Last night, I had my first gig of the year. It was a weird one, but a lot of fun.
As it’s still early January, I was expecting it to be a quiet one. But the room in Streatham had around 40 people in, which was substantially larger than the ten or 12 that were on the couple of occasions I’d been there previously.
Although my material got laughs, the biggest responses of my set were when I was just talking to the audience about nothing in particular. Asking people what they were drinking seemed to be the most popular thing, which was all just very bizarre.
I think I only ended up doing five minutes of material, with five minutes of playing around. It worked, even if I can’t really explain why.
I’m going to try and do as many gigs as I can before I leave London on 30 January and have a few more lined up.
Every year, I set myself targets or challenges for the comedy year ahead. For 2015, I set myself a target of 150 gigs and getting something I’d written on the radio. Neither of these ended up materialising, partly due to a lack of organisation, gigs being cancelled, and a whole lot of other stuff going on.
In Manchester, it might be difficult to do as many gigs in London and my tally will take a further hit should I not do the Fringe. But hopefully the gigs that I do will be to larger paying audiences on pro-bills. I also might actually be able to start getting a bit more cash for doing comedy.
In terms of wages, comedy works almost the exact opposite to the rest of the country. Mostly, wages in London are higher than elsewhere in the UK. However, in comedy, it is a lot easier to get paid gigs outside of London, with northern England a particularly good place for this. There is even money for middle 10 minute spots, which are predominantly unpaid in London.
So this year, I’m simply going to set myself the target of writing more material and making more of an effort to book gigs. I’ll be driving when I’m Manchester-based, so that will open up a lot more gig opportunities too.
Now let’s see what 2016 has in store.