Gig no: 27 Where? Pegasus Comedy at THE ROSE & CROWN, KENTISH TOWN. Yeah, THAT place again.
Why? I am a masochist.
Who Held My Hand? Satan. Oh and my blogger mate Ian.
What Occurred?? After dying here twice, I finally whup this venue’s ass. In terms of butterfly wings, it isn’t an event to cause the biggest of earthquakes on the other side of the world. But I like to think a little old lady in Port Moresby felt a slight tremble beneath the bedsheets.
OH DEAR GOD I can’t possibly know this 7 minutes of material better than I do. It’s as tight as a gnat’s arse, I’ve even followed the rules of the writers of Friends and there’s one laugh every 3 lines or less (on a good night). The aim tonight is to work on ME. Don’t be desperate for a reaction, don’t worry if it’s quiet, don’t push into the audience’s space. I get to Kentish Town straight off the Brighton train after playing the last night of the Brighton Fringe. I’m a bit late and my blogger mate Ian is busy reading and drinking the pub’s weird beer. I owe this man so much for his support. Nobody, NOBODY else in my life would put up with this shit.
My notes from Brighton are to slow down, assert myself, lead the audience. Ian can recite this 7 minutes BACKWARDS. At least I’ve a prompt if it goes tits up. Now I’m thinking it might be funnier backwards…
Richard Wright is hosting this night. An easy going dude, genuinely funny and has kindly let me do 7 instead of 5. It’s all guys AGAIN and I know no one, apart from one who I saw once speak about his vasectomy.
I won’t be intimidated, no matter how many guys leave after their sets, no matter how many hide round the L-bend and chat instead of watch, no matter how silently they sit staring at me, wanting me to be shit.
It’s a mixed night as ever, including one vicar (a genuine vicar, cool). But the atmosphere is quite relaxed, mildly supportive even. Gosh.
The guy up before me starts talking about Tinder. The dreaded subject. His delivery is weird: slow, affected. I am hiding round the corner in the L-shaped room. Now I know why people do this. I see Ian’s shoulders roll their eyes. And YES that IS possible to spot when you know a friend that much.
Tinder guy is met with utter silence. Poor chap. I’m not nervous and yet again it crosses my mind that if I was following really strong material, this would be waaaay harder.
My name is announced and I ready my guns, training them on the audience like sniper rifles. A sneaky analogy. And a bit wanky. And quite sick. Sorry.
I take my time. I don’t rush, especially at the start. I wait for bits to land properly. They don’t bring the dungeon roof down but there is laughter and a good response at the end. The best I’ve had in this place. It’s a mini victory. Hopley 1, Satan’s Dungeon 0. Across the globe, an old lady in Port Moresby wakes momentarily, then rolls back over.
Ian says it’s one of the best gigs he’s seen me do. He actually uses the words “top flight” which even I know are hallowed football words. The vicar gives me his card. I now have a comedy vicar friend. HOLY BLESSING. Hang on, maybe that’s why I beat Satan. Ah f*ck.
What I have learned:
- Hiding nerves makes you 50% better.
- Slowing down takes care of 40%.
- I don’t know what the other 10% is.
- Always bring a vicar.