Monday, 22 August 2016

Back to 11

Today didn't start very promisingly when I arrived at Comedy Shorts to find the PA wasn't working and therefore I couldn't do my spot. The venue said they couldn't get their tech in "because its Sunday" which seemed pretty short sighted given there were 9 shows due to take place in their that day.

I headed back to The Southsider to catch a show only for that to be interrupted midway by a freak fire alarm which went on for over fifteen minutes. With a headache I retreated to the temple of glamour that is Greggs and had a coffee whilst drafting a jingle-style song for introducing a Clash of the Tight Tens Edinburgh show for next year. Yes, my mind is already moving on.

From what I've learned so far it looks like the only way to guarantee good numbers and something meaningful in the bucket is to run a compilation show. This combined with my own perhaps thirty minute solo show next year is currently the way I think I could be going. This year has been all about networking and getting a feel for the fringe. So far I think I've done well in both areas. Still, there's another week to go yet!

Mirthquake was an odd one as we started with 17 people plus a baby in a pram. As a result we dialled down the noise level (also possible as the pub was much quieter than yesterday). This had particular impact on both Andy Onions and myself as we're usually very loud. It turns out Andy doesn't have to shout everything and neither do I which was an interesting discovery both both of us. Two songs into my set (the last of the hour) things took a turn for the worst when thee old people walked out but then quickly improved when 'Selfie Stick' stirred something inside our rather self-conscious front rows. The energy picked up massively and next time I looked to the back even the baby was sat on his mum's lap grinning at me. Musical comedy, particularly rap styled like a school assembly, isn't going to appeal to everyone but as The Streets once said - cult classic, not best seller.

The bucket take was good for the numbers too.

My second gig of the day was an unusual one as it took place in a 200 seater room with PBH himself compering. A magic show had preceded us with every seat taken but due to the informal nature of our show this had dwindled down to about 30 when Peter took to the stage. There'd been no time to construct a running order so when he saw I was the only performer currently sitting within ear shot he announced me as the first act. 

Regardless of the actual audience size this was a novelty for me. For a start the stage was bigger than the entire room at Mirthquake, also I was towering above the audience. I plugged my iPhone in and hoped for the best given there'd been no time for a soundcheck.

Fortunately the levels were about right and I did three tracks. The response was pretty good with the front rows joining in enthusiastically, someone videoing me on their phone and a bunch to one side dancing in their seats. Further back there were a group of three who were clearly not impressed and just stared at me throughout. That said, I didn't have anyone walk out - the exodus began to happen shortly after the next act started. I headed off at 11:30 with about half the audience intact and a man who'd been talking for five minutes to no laughs at all. Playing a room this size to a small crowd is no easy task but it was well worth it for the experience.

PBH on stage shortly after my set.

The night concluded in the best possible way with Peter Merrett and I thrashing Andy Onions and Nick in a series of pool games then heading back for chips and one last pint in a very nice bar next to our flat.

Shows Performed: 2 (39)
Bums on seats at Mirthquake: 14 (292)
Money in the Mirthquake bucket: £30.60 (£401.60)
Steps walked according to my pedometer: 12,994 (295,017) 
CDs Remaining: 70

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