Hello faithful readers,
I know some of you are faithful, because I checked the site stats, and I got 4 hits on Dec 28th, even though I haven’t updated for a month and a bit. check me out, with either a committed following or a persistent adbot.
I have failed slightly at this blogging malarkey, not keeping to my own goal of once a week. and by slightly, I mean massively. I was very busy at the start of december (busy for me, as a comic. I have long since forgotten what being properly busy is. I used to work 80 hour weeks with antisocial hours. I’m not sure I do 20 hour weeks most weeks now. I couldn’t be happier with that arrangement)
I had some Christmas corporate stuff hosting office parties. I did it last year and it was a blast. Me and the other guy doing it got on really well and found we had an innate comedic chemistry. I was well paid, made a fuss of for doing no real arduous work, and I got to pretend I had a chicago gangster’s accent. I also got to work New Year’s eve and had a joyous experience avoiding one of the worst days on the calender. (I hate getting drunk when everyone else does. I go out and get drunk the day before or after St Patrick’s day to prove I respect drinking that much.)
I was booked in to do this again, for 30% less money (credit crunch, apparently) and on slightly fewer dates due to christmas awkwardly falling on a saturday. I also was asked to find other hosts for other hotels in the chain running the same gig, and hooked up Dave Dinsdale, Al Grant and my brother, who showed his interest in it by angrily telling me off for not thinking of him then forgetting to send back the application, til i did it for him. I also had to buy a white suit, as it was 70’s disco themed. Don’t ever say I don’t suffer for my art.
First one went OK, but I didn’t really feel it. Second one was ace, because I brought back the chicagoan accent. Having the veneer of character helped put distance between me and my dignity.I came home on saturday night and my Dad told me to bring my suit in and wash it. which I did. and then left it in the hall.
When, a whole 6 days later, I came to look for my suit, I couldn’t find it. I scrambled around the house for half an hour, searching everywhere. I got my mum to drive me down to the garage where my car was being fixed ( i kerbed the rear wheel in the snow and bent the axle, if you must know) to make sure it wasn’t in the car. In the end, instead of taking the white suit with black shirt, I took a black suit with white shirt.
now, this wasn’t what was stated in the costume form, and the boss, rishi, was angry with me. Which of these following response would you choose:
a: Have a word that it can never happen again
b: have a shout that it can never happen again
c: fire the person who forgot their uniform
d: Fire the person who forgot their uniform, and at the same time fire another 5 people all doing the same job at different venues for “unprofessional behaviour”, and have a rant on the phone to the booking agent til she’s in tears.
If you picked answer “d”, well done, your a psychopath with no impulse control or scale of appropriate reaction. Or you’re my old boss. That’s right, he fired 6 people over a slight difference in suit. No one said “you don’t look very 70’s” because I did. We evenually found my white suit hidden behind my dressing gown in my room. I am yet to recieve an apology from my family.I am also yet to recieve any money from the hotel, and it looks shaky as to how much I’ll get.
Worst thing was I had turned down so much other work to honour these commitments. I was offered 5 times what one gig paid, but couldn’t justify dropping the gigs as they’d been in my diary months. As a direct response, I had to go out looking for cancellations for other gigs, at a time when comedians are most busy. The snow helped me in one case. With it bucketing down, I found myself moved from middle to MC (a healthy increase in salary) and then found myself booking in the acts as the ones from further away dropped out. The promoter had just rung the venue and cancelled the gig when I rang him and told him I had 2 acts. They lived 2 miles from the pub and were grateful for the work. The promoter was very grateful. The gig was weird but fun, with some persistent unitelligible hecklers not even nearly standing up to Pat Gallagher and Anna Keirle (two people I was delighted to be able to book, especially as they were so close)
That afternoon, I had been havinng a heart to heart with my mum about why it wasn’t going my way when I worked so hard at comedy. The promoter told me I’d saved the day and offered me a bunch more work. The fee I spent guiltlessly on christmas shopping and pre christmas drinking sessions. the warm feeling of being the difference between sucess and failure got me home that night through ridiculous driving conditions.
I’ve not done many gigs in December. I had just one during “the lull” the awkward time between christmas and new year where you play board games, watch things on your sky+ box and eat to much. I’m hoping to get “the Lull” into current parlance in the next few years. I put it on facebook the other day and have heard from a friend that her Dad was so enamoured with it he greeted friends with “happy Lull”.
It was Kev Bland’s gorgeous gig at the old post office in Shrewsbury. During the day I hung out with Dan berry, multi talented artist and one time stand up. Two of my jokes in my set are ones I bought off him when he decided he was too busy with his wife and his cool job being a cult comic book artist to continue schlepping around the country in search of approval. I borrowed a stack of comic books off him (including the marvellous snake n’ bacon) and he gave me a copy of his comic book about standup which he had dedicated to me, but never told me. It is now one of the proudest possessions I have, and thusly is strewn on my floor somewhere.
The gig was lovely, and the promoter Kev Bland let me get Dan and his lovely wife Kathy in for free. Dan lurked at the back and drew doodles of the comedians. Jim Smallman was so enamoured of his that he wants it on his website and his twitter page, and possibly tattooed on himself (to clarify, jim has many mental tattoos, including most famously, blinky the red pacman ghost. He is, at my suggestion, having tattooed on him the girl playing noughts and crosses from the TV standby). I had to do a short set as some people overran (naming no names, smallman), but it was lovely and I got a nice buzz and I was home before midnight with comic books.
I’ve been rebitten by the comic book bug, and I went out the next day and bought a replacement brush pen for the one I lost and a lovely new sketch pad. Something about new sketch pads make me all motivated, and I’ve drawn 5 comics in 4 days. I will be posting them on this blog at some point.
I’ve got big, medium and little plans for 2011. One of them is to keep up this blog, and the comics. I hope you all have lovely 2011’s, unless it comes at my expense, then I hope you choke on my retaliation.