you'd forget how to do a shit without googling it first) but remined me of Tommy Tiernan's Jokerman where they all the talk was about 'F-Bombs', 'aw man don't drop an F-bomb. (is 'feck' a 'f-bomb', with a small f?) like that was the most important thing, not to swear, no matter how funny it is. Dropping real bombs on people is always ok, but it's dropping F-Bombs that's the problem? Which is more applicable in mainstream U.S. comedy, if you're trying to get a sitcom or something.
Although there's a lot talk of porn etc in my stuff, I describe it in quite a polite way (or maybe as it say in Festival anything in an Irish accent is funny?) and adapated some early blog rants Small Bags of Crap and Apocalypse Bus to Thetford so was already learned off quite extensively. The overall material ran at about 2,000 words but the summary I scribbed down just before going on was:
Norwich/Apocalypse Bus to Theford
Irish accent stuff/comic geek/hit with the ladies
films/threequels/Weapons of Ass Destruction 3
wanking/Jesus/CCTV in Heaven
beasttube/dog owners/little bags of shit.
I genuinely surprised by how positive everyone was, it seemed to go down really well. I had emailed by stuff to Tom beforehand and the advice he gave me was to cut out some Lost references, which was dead right, referring to specific shows would lose the section of the audience that's never seen it. I think being older helped, as I was talking about things I genuinely believed in and wasn't antagonistic toward the audience, and the Irish accent helped, it was a talking point to start off with, Norfolk peoples' reaction to it and such like.
It was quite an experience, you could tell who was on stage that night, as we were all nervous, pacing around and around the pub, mumbling to ourselves, but you never know what it's going to be like until it actually happens. It was definitely very exilirating, but I don't know if that's only because you feel so awful beforehand and it's a relief to sit down and see the rest of the show, although there is a residual worry as you hope everyone elses set goes well.
Running Order for prosperity for when they're all rich and famous: Pat Cathill (compare) Christian Ancliff, Lorcan McGrane, Jonathan Brittain, John Kearns, David Brain, and Tom Moran.