The fourth instalment of the “From Zero To Somewhere Slightly Higher Than Zero” Chronicles!
Well we have made it to blog number four. As of today the tally of Open Mic shows I have done is up to six. Six is probably the number of shows when you start to get past that “I am brand new at this point”. My opening joke so far has always been something about this being my first time so I may finally need to start looking for some new material.
Last night was another heat in “Quest For The Best” at the Roxbury Hotel. I qualified through to the second round on my first attempt however I thought it would be a good idea to get some more stage time at this venue. The Roxbury is a great venue. Kathryn and her husband Ron do a fantastic job bringing in top quality comedians week after week. It is also a place where the lights are so bright you get the unique opportunity of being able to work on your tan whilst you perform your set. The Quest For The Best heat that I won was probably the most nervous I have ever felt on stage so I guess you could say that I had a few inner demons that I wanted to quash at this venue.
Well I thought I accomplished that mission quite well last night. I felt comfortable up there walking around. Mark Williamson from The Edge gave me some good advice about how to look through the lights into the crowd. This worked a lot better for me. I know some comedians like that they can’t see the crowd but I can’t stand it, I want to be able to see the faces of people so that way if something is going well I can work on that part more and if something is failing miserably I can move on. I constantly found myself focussing on just the good looking women in the crowd and then I would immediately remember my girlfriend was in the room as well. This would make me feel guilty and turn back to her…Ok the last part is not true I just wrote it in case she read this. I have now made that a pointless exercise by ‘coming clean’ on the whole scam…so let’s move on.
I didn’t really get anywhere near the laughs that I had hoped for though. The comedy crowd I am finding out is a funny beast. Sometimes you go on stage and everyone is laughing hysterically at every little thing that you say even the parts that aren’t meant to be funny and other times the only way that you can get people to laugh is with a court order. Last night wasn’t as bad as the latter but there were certainly no easy laughs to be had. Julia Morris was the headline act which was awesome and she brought the house down but as far as the Open Micers went it was just giggles at best throughout the whole night.
A tough crowd I find is both a good and a bad thing, it is good as it teaches you to be tougher and not get deterred if you are not killing it is also it is good as you know that when you do get a laugh you are probably on a real winner. The bad thing about the tough crowd though is that it is hard to see if jokes work. I tried some new material last night and was anxious to see how it would go down. I was one of the first people on so when my jokes received nothing but a small murmur I thought well ok then, I guess they need to go straight to the bin, however when I saw other people get up and receive the same minimalistic levels of love that I received then I decided that maybe the jokes weren’t too bad after all, maybe I should give them another shot.
I have decided to try them out again at the Red Card Comedy night that I am performing in at The Roxbury on Saturday night (26th September from 8pm). For those of you that don’t know this is an audience interactive show where three members from the audience are given a red card. You go on and do your set and if two people put up their red card then you are booed off the stage back into the comedy abyss. From what I can tell the comedian basically turns into a lamb being given up to the slaughter and the audience takes on a mob mentality urging the card holders to either put their cards up or to put them back down. I am sure this will be detrimental to my self esteem and put me straight back into therapy but it should be a good laugh so if you have nothing on come down and check it out.
Before I end this entry I would like to take a moment to congratulate Ray Cashman: avid blog readers will remember that Ray was one of my teachers during the comedy course that I attended. He recently won a competition at the Laugh Garage against from what I can tell some very tough competition. I know that he has been working hard on his comedy of late so it is good to see that if you put in the effort the rewards will come. He won a week of shows at the Sit Down Comedy Club in Brisbane and I am insanely jealous of him. Oh well I will just keep on working hard and dreaming… Who knows? maybe one day that will be me.
Have a great week!