Last night’s gig took me to a town on the outskirts of Southend.
It was the first gig at the venue and I’ve found that opening nights can go two ways: either it is a resounding success, or it gets a bit awkward because the audience don’t entirely know how to behave at a comedy night and are slightly scared of the new experience. My theory was proved wrong and when I left to get the train at the interval, I reckon it was somewhere in between the two. But I gather the night moved firmly into the success category once more alcohol had been consumed.
It was a large room, with about 90 people sitting at tables. It was actually quite a tough room to play, with each table effectively a different audience in terms of demography and comedy taste. And towards the back, the furthest from the stage area, some people were having a chat amongst themselves for some of time.
But they were all friendly, which made things a lot easier. And it is definitely a good learning experience to perform in venues with such a diverse crowd and trying to get laughs from the whole audience.
I didn’t do too badly at all and I managed to get decent levels of consistent laughs throughout my set. Not everything flied, but hardly anything died, so I will take this as a victory. And for the first time in the 18 months I’ve been doing a joke about a driving instructor, there was actually one in the audience.
But I’m glad it went reasonably well, because if it went badly and I had to take it on the chin, then it could have resulted in further teeth being chipped.