Saturday, 6 August 2016

Opening ni..afternoon

Saturday finally arrived and the Mirthquake machine rolled into action today. Visiting The Southsider at 11am revealed a room with chairs and a small but perfectly formed PA, plus a black curtain separating us from the outside world. After helping Jo Coffey connect her laptop to the TV on the wall I headed out to Whistlebinkies (pictured) to do a single song to whoever's looking for comedy at lunchtime.

As it turns out, the combined flyering efforts of the performers for twenty minutes in advance of the show availed a very respectable thirty people in a surprisingly nice room with a proper stage. Katie Pritchard (last seen by me over a year ago at Bear Jokes pretending to be a bee) was on MC duties and whipped up the crowd in a variety of ways, including a song about being short to the music of Frozen. The acts gave their all with varying results but enough people shouted along to One Shot to make it worthwhile and David Tsonous did well as default headliner. I exit-flyered every last one of the crowd at the end.

After a quick trip home James and I set out to flyer for Mirthquake around the junction The Southsider sits on. The venue isn't the most central location but the footfall was pretty good and I found myself in friendly competition with a student flyering for a ticketed comedy sketch show about being chained to a radiator. Forty-five minutes of handing out flyers and Wee Blue Books later I had identified key pedestrians:

Lost Tourists
Easily identified by their half-speed walking, glancing from map to street sign to map again and general look of helplessness, enabling an easy conversational exchange and transfer of flyer to hand. Still using paper maps and therefore largely over forty. Flyering Value: 9/10.

Determined Looking Tourists in Their Twenties
Willing to take your flyer and put it with the 17 others they have in their hand. Most likely to spread them all out on a table when they stop for a coffee then use the Fringe App to choose whatever's closest regardless. Not to be confused with Busy Looking People with Lanyards. Flyering Value: 7/10.

International Students
Almost exclusively Asian, young and willing to take a flyer. None in the audience of Mirthquake today and therefore a dubious investment. Flyering Value: 6/10.

Busy Looking People with Lanyards
A near waste of time as they're busy promoting their modern mime interpretation of Hamlet. Nice to talk to though and willing to swap flyers. Flyering Value: 3/10.

Hardened Locals
Tend to ignore you or stare at you angrily whilst lugging their Lidl shopping bags and mumbling under their breath. Flyering Value: 1/10.

Booklets and flyers distributed, I set up the room ready for the show and with James and Nick ready to go we welcomed an impressive crowd through the curtain. A capacity crowd as it turned out. Things started well with James engaging the assembled and getting good laughs early on. As he continued though two things were becoming more noticeable. Firstly, the noise from the main bar was growing. Secondly the temperature in the room was going through the roof.

I came on to an audience up for a good time but flagging slightly in the warmth. All four tracks worked well with plenty of joining in but compared to the earlier show the shouts were more of a whimper than "fist pumping therapy for modern living" (quote: our flyer).

We were now at sauna levels of heat and the pub noise was hitting a level where the back two rows were straining to hear whilst Nick was on. The front were having a great, if hot, time but I was in awe of the politeness of the back rows who were probably into the lip reading zone. The show wrapped and we have plenty of coins to show for our troubles. We've since organised a fan for the room, experimented with just how loud we can take the PA and expect the background noise to be less outside of Saturdays so tomorrow should be easier.

This evening James introduced me to comedy performance poetry in the form of "Gary From Leeds" (recommended) at the exclusively obscure Silk nightclub and then I headed to Cowgate to see Susie, Matthew and Tom in "A Girl With Two Dicks" at the T Bar - a venue with a downstairs that resembles a San Antonio bar from 1997 (Maplin-sourced laser lights, neon lit material "flames" blown by fans and a smoke machine - accompanied by non-descript techno) and an upstairs which is essentially a big box full of chairs. The box was filled to capacity and despite the PA being permanently on the "Cave" setting of reverb and the lighting being provided by a solitary desk lamp the show was a big hit. Again, recommended.

Following the show Susie and I headed up to The Pear Tree, a bar I very much approve of for being both a proper pub with nice ale and being less than a ten minute walk from the flat. After discussing shows with a multitude of comedians and watching the weird spectacle that is Olympic table tennis on their massive bear garden screen I headed home.

Mirthquake included, I'm performing at four shows tomorrow. Busy times.

No updated timetable today so instead here's the lyric video for a track I did recently with Ariane Sherine. She's up at the end of the month so we'll be debuting it somewhere around then.

Shows Performed: 2 (2)
Bums on seats at Mirthquake: 40 (40)
Money in the Mirthquake bucket: £29.99 (£29.99)
Steps walked according to my pedometer: 13,065 (90,858) 
CDs Remaining: 100

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