JoeyDel On The Laugh Garage Competition, Rick Shapiro And A Week Being A Long Time In Comedy!!!


The 11th instalment of the “From Zero To…Somewhere Slightly Higher Than Zero” Chronicles!!!

Wow what a difference a week makes!

Last week after my win in front of a 160 person strong crowd at the Preliminary finals of ‘The Quest For The Best’ I was floating on clouds. I absolutely killed receiving a record breaking (for me) two applause breaks in my five minute set. It was honestly one of the happiest moments of my life and I was very proud of my achievements. The euphoria that followed was great.

Don’t get me wrong I didn’t have false visions of myself being the next big thing and going from one solid performance in front of a good sized crowd to selling out stadium tours around the world. It is just that the comics memory is a very short term one, the last show that you do seems to be the only one that you can remember. This was certainly true for me and all of the rooms that I had bombed in time and time again over the past few months seemed like nothing but a figment in my imagination.

This euphoric bliss lasted exactly six days until my next performance, the opening round of another competition this time at the hub of Sydney comedy, The Laugh Garage. I was up against nine other comics, most were people I knew and have a lot of respect for. Comedians such as Ben Mcleod , Jarred Keane, Ash Jattan, Joe Misfud, Dat Tran, Laurence McLachlan, Blake Mitchell and Shimon saddled up to compete on the night which was MC’d by the in demand Paul Warnes. There was approximately 30 people in attendance and they all seemed to be enjoying themselves with the laughs flowing like wine for most of the time. This was of course until I got up on stage and performed my set to what could only be described as deafening silence. This was a painful experience and it probably was the equivalent of the bucket of icy water wakeup call that we all need to experience in life to keep us hungry and following our goals. Standing up there I was sure I had dreamt my performance at the Roxbury a week before. Surely I would never make anyone laugh again. I was back to reality.

On the competition front Ben Mcleod was the deserved winner of the night picking himself up a cash prize and a spot in the semi finals, also through to the semi finals was Jarred Keane, Ash Jattan and Dat Tran. It was a good night all in all and in just its second running I think the Laugh Garage competition is well on its way to cementing itself as one of the ‘must compete in’ competitions on the Sydney Comedy Calender.

The crowd was also treated to two final spots from American comedic heavy weight Rick Shapiro before he headed back to the States. Before the intermission Rick performed a five minute set (that lasted about 12 minutes) and at the end of the night he performed a 10 minute set (which lasted about 21 minutes). In his time in Sydney I have seen Rick Shapiro on four separate occasions and I haven’t seen him do the same piece of material twice. It is mind boggling the amount of material he has and how much he can just make up as he goes. It is all so genius and yet so insanely bizarre. I really enjoyed how he seemed to have the ability to make me laugh uncontrollably but have absolutely no idea what it was I was laughing at.

On Wednesday night I headed over to the Raglan to perform in the Wednesday night ‘Ragged Comedy’ evening. Peter Meisel was the MC which I found interesting as he was celebrating his 12 year wedding anniversary and yet his wife was nowhere to be seen. Also performing was ADD Spokesperson Mat Wakefield, Jack Druce, Peter Green, the guy whose name I always forget but he looks like he should be in ‘Super Troopers’ (Matt maybe?) and a few others. This was again a fun evening. The crowd was filled with comedians (both performing and there to watch) as well as a few regulars at the pub who I had a chat to afterwards and informed me that they really enjoy seeing the comedy on a Wednesday night. The familiarity of everyone in the crowd makes performing here quite a laid back enjoyable experience. It is a venue where the crowd doesn’t seem to mind offering their thoughts about what you are saying and it makes it quite a fun workshop style evening with comedians actually asking members of the crowds for their opinions after they do a bit. I had a lot of fun here and dedicated a couple of minutes of my set to poking fun at Peter Meisel in attempt to blow of some steam following my dismal performance the night before.

So that is another week out of the way. I was actually happy with how everything panned out. It was a stark reminder to me that you always need to strive to improve. The crowd doesn’t care how well you did in your previous show; they will judge you on what they see you do in front of them. I am performing at ‘Stand Up Get Down’ at the World Bar in Kings Cross for the first time on Wednesday night and then at the ‘Quick Some Comedy Quick’ Night at Star Bar on Thursday. If I want the crowd to enjoy my set I better get practicing!

Have a great week.

© Joey Del

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