The fifth Instalment Of The “From Zero To…Somewhere Slightly Higher Than Zero” Chronicles!!
No my introduction was not a reference to ‘Hey Hey It’s Saturday’ that aired again on television last night. I don’t know whose idea it was to put a show with the word ‘Saturday’ in the title on a WEDNESDAY night. Perhaps the same genius who thought “iSnack2.0” was what loyal vegemite consumers wanted as the name of their new spread. However sadly there are people out there who are making these decisions and sadly, they are getting paid more in a week than I ever will in a lifetime.
Speaking of not getting paid I had another show last night. This one took place at the Lord Raglan Hotel in Alexandria. I did not know much about this venue so I went in there on the Sunday before hand to check it out.
Not surprisingly the Raglan looks like a pub. I guess the best way to describe it would be that the main room is “L” Shaped. The stage for the comedy is at the corner of the “L” so you have people to look at on both sides as you are on stage. I wasn’t sure how this would go down at the time but it ended up being quite comfortable and I was happy with it. The bar staff and the locals all seemed friendly enough so I was looking forward to going there and giving it my best shot!
Before I get into the comedy I would like to discuss one of the highlights of this trip. The Lord Raglan had a whole pile of board games in the corner for patrons to play. I was with my girlfriend so we looked through the games. ‘Connect Four’ seemed to be the obvious choice so we sat down for some intense heads up action. Now I learnt that one of the following two things is true that evening. I am either the greatest player in the history of ‘Connect Four’ and I am revolutionising the way the game is played or my girlfriend is really, really bad at it! I suppose the latter is more likely to be true but damn it was nice to beat her in something. She beats me in everything that we do. Not as in I am a nice boyfriend and I let her win but as in she is better than me at everything! Everything except ‘Connect Four’! Joey Del 5, Monica 2. WOOT WOOT!!
Anyway, this is a comedy blog so I suppose I should at least spend some time talking about Comedy. One awkward thing about the Raglan for me was its location. I am a passionate South Sydney Rabbitohs fan and love Redfern and its surrounding suburbs more than most areas but my initial comedy piece that I am working on is a look at the homeless with a few light racial references aimed at many groups including our indigenous brethren sprinkled over the top.
The Raglan comedy night is free entry and is about 300m from Redfern station. For those of you not from Sydney Redfern is Mecca for both the homeless and Aboriginal members of the harbour city. Whilst nothing I say is designed or intended to be taken offensively by either of these categories I was a little worried throughout the week before the show that somebody might stumble in, have a listen and get the wrong idea. This had me worried for a fair bit of the week and I was actually considering changing some parts of my material before the show to avoid any trouble.
I would love feedback from other comedians (or people who enjoy stand up comedy) on this point. Do patrons leave their ethics at the door and know that a comedians goal is to make them laugh and not to offend them or do they take whatever views you express on stage as gospel and hold the comedian accountable for them? After giving it much thought I decided that my act would stop being a parody and would actually become racism if I started censoring it for specific audiences so I went with my original material and hoped everything would work out for the best.
The night of the show came around very quickly. I got to the Lord Raglan and polished off a $5 Steak and Chips (prices that awesome deserve a free plug!) I went to the bar and asked if Seizure (the guy who runs the comedy) was in yet. The barman replied to me “Seizure will get here when Seizure feels like it” which gave me my first experience of what the guy with the bizarre and awesome name was like. Seizure did rock up not too long after, like all other people I have met who run comedy he was a great character. I need to give him a big thankyou because after I finished my set he pulled me aside to offer me some feedback on my set with a few suggestions on what he thought would help.
To the ‘experienced’ comics out there I would like to say on behalf of all us ‘newbies’ THANKYOU for this, you have no idea how valuable the advice that you give is for us. Whether it is a big thing or a small thing or something that we do not agree with it helps us to think like a comedian and to analyse our material looking to improve it. It is amazing how often I can look at my set and be unsure where the leaks are only to have somebody suggest something which as soon as they do makes it seem insanely obvious and will then help me to make other changes elsewhere. I love this! I don’t care how long I do comedy for or how established in it I become. I will always believe that somebody out there knows more than me. If I can learn something off them then I could only get better.
Anyway, my word limit ended a few hundred words ago so I will leave it there! I am on next week at the EDGE (Hotel William, William St) on Tuesday night and at Mic In Hand (Friend in Hand Pub, Glebe) on Thursday night. Feel free to come down, say hi or boo and throw your least favourite piece of fruit!
Have a great week! Speak Soon!