When starting out in stand-up comedy you need to work in the real world in order to fund your art, or at least your attempts at art.
It is a fine and often frustrating balancing act, unless you have at least some money coming in then you can’t go out and do gigs for too long, or stay in London too long for that matter. As I work freelance I need to take whatever work I can whenever it is offered. As a result of this unfortunate need for money I had to drop out of the gig I run on Wednesday at the last minute after I received a phone call asking if I could do a shift.
I did have a gig on Tuesday night, which was only my fourth since Edinburgh (it wouldn’t be an entry on here if I didn’t mention that place at least once) but was my first back onto the open mic circuit at a night that I don’t run.
There were three real people in the audience, which I’m more than used to performing to. There were 12 comedians, so acts were effectively performing to 15 people – performing to large numbers of comics can sometimes give an illusion that the gig better attended that is actually is, but it comes with the territory on the London open mic circuit. My set didn’t go too badly, a couple of newer bits went down pretty well, which is always reassuring as it generally indicates that your comedic skills are not deteriorating.
Back in the real world, for some extra cash I am currently house-sitting in Tottenham for the next three weeks. I soon noticed the cat I’m looking after was scratching quite a lot, then saw some little grey things jumping onto my legs. Excellent, it’s only fleas. Lots of fleas everywhere. I am now covered in bite marks. Considering I am living in London largely because of comedy I am willing to call this ‘suffering for my art’, as opposed to ‘a sign you need to sort out your life out, you idiot’. This will all be worth it, this will all be worth it, this will all be worth it. I hope.