SHOW 18 – 20 TH AUGUST
I have no objective truth to report today. Unfortunately I did not record this show for posterity and I am therefore forced to rely on my memory. If I have learned one thing from this fringe it is that I am not a reliable witness to my own shows. The comparison between the recording of a gig and how it went in my head is quite startling. I am capable of inventing laughter that never occurred, eradicating that which did, imagining good delivery, faking antagonism, contriving energy and fabricating tiredness. Never call me as a witness in court.
So first of all the facts
As I See It
The audience are small and have spread themselves out to dilute any possible atmosphere. I can see that I have my work cut out. This is going to be one of those days where I will have to bring everything to the table, supply all the energy. I haven’t had one like this, this year and I have to dig into my memory banks (which are of course inaccurate). At the back of my mind, I doubt this is possible to sustain an hour. But the small crowd takes the pressure off in a way and also put it back on in a different kind of way.
The central hub of the audience includes two men (a father and son as I will find out later) the elder of whom (the father) has a weird laugh which sounds like a sigh. I assume during the gig that he doesn’t like the show and that he will inevitably leave at some point. He never leaves. Afterwards he talks animatedly about how much he enjoyed the show and how I am a “true professional unlike John Cleese” – NB John Cleese has earned way more than me.
I possibly don’t let it breath and push it a bit. I also try to hook everybody in. Some of the bankers don’t land. ‘Life is a waste’, the Monarchy bit of ‘Attenborough’ and bits of ‘Gay town’. I move Animals up front today and I can’t say it benefits it. The BBC stuff gets more agreement than laughter. I am constantly aware of trying to bring the audience in and meld them into a single unit.
I am also planting seeds early on for ‘Millennials’ dividing up the audience into suitable demographics, imposing ages on people to suit the material, apparently playing different bits of material for different members of an audience. Claiming certain people in the audience agree with what I am saying, imposing disagreement on others. I really am playing hard and fast with the reality of situation to make them what I need them to be. I am more in charge of them today. Because I feel I have to be.
It is not really until ‘Better than you’ (today the penultimate routine) that I can feel the audience come together and starting to tip in my favour. Then I do the best ‘Millennials’ yet. I really get emotionally involved in routine, at times pleading with them, berating them, praising them. I really direct it at individual members of the audience and I feel like a rabble rouser at a union meeting at the docks. The show really crescendos at the end and is the best end to this show that I have performed this run.
I rushed it? Probably as I finished early. Shortest show yet. I had an attitude today that there was no pressure but I would need to work hard. I should perhaps role out that attitude to all my gigs.