Return to half-formed

After a period of silence for almost two months, you, my dwindling readers, are due an update on what I’ve been doing since I last wrote anything on here.

A fair amount has happened, with my geographical location noticeably shifting multiple times.

At the end of September, I moved out of my flat in Manchester and back to Stroud. It took almost three days to clean what had been three and a half years of miscellaneous nonsense and dust I’d accrued.

I’d be lying if I said that my time living in the north of England went exactly how I’d hoped. Although I’ve done far more paid comedy gigs than in the six years preceding the move, there is very much a feeling – at least as far as the circuit goes – of underachievement, stagnation, and frustration, not doing myself justice or working hard enough in relocation. I added those last two words for rhyming purposes.

My move was a gamble that I’d not really thought through or researched before diving straight into. But you don’t know if a gamble is going to work until you give it a try. I think I just needed to try harder to give it a better chance of succeeding, which is what many gamblers also believe in spite of a lack of evidence. Nevertheless, what’s done is done.

I didn’t have any gigs in September because of something that I may reveal more details on at some point if the material for a show comes together. Cryptic.

My return to the stage kicked off at Swansea Fringe at the start of October, which was hugely enjoyable. I’ve also been in London and did a couple of rusty short spots at some nights I’d not been to in a good few years.

The difference between me performing HTWAPQ and a shorter club set feels very much like what happens after breaking an ankle. When it comes out the cast, it takes time for the strength to return. That unintentionally reads a lot like a Swiss Toni quote.

After breaking my right ankle on that fateful New Year’s also in Swansea in 2008, my dominant right leg still feels weaker even after almost 11 years. HTWAPQ is my left leg and was never meant to be so much stronger than my right, but it’s done a lot more work. There’s nothing weird about this metaphor. It makes total sense.

Then at just before 2am this morning, I got back from a few nights in the Czech Republic where I was doing a couple of HTWAPQs. I had a show in Brno on Wednesday that turned out to be fun, albeit with the language barrier making things a little trickier at the start of the show. But to be fair, there have been many audiences all over the UK who’ve not been able to understand what I’m saying either, so it’s not like this is anything new.

I was in Prague the next night for another small but fun show. Audiences of 13 and nine respectively for two shows are much smaller than I’m used to for HTWAPQ, but they gave me an excuse travel to another country I’d never been to. And I may even be able to write them off as tax deductible.

Originally, these shows were meant to be part of my attempt to do a show in each of the 27 EU member states before Brexit. But judging by my energy levels after a three day trip, I’m now quite glad these plans never got very far.

Aside from comedy, I’ve been getting a fair amount of freelance writing work with my previous company thanks to my old friend, staff shortages. This work may start to dry up a bit, so I will need to find other sources of revenue. If you’re looking for writers and willing to pay, then I’m willing to write. I don’t think I can just rely on leads from this site though.

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