Saturday, 17 September 2011

Booyah!



So it's been a while and I have some catching up to do! These future blog posts are going to be covering things almost in reverse order, not completely unlike how the Star Wars saga turned out. So a teaser of things to come: Edinburgh! London! A gig with strippers in Gateshead! Stay tuned.
But tonight (it's 1:20am) I am going to write about today's gig at the Boardwalk (my first gig in my home town of Whitley Bay!) and the gong show I did in Preston before the Fringe. Tonight I had a feeling of accomplishment that was last strongest when I won the Frog and Bucket, so let's talk about that first!

The Frog and Bucket is a gong show in Preston which I won (joint won technically) to the maddest cheer off I've experienced. I've mentioned this on my YouTube channel (you can watch the video of my 5 minutes above) but I feel I need to write about it more in depth because it felt insane. After everyone has performed the people who did not get gonged off are brought back to the stage for a crowd cheer off. The winner is decided by who gets the biggest cheer. 7 people out the original 10 were on stage and after a few rounds of cheering my lovely comedian friend Nat Wicks came third leaving me and another chap on stage. I had got enough cheers for me to get to the last two but his previous cheers had been larger than mine so I thought he had won. Turns out that a lot of Nat cheers converted into Graham cheers and the cheer off from then on was crazy. Without exaggerating, we had at least 5 rounds of cheers because it was so close, each time the cheering getting louder and more insane. Never before have I stood in such a bewildering situation where you were getting an overwhelming amount of appreciation. The cheers grew every round and were matched every time, we had exactly half the audience each it seemed, and so it was a draw. The reason I'm writing about this now is because I was on a massive high for pretty much the entire journey home and the same high is what has me awake at 1:35am tonight (am I a slow typer? At least 10 of the last minutes have been thinking time!)

Myself, Howard and Nat managed to rate the feeling from that night as a 7.5 out of 10. Doesn't sound amazing but when you take 8 being, I don't know, getting married or something similar and you take 9 as the best thing ever (marriage isn't a 9? It's a made up scale! Don't nit pick), and 10 is of course impossible (because a feeling of such perfection would probably destroy the universe, or something) then it's pretty good.

I'm at the 7.5 stage now. Maybe 7.45, it's a difficult scale to figure out. I performed at the Boardwalk tonight and had made the decision to make some brand new material (only tried once) as my opening. This added to the nerves quite a bit, my original nerves stemming from the first act not doing very well and having seen a couple of people die and another nearly punch a heckler on previous nights. After the first laugh it was plain sailing however, the beginning of the set was almost in a different league to the rest. The beginning of my set has never been very good (as I was rightly told in Edinburgh by George and Dan) so to have such a strong start tonight feels absolutely amazing. If I keep upgrading my set I will have a set a step above what I have now and this excites me a lot.

After the gig in Preston I had a group of people tell me I should have won outright and that they were cheering their faces off for me, which of course is a lovely thing to hear. Tonight I had so many people come up to me and tell me how good I did, it does feel fantastic.

Why have I just written this? Not completely for you I'm afraid, it's partly as something I can look back on and remind myself what I can achieve and how good it can feel. I took a chance and it worked. If I'm reading this in the future, I hope you're doing well! Remember when you wrote this at 2am that morning after that gig in Whitley Bay and you had to be up in 6 hours for work? Yeah, you're an idiot sometimes. I'm off to bed.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Supporting Jason Cook - A full weekend of comedy

There's my name! Wrong photo though...
Check out my Radio Teesdale interview about my comedy, Edinburgh Show and supporting Jason Cook: http://www.canstream.co.uk/radioteesdale/index.php?id=1314

It's been a busy weekend of comedy! Friday night I did a charity gig at St Dominics (mostly awkward). Saturday night I supported Jason Cook at Funny Way to Be (amazing) and Sunday night I previewed my Edinburgh Show at Pandemonium (noisy but a good laugh).
Let's just sum up Friday nights gig by saying that one act got through very little material due to hecklers, another was very quietly recieved, another even told the audience how flat they were and another almost elicited aggression. A very awkard atmosphere with tension thrown in for good measure. The MC did great though.
Saturday Night I was MC for Jason Cook's Edinburgh Preview show 'The Search for Happiness' at the Witham in Barnard Castle. This night is probably my favourite night of comedy so far, not just becasue I was supporting one of my favourite comedians but becasue the entire room was amazing. Probably my largest most responsive audience yet, loved it. I MC'ed 10mins at the start, Jason did half an hour, we had a break then I MC'ed for another 5 mins before Jason did his preview show. Basically, Jason supported his own preview with me bookending it! I threw in a nice mix of material and audience interaction which was a lot of fun with a room excited to play along (mostly. 'Terry' the trainee astronaught made for interesting banter for the two of us). Jason was as good as always and I can't wait to see the final show at the fringe.
Always with the hand gestures.
Photo by Eva Zandman.  
Have I mentioned I'm doing a Fringe show? Me and Sean previewed our material on Sunday night, well I say previewed, the set up made things a little tricky. Apparently the manager behind the bar was stapling things to the wall for a few minutes but either due to the general bar chatter or my intense focus on the audience I didn't hear it. It was good fun though and well recieved. I think I went for 1/3 material the rest improvised, so not really a preview of what my Edinburgh show will be although it will involve a certain amount of audience interaction to get the show started.

It's been a fun weekend with the Funny Way to Be gig being the highlight. I kind of have a review as well!
"Jason Cook previewed his Edinburgh show "The Search for Happiness." The Witham Hall Crowd loved it. The show is bound to be a sure fire success at this year's Edinburgh Festival. The MC for the evening was Graham Oakes who also takes a show to Edinburgh. Another North East comedian to look out for."

That's right. Look out for me.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Burlesque Comedian: A Night of Tassels.

What's this? A blog without a video? What's going on? May has been an interesting month so far in my little comedy world so I thought we could play a bit of catch up!

May 1st: A Night of Varietease. This was an interesting one, I was the only comedian on a bill of variety acts. Little did I know before turning up that most of the variety acts were Burlesque, it turned out to be quite the experience. The girls had asked me the day before if I would mind being in their dance telling me all I had to do was sit oblivious to them reading a magazine. It was only when I arrived and I was told that "you can give us a glance when we start taking our clothes off" that I realised what sort of dance it was. I didn't wear any tassells sadly but lets just say I had some very close to my face. I had people coming up to me in the interval complimenting how well I did to not actually look with one man saying that he would never have been able to do that. What can I say, years of acting has finally paid off.

My set itself went alright. I went on at 23:30 and one lady in the front row was actually nearly asleep. My improvised material went down the best, mainly because it was about burlesque dancing. I was quite handily able to start with "remember me from earlier? yeah, the man sitting reading a magazine. I think other stuff was happening as well". The entire room was definitely up for rudeness so my less family friendly material went down really well, whereas my observational material was greeted with a room filled with smiles but very little laughter. What was I to expect being the only comic performing almost at midnight nearly 3 hours into the night? It was a great laugh nonetheless.

The whole night is a one I won't forget and I can now officially say I have taken part in a Burlesque routine, so that's another tick off my list of life goals.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Force Feeding Comedy



Last Friday I had a gig which has quite easily taken the title 'Weirdest Gig Ever' (This title is completely unique to everyone and can be lost to future gigs if they prove to be weirder).

The vlog pretty much sums everything up and is definately worth watching (quite honestly, it's hilarious).

Let me set the scene. Myself, George Zach, Christan Steel and Sean Turner travelled to a small village/street with houses near Penrith. We entered the venue for the evening, a large room in a building behind a hotel. We had a stage, a mic with sound system, lights, balloons and other decorations. It was a cabaret night so their were the appropriate round tables to sit at. It looked to be a good gig exept we were missing one vital component; an audience. 4 people turned up and bought tickets (to get them refuned of course). Whispers were in the air about whether any of us were going to be performing or if we were off home. After a while the organiser decided that we could perform in the dining room of the hotel.

The dining room was filled with diners all of which were there to eat. No one could have expeced that a comedy night was going to start, but it did. Right in their faces. They kept on eating and rightfully so. I'm surprised no one got angry (some people took a long time to smile that's for sure). George and Sean went first and let's just say it went as well as could be expected (I cannot recommend the video enough). Luckily by the second half (yes we had a break, where everyone just carried on doing exactly what they were doing before the 'break' began) Christian was able to win them over and so when I went on things were a little less bleak. After about 6 minutes on stage/corner of carpet it even started to feel like a comedy night with people laughing like I would expect them to. I'm under no allusions that if I went on first I would have not been greeted with the same silence that greeted George, it just so happened that when I went on they were just starting desert and when they finished (probably about 6 minutes in I imagine) I had their attention. I say had their attention, I should probaly say stole. I think by the end of the night most people in the room had come to terms with the fact that they were part of a comedy night whether they liked it or not!

It is definately a night none of us will forget that's for sure.

Public Vlogging - Northumberland Street



So far my vlogs have been mostly away from people, for the reason being that pointing a camera at yourself is weird. I think it seems quite natural to the viewer of the video, but anyone seeing it being recorded would think "what on earth is he doing?" It's natural to avoid unnecessary judgement from random strangers, however it comes to mind that stand up comedy is essentially putting yourself forward to be judged by a crowd of random strangers. Using that logic it should be easier to walk through a crowd of people than perform stand-up comedy because they are not expecting you to do anything, it's just that initial fear of the unknown.

I've been thinking, this isn't the first time I've done something like this. I did a vlog on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh during the Fringe and I didn't think anything of it. The difference is on the Royal Mile you can be doing the most outrageous thing and people will see it as a normal occurance (depending on the thing of course, if you're chopping your arm off, well that's not normal, quite the opposite if I'm honest and probably unnessary. I would rethink doing that before you do it because to me it isn't worth it, unless it magic then well done, very impressive.)

Roadtrip to Leeds!



Myself, Nat Wicks and Jo Law went on a roadtrip to Leeds to do a gig (#19) at Kill For a Seat. Luckily only 4 audience members turned up so no one died.

Have a watch of the vlog to experiance our thoughts before and after the gig!

Check out Nat's blog: http://comedyvirgin.blogspot.com/
Check out Jo's blog: http://ramblingsofabutterflymind.blogspot.com/

MCing a room filled with comedians.



On the 18th April I was MC at Quack Quack yet again (I say yet again, I mean for the second time) and loved it just as much as the first. The room was a bit different however, mainly due to the over abundance of comedians. Only one person out the 25-30 people was non comedy related, but it made for a really nice receptive crowd. I tried out some new material, some of which worked so horribly badly that it actually became hilarious, some of it worked as expected and has made it into my current set. Hope you enjoy the vlog.

The Yoghurt Filled Photoshoot.



Me and Sean had some photo's taken for our Edinburgh Fringe show publicity. I had the idea of eating some yoghurt's while we had our photo's taken. Why you ask? Here was my thinking:

After much thought I came up with the show name 'Making Life Taste Funny'
Sainbury's slogan is 'Making Life Taste Better'
Muiller have the slogan 'Lick the lid of life', so life = yoghurt.
That makes Sainbury's slogan read 'Making Yoghurt Taste Better' which is quite frankly a very narrow market for such a large store to focus on.

Hence the yoghurt eating.

Our show 'Making Life Taste Funny' is on at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival from the 5th - 28th August. The Meeting Room @ The Three Sisters. 12 Midday. Absolutely free. http://www.makinglifetastefunny.co.uk/

Friday, 8 April 2011

Becoming More Professional.



The story of how I learnt the importance of a diary.

Good Gig Weird Gig. The Laughter Surgery. April 1st.



Last Fridays gig at The Laughter Surgery, Gosforth (gig 17), was ultimately a very enjoyable gig, just not necessarily for everyone in the audience. I have learnt that audience banter is good but have to keep in mind that some people in the audience would prefer to hear some actual comedy. This gig is making me purchase a watch for my next gig with a stopwatch function so I can't loose track of time again. I hope you enjoy the vlog!

Do you like Michael McIntyre?



What are your thoughts? Leave a comment!

Friday, 1 April 2011

Thursday, 31 March 2011

A spoon? For face wash? (New Vlog Channel)



Welcome to the first of many future video blogs (vlogs, if you like to shorten things)! I'm not planning on writing my blog any less, I just want to try a new approach and see how things go. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Nothing Short of Genius.

Last night I went to the Quack Quack Comedy Club and what an amazing night of comedy it was, if not the best I have experienced in a long time. The overall calibre of the night was tremendous and was made extra special for me due to the mind blowing progression I was witnessing in some of the acts.

Rich Pullen was MC for the night and did a smashing job. Had he not mentioned half way through the night it was his first time as MC I would never have know, he pulled it off with effortless confidence and quality. The night was a good night for seeing regular acts try out new material. James Christopher brought out new and old material and even managed to make the lighting hilarious. He never ceases to entertain and it was obvious as one of the more experienced acts of the night that he knew exactly what was working and how to play with it. Last night was the first time I have seen Phil Harker (although I'm sure I have seen him somewhere before, just not sure where). He performed a very energetic set with my personal highlight being when he forgot a punchline and I helped him out despite never seeing him before. We highfived.

Phil Golder is a joy to watch time and again because every time I see him he has something new and he just seems to keep on getting better. He performed on the same night as my very first gig and lets just say if you were to compare the performance I saw that night to what I saw last night you would think he was a completely different person. The largest laugh out loud moments from his set were very simple ideas that were executed to great effect in a way I think only Phil would be able to pull off. Talking of people who could only pull their style of comedy off, Jack Gardner finished the night in a way only he can. He also presented me with a moment I have been longing for; the chance to stroke Betty Blue Eyes, well, almost. He is always one of my favourite acts to watch because you honestly never know what he is going to come out with next.

The stand out performance of the night actually blew me away and has placed this man as my current favourite new act in the North East. His name is Andy Clark and he basically represents my long lost comedy twin. One week before I did my very first comedy gig I went to see a new act night run by the Grinning Idiot, this is the night I talk about in my second ever blog post (The Start Begins Soon. June 2010). The man I talk about having a conversation with on the metro is Andy Clark. I saw his first gig 6 days before my first gig and I haven't seen him since. His performance last night was nothing short of genius and I made sure I told him this afterwards. There are few acts that can leave you with such an impression that when you think of one of their punch lines you start laughing again. He had the audience in uproar straight from the get go and never let down. At points I was still laughing at his previous joke to then start laughing at his next. When we were talking afterwards I told him that a common trait of new acts is to find a funny idea and develop that idea into a singular punchline but what Andy did was punch you in the face multiple times. I'm still smiling the day after.

He has done 10 gigs and every gig he tries out new material. Only 2 of last nights jokes were repeats from a previous gig. I cannot wait to see what he comes up with next and I cannot wait to see what he finally decides is his strongest 10 minutes. The entire night was nothing short of amazing. I do love this orange.

Note: The orange is not Andy. You know what I mean.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

A learning experience in Redcar.

I did my first gig (#16) outside of Newcastle last night. Myself, George Zach, Nicola Mantalios-Lovett and Jack Gardner went to the lovely seaside resort of Redcar, it was magical! There was a late night street performance where a group of young male performers put a girl in a bin against her will. Cultural satire at it's best.

Did I have a great gig? No. Did I have a bad gig? No. So it was good? Yes, kind of. I exclaimed afterwards that I may have ballsed it up, which was untrue, it was fine, but I immediately regretted my performance. This was my 3rd time of performing first on a night, you would think by now that I would have learned that my material doesn't seem to work to a cold audience. They laughed in all the right places which is what made it a good gig, but there was no energy. The MC didn't warm the audience up as there were a lot of acts to fit in due to the night being two shows seemingly joined together. I found out five minutes before going on I was going first which sadly didn't give me enough time to consider my options. The problem I had was as soon as I stood on stage I knew what I was going to say wasn't going to sound right. The audience had no energy and hadn't laughed yet and as a result I had no energy either.

This would have been fine for most but I knew straight after that I could have done so much better. I immediately started to think of what I could have talked to the audience about instead of trying to force an anecdote about getting my hair cut. Fractions of my day have been spent improvising with them (which lead to some interesting material being written). I love improvising with an audience and I wish I had done it last night if only for a couple of minutes to get them going.

As the night went on the audience turned into a good supportive comedy crowd, a world away from the staring faces I was greeted with when I first walked on. I now perceive going first as a personal challenge, I intend to pull it off next time. I will leave the MC thinking 'Wow, I wish I had warmed them up like that'. It also gives me an excuse to just chat with the audience, which is something which might seem odd if you started doing that halfway through the night.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

If comedy were an orange...

Stand up comedy is like an orange, or maybe a tree, I think an onion is the classic vegetable to use for comparison, however I am going to go for an orange. You see as a viewer of comedy all you ever see is skin of the orange, whereas being a comedian you get to swim around in the juicy insides.
I'm currently making my way into the inside of comedy (past the skin, not quite pip territory). It's fascinating, I mean it's like a world of it's own that you don't appreciate until you take the skin off. I really fancy an orange. There are two distinct observation levels on the inside; that of your direct peers (non-professionals) and that of the experienced comedians (getting paid gigs or professional) and both are really interesting.

Seeing comedy on a regular basis allows you to witness the progression of your peers, seeing changes and refinements to their set almost weekly. There are 4 people who's set I know really well (if not word for word at parts thanks to seeing them more times than I can count) and being able to see how they keep improving is a fantastic thing to be a part of.

Seeing experienced comedians on a regular basis gives you the chance to see how their material actually works. I saw Simon Donald twice last week, doing the same set both times, but not the same, if you understand what I mean. I have seen him 4 times now and the little changes start to pop out at you. I also saw Kai Humphries last week and having seen him a hand full of times it was interesting to see how he altered his material based on the room. I have chatted to Kai a few times, he has a lot of good advice especially when it comes to writing material.

One person who I have met who is well inside the orange is Jason Cook. I sat with him briefly before a gig but the problem I had talking to him was all I wanted to talk about were the shows I have seen him do. I have been to see him every year at the fringe since we first came across him in Die Clatterschenkenfietermaus (minus The Fear, missed that year). I ended up not making conversation at all, thinking he would probably prefer not having an 'enthusiatic fan' asking him questions before a gig.

Doing the Edinburgh Fringe this year myself I imagine I will be seeing a lot more of all these people, not just as an audience member but as a friend in comedy. Someone needs to assault my face with a wet fish. Or an orange, whatever you have to hand.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Why Real Vampires Hate Twilight



So this is the first of many sketches to come!

Alongside my standup comedy I have been writing sketches to go on my You Tube channel as well. I have about a handful written so far and will be collaborating with the brightest new comedians, which I am very excited about. Standup is new to me whereas I have been doing sketch and improv comedy for years, it is a lot of fun working with other people. Filming the above video with my friend Laura was a right laugh, as you will see if you watch the outtakes (link at the end of the video).

If you would like to support my online sketch creations please subscribe to my channel (it's free! Click the subscribe button in the video or the button on the right of this page)
If you liked the video, 'Like' me on Facebook (again on the right of this page).
I have also created a Twitter! I never saw the point in it, but it's actually quite good for getting information. Follow me at @graham_oakes. I haven't said anything interesting yet but give me time.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

My First Heckler.

Last Sunday I had my first heckler. I knew I was going to get heckled, he had heckled everyone else before me, apparently he is a regular at the comedy nights at Hyem in Heaton (this one called Pandamonium and run by Rory McAlpine), easily recognisable with his Celtic top and Celtic flag draped over his table. He is a true case of someone who craves attention in a bad way. Well Mr Heckler man, this blog post is about you, I hope you're happy.

The entire night was amazing, the venue is fantastic and the audience was brilliant, with one exception. The most impressive thing was how every act dealt with the heckler, and I mean properly dealt, as in he shut up after each act had successfully put him in his place. It's like he was sent to test us. He shouts one or two things and then stops if he feels you have passed. I personally enjoyed my heckle experience, it felt like good practice. That is not to say however that I would want him to turn up again, no one wanted him there and no one ever will so long as he keeps shouting like he does.

The other comedians seemed really impressed with how I handled him. Rather than take the usual approach of using put downs directed straight at him, I started off by defending the fact he was just trying to have a good time which was shortly followed by him exclaiming he was "Just waiting for a bus" (which to be honest made my life too easy) and was concluded with someone else from the audience telling him to shut up and the heckler shouting back. I took said opportunity to take sides with the heckler and direct my 'put downs' towards the audience member in some sort of unconventional role reversal. Never the less, I don't think Mr Heckler had any idea what was going on and I was greeted with waves of applause and a now silent heckler (who proceeded to shake my hand as I walked back to my seat as if to say "good game, sir") I concluded my set to what felt like the best audience I've had yet, to then go home on the highest of highs. Mr Heckler, you have given me one hell of a night to remember, and I thank you. Just don't do it again!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Trying out new material.

I had gig number 14 at Long Live Comedy on Tuesday, and because I performed there twice last month for the Laughing Horse competition I decided I would try out some new material. I of course did what I said I would never do again, and that is try out a set of completely new material without any of the tried and tested material, meaning that I didn't know if any of it was going to be funny. Fellow comedians enjoyed the set but said that I didn't seem comfortable with it. There will be two reasons for that: 1. Having never said it to anyone before and 2. Me thinking 'Will they laugh at this bit? They didn't laugh at that bit, I need to take that out. That got a good laugh. This is taking forever to get to the point, I'm rambling!'

And so I have edited the set down (which I had timed at about 6 minutes originally) keeping all the quality, cutting the not so quality. Of course reading back through the original its easy to see why some points dragged on so much, it had a lot of unnecessary (although interesting) jabbering. You can see a picture above showing a visual representation of how the set looked originally and what I am keeping. The parts that have been cut will not be missed, merely casualties to trial and error. Despite feeling it was a successful set I must try and remember to include material I know that works, at leave that way I can start and leave on a high note, leaving the audience thinking it was a successful set as well.

Friday, 11 February 2011

My first time as MC.

Last Monday I was Compere at the Quack Quack Comedy Club, and it was amazing. It has been something I have wanted to try for a while and I loved it. Not worrying about a scripted set and just talking with the audience was liberating and I felt I was in my element.

Luckily I knew near enough all of the acts on that night so I didn't have any problems introducing them. By the end of the night it felt like the entire room were all friends, we had the coincidental nurses (they sat next to each other but didn't know each other) talking with the fascinatingly interesting Civil Engineers, I got caught up in gaming conversations with Ubisoft man and then the rest of the room consisted of comedians and comedians friends so everyone got along anyway.

The main thing I had to achieve was to get the audience laughing and warmed up before the first act went on and I succeeded. We had Ben Messenger on first followed by Ben Lowes-Smith, Dave Nietzche (Knee-chair, a clever trick I devised to remember his name), Nat Wicks (a fellow blogger who I met in person for the first time), Nicola Mantalios-Lovett and Sean Turner, the lineup was top quality. I felt I had the audience laughing fairly consistently despite going onto some strange topics (including a vote of how often people go to the toilet, which sparked quite the discussion).

The room was a joy and I cannot wait to do it again. I regard my first time as MC a success and quite look forward to the challenge of a 'difficult room'.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Aceness on the horizon.

"Did you get through to the semi finals?" I hear you ask. Well thank you for taking an interest, but sadly not. I didn't really expect to get through, although if I'm honest after all the acts had performed I felt I was in with a chance. My set went well (gig 12 for the record) even though it was the most nervous I have been yet (I don't know why, it's something about competitions I think) and all my improvements went down really well. It's a great feeling when you know you have turned one of the weakest parts of your set into one of the strongest (purely going by the audiences reaction here, it still has to be tried out a few more times).

I thought the set went really well and even though I didn't get through to the next round I remind myself that the material I was using was (and is) my first attempt at stand-up comedy. I believe things will only get better as I write more, gain confidence, 'find my voice' etc and that. A proposed festival show is on the horizon and I have also been sketch writing (and rewriting some old favourites) which you can expect to appear on the old You Tubes. All in all, this year is going to be ace.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

"I might just drop my set and talk to the audience"

Saturday night was an interesting gig. Let me set the scene. It was a charity night consisting of singers and comedians. There was also a band (who were about 13) a 45 minute raffle and a number of unnecessary intervals, one of which had a singer playing through it, which made it no different to the first singer as everyone was talking anyway.

Rather than bunch the comedy together, it was spread out over everything. The last comic didn't go on until 11, 3 hours into the night. 80% of the audience was underage, we even had a few children. To top it off the audience was 10 feet away from the stage. Despite all this madness, it was one of the most invigorating gigs I have done yet.

I had planned a good 10 minute set. But before going on I said to the other comics I might just drop it and talk with the audience. Sean mumbled words of doubt, George said I had nothing to loose. I was also told that someone at my previous gig thought I lacked any connection with the audience, which is right, so far I have never deviated from my scripted set to interact with the audience. To be honest, I was dying to try it out.

I enjoyed it a lot. I tried out my new audience interaction punch line, which went down a treat, but I dropped everything else. When I sat back with the comedians the first thing said to me was 'where the hell did that come from?'

Really want to try my hand at being MC. I have had plenty of experience talking to audiences through all the shows, plays, revues I've done as well as the numerous events I've hosted. Want to make an auction entertaining? I'm your man. To MC would be amazing. I feel my opportunity to give it a try is just round the corner.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Eyes on the Quarter Final.

Last Saturday I took part in a heat for the Laughing Horse New Act of the Year competition. I got through! Just. You win by audience vote (10 voting sheets in the audience plus a few in the hands of promoters) so I took a good crowd along. My crowd of 11 only got 1 sheet so I don't think they made a massive difference. Anyway, to get through you need to get in the top 4. God knows where I came, not in the top 4 if your wondering. Luckily for me the MC had a selection of Wild Cards that he could use on people who didn't get through but he thought should get through. I fell into that catagory and hence I'm in the Quarter final.

The set itself is pretty refined now. Went down a treat I thought (and everyone I took agreed, of course, I guess they don't count). I have been looking through it this week and there are one or two places it could be improved quite a bit. I have a week to get that sorted. I have got two gigs before that, been working on my 10 minute set (which I have only performed twice), which is basically my 5 minute set plus an extra 5 minutes. Never say I am not educational.

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