Tuesday, July 07, 2009

54-46 Was My Number, well no it was 160...at Find me (the) Funny

3am while listening to Stewart Lee dvds is a bad time to be at this craic!

So it's been a comedy rollercoaster the last few weeks, and by rollercoaster I mostly mean the winding bus to Belfast. And by winding bus, I mean, it's not a bendy one but just flies round loads of country roads towards various shopping centres before it gets to Belfast while I'm normally strapped into the back seat listening to God Speed You Black Emperor * and drinking diet coke and gurgling and I go through Lurgan...they have a pub there called The Batcave! established 1947. I wanted to open a pub called the Batcave, oh well, I'll have to call it The Robocop Arms or something.

Anyway, I digress, so there was this BBC Northern Ireland Show called Find Me the Funny, that I went for. Young Marcus Keeley has documented his before and after reports of the experience but I thought I'd mention it here too. I was up north that weekend anyway to say goodbye to the Badbrute, who is off to Florida for a month, and staying up until like 4am watching Funny Games and Dune was prehaps not the best preparation for the 'audition'. Also 10am on a Sunday is not a very 'comedian' time of day, and few of us realise there is such time as any 'am' on a Sunday.

I thought it would be good to have something short and visual so I a version 2.o of the 'Hello There' book in various sizes.
The main judge was Kurtis Matthew who runs this comedy college in San Francisco seemed like a nice enough guy, but in contrast to Marcus I got a 'no, I don't like it' rather than a 'hey, I like this kid'. He just didn't like the prop and my overall geeky nervousness which is kind of the point, but I saw his too, he wanted more 'attitude' to 'fill a room' and different voices.

"You're into this geeky stuff, Do Batman!"he says, I'm like wha? my brain short-circuited I mean which incarnation of Batman did he mean? Gotham By Gaslight? Do Batman? what am I? some sort of a performing monkey on a regional BBC station reality TV show, oh wait a minute, there's a number on my McG jumper and I've been waiting in a room drinking bottled water and going quietly mad for 8 hours, that's exactly what I am.

I presume he would meant some generic gay Batman/Robin schitk but all I could come up with was my 'Good Evening Comissioner' bit with the silly voice (long story). It was bizarre experience normally when you're at gigs you can wander around and not everyone you talk to will be a comedian, but this was a holding pen of hundred plus comedians all wandering around going through heightened mood cycles from hilarity to bleakness.

The production staff were cool and really friendly and it was great to meeting up with such top Northern Ireland comedy luminaries as Marcus Keeley, RuaidhrĂ­ Ward, Simon McCullagh, Stacey Mead, Scott Calonico , Paddy Mc Gaughey, Matthew Collins, and Gary Croft (who I like, because unlike all the afore mentioned he also got knocked out in the first round). In between the madness there was much trips to the Crown. Have been to Belfast since and it's great to go there and not have to hover around the same building for 8 hours. I got off lightly, however, as all the afore mentioned had to wait around until like 12.30 or so to do many a 'Who's Line is it Anyway' style improv or joke writing tasks and still didn't get through. It will be interesting to see the show though, and they seem to have centred on some totally new people so it will be interesting to see the training aspects.

If I feature at all it will be for some impromtu slapstick, whereupon hearing that I was 'out' I just wandered off and they had to call me back to gather all my stuff which I did in a 'pick up one thing while simultaneously dropping another thing' manner, which is always hilarious (for onlookers).

*Christ, thought there was an official video but there seems to be some sort of youtube subgrenre of people making the most obvious video for this.


Anonymous said...

Those selected were dire in extremis. John F.D Northover gives Ras Clarts a baaaaad name.

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