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Archive for July, 2011

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Entry 334: New smart phone game

I‘ve had an idea for a smart phone game which could make me millions, unfortunately I have no idea how to actually create one of these things as my knowledge in the area is severely lacking.

I’m not going to give out exact details on what this idea is as it could very well be stolen, but what I will say is that it could well be based on my the frustrations at getting woken up by loud builders multiple times in recent months. If anyone knows how to make such a game, or knows anyone who does, get in touch and I shall reveal my master plan. The rest of you will have to wait until the game gets made, which might not ever happen so you will be waiting a long time.

In film news, I want to see Captain America but am probably running out of time to see it in London as I leave for Edinburgh on Wednesday and have plans up until then, so I now think I’ll see it when I’m up in Scotland as it might prove a nice break from the intensity of the Fringe and seeing nothing but live comedy. It only seems to be superhero films I actually want to go to the cinema to see these days, at least this particular year anyway with Thor and X-men being my only visits this far. If anything next year will be more so with the Avengers, Batman, Spider-man and Superman all set to be released.

Word count: 254

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Entry 333: Energy conservation

I am trying my best to conserve energy ahead of Edinburgh.

Research into energy conservation suggests cavity wall installation is a good idea, where any holes are filled with either foam or rubber. It sounds painful and luckily I can’t afford it no matter how much I may want it.

I am intending on pacing myself throughout the Fringe, although I’ll be doing spots at other shows I will be focussing my main energies on my own show and trying to make it the best I can in terms of both my set and audience numbers. In the past couple of days there have been a few opportunities to run other shows as performers’ plans change, but I’ve decided to not get too carried away this year as I can quite easily see me burning myself out if I try to do too much.

In other comedy news, I have been passed on an email from a production company filming a comedy show where you perform two minutes of stand-up in front of a studio audience and the winner of that show gets £25,000. There’s no judges, no next rounds, if you win you get the money and don’t have to return. It sounds a little too good to be true and could be a horrendous trap in front of a rabid bear-pit hosted by Shane Richie in a steel cage, which I’d no doubt get some sort of enjoyment out of. I think it’s worth doing a little more investigating as £25,000 would be most useful.

Word count: 257

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Entry 332: Filler

I have some something very rock n roll today – I have tidied my bedroom.

Don’t worry, I’m not ill; my landlord is thinking about renting out the house next summer for the Olympics so needed some pictures of my room minus all the clutter and there was a lot of clutter indeed.

It also means that when I return from Edinburgh I won’t come back to a room that’s filled with dust-covered clutter. It’s one way I’m doing some forward planning for when I get back from the Fringe.

Another example of some forward planning is I’ve decided to not gig quite as much in September as I normally do because I will need to work as many shifts as I can in order to help fill the fundage void; this should sort itself out by the following month as September will the last month an edition I work on is running for, so there should be a few last shifts and the following month when I’ll be able to get back up to speed with gigging again. The other reason to take it easy gig-wise in September is because I expect I will be exhausted.

In totally unrelated news, in the taxi home after work last night I found myself in midst of a bizarre conversation with the driver, where I was giving him names of fundraising call centres where he could get an additional job. I also found myself giving him tips on how to avoid getting points on your driving license, which can be done through driving carefully of course.

Word count: 263

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Entry 331: The calm before the storm

Cantaloopy was unfortunately pulled last night as there was no audience.

I was expecting a quiet night at best and knew that it was that it would be a struggle to get people in, as summer nights generally tend to be this way.

Four people showed an interest at about 8.45pm, 45 minutes later than it was scheduled to start and by that time it was too late and I’d sent the comics home. The night will be back in the Autumn when comedy audiences are not quite so scarce.

I am now in the calm that is the calm before the storm that is Edinburgh Fringe. Exactly one week today is when our show begins. Langton came to the pulled gig venue last night to collect his share of flyers and we had a chat over a beer about what lies ahead. We are both quietly confident about our show and really looking forward to the challenge in front of us.

In other Edinburgh news, I was woken up this morning by a phone call from someone from an Edinburgh-based magazine, he was quite chatty so in my sleepy haze I assumed it was an interview and all things considered I thought I was on good form. However, it transpired he was actually selling advertising space. Still, it’s good practice for being woken up for an interview should that ever happen.

In courier news, the mic clip I ordered arrived today but was delivered by someone who wasn’t a courier and in fact looked an awful lot like a postman. I’ve asked the company to refund me the difference between the courier price and normal post price, should they refuse then I will unleash hell.

Word count 286

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Entry 330: Waiting for a courier

I am currently waiting for a package to be delivered by a courier.

That sounds dodgy and it really isn’t, the package contains the very unexciting item of a clip for the top of a microphone stand which is big enough to hold a radio mic.

As is normally the case with such deliveries, I have no idea when they are supposed to be coming or even if they are coming today. I need to go and get a few supplies from the supermarket, so am umming and ahhing about what to do. I know full well that as soon as I go out they will come and I’ll get back to find one of those annoying notes saying I’ve missed the delivery; so I’ll then have to call a premium-rate number, be put on hold for 15 minutes only to be told that they can’t come back for another week due to company policy.

So what I’m considering doing is going to the end of my road and hiding behind a wall where I can keep an eye on my front door. It will surely then only be a matter of minutes before the courier detects that no-one is in and turns up. This plan is not without its flaws, as if it doesn’t work I’ll be crouching behind a wall for a long time, spying on a front door. I will probably then have to justify this behaviour to the police.

Tonight is the final Cantaloopy until after Edinburgh. That’s why I need the microphone clip as ours is broken and it’s always nice to offer acts full use of a microphone stand if they would like it. If it doesn’t arrive I will slag off the company on this website, that’ll teach them.

Word count: 296

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Entry 329: Planning ahead

I have returned to London following a brief but enjoyable trip back home.

The next time I see those green Stroud hills will be the third weekend in August when I am making a three day trip down for Clack’s wedding. I have already made plans and taken the one suit I own back as I’ll be bypassing my London base completely on that mission.

That is about as far as my plans for Clack’s wedding go so far, I’ve booked all my train tickets and have taken back the appropriate attire but I have nowhere to stay. The wedding is at a country golf club that quite a lot of my friends are staying in but I can’t afford with Edinburgh absorbing a large amount of my funds. I am realistically looking at sleeping in my car.

I have done this before while also dressed in a suit, but this unplanned then. I was supposed to be staying a mate’s house after a goodbye-do for the sixth form I went to. For reasons unknown, even five years on, I ended up walking through fields for about five hours, eventually getting back to my car around 6am and slept under a blanket used to keep dog hair off the seats for a few hours.

It’s just as well I’m no longer applying for jobs, as with all the stalkery research they do these days they would probably come across this story and not want to employ me. Well, good. I didn’t even want your stupid hypothetical job anyway. I may have to delete this entry if I do fall on hard times, or change it to make me look good.

Anyway, for the moment the comedy dream is still very much alive and in less than a week I will be up in Edinburgh.

Word count: 304

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Entry 328: Wedding stuff

I attended the wedding party today of a good friend I went to school with.

It’s the reason I came home for a couple of nights, I was invited to the actual wedding itself which was in Exeter yesterday but I could not attend due to geographical issues.

Shahed had told me the party would be more chilled out than the wedding ceremony, so I turned up in shorts and trainers – that wasn’t all I was wearing, I was obviously wearing a shirt as well. But upon arrival I saw everyone was in suits and ties and felt rather underdressed – but not as underdressed as I would have felt if I had decided to go shirtless.

The lunch was the best food I’ve ever had at a wedding, really nice Indian cuisine, and as I was sitting down for much of the event my shorts and trainers shame went unnoticed.

However, I didn’t get away with it as at the end of a marathon photograph session Shahed spotted me and called me over to have my picture taken. He was in a smart suit, his wife looked very nice in traditional clothing and there was me with my hairy knees out, immortalised in wedding photography.

To make amends I am browsing for an addition to my suit for Fatboy’s wedding in September, which I will be best man at. The theme is blue, so I’ve found a nice looking blue waistcoat thingamy. As I have to make a speech I’m going to make a hilarious joke about getting the wrong idea about the blue theme and writing a blue speech. It’ll be great.

Word count: 273

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Entry 327: Previews now complete, next stop: Edinburgh

Well, there we have it, our final preview has now been done and the next time we perform the show will be at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

It went pretty well, we were on at about 5.30pm-ish and kicking off a mini-festival of preview shows. It was probably the smallest crowd yet but still around 15 people so not bad.

I didn’t quite enjoy it as much as our other previews, even our weird one at Cantaloopy which I enjoyed way more than I should have done. It was the first time I’ve performed the set without running through it earlier in the day, I missed a few punchlines and rattled through it a bit, but there were still laughs during it and positive feedback afterwards.

I was thrown a massive curve ball in my set, someone received a text message which I tried incorporating into the bit I was doing so asked the man to read it out. The text said that Amy Winehouse had died, no-one actually believed this at the time but it turned out to tragically be true.

In promotion news, Langton has told me that the biographies I have written for us on the back of the flyer have spelling mistakes in them. He is definitely wrong, because there is no spelling mistake in my one and the only problem with his is a stray word that is actually spelt correctly. But should anyone ask about this I’ll say the mistake is deliberate and meant to be ironic.

Word count: 253

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Entry 326: It’s the final preview

Tonight I have is the final Edinburgh preview for A Mixed Bag.

It’s part of a mini-festival down in Stockwell, with me and Langton kicking off proceedings at 5pm. I am a little concerned that because of the time of the show audience numbers will be a little thin on the ground, but I suppose we do have to get used to playing to small audiences at the Fringe when there will inevitably be quieter days. This is not to say we have been performing in front of huge audiences at our previous airings of the show, our peak has probably been about 20 people.

In other comedy news, by my own admission my set last night wasn’t great at the gig I had last night. Although there were laughs several bits bombed. I didn’t really enjoy it, it was quite a tough room and I normally get some sort of weird enjoyment from performing in tough rooms but not on this occasion. It wasn’t a death, it just wasn’t very good.

In other other comedy news (the second other was intentional, it also boosts my word count on what has been a struggle of an entry to write) I have now placed the order for our show Edinburgh show t-shirts. It’s the same picture used below with a slightly bigger show title, as I have previously said, we made poor Philip Wilson stand on a wall to take this picture and as it wasn’t used on our flyers or posters I thought I would make some use of it elsewhere.

Word count: 261

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Entry 325: Tiredness and an irrelevant intro

I was hoping to try out a few new lines at a gig I have tonight, but I have not managed to get them written nor do I even know what they are about.

As a result I probably won’t be trying them out as I am not going to leave the unknown lines to materialise on stage, as that could be most painful for all involved. But my Edinburgh set is just about there I reckon, I’d just like a few new bits I could throw in here and there.

In work news, I completed my ridiculous shifts last night in working one full shift on one desk and then half a shift afterwards on another desk. It has been a week when my energy levels have been tested and as I am still awake I would consider this a victory.

Even so, tiredness is slowly taking its grip on me, which shouldn’t have a strong grip because of the nature of what tiredness is. However strong or weak tiredness’s grip may be I am unable to escape it at the moment as I am more tired than tiredness and any efforts to actually fight it may well use up energy needed in staying awake. It’s a paradox. I hope you managed to understand that, because I didn’t. But there is a good thing about being tired, from past experience there comes a point I reach when I am beyond tired where hallucinate and laugh to myself at stupid thoughts so I’m looking forward to that.

Word count: 257