SHOW 17: 19TH AUGUST
The couple in the front row look at me like they want me to die in a ditch. He is slightly more benevolent looking. He looks like he only wants me to die of natural causes in a ditch, whereas she looks like she wants me to be actively murdered in a ditch. I realise I have to get him on side first. I mis-identify a laugh in the third row as the laugh of a friend of mine. No such friend at the gig exists. Somebody has stolen her laugh. I perhaps play to that friend of mine too much trying to build the laughs from her. Accidentally cultivating a genuine member of the audience by mistake. It is all a bit hit and miss in the early stages of the show. I get them, loose them, get them back. Empathy doesn’t build. I think my timing is all over the place. ‘Life is a waste’ is a particular slog. I think I will permanently loose them at ‘Where is Hitler’. It is ridiculous. Who doesn’t like Hitler anecdotes?
At around the 10 minute mark I am sweating profusely. The room is full and perhaps particularly humid but the sweat is lashing off my forehead. Perhaps I am working too hard but sweating is not a good look. At around 15 minutes I accidentally inhale a seed. I should explain I ate a Pret a Manger muesli thing before the show. It contained seeds. One was lodged in a molar without my knowledge. I take a large intake of breath and the seed flies into my throat and sticks there. I think it is a pumpkin seed but it maybe a sunflower one. For the next 10 minutes it wreaks havoc with my timing. I have this niggling tickle and it presents itself at the wrong moment when I am saying key words. I drink loads of water at this point to try and shift the seed. It does shift the seed but into a worse position in my throat. Now I have developed a cough that presents itself at inopportune moments. Occasionally I will attempt a strategic cough between jokes to try to cough on my terms and leave an interruption free minute ahead for routines. This doesn’t really work. The cough keeps breaking for cover. I drink more water. It still doesn’t shift it. The good news is that the sweating situation has stabilised. I have quaffed so much water that it has cooled me down. By ‘Gaytown’ lines are being sabotaged to the cough. It has now become a hacking cough. Actuality during ‘Hitler left wing/right wing’ the cough almost makes me pace it better but by the end of it my voice is starting to go. I stop and tell them what has happened. It helps break the ice. It turns out the woman in the second row is a doctor, I miss diagnose her for a man, more hilarity. The interaction builds goodwill and lets me reset a bit. I genuinely go blank at this moment for the first time this run. I keep wanting to go into ‘millennials’ but I know this isn’t the right bit, so I keep stalling, blaming the cough to buy me more thinking time. This also builds jeopardy. By now the cough has genuinely gone. Now that it’s become a feature. I now have to fake the cough until I remember that is ‘Better than you’ I can now play the German doctor in the routine off against the real doctor in the audience.
I worked on the end of Animals prior to the show and it is now really going in a direction I want. I end on it.
My favourite show of the run, not the best, but more of an event than any previous one. More of a sense of bespoke show for them (the audience) and starting to make the end into something. The second best bucket collection of the fringe. And also several walks outs but also walk ins so I am really starting to filter these fuckers (my audience).
The die in a ditch couple still look at me like they want me to die in a ditch. They put in £1.50 in between them. They still want me to die in a ditch.
I think I might fake a medical emergency in the future to help build rapport.