SHOW 8: 9TH AUGUST
I am starting to understand how to rewire this show to make it better. Starting to understand what certain routines are actually about and how I can push them further and the emotion in performance I can use to achieve that.
So ‘Beautiful Girl’ is the one that pops into my head today. I have been aware since last week that it is missing a certain element but today finally the mists are clearing. I already say that “at my best that is the real me” I now realise I have to say that “at her worst that is the real her” and that me at my best and her at her worst represents some sort of authentic measure of reality. I have to use this to propel my resentment further and make myself more ridiculous. This routine lies quite far into the show – at about 45 minutes, so I am excited all the way on the lead up to the 45 minute mark for the opportunity to try out my new idea.
Today is the first gig I have genuinely enjoyed. There is a good size audience and they seem open to ideas if not exactly high energy. I seem to manifest some genuine excitement from the off stage mic for once, so when I arrive on stage they greet me like they’ve heard of me. I milk the round of applause. I can tell they are unsure about me. There is strong support in the third row but otherwise they are a bit wait and see. I mismanage a number of transitions in the early stages of the show and this gives it a generally clunky quality, effecting the build. But I am enjoying the show and these fluffs don’t bother me. My enthusiasm carries me through these early difficulties and I can sense that I am reeling them in and can feel that I am building other pockets of enthusiasm.
It is not until “Better than you’ that they really start to trust me and while ‘Where is Hitler’ doesn’t get big laughs in itself, it charms them in a way that helps bind them more into me the character than the material per se. But this is the first time that this – lets be honest – ragbag of different routines under the guise of ‘Better than you’ feels like a coherent whole. I really hit a more mature and controlled pace at Gay Town and this tells me that the delivery of the rest of the show still has someway to improve yet. I am working on eye contact a lot today and bringing them all in. There is a greater sense of unity in the audience. I apply the changes to Beautiful Girl and it is already a whole better routine and more substantial. I can sense it has much more potential to grow yet and I think it will become the central routine of the entire show. Just the adding of my desire to “drag her down to my level” his added a whole new dimension to it. I am genuinely excited where I can take this next. The audience is actually building during the show today. People are coming in from the corridor and joining half way through. It is the first time that it feels like a coherent show rather than a series of routines. Still not brilliant end but after ‘Beautiful girl’ I did feel on the home straight.
A sustained round of applause at the end.
For want of a better cliche, todays performance was better than the sum of the parts, even individual flaws were transcended. There was a unity of audience and material which was a personal best for this show so far. Much to do but for the first time I now feel I am in a position to make this into a different and better show. At the end a man tells me quite sincerely that he has met the German woman in my routine. The only others bits of information I furnish the audience with are that she is a doctor and attractive. He asks was she blond? “yep I know her” he retorts – and he ain’t joking. I think some of my audience are mentally ill.