Gig no 15. Where? Blackout, Up the Creek, Greenwich AGAIN
Why? They had a drop-out and I got in there first.
Who Held My Hand? No-one, it was a surprise to me, never mind anyone else.
What Happened? I BEAT THE BLACKOUT. AGAIN. Didn’t win it though. And you have to be winning it regularly to even be CONSIDERED for your first professional slot at Up the Creek. So come back to me in about 10 years.
Still, it’s another opportunity to do the material I’m planning to do for So You Think You’re Funny 2017. YES, I’m doing my first comedy competition people. (I say people, I mean the TWO people who read this blog.) Anyone can enter BUT you can only enter it ONCE. You get 7 minutes and Blackout is 5 (if you’re lucky) but at least I’m practicing my opening (euw).
“I got married last year. Thank you. I do love that response. It’s instinct isn’t it? If you come on and say “I got married” or “had a baby” or “got engaged” you get a nice cheer. Doesn’t work with everything. I was at a gig the other week, guy came on: “I’ve been off the smack 14 weeks.” Silence. No-one cared.”
I’m 2nd in the running order (tip: don’t get there too friggin early). Some guy’s seen me before and tells all the other comedians I’m “fucking funny” so they all hate me. He then starts talking about doing comedy whilst stoned and disappears for a looooong while. We’re in the holding room at Up the Creek, a nice, relaxed leather sofa lounge area where new comics sit and shiver nervously. Except one girl who’s sitting quietly with headphones, not talking to anyone). Kaviraj Appadoo with the lovely hair is here too. I’m suddenly shitting myself, I have competition.
Inside is its usual lively self, I do love this venue. There are a bunch of drunk students who won’t shut up and the first comic gets voted off immediately. I don’t storm it but NO lights come on. I get the feeling I just haven’t given the audience a reason to vote me off. And that’s not good enough. When I walk off however, the COMPETITION MONSTER wakes up. I WANT to win the Blackout, I COULD win the Blackout. Perhaps. If everyone else is shit. I need alcohol and nip to the bar when the quiet headphone girl is on, totally missing her set. She seems to go down well and lasts 5 minutes. So do a lot of people. But I still think I’m in with a chance. No-one has really stormed it. Kavi is annoyed with himself as he fucked up a joke and got one red light. A few comics are angry with the audience at being voted off. Then the stoned guy comes on stoned and is voted off instantly. He’s really surprised.
The headliner (not part of the Blackout) is an older woman, lesbian, American and steals a girl’s crisps. She tells me afterwards she liked my set and it took her 5 years to get that assured. I don’t win. The headphone girl wins and I never even saw what she did. PAY ATTENTION HOPLEY. The venue preferred her to you. They ALL preferred her to you. I like chatting to other comics beforehand but maybe there’s something in keeping yourself to yourself and focusing. Last gig, my friend Evan told me to “enter the venue as Lizzie The COMEDIAN. Stop apologising for it. BE it.” Gonna get some headphones.
What I learned:
- A stoned comic is not always a funny comic.
- Find the headphones girl and KILL HER.
- I am more competitive than even I imagined.
- Enter the venue as a COMEDIAN and people will think you are one. Is that obvious? It’s obvious isn’t it?