Gig no 20. Where? Rising Star Comedy, King & Queen Pub, Goodge Street
Why? I asked.
Who Held My Hand? My husband and my sister-in-law. It’s her first time. She could well be my second in-law who sees a shite gig.
What Happened? It’s a competition and I DIDN’T WIN. I didn’t even make the clap-off. Then I realised I’d disqualified myself by asking to do 7 minutes in a 5 min contest. I also spent all day drinking Prosecco with said sister-in-law. Maybe that’s the REAL reason. I dunno, they filmed it – you decide. IS SHE GONNA POST A SECOND CLIP OF COMEDY???? SHE BIG FAT IS:
The funny L-shaped room is packed which is nice and the competition is announced. My eyes fall on the little plastic gold trophy with stars on it. I should research gigs more before I arrive. I had no idea this night had a PRIZE. I WANT IT. I WANT THE PRIZE. My husband leans over: “You want the trophy don’t you?” He knows me well. I already have one plastic trophy at home. I should invest in a cabinet. Admittedly, only a small one. For now…
My So You Think You’re Funny heat is 2 weeks away but 7min spots are hard to come by so I’m asking everyone if I can turn my 5 into a 7. Pete Nash runs this gig. He’s fabulously nuts and says yes to pretty much everything. Pete Nash is a like a Duracell Bunny on SPEED. He immediately starts talking to my husband who has chosen to sit on the front row with his arms folded, terrifying the comics. This isn’t coz he’s a prick (MOSTLY) he just has that kind of face. Every piece of information that’s squeezed out of him is a joke ripped from my act. I will never let him come to a gig again.
My lovely sister-in-law is so scared on the front row, she is actually being absorbed into her coat. I, on the other hand, am cheerfully excited and increasingly confident that I’ve got this. That trophy is MINE. At the end of each act, if the audience likes a comic, they shout out some random words Nash has given then. Most are forgetting the words but about half are getting through.
Admittedly, it’s a mixed bag. One older guy doesn’t tell jokes as much as confess he’s a stalker. Another guy starts with: “I’ve been off the smack 14 weeks.” Silence. No-one cares. Then I come on and say: “I got married last year.” BIG CHEER. And that will become my opening joke from now on.
I mess up my 7 minutes a little by telling my Scouser in Paris story too soon and have to wind back to the Acronym Code. But it goes well. Very well. The crowd has connected me with the scary man on the front row and instead of it spoiling jokes, it creates some fun moments. I enjoy it. I sit back down. Maybe I should get a larger cabinet. For the larger trophies, the real gold ones??
The comics going through to the clap-off get announced and I am almost out of my seat before realising my name hasn’t been called. My husband stares murderously at the room in shock. I have one of those smiles you see at the Oscars when the star loses and fights the tears, clutching at the small dagger in their purse, deciding whether to use it now or later.
Some girl wins. Whoever the f*ck she is. She takes my trophy carelessly in hand, already pissed, to rapturous applause. She’ll probably toss it away or leave it at a bus stop. Bitch. She was funny though. I can see members of the audience looking over at me. I imagine vast amounts of confusion in the room. Although nobody stages a protest so they can all f*ck off too.
Then it hits me. It obviously can’t be because I wasn’t the best. That’s INSANE. It’s coz I did 7 minutes in a 5 minute competition. ISN’T IT. Pete Nash never mentioned this would disqualify me and I never check afterwards (how could I without revealing the arrogant competitive twat that I am?) So I will never know. Afterwards, some audience come over to say nice things. This is one of the best things about stand-up. The worst thing is an audience that ignores you at the bar. And doesn’t scream your name when you’re not included in the clap-off.
I’m going back there though. I will win that thing. My trophy is LONELY.
Things I learned:
- Alway research a gig. It may COST YOU A TROPHY.
- Sit your husband at the BACK.
- People are more impressed with a 40 something woman getting hitched than a crack addict successfully going cold turkey.