4TH SHOW. 5TH AUGUST
Before Show: Got delayed on a suburban train that was so overcrowded it resembled a tube train. Accidentally bought a sandwich that contained chickpeas instead of chicken. Fired a flyerer. Bought a substandard coffee from one of those pop up coffee stands outside of a venue from a woman with dirty nails.
I really don’t know what to do with the audience. They are very Sunday. Very low energy, Very ungiving and a bit socially conservative. I know from the off they will be hard work. They just smell of indifference. The entire first routine is sacrificed to just trying to get a momentum. But we may as well write off the first four routines I would say.
Only at ‘Life is a Waste’ does it get going but even then it is not plain sailing. There is some distraction at ‘Where is Hitler?’ – I can’t remember what – but if people can’t even enjoy lighthearted Nazis banter here is no hope for them.
At one point I attack them (the audience not the Nazis) for being ambivalent about the end of the world. Actually calling them nonchalant motherfuckers. They seem to like that. I don’t know whether the adlibbing just gets me out of the rut delivery wise or they are the kind of people that like being insulted. I could happily call them pricks to the end of time but I don’t feel like it.
I do get into quite a lot of crowd work particularly with a Polish girl who is good value for a bit. It lifts the energy but it means I have to loose the end – UFOs. In general the build through that routine is ruined by the interruptions. I am not entirely sure I didn’t engineer them all just to try and build energy.
‘Gay Town’ probably works the best today.
There is no elasticity with the audience where you can play with them a bit lead them up garden path a bit, tease them and play different people off against each other. So ‘Better than you’ and much of ‘Millennials’ are wasted on them. I think that actually material wise ‘Millennials’ was betst today but there wasn’t enough trust in the room to “mock-attack” sections of the audience – I did it anyway.
At about the half way stage I clear out that entire back row with a carefully pitched paedophile reference. The four of them just get up and leave. I regret not doing that line earlier. it is weird that some people who are clearly not enjoying need a moral excuse to leave. I can imagine them later saying “when he said blah blah blah, that was the last straw’ as if these people had any straws left. I must shed about one third of the audience as the show goes on. It is one of those gigs where the audience actually functions better the fewer of them there are. The final couple actually go after the show has finished as I am doing the bucker speech just to avoid paying. I naturally fully lambast them from the microphone.
Interestingly some bits that have never worked properly before actually worked better today. In particular the bit about loser animals going through a hard time -the best it has ever gone and also the end of Attenborough – that was technically speaking my favourite bit. Had there been more momentum I would have ended it there in fact. I still thought about it. I mustered a kind of end with ‘Vegetarian’ but that is sheer will power.
Delivery too jerky today. I notice when I do smooth it out it goes better. I notice the bits that I do in clubs also go better as they are more bullet proof. I try to maintain posture but have to keep correcting myself. The venue just lends itself to slouching.
I am not sure whether it was them or me? But I could pick it up at points which suggests strongly there was more I could have gotten from them. I suspect I botched the delivery but also they seemed to be very little latitude within the audience that limited what could be done with them.
I am definitely dividing audiences more this year. More walk outs and more generosity in the bucket from those who remain. I am not sure whether that is a comment on my act or the demographic who attend that venue?