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'.

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