I had my second gig of the year on Wednesday. It was at an alternative book club night in Cheltenham, where comedians do material specifically about books.
I’d like to say that I didn’t have time to prepare anything because I was only drafted in a few days before. But the reality is, turning up unprepared is familiar ground for me even if I have been given enough notice.
But I do just so happen to be an actually published writer, aside from on here. So, I rehashed my reporter material and made it relate back to books as much as possible. My main excuse was that my former editor at the paper was colleagues with Terry Pratchett when they were both press officers for an old group of nuclear power stations. Possibly, but they were definitely colleagues somewhere.
I tried a few new bits, some went really well, others not so well. The first seven minutes of my ten-minute set went very well.
What didn’t work was a bit about something about the book I carried around in my bag for silent reading in English lessons in Year 8 and 9 at school. It was a tie-in to the 90s TV show The New Adventures of Superman, and it was called Deadly Games. I wouldn’t be able to tell you what it was about, as I never actually read it and only pretending to read to smash the system. I once had to describe it to the class and much of my description was about the front cover. I tried comparing the TV show to a microwavable carbonara I’d often be eating while watching the show on Saturday evening. None of this material worked.
Regardless, it was a fun gig. The room had a really nice atmosphere and I had the freedom to piss about, which I always get the most enjoyment out of. I have another gig on Thursday.