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The joys of the open mic circuit

The highlight of my gig on Wednesday was when the room all spontaneously began singing the Michael Finnegan grew-whiskers-on-his-chin-again song to two people who had never heard it before and had no idea what was going on.

This is the sort of bizarre moment that can only happen on the open mic circuit, which is definitely a good thing for everyone, especially the general public who didn’t have to witness it and be put off attending future comedy nights.

The night started with 11 comics in the room and one real person as the entire audience, but then in another bizarre twist that could only happen on the open mic circuit, our one audience member decided he wanted to do his first ever stand-up gig and ended up closing the show. Luckily, another two people had found their way into the room to take up audience duties in his absence.

For all its bizarreness, it was actually one of the better nights with one audience member that I’ve been to. Such an environment is not exactly the best gauge for trialling new material, but if it does get audible laughs then that is at least encouraging.

Then on Thursday, I ended up providing last-minute MC cover after answering an SOS text. I find MCing quite challenging and there is a lot responsibility to keep the night running smoothly, keeping up the energy, and ensuring that the acts have the best chance of doing well; but then it is also equally important to step in and pick things back up again when an act may not have done so well.

I reckon I did a decent enough job in juggling all of this. I would have liked all my material to have flown, most of it went down well enough but a couple of things didn’t, but then a night isn’t all about the MC.

I had some fun playing around with the audience as I had been given the power by the organisers to give out free drinks tickets. Although I may have been a bit mean to one audience member after becoming corrupted by my new-found powers. I said he would get a free drink, but then kept refusing to give him his ticket, but he did end up getting two drinks.

I also met an audience member whose mum used to present a TV show with Ray Mears and Kate Humble many moons ago and she now sells embroidery down in Devon.

And I broke the mic stand, but managed to fix it again. All in all, it was a good night.

In non-comedy news, in the morning before the MC gig, I had my chipped teeth repaired. However, on Friday morning, I woke up to find one of the fillings had become detached and was resting on my tongue. I have to go back to the dentists on Tuesday to get it fixed again.

In related news, I have also seen who I expect to be the same cyclist responsible for chipping my teeth in the first place. He jumped the same red light again on Wednesday and had I been walking any faster, he would have likely chipped some more of my teeth.

–          He is described as white, in his late teens to early 20s, skinny, wearing a blue-grey hoody with some yellow writing on. He had his hood up and was wearing thick-rimmed sunglasses. He looked unstable on his bike and he is expected to only have had his stabilisers recently taken off. He was riding along Hoe Street in Walthamstow towards Leyton, outside Barclay’s Bank, at 8.20am on 25 April. Do you know who this person is? You may be able to help bring him to justice, or at least help me to get some of my £48 dental bill back.

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