Thursday, 30 December 2010

First (and second) appearance on a Grinning Idiot stage.

So I wrote this blog over a week ago (it’s been Christmas, busy busy) and it’s about events that happened over 3 weeks ago (I went on holiday straight after, lazy lazy) so like they say, better late than never! Happy New Year every one! (That might literally be read by one, I have no idea who reads this)

Me and my friend Laura had plans to see Norman Lovett (from Red Dwarf fame) and Isy Suttie at the Whitley Bay playhouse, but due to the snow the playhouse postponed the show because of staffing issues (which they predicted 2 days in advance, not trying hard enough I say). I had told Dan that I was planning on going when I saw him at Long Live Comedy, so when the night was cancelled he got in touch with me.

Dan asked me if I would like to do a 5 minute set, telling me that they were running a different line up (I'm guessing the original acts either couldn't make it or dropped out) with new local acts making up the middle section. I jumped at the opportunity.

The Grinning Idiot is the leading comedy club in Newcastle (in my eyes at least) so the fact they wanted me to even do a set was exciting. The first gig was on the Friday night (December 3rd) at the Corner House and as luck (possibly bad luck) would have it Simon Donald was stuck in Newcastle for the night and agreed to headline the show.

The Corner House
  So to start off the night we had Dan Willis (interesting to see outside of his MC role) followed by Simon Donald as his first character (hilarious!) then in the middle section we had myself, Nicola Jane Mantalios-Lovett and an act I cannot remember the name of (it’s been a couple of weeks, I want to call him Alvin)
George Zach also made an appearance briefly but most of his time in the limelight came from the constant abuse from John Smith (the MC for the night). The night finished with Simon Donald as Barry Twyford (apparently trying out new material and again hilarious, struggling to keep a straight face himself)

My 5 minutes went amazing (5 minutes 40 seconds, I was relying on Dan keeping time). With over 100 people in the room it was my biggest audience yet. Me and Laura had to run out during the raffle (Simon had brought a single book) but we missed our metro anyway (is this a blog or a story?).

The second gig was on the Saturday Night at St Dominic's in Byker. The line up went Paddy Lennox to start, myself opening the middle followed by Natalie and Andy Fury, then Dan Willis closing the night. My set was good, but not like the night before. It got big laughs in most of the right places, they even laughed at a line that wasn't meant to be funny, but for parts at the start I got silence which I have never experienced. It wasn't a bad gig, I've heard stories of bad gigs, this was just a quiet audience. Even the MC found it difficult, as did the other acts, so I wasn't alone. I learnt a lot from this night: don't be put off by the bright lights (I don't remember looking up as often) and if especially nervous don't rush it (it's my most panicked set to date). Friday went brilliant but it's Saturdays set I wish I could watch back.

They were both 2 invaluable nights which I massively enjoyed. To get asked to perform by the Grinning Idiot, even for 5 minutes, fills me with confidence that I am on the right track.

Here’s to a splendid 2011!


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