Gig no 18. Where? Sam Rhodes Comedy Explosion, Moustache Bar, Dalston
Why? I asked.
Who Held My Hand? My blog friend Ian, who can now sing along to my material.
What Happened? I performed 5 minutes of new-ish material to an audience of about 10 comics.
This happens loads at low-level stand-up. WHERE I AM. It’s a bit like stripping in front of your exes. I IMAGINE. Inappropriate, extremely awkward and emotionally risky. That’s not me in the bunny suit by the way. It’s not like I got carried away with my recent MASSIVE success as a COMIC STUDENT HEROINE and thought I’d branch out. But it made for an interesting night. Coz the bunny kinda died…
Sam Rhodes is a huge hairy presence with a weird and wondrous musical skill involving foot pedals and voice layering. He does a huge amount to raise the atmosphere between acts. A small audience of your peers is always going to be difficult. If you’re about to go on, you’re thinking of your material. If you’ve been on, you’re assessing your material. You’re not 100% there for anyone.
This small gathering of comics is quiet but polite. Apart from one glorious moment when we’re watching the man in the bunny suit perform an inaudible monologue for, like, EVER and a cry of: “This is so weeeeiiiird” involuntarily makes it out of someone’s mouth. We all wanted to say it. The first act is also odd, a woman talks about how she doesn’t like sex. Could be funny I guess but she’s not doing jokes. Not even an amusing anecdote. Just telling us sex is horrible and bad. We don’t agree and we’re confused.
The Moustache Bar entrance is like a speakeasy hidden in plain sight on Stoke Newington Road. It’s a door. With a moustache on it. Then a single flight of stairs down to one small room. A bar is at one end and at the other end is a modest stage and a toilet. Anyone wanting to pee walks right in front of the acts, possibly wanting to die of shame or not giving a f*ck depending on how they’ve been brought up.
I like it. It has a fun underground vibe. But it’s soon apparent that the only people here are the acts themselves. I apologise to Ian YET AGAIN for torturing him with comedy and start pouring beer down his throat.
I meet Kavirak Appadoo again. With his lovely shiny hair and his erratic but irresistible style. It’s a funny old circuit. There are literally MILLIONS of us wannabe comics but you bump into the same 5 people over and over again. Kavi is on early and vanishes to another gig. Maybe I should do this? Pack ’em in. 3 in one night. MORE. But… my poor Oyster card…
A highlight is finally meeting Daphna Baram, Israeli-ex-human-rights-lawyer-and-Jerusalem-news-editor-turned-stand-up-comedian. As you do. She’s been commenting on this blog (I’m honoured) and saying some very smart and funny things in general. Read her stuff, she’s great. AFTER YOU’VE READ MINE OF COURSE.
I’m trying to pack 7mins of So You Think You’re Funny material down to 5. This doesn’t work. In hindsight, that’s OBVIOUS. It’s a mix of sex acronyms and social politics grafted together and rushed. I don’t feel comfortable with any of it. I’m not really connecting with the audience. I’m not even connecting with myself.
Sam and Daphna & co are going for pizza afterwards. Ian and I walk home in the rain. (We’re not killjoys, we’re just SKINT). He warns me off doing political stuff for the competition. “It’ll age instantly,” he says. “Then you’re stuck with it.”
That’s it. “Fat Girls in Manchester Turning Men Gay Says Russian Journalist” material – AXED. It’s back to dating acronyms. And writing more stuff. Which I’m not doing ENOUGH of. I know, I KNOW.
What I Learned:
- WRITE MORE STUFF.
- Wearing a furry rabbit suit against a certain backdrop makes for a GREAT photo.
- I’ll say it again. Beer in London is EXPENSIVE.
* Credit to Daphna Baram for the Bunny pic. Priceless.