I have now finished gigging until 2014, having performed more gigs this year than any before.
I set myself a challenge of doing 150 gigs this year, which admittedly wasn’t until September when I was already behind. I imagine this is how the current UK Government sets targets for public services, knowing they won’t be hit so they can then add it to their justification for privatisation.
Well, I may have missed my target by seven (143 gigs in total), but there will certainly be no privatisation of my comedy. I probably haven’t thought this analogy through properly; because there’s no way I’d currently be able to justify charging extortionate amounts for a poorer service. I have also yet to notice Richard Branson sniffing around.
Barring an Edinburgh show that wasn’t as good as 2012’s, it has probably been my best year for gigs. Punters and fellow comics have been saying lots of nice things with a greater frequency than before and I have had some belters of gigs.
I made it past the first round in a national comedy competition for the first time, and then the next round too to progress to the semi-finals.
I also made it to the final of a comedy competition for the first time. In my opinion, Droitwich (Worcestershire) Old Cock Inn’s It’s a Knock Out is the only comedy competition that has any credibility. I value the approval of middle-aged drunk people much more than a load of air-kissing agents and chin-strokers. The final was particularly memorable for not only having a significantly smaller audience than the heat, but also the journey via Newport to collect 120 fold-up chairs and then driving a transit van back to London afterwards. This type of van journey was also a first for me.
A definite high for this year was being one of two support acts for a Edinburgh preview by Richard Herring in July, even if I didn’t do particularly well. Another highlight came this week when after four years of doing the Thursday try-out night, I was booked to do Sunday spot at one of London’s best comedy clubs, Downstairs at the King’s Head.
I am always trying to push myself to improve, or at least telling myself that I should be pushing myself to improve. So, I have set myself three challenges for next year:
1) Doing 200 gigs.
2) Write at least one new joke a day in 140 characters. Here I am referring to Twitter, not deliberately just trying to restrict myself. From 1 January 2014, look out for #Joke365.
3) Write 30 minutes of totally new material for Edinburgh. I am prohibiting myself from using existing stuff.
I expect I’ll do a standard year review thing when I’m bored at home over Christmas.