In an ideas world

I was chatting to my old comedy partner, aged 46, about what the future holds. He has no direct information on the future, despite what he may claim.

He turned his back on comedy in favour of a grown-up job with a frightening level of responsibilities. So, I suppose he is both my ghost of comedy past and potential future. And if we end up sharing a flat later this year, he’ll claim to be the ghost of comedy present too.

It’s been almost three months since I’ve done a gig. And the longer I spend away from the stage, the less I want to return to it. While the more that I am performing, the more I want to be – to the point where it dominates almost all of my thinking and I base my life around it. I suppose when I put it like that, it has all the hallmarks of an addiction. And those endorphins and adrenaline rushes are mighty addictive.

I’ve managed to get myself out and clean again. Well, I had some help with that from all my bookings drying up.

The plan has been to move back to London in September to get back into comedy at full speed. But now I’m wondering if I really want to put myself through that again. The other side of that is what else am I going to do?

As with all addictions, some things can pull you back in. And with this, it’s my ideas for an hour show I started writing in September 2019. The theme is pretty strong and it’s not a subject I don’t think I’ve ever seen spoken about at the Fringe. There may be a reason for this. But the ideas started running through my head when I was taking my dog for a walk yesterday. I think there’s something in it, namely jokes.

Edinburgh Fringe is really what makes me want to get back into it. It is a brutal mistress who has treated me both wonderfully and horrendously over the years. And despite all the hardship and emotional wounds, I keep going back.

As things stand, I’m not taking How To Win A Pub Quiz there this year. But I’m thinking about just going up for a week. Throwing some ideas at a wall, and seein what sticks. Depending on what venue I’m in, there may not even be a wall and only a curtain. Hopefully, the fabric will allow something to stick to it. If I’m going to do this, then I’ll need to get some more gigs booked up.

And that’s how comedy tempts you back. You think you’re free and have got out, but all it takes is an idea to get you back in again.

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