SHOW 23 -25TH AUGUST
If my show is an aeroplane and I am the pilot then I can still fly the damn thing but I must admit not necessarily as smoothly as a week ago. I may spill your drinks and give you a rough landing, we may have to turn on the seatbelt sign, but as long as the weather is fair then I will get you there in one piece. I say as long as the weather is fair and if the weather is stormy then… who knows? Fortunately today the weather is fair so we will never know what would happen if it was stormy, perhaps it would bring out the best in me?
But the amount of errors that are staring to creep in are building up and that is only the ones I am aware of, God know what I am now failing to notice. There are moments today that I make mistakes that would be unacceptable in general conversation let alone a performance. Saying words in sentences the wrong way around rendering them technically bull shit. There is no smoothness at all, and at this stage of exhaustion I wonder of it is even something to strive for. Whether I should forget about that level of technical elan and stick to the basics. The audience are certainly up for it but the whole show shudders all over the place, at points getting big laughs when I accidentally do it right, slamming on the brakes when I screw something up, timing and performance I suspect now a shadow of their former self. It has a very jerky quality but I certainly act as if I know what I am doing. Perhaps I am finally entering my fat Elvis stage? Memory muscle kicking in but now essentially bereft of grace and skill, waiting to die on a bathroom floor. I wonder how far I could push it, how much I could run myself into the ground if I did this for another month?
What do people notice anyway? Do they notice any of this? I have met me before so I know what I am capable of doing but what about other people? If they haven’t seen me before they may be unwittingly impressed, if they have never actually seen stand up they will probably think I am doing a good job, but as for people who have seen me what are they thinking? It is possible that I have been reduced to a Stephen Carlin tribute act now doing a homage to the Stephen Carlin of a week ago. “You should have seen him back in the day kid, about six days ago to be precise, he could choke on a raisin and still deliver a show.”
I cannot be annoyed with myself I did my best, it is just that for the Stephen Carlin of last week his best would have been a lot better. I think the Stephen Carlin of a week ago could have made that the best show of the run.
So as I stand at the back and say good bye to all my audience like demented cabin crew at the end of a flight. “Goodbye, goodbye, thanks for coming. Goodbye, thank you…” I hope they didn’t notice the bumpy landing.