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Archive for December, 2014

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2014: A half-arsed review

With the remnants of 2014 fast slipping away, I will now summarise the past 365 days. Also, I am still back home and am running out of things to do.

The past 12 months have seen me dress up as giant inflatable penis, be God, and do my first ever hour show for the full-run in Edinburgh. All of these relate to comedy. Obviously, I have done some other stuff in the real-world, but that shouldn’t be of any interest to you if you value my mystique.

As with most years, 2014 began with January. I fulfilled a long time ambition by performing at The Stand in Edinburgh. The gig also happened to be a belter.

Ruby went, then came back and then went again. I have a feeling it’ll be back every now and then, sooner rather than later.

The highlight of my year was my Edinburgh show. Doing a solo show was all new and I had no idea how it would all turn out. Although it could have been improved and the final show was an anticlimax, the whole run went much better than I can have ever hoped.

In other good news, I am now a matter of hours away from being rid of my #Joke365 curse. If I’d actually had the time to sit down and write every day, I would expect to have written a better standard of jokes. A lot of what I have churned out has been poor and they have often been written just before I am going to bed. I have been deprived of sleep for this stupid challenge, but probably have a handful of decent jokes that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

This year, I have learnt a lot and had some really great gigs. I have also done some horrendous gigs, but sheer belligerence and delusion usually has seen me find a way to enjoy most of them.

2014 has been a very good year for me. I intend to do all in my capabilities to make 2015 even better.

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Stay on target

At the start of this year, I set myself three comedic targets and am only likely to meet two of them with the days of 2014 now dwindling.

As Meatloaf once said, two out of three ain’t bad. At least, I’ve been informed that it was Meatloaf who said this, but I have never heard this particular song. My knowledge of Meatloaf’s back-catalogue is fairly limited to the greatest hits of his greatest hits, and his brief cameo in Rocky Horror. And don’t blow this all out of proportion on social media and claim that I’m slagging off Meatloaf, because I’m not. I do not wish to enter a public feud with Meatloaf, it would just be unnecessary.

Out of the three targets, it is the one of doing 200 gigs that I look set to fail. Mathematically, this could still be achieved if I were to do five gigs a day for the rest of the year.

I am currently on about 130 gigs for the year, which is roughly my annual average. However, I am including gigs that range in length from my phenomenal 20 seconds at the Comedy Store gong show, to the hour-long Fringe shows in this tally.

I was pinning a great amount on being able to do a good chunk of these during Edinburgh Fringe. But when Edinburgh came around, I actively did fewer gigs than I had booked to avoid exhausting myself or feel an urge to drink.

But what is the point of having targets if you’re always going to hit them? I don’t know what sort of an excuse this is, but I like it.

The second of my targets was to write 30 minutes of new stand-up material, and I probably have done this, even if I have dropped large sections of it. I wrote a massive amount for my Edinburgh show and didn’t have time for about half of it. I have achieved this goal, so there. I also said nothing about the 30 minutes of new material actually needing to be any good.

My other target was to write one new joke every day and put it on Twitter under #Joke365. I was regretting doing this by the 2nd of January. Nevertheless, I have managed to keep it going even, if I have had to bend the rules slightly by letting me still eligible to write the previous day’s joke at 6am the next day before I properly wake-up.

The proportion of jokes that have actually made it into my set is probably much lower than the 10% that I thought would be decent.

The point behind all these targets, whether or not I actually achieved them, was to force me to improve as a comedian. I think I have done that over the past 12 months, but the year is not yet through and I may dramatically regress.