Joey Del is a freelance writer and an aspiring comedian.
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This Is The 8th Instalment of the “From Zero to…Somewhere Slightly Higher Than Zero” Chronicles!
This has been a very interesting week for me as far as comedy goes.
It started on Monday at Scruffy Murphy’s. I had heard many reviews on this room and not all were flattering so I was looking forward to seeing it for myself. The main grievance that I had heard is that you are dealing with a large number of Irish patrons who are much more interested in drinking Guinness and talking about the Celtic football club than listening to some nerdy Australians trying to be funny.
This seemed to be the case initially. The room was packed for a Monday night with about 40 patrons in the area where the comedy was on. Whilst it seemed true that nobody would be interested in the people on stage when the show started this seemed to change very quickly and the crowd really got into it. The mood seemed quite good throughout the whole night with all performing comics receiving laughs and the crowd really getting into things. There were two Irish comics (Des Penny and a girl called Kerrie whose surname escapes me) and they were both instant hits. The rest of us had to earn the crowds support but once you could get one laugh out of them they seemed quite supportive. I got a few laughs and left without a black eye or a glass in my face so all in all I would say it was quite a successful evening and a venue that I will happily return to for some desperately needed stage time.
Wednesday night was spent at the Lord Raglan which saw another good crowd. There seemed to be a fair few gothic people in the room. They were very confused about the whole concept of comedy. They wanted to laugh but then they quickly realised that laughing goes completely against what wearing black and looking miserable is all about so they would restrain themselves and put their gloomy ‘life’s unfair’ faces back on. Again it was a good crowd. It was nice to see another mid week pub venue pull in a decent amount of fans.
My final show for the week was the Comedy Court final at the Star Bar. This brings me to the main point that I wanted to talk about in this article as it was not an ordinary day for me.
The day started unusually early for me (9:30am). I was greeted by a phone call from my father who told me that he wanted to come over and talk about something. This was the third time in my life that my father has called me to just come over and have a chat. This first time was in 2002 when my Nonno (grandfather) passed away. The second time was last year when my best friend Jonathon passed away and Friday’s phone call was the only other occasion where this had happened. Naturally I assumed the worst and sadly it turned out my fears were correct. My father came over and informed me that my Nonna (grandmother) had passed away at 8am that morning. She has suffered from severe dementia for around 5 years so it was one of those mixed situations where you are sad to see them go but deep down you know it is probably for the best because there has been so much suffering. My Nonna and I were very close. She more or less raised me and most of my childhood memories have to do with her. Needless to say I was devastated and I must admit that I spent most of the day in tears.
I had the show booked in for that night however and one thing that I am trying my hardest to do as a new comedian is to build a reputation with the people who run comedy rooms around Sydney as a person who keeps his word. When I say I am going to be somewhere, regardless of the situation. I want to be there. So even though I was in a personal mess I tried my hardest to pull myself together and be prepared for a show that night. It was probably the first time in my comedy ‘career’ that I have truly felt like the stereo typical ‘sad clown’. I had to portray an image of happiness and fun to the sold out crowd at the Star Bar whilst I felt nothing but sadness on the inside. This was interesting to me as it made me realise that if this is something I want to do professionally I will need to perform regardless of what is going on in my life. If comedy is to one day be my source of income I need to be able to disassociate ‘onstage Joey’ from ‘personal Joey’.
I am happy to report that I was quite pleased with how I did this, it wasn’t easy but I got through it and I think it was actually one of the better sets that I have done! It was nice to get a little positive part of the day.
Well that is all from me for now. I will try and leave the melancholy behind for next week’s article and find something fun to talk about!
© Joey Del