By davidthyde, 02-Mar-2012 10:43:00
So I'm about 6 weeks into my journey into the world of stand-up comedy, and so far it's been a blast.
No question about it, the Stand Up and Deliver course has been a really great value. Not only have we had great fun playing games and working up material under Logan Murray's direction, but we've built a strong and supportive network across the group.
I'm kinda blown away by how connected the group has become. We are all massively different from one another - and I doubt our paths would have crossed in any other forum than the very odd world that is comedy.
First proper open mike was on Tuesday at The Lion's Den. Jenny Maynard did her Piper character and killed. Mark Stringer closed the show (that ran late, so a tired room) - and he lifted the energy incredibly with some very funny stuff.
I was the third act on, following a guy who had just discovered Bill Hicks. I did OK, but got a little lost in my material and kinda petered out. Got a laugh, though, and just said "That's all I got - Thank You!" so didn't totally screw up the dismount.
But after the gig, both Jenny and Mark had really helpful suggestions for tightening the set and sharpening the performance.
Had the second gig last night, 1 March, at the Prince of Wales in Tooting - the last in the Comedy Virgins Away Day series at the PoW, as this lovely pub is soon to become a Tesco Metro.
Anyway - gig was good fun, run with skill by MC and organiser Ed Mayhew. Very funny guy who has pulled this event together. He's created a great environment for new comedians to learn their craft. Hope it finds a new home soon.
Before arriving, I had NO idea that there was a quasi-competitive element to the proceedings. Not fierce and awful like many of the comedy competitions out there - but a crowd-approval aspect, laugh-off type of thing.
If the audience likes an act, people yell "Buy him (or her) a drink!" when they finish. Then, at the end of the night, everyone who's had a drink bought for them comes on stage, and there's kind of a cheer off so that the audience can select their favourite act of the night.
I was shitting bricks before even going, now I felt scared out of my mind. Oh, and the running order is determined at random act by act, so you have no idea when you're going on. Not great for the nerves.
The very funny Jonny Emmett - also a course member - was performing too. He did his set in the first half and stormed it. Easily the best comic of the first half, Jonny had the crowd on his side and laughing loud at his material. He was most deservedly bought a drink by the audience.
Anyway, I'm rambling now - but I got bought a drink after doing a bit on Monopoly, using that as a vehicle for talking about the financial crisis. And wholly unexpectedly won the cheer off at the end. Jonny and I were neck and neck, but MC Ed called it in my favour. (Amazing what a few £20 notes slipped discreetly to the compere can make happen.)
So it was great to have an encouraging start. Even better to have Fenella Fudge, Natalie Proudlock and Ming Tsang down from the course to cheer us on. Their enthusiasm helped encourage the crowd to respond well to both Jonny and me. It would have been a different gig without them there.
The point of all this is to thank the entire course team - and to urge anyone reading this to make sure they get out there and build a group who will support each other.
Comedy, unlike sex, is never better alone.
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