Memory problems

When you have been doing stand-up comedy for a few years, it becomes difficult to remember what gigs you have done in the past week. Or perhaps that is down to my age, with less than two years left of my twenties and my memory capacity is starting to deteriorate.

On Monday, I travelled about an hour and a half to a pub in deepest, darkest Uxbridge to do a five minute spot. It was a freezing cold night and I had to get a bus to get to the venue. When I was on this bus, a voice in my head said: “Why are you doing this?”

Curse the rational part of my brain, I wish that would deteriorate instead of my memory. I instead chose to ignore it and continued with my journey, as I have frequently done in the past three years.

I thought the gig was going to be a bit of a struggle, but I was proved wrong and it went pretty well. I was using it to try out the new five minutes of material I am hoping will be a cornerstone of my Edinburgh show. For only its third outing, it suggested that there is definitely something there with it. It just needs a bit of honing.

My next gig was up in Northampton on Thursday. I took the train up and it the journey probably took me as much time as my trip to Uxbridge on Monday. To find the venue, I was following the map on my phone. When I entered some poorly lit streets I started to worry that I was in completely the wrong place, but then the pub emerged and all was well.

I was opening the show with ten minutes and it was a risk putting my new five minutes in as the second half of my set, as it could have got the night off to a bad start. But although it definitely still a work-in-progress, it received some hearty laughs.

On Friday, it was back to a gig much closer to home in Walthamstow at the night I now co-run.

It was our second night since the relaunch and it was my turn for hosting duties. The last time I MC’d in this particular room, a woman in the audience flashed at me. So I had high expectations.

We managed to get 15-20 people in our small little room, with a few people leaving, others replacing them, them leaving, then the ones who left originally coming back. They were a slightly more senior crowd than is normally seen at comedy gigs. But if Edinburgh has taught me one thing, it’s that the older audiences are often the best. There is a misconception that young audiences are what comedy is all about, but in my experience younger crowds are more concerned with appearing cool than laughing. Older audiences have no such inhibitions; and interactions with Val and George, who must have been in their 70s, in the front-row added a lot to the night.

Unfortunately, I could not sustain my 100% record of being flashed at whenever I MC’d in the room. Although at one point, I did tell George that he needed to do his flies up. He claimed that it was an accident, but I suspect that he was wanting to add to my list of flashers. I’m glad he didn’t.

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