This past week, I have received the most money for performing comedy to date. And while it certainly isn’t enough to live on, it is nice to not be out of pocket for travelling to gigs and have a bit left over.
I am excluding any earnings from Edinburgh Fringe, because that whole event is an anomaly.
On Wednesday, I was booked for 20 minutes at a gig in Uxbridge. It was the first ‘club 20’ I had done, which I decided to put myself forward for in order to push myself to do longer sets. It is easy to retreat into performing club slots that you are comfortable with, but sometimes you have to just test yourself to know if you’re ready to make the step-up to longer club spots.
I was nervous about the gig, because I’m still not totally sure as to whether or not I actually have a solid club 20. I have performed longer spots at festivals, where you have more freedom to do stuff that is more experimental. But with club 20s, you have to be much sharper.
The gig went very well and I got some big laughs throughout my set, although I went off-piste and did a lot of audience interaction. So I still don’t know if the material I had prepared and half-abandoned is a solid club 20. Still, at least it went well.
My next paid gig was last night, MCing in a pub on the outskirts of Norwich. It was the first time I had returned to Norfolk since my ridiculous adventure when I went to see The Darkness in Thetford in July 2012. Actually, I had some memorable and absurd trips to Norfolk in that year. There was the gig in the student house, and then performing at the top of some stairs in a pub in front of unwitting audience members, including a family with a baby and small children.
I had heard to expect a rowdy gig, with further evidence to suggest this appearing when I arrived at the venue and saw two middle-aged men with lots tattoos, swaying around from the drink they’d consumed.
There was a crowd of about 20 people who were sitting in a kind of awkward location just behind a booth, away from the stage area and a few people had their backs to the microphone.
I moved the mic closer so I could engage with them better. I managed to get their attention and they were a friendly bunch, but required a bit of controlling to keep their attention. But when they did laugh, they laughed very loudly. Most of the biggest laughs of the night were from interactions with them.
The night went well and the punters all enjoyed themselves. I had feared it would be a struggle, but was pleasantly surprised with how friendly it was. It was definitely weird, especially when a woman was passing around a porn photo on her phone. But weird is fine as long as the acts and audience have fun with it.
In other news, my first Edinburgh preview is four weeks today. My show is coming along pretty nicely and it should be in a reasonable state in four weeks time.