SHOW 12: 13TH AUGUST
I have a small spot by the edge of my nostril. It is imperceptible to audiences. There is nothing I can do about it. It is just there. I can feel it’s presence all the time. I have lost my rail travel card I attempt to get a replacement at the train station. It takes over thirty minutes of looking up computers and filling in forms by the ticket office bod. God I love a bit of bureaucracy. It is like communist Russia.
I arrive at the venue while the previous show is still on. A father and son are so keen to come to see me that they try and enter while the previous show is still running. It does look like it will be a small audience today. Only four people in the front row (including the father and son). Then a group of four come and occupy the very back row. They are so back row they are almost out of the room. It is a stupid choice of seat given the space available. I envisage playing to an audience with only a back and front row and nothing in between. There is something comical about that prospect. I ask them to move forward they decline. They are idiots.
With five minutes to go the audience fills up. My dream/dread of a front row/back row scenario is avoided.
It is evident from early on that (a) the audience are onside (b) it will all be OK (c) that I am a bit all over the place. I have passed a certain level of tiredness akin to drink or drug intoxication. My day off is tomorrow and perhaps I am slacking off as I approach half time. I feel intoxicated on stage. Perhaps this is how Doug Stanhope feels all the time? Maybe I should try actually being drunk on stage? Trouble is I actually am sober so I just notice all the blemishes. Diction is bad today. Articulation is not clear. Volume control is either dead loud or quiet. Not landing the end of routines. There are a few individual moments where I deliver certain individual bits better than I have done before. This invariably happens when I am able to inject the appropriate emotion. Can’t think what they were off hand but I remember thinking at bits “Oh that was good. Remember what that bit was and how you done it” – I can’t.
Animals – I am not happy with this routine in general and specifically not today. Bad, bad bad!!! I really feel I was testing their patience at this juncture.
Feel I am forcing it a bit today. I should have sit back more. Actually when I ease off the gas it builds the energy. This happens at Vegetarians right at the end. I pace it right and the energy builds effortlessly which is better than me knocking my pan in for less.
Another very enjoyable show today but a less perfect performance than yesterday. Mid-Edinburgh tiredness was starting to creep in. I think the audience were willing me to be better than I was. I have a day off tomorrow. I could do with it. I couldn’t quite gauge myself today and as a result the performance was erratic. Constantly overshooting or undershooting where I wanted to be. I couldn’t make myself do what I wanted to do. A spirited performance and one hopefully tailored to this audience, to be admired more for its joie de vivre than its technical brilliance. I enjoyed it though. It felt like I was wrestling with a beast. The show had a life of its own. I couldn’t tame it. I like that. I don’t think it is meant to be that way though.