Not what I would have hoped

30 Jun

Tonight, I went on stage and did my set (that, I have learnt, is the way to describe the string of jokes you put together on any given night) and I DIED. That, I have long known, is the word we use to describe the night you go on stage and no one laughs. I have not, until now, known exactly what it meant in a personal sense. But it means exactly what it says. DIED.

This was not just some mild oh that didn’t go too well, did it and not even a slightly less mild shit, that went bad, didn’t it. No, this was a full on death. Like…well, I will leave it to your imagination. Only you can’t imagine how bad it was.

Now, I have many ideas about what might have gone wrong. Took the wrong lipstick for starters. But I dunno, it was so bad, I don’t think it’s worth dwelling on it for too long, because I don’t know that there’s much I can learn from it. The only thing I can think there is to learn is that even when you die you are still alive to tell the tale.

The pity of it is, is that because of a few other things going on right now, I’m not going back on stage for another month at which point I am in quite an important gig. It does not bode well, does it?

In other news, my new wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills arrived, and I have started what is proving to be a very beautiful jumper which begins with a large amount of moss rib, a truly beautiful stich. I’m sure that’s not how most comedians console themselves.

And in other, other news, the Tooth Fairy did come. She left a note which ended ‘PS Your house is very messy. I hope that you will help your Mum and Dad to clean it up.’ Never miss an opportunity.

PS Thanks for your comments on the last post, which I will digest and answer tomorrow.

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14 Responses to “Not what I would have hoped”

  1. tut-tut July 1, 2007 at 6:05 am #

    Oh, you are so not alone, but of course that is no help at all, is it?

  2. carly July 1, 2007 at 9:38 am #

    that tooth fairy is quite the clean freak, isnt she? she said the exact same thing in the note she left xander a little while back. eli’s tooth is wobbly now. im waiting for the right time to remind them of what was in the note, and instil the fear of the tooth fairy into them

    p.s. i dont know who you are, you know, in real life, but im sure you are awesome and i think you’re great

  3. elsewhere July 1, 2007 at 1:00 pm #

    Eek. I guess it’s a bit like the old writing, just have to pick oneself up and keep on going.

    The tooth fairy never left messages in my day.

  4. nick cetacean July 1, 2007 at 6:18 pm #

    Sorry to hear you, uh, died. I’m going on the third time in my life in 2 weeks and I’m a little nervous… Sometimes you think about stand-up: how hard can it be, really? And then you do it and it is hard…

    But why is it hard?

    Tell the Tooth Fairy to mind her own freakin’ business….

  5. ThirdCat July 1, 2007 at 7:37 pm #

    Thanks for your commiserations and cheering thoughts. I’m surprisingly unworried by it today. Though I let myself think a few times about my next outing and it made me feel a bit queasy.

    I don’t know that the letter to the tooth fairy was convincing enough. I suspect it looked too much like easter bunny’s handwriting.

  6. genevieve July 2, 2007 at 4:00 pm #

    Oh, brave Third Cat. Live to fight another day. It’s small comfort, but the closest I ever get to that nowadays (apart from a horrible performance in The Gondoliers as a teenager) is those spirit of the staircase moments when you meet someone you really want to impress – and are tongue-tied. Three weeks later you are having the conversation of your life with them, into the bathroom mirror.
    I will be geeing for you next gig from the Melburnian suburbs.

  7. cellobella July 2, 2007 at 11:02 pm #

    And did you see a bright white light?

    (Probably a spotlight)

    And did your life flash before your eyes?

    Fark indeed. And will I laugh next time I’m watching someone die onstage? Or simply cringe and die with them in sympathy?

    Probably the latter, though the former would possibly be more helpful!

    This my friend, is why we so admire you.
    🙂
    CB

  8. ThirdCat July 3, 2007 at 9:16 am #

    Life didn’t flash before me. Though I flashed through my routine…once I realised how incredibly badly it was going to go, I just skipped to all the ‘never fail’ parts.

    Yes, it would be very helpful to laugh, and nudge whoever you’re next to and get them to laugh too.

    But see, isn’t that funny to admire someone for failing so miserably?

  9. Tony.T July 4, 2007 at 1:22 pm #

    I was thinking about this business last night when it occurred to me – congratulations!

    It may well be painful, but every successful funny person I’ve ever seen or heard interviewed talks about the time they died. So surely, it must be a good thing.

  10. ThirdCat July 4, 2007 at 4:06 pm #

    Thank you, Tony.T.

    I think.

  11. redcap July 8, 2007 at 6:41 pm #

    Nobody at all laughed? Did anyone heckle? I saw Glynn Nicholas respond to a persistent heckler one night in the most splendid style. He poured a pint in the bloke’s lap. >:)

    I think you should take heart from the fact that you had the courage to try. My appalling stage fright and habit of stuttering in public prevents me from ever going near anything bar a piece of paper. Well done for getting up there in the first place, I say!

  12. david tiley July 9, 2007 at 7:05 pm #

    I cannot tell you how useful failure is.

    Or how much respect people deserve for overcoming it.

    Failure, or at least unexpected stuff, is what shows us the nature of the event, in all its comic, social density.

    it may not be the material. Rhythm, looking and connecting, relaxing, sharing the joke, listening to the audience make all the difference.

  13. Pavlov's Cat July 10, 2007 at 10:38 am #

    I’m sure it isn’t the material, and I don’t even think you should think of it as ‘failure’ — humour is the most two-way street there is, and if people don’t get it then they are at least 50% responsible for the fact that they don’t laugh. I watched the YouTube clip of your Raw gig, and your delivery is so unflinchingly deadpan that a particularly thick audience member might be forgiven for thinking you were actually serious.

    Your experience sounds to me a bit like my teaching days: you walk into a room (A tired academic walks into a bar. Repeat.) and see student faces you’ve known for weeks now, and have had classes with that went just fine, and yet for some reason, that day, they are all sullen and unforthcoming, they do not laugh at any of your jokes, and nobody wants to talk about the text or topic at hand. At all. And you have to sit there in a room with them for 50 minutes, making up an impromptu lecture out of material other than what was in the lecture you have already given. And then you have to face them the following week … and they are fine.

    It’s a bad-luck, pure-chance, Group Dynamic Meets Bad Energy on an Unauspicious Day thing.

  14. Pavlov's Cat July 10, 2007 at 10:38 am #

    I’m sure it isn’t the material, and I don’t even think you should think of it as ‘failure’ — humour is the most two-way street there is, and if people don’t get it then they are at least 50% responsible for the fact that they don’t laugh. I watched the YouTube clip of your Raw gig, and your delivery is so unflinchingly deadpan that a particularly thick audience member might be forgiven for thinking you were actually serious.

    Your experience sounds to me a bit like my teaching days: you walk into a room (A tired academic walks into a bar. Repeat.) and see student faces you’ve known for weeks now, and have had classes with that went just fine, and yet for some reason, that day, they are all sullen and unforthcoming, they do not laugh at any of your jokes, and nobody wants to talk about the text or topic at hand. At all. And you have to sit there in a room with them for 50 minutes, making up an impromptu lecture out of material other than what was in the lecture you have already given. And then you have to face them the following week … and they are fine.

    It’s a bad-luck, pure-chance, Group Dynamic Meets Bad Energy on an Unauspicious Day thing.

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