Saturday, 31 January 2015

Snown't Let Me Down.


I cancelled today’s planned Beatles Meet with Paul Harry Allen due to the snow. I now think I may have been a little previous.

I was already half way to the station, complete Beatles Box Set in my hand (well, in a sturdy carrier bag), when I made my decision. Paul lives in North West London, which is easy enough for me to get to, but I know what trains are like. It usually only takes someone breathing directly onto the track for everything to be cancelled. I don’t know why anyone would do something so risky, unless they were about to buff it.

I called to postpone, which he was fine with. As soon as I did this, the weather eased up. I’m not arrogant enough to suggest my choices have direct impact on our meteorological system, but I’d like to imply it.

It was a shame to call it off. Our last Fab Four session took place last August. We started at the beginning of their discography and got to Revolver, which is when things get interesting. I was looking forward to carrying on where we left off. It’s likely we’d have given Don’t Pass Me By and Revolution 9 a miss, unless Paul insisted we be completest. God knows what we’d do when we reached the solo years. We’d have to spread that across four separate dates. I’d attend Ringo Day by proxy. There’s only so much peace and love I can take.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Luddite Design.


I’ve spent the afternoon putting together a promo image for mine and Peter Broughton-Rates’ forthcoming work-in-progress gigs. I started the process with a full head of hair. Now, I’m a bald man.

Photo editing isn’t my strong point, if I'm honest. I’m not sure what my strong point is. I’m looking forward to finding out, hopefully with enough lifespan left to do something with it. Knowing my luck it’ll be a skill that’s been rendered defunct, like wattle and daub walling.

(A good name for a medieval cop show, or long-dead married couple.)


Considering my limited means, I'm pleased with the results. It’ll do the job. I used the open-source software GIMP rather than Photoshop, because I don’t like spending money. A friend of Peter’s put together his artwork, to which I did some cut-and-shut editing to fit our split-bill line-up. You'll only see the joins if you look closely; or if you’re Glyn, who’s the King of Poster Editing. Literally. He has his own poster-editing realm.

I decided to go with a different title for my half of the evening for the first few dates, rather than kicking off with ‘…and Ephgrave’. This will leave room for growth. For me, the first few shows will be more a case of trying bits out than presenting a polished whole. It might even encourage people to come back from month to month. Stranger things have happened.

The time has come to get on with writing it. Our first gig is the 28th February at 7:30pm, at The Actors’ Temple, London. Why not come along? It’s free, save a small charity donation,  so you’ve got no excuse. Unless you have got an excuse, which is fair enough. Book here.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Joining in the Festivalivities.


Today I've officially confirmed I’ll be taking a solo show to this year’s Brighton Fringe Festival.

It’s something I’ve skirting around for a while. I applied a few months ago but, me being me, the offer didn't come through until this Tuesday. This wouldn’t have been a problem if it weren’t for the fact the deadline for registration is tomorrow. As a result, today's been taken up with finalising titles and blurbs and editing images, plus more than my fair share of wrestling with technology. I caught the bus to my mum’s in the midst of it, to walk her dog. I like to get about.

The good thing is this means a lot of the admin is done. There’s now just the small matter of writing the show itself. I see this as a minor detail. There's no reason to be concerned. My next deadline is the 28th February, which is the first in a monthly run of dates I’m sharing with Peter Broughton-Rates. He’ll be previewing his forthcoming Edinburgh show, while I’ll initially aim to do about 25 minutes, then work up more each month. I want to be at least half way ready by 23rd March, when I’m booked to perform a truncated version of the show as part of The Comedy Project Season at the Soho Theatre.

I can’t write coherently now. My brain is frazzled. I’ll document things in more detail as the days and weeks go by. One thing I will reveal now is the title, which is ‘…and Ephgrave’. Let's see how much confusion that creates.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

News Whiff.


Today I experienced a whole new audition-waiting-room paranoia: "Does my newspaper smell too much?"

I was okay when I was sat in the corridor. Out there, there was more space. It must have had a better oxygen throughflow (which was surprising, as the casting suite is in the basement of a disused factory-cum-warehouse. Not a factory cum warehouse. That would be horrific). Reading it there didn't make me self-conscious. It was only when I moved into the next tier of waiting - the room immediately outside the studio - that the overly inky odour of my Guardian became apparent. 

It didn't help that I was seated in extreme proximity to two other actors. There was scarcely room to read a broadsheet. For a fleeting moment, I wished I'd bought the Mail, before remembering I'm not a narrow-minded, BBC-and-all-other-humanity-hating sexist / racist. Sorry Mum.

(She’s none of those things, but she reads it.)

The smell was overwhelming. It may as well have come straight off the press. I didn't want to encroach on other people's airspace, but I was. It was akin to having poor personal hygiene. Until then, I'd never considered catching up on the day's events as antisocial behaviour. 

My paper's aura was the elephant in the room. Next time I'll read a magazine with aftershave samples in it. 

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Will the Bellend?

 I do like a bus with a stop bell that perforates your eardrum. 

Some might say it's a niche way to find enjoyment. These people are notable in their absence. That said, I'm currently solely in the company of my wife and cat (two separate beings) and, so far, we haven't discussed the subject.

I travelled on such a vehicle tonight. I was on my way to Letchworth for my weekly meditation class. Public transport is scarce to my destination in the evening; the only option is the 535, which gives me just five minutes to walk from my alighting stop to my class. That's if the bus is on time. Last week it was ten minutes early and I missed it. Tonight it was fifteen minutes late.  The only way to guarantee transportation on the 535 is to drive it. I don't want to do that. If I did, I wouldn't be able to get off until we reached the depot.

The bus snuck up on me. The outside display was off. For all I knew, it could have been an elaborate kidnapping ploy by an attacker with means. If so, fair play to them. It's nice to be wanted.

I was only moments into my journey before someone pressed the buzzer. Before they had, I'd wondered if it was working; perhaps the bell and the outside display were all part of the same mechanism. By God, was I wrong. Just a brief touch of the button brought forth an automated sound that barged its way down the ear canal and into my soul. My capacity for hearing high frequencies was lost in an instant. I'd never enjoy Jean-Michel Jarre's Popcorn again. The song, not the foodstuff.

This left me in a quandary: should I press the buzzer myself when my stop was in sight, risking permanent deafness, or remain on the bus for the rest of my life? In the end, I pressed it. It's better to be the instigator of your own hearing loss than to let someone else's button-pressing do it (something my nan always said to me).

Monday, 26 January 2015

The Joke's on Me.


It occurred to me today that part of the reason I felt nervous before my solo set last Thursday was because a lot of the material I was about to do was fiercely autobiographical.

This is something I haven’t done with Glyn. Most of our work centres around passing comment on things we’ve found. While we’re often self-deprecating (sometimes too much), the spotlight is seldom on us. We’re never the focus. The fact we use a projector and a screen compounds this; we spend our whole set saying ‘Look at this. Isn’t this funny’, rather than ‘look at us’. Psychiatrists would have a field day.

This is much less the case with the stuff I’m writing for myself. This blog is partly to blame. You can’t write every day without eventually turning the spotlight inward (I’m enjoying my lamp-based metaphor). I haven’t revealed anything shocking, like the existence of an illegitimate lovechild – I’m holding that back for a bit – but I’ve documented a lot of what I think. I’ve also called on stories from my personal life.

The strange thing is I’m very private. I keep myself to myself. Yet I get up on stage for a living – and post something based on my experiences, or my outlook, here every day. Work that one out.

The vast proportion of the material I performed last week was about my childhood. There were no bombshells dropped – it was all pretty innocuous – but it was still about me. If people didn’t laugh, I was more likely to take it personally. 

As it stood, I wasn’t on form. Most of the new material got a reasonable reaction, but I didn’t pitch it right. I was too tired and my delivery was too placed. That’s the downside of running your own club; you spend so much time rushing about, and little of it focused on your performance. That becomes an afterthought. Still, I'll reserve final judgement until I watch the video of it. Either way, I’m likely to pursue this route with the show I’m putting together. That way, I can’t be accused of ripping off someone else’s material. Well, I still can, but I’ll choose to ignore it.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

One For You, Nineteen For Me.


I’ve spent most of the day surrounded by bank statements and receipts, trying to pull together my records for my 2013-14 Tax Return.

I have six days until the deadline. I like to keep things close to the wire. I’m not worried as I’m nearly there. I’m pretty sure I’ll have it sewn up by Tuesday at the latest. I’ll then submit the figures and pray the God of Self Assessment (a hideous Moira Stuart / Adam Hart-Davis amalgam) is kind to me this year. If he / she isn’t, I’ll sell a few vital organs to cover the cost. Maybe even the Hammond in my garage.

If I get a bill, it shouldn’t be too horrific. That's the plus side to a shit financial year. It’s disconcerting to see how many jobs I went up for and didn’t get; so many dates penciled in the diary that didn’t turn to pen. If nothing else, these castings give a lot to claim back on, though in each case, I would have sooner got the gig too.

Here’s hoping 2014-15 will be more successful. I still have three months to turn things around. I’ll do my best to remain optimistic. One small question: does Glyn's birthday card count as a business expense?

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Up Next.


Last night I dreamt a trailer for The One Show. Either my subconscious has reached its peak of dullness or the BBC are pumping adverts into my head.

The commercial ran like a premonition (or a prelude to a 30-minute one). I didn’t visualise a TV. It was as if someone had jammed a SCART lead through my cerebral cortex. I hope no-one does that. It would wreak havoc with the pins.

I can’t remember what they were trailing. I’m not sure who was their special guest. All I can see is Chris Evans and Alex Jones sitting on the sofa, talking to my soul. Thank God it wasn’t Matt Baker’s shift. That would be nightmarish.

The dream must have been spurred on by the fact I saw some of yesterday’s show. They were interviewing Jeremy Paxman. The tension in the studio was palpable. Even his friendliest answers came across like accusations. They should've threatened to overrule him twelve times and see how he likes it.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Postage Gimp.


Today I went to the Post Office to send a gimp mask.

I don’t own one for recreational purposes. It’s a prop (something I previously covered here). The other day I received a text from a friend asking if he could borrow it – for fancy dress rather than ‘sexy time’ – and, of course, I said yes.

It’s a relief to get rid of it, if I’m honest. It's very intimidating. I keep it in the storage cupboard outside my flat for distance, next to the cat o’ nine tails, the ball gag and the sex swing. “This is not just bondage gear; this is S&M bondage gear”.

(Best read in a Dervla Kirwan voice to a Fleetwood Mac accompaniment.)

The first step was getting it into town. Despite being hidden in my bag it still made me self-conscious. What if I was in a road accident? I’d hate to be discovered with the mask about my person and not be able to explain it. I don't want to end up on the front page of The Comet.

By the time it was jiffy-bagged and under my arm in the Post Office queue, I had things under control. I sauntered up to cashier number three with confidence.

“Can I ask what’s in the parcel?” she said.
“It’s a…hat.”

I suppose I wasn’t far off. I just wish I hadn’t put a return address on it.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Little Wonder, You.


If people saw how much I've got into the Stevie Wonder songs I’ve been listening to this week while getting ready, they’d laugh their arses off.


That isn’t an exaggeration. Anyone watching would find my pathetic attempts at funky dancing so funny that the fleshy cheeks either side of their rectum would come clean off. The anus would remain intact, but the outer area – the bum cushion, if you like – would fall to the floor, or be rocking back and forth on the chair if they'd just got up from sitting down. And were trouserless.

(Sorry for that.)

Most of my enthusiastic moves to the now not-so-Little Stevie have taken place in the bathroom. This compounds the embarrassment. Picture me in a towel, with 'I Wish' blaring from my BlackBerry (not a euphemism), boogying away – yes, boogying – and then WIPE IT FROM YOUR MIND. 

I’d forgotten how much I loved his work. I can’t get enough. His singing is effortless, his range never-ending, and his ability to get his way around just about every instrument in the musical lexicon (good word) is astounding. He always sounds delighted; full of energy and positivity, like he's enjoying every moment. Listening to a Stevie Wonder song first thing in the morning is a tonic that puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day. Unless it's 'I Just Called to Say I Love You' of course.

I first became aware of him, albeit indirectly, at junior school. Once a week, in assembly, the head teacher would read out any recent birthdays. We’d file into the hall to the tune of Wonder’s ‘Happy Birthday’; a song that was cutting-edge at the time. None of us knew it was about Martin Luther King – the best we could manage then was a bit of colouring-in – but we liked the sound of it. Each time I hear it now, I’m back at St. Nicholas JMI in Stevenage. I’m also just shy of four feet tall, which is confusing.

So if you want some cheap amusement, lurk by my bathroom window at about 8:30am. If you’re lucky, I’ll be cutting some shapes. If I’m not in the middle of braiding my hair.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Clothes Horse.


Spending £90 on two shirts has put me in a full-scale panic.

I went out with the intention of buying something new to wear onstage. I haven’t bought clothes in an aeon and it’s starting to show. I have two shirts I would describe as my best which are in constant rotation. There’s only so many times you can wash and flash-dry the same outfit before it starts to degrade. The contents of my wardrobe could double as an illustration of coastal erosion.

I was all set to go somewhere closer to my budget (rhymes with 'text'), when I noticed my favourite - and pricier – clothes shop had a 50% sale. You can’t argue with that. Whether the discount would equal the sale price of an item from my intended destination is up for debate (answer: “no’), but it was worth a look. This is how they lure you in.

There were a number of shirts on the rail outside suiting my remit (i.e. “slight hint of wallpaper”). All were at a marked down price. There was no way I’d have considered them at the going rate – spending £95 on a shirt is ludicrous, unless it comes with a dresser who'll hold the arms open each time you slide in – but the discount brought them into the realms of possibility. Just.

I took so many into the changing room, and spent so long trying them on, that I felt I had to buy something. I know: poor excuse. The two I went for were nice, but slightly bigger than I’d have liked. I wish I’d just bought one. Spending money makes me worry. I’d take one back, but they only have an exchange policy. 

At least when I wear one at tomorrow’s Mostly Comedy, I can’t be accused of not having any new material. It'll also make the shirt tax deductible. Well done me.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Boobless.


It seems like, after 44 years, The Sun will finally excise topless women from page 3. If they could fix their content from pages 1-2 and 4+ too, I’d be happy.

It’s not much of a newspaper if we’re honest; more a collection of pictures loosely tied together by a few trashy, tabloid-style headlines. Its outlook is childish. The emphasis isn’t so much on news as celebrity lifestyle, based on the simplistic assumption you can guess what’s going on in someone’s private life from a few hastily snapped paparazzi photographs. You can’t, by the way.

(Bang goes my chance to appear in one of their adverts.)

There’s something archaic about The Sun. It’s attitude is firmly rooted in the 1970s. It’s the sort of thing you’d expect to see in Fletcher and Godber’s cell, or poking out of Rigsby’s back pocket. The semi-nude girl dominating its immediate innards is a major factor of this. Page 1 becomes a cover story in more ways than one: a way of saying "we’ll keep up the pretense of bringing you a news for bit, but turn the page and you’ll get what you came for". No pun intended.

It’s always made me embarrassed. Any time I flick through the paper in a café or on a train, I alway skip quickly to page 4. The paranoia is there before I open it.  Linger too long and people will think I’m a pervert. Worse still: a pervert who won't buy his own salacious material.

The inclusion of those knowing, intentionally wry captions attributing apparently incongruous quotes to the model doesn’t help. We’re supposed to find it hilarious that a woman looking like that could say something intelligent. That's one for Everyday Sexism.

Perhaps I sound too soapboxy. There are worse publications (*cough* The Daily Mail *cough*). There’s nothing evil about nipples, except for when they chafe. We shouldn't need to banish them from sight. I'm not Nigel Farage (thank God). It’s when a person is treated as an object that I start to baulk.  

Let’s face it: based on their obsession with Z-list celebrities, even if The Sun gets rid of page 3, it'll still be full of tits.
 

 

Monday, 19 January 2015

Singin' in the PAIN.


I’m ashamed to say my singing voice is in a bit of a state.

I haven’t done any actor / musician work for ages; a situation that was self-inflicted. I grew tired of it. There was always too much stuff to be learnt, particularly when the show was a one-off. These gigs are particularly unsatisfying. You don’t feel like you’re playing as a band, more a collection of musicians who occupy the same physical space, but are each in a world of their own; staring at their crib sheets, trying their best to get through it. You also score it all out by ear, which is a time-consuming process and brain-frying process.

I haven’t taught singing for a while, which keeps your voice in shape. Well, it does when you’re not shouting at your students to be quiet, or to encourage them to sing up. I’ve not even sat at my piano and sung for my own enjoyment. I can’t remember the last time I switched it on (it’s electric). My guitars sit in their stands, gathering dust.

Singing, like anything physical, requires constant work. You need to keep yourself in shape. It you fall behind on your exercises, your standard slips. I go through periods where I’ll do a vocal warm-up every day and feel the benefit. I then get bored, stop gigging, or stop bothering, until my voice resembles a latter-day Bob Dylan.

I spent much of this morning sorting out receipts for my imminent Tax Return, which I still haven’t completed. This was done to the accompaniment of my Deluxe Collectors’ Edition of Wings Over America (my musical taste is cutting edge). I sang along as I collated my records. It reminded me I should get back into my old vocal regime, before I can only speak-sing in the style of William Shatner. Or Bill to his mates.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Friendly Feedback.


This afternoon I met my friend Stephen for coffee; both of us switching to whiskey as the day progressed.

I feel strange referring to him to Stephen when to me he’s Steve. We have an unusual arrangement. He hates his name being shortened, yet accepts me doing it. Possibly grudgingly. I’ve called him Steve for so long I find it difficult to get out of the habit. We’re talking twenty years. That’s two decades of either seething or tolerance. I’m not sure which. At least I’ll use his name properly when we're in the company of others. Is that better or worse?

We spent the evening discussing new material. Stephen’s a writer who dabbles in stand-up. He played the first few Mostlys under the pseudonym of Stav Black and is returning to the medium after a five-year hiatus.

We ran ideas past each other and gave feedback. It was useful for us both. It’s nice to have validation from an outside eye you trust, particularly when that eye is in close proximity of another eye, and attached to someone who has the capability of expressing what that eye – and ear – thinks. Sorry, that's the whiskey talking. Normal service will be resumed tomorrow, when it's out of my system.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Kinky Boots.

This morning’s snow forced me to take action: I went to town to buy some boots.

When I say I went to town, I don’t mean it in a ‘pushing the boat out’ sense. This will be clear when I tell you I bought my new pair for Shoe Zone. We have a history (see here and here for evidence). Based on this track record, I’m fully aware that anything I get there will be lucky to make it from the till to the shop door intact. You should never skimp on quality.

I see these boots as a stopgap until I get something better. I’ve spent the last six months wearing my wedding shoes constantly (well, whenever I leave the house). This isn’t out of superstition. They don’t hold the same significance as my ring. It’s for security. The last time I wore a different pair, I fell over. On stage, no less. Watch the clip and marvel in my gracefulness. 



Being in a shoe shop makes me feel awkward. It’s not my natural habitat. Everything I do takes too long. My fingers grapple uselessly with my laces. I lose all sense of taste (in a fashion sense). I can’t even tell what feels comfortable. Anything I leave with is bought out of panic. That’s why I own those stilettos, I promise.  

Friday, 16 January 2015

Previewing the Situation.


Today I visited The Actors’ Temple: the venue where I’ll be previewing new material alongside Mr PBR (A.K.A. Peter Broughton-Rates) from the 28th February onwards.

It’s a lovely little space and perfect for our needs. It only seats twenty, or thirty-five at a push. That’s good. There’ll be less pressure to fill it. Working on the assumption that we split our audience allocation down the middle, I only need to find ten willing friends a month. I’ll have to be fickle: befriending ten people every three weeks or so, then dropping them for a different ten to encourage a good turnover. As long as I don’t base my expectations on the amount of people following me on Google+ (twelve) I should be all right. Worse case scenario, I’ll turn to Grindr.

There’s a projector and screen rigged, so I can go down that route should I choose to. At the moment, I intend to use A.V. minimally to punctuate a few jokes, though if I’m struggling for ideas as the months go by, I may change strategy. It would be nice not to though, so I can differentiate from my work with Glyn. 

(Ha. "Work".)

The only downside is I’ll probably need to bring an amp with me, so we can use a mic. I wouldn’t relish doing stand-up without one. It also prevents me getting touchy-feely with the audience; two-handed, anyway.

Seeing the space has made me excited about doing it. I only have one preview before I do half an hour of stand-up at The Soho Theatre in March for The Comedy Project. I’d better get working. If all else fails, I’ll do ten minutes very slowly.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Aural or Oral?


I started the day by asking my wife how to spell fellatio. Ours isn’t a usual relationship.



She’s my secret proofreader. I’m always asking her to check over blogs, press releases or Tweets. So much so, she probably finds it irritating. I hope not. I appreciate the help. She’s as pernickety about grammar as me; if she signs something off I know it’s okay. 

As a side issue, I was disappointed no-one responded to my BBC Breakfast Tweet. I thought it was good. Perhaps it would have been more successful if I’d referred to the sexual act in layman’s terms. Either that, or said that the person out of shot looks like Father Ted.

Other than posting childish tweets, I’ve been getting about. I had a chiropractor appointment this morning that was not a moment too late. My neck has been uncomfortable for weeks. I keep catching myself holding my head at a slightly jaunty angle and then rectifying it. I’ve also been suffering from my regular off-and-on condition, labyrinthitis, which has been making things difficult. Today, my chiropractor suggested that my constant Princess Di-style neck stance could be as a result of my brain trying to cope with the mixed signals it’s receiving from my balance receptors and compensating for them. I hadn’t thought of it like that. In a way, it’s reassuring; if I can fix one thing, I may be able to fix the rest too. Perhaps I can source a new vestibular system online.

I caught the bus to my mum’s house this afternoon to walk her dog. I’ve agreed to do it once a week when I'm free. He’s no trouble. He’s excellent company. It was nice to have an excuse not to write or think about work while I was there. I purposely switched my phone on to silent and didn’t look at it. This was inspired by Tuesday’s meditation lesson. I spend too much time thinking about things that need to be done, rather than being present in the moment. By committing to what I’m doing and allowing space for it, I should be more productive. It might also help my labyrinthitis.

After that, I went to the office to do some work on my solo stand-up. I have a few bits coming together that I’ll probably try at next Thursday’s show, if I’m in the right mood. I’m now back at the office, waiting for Glyn, so we sort out what we’re doing next week too. I got here at 7pm, and have just realised I’m meant to be meeting him at 8pm. I’m a dick. Oh well: more time to get pissed.

(I haven’t got a drinking problem.)

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Reluctant Student.


Last night, I started the third term of the meditation course I’ve been attending since, well, three terms ago.

In many ways, I’m amazed I put myself through it. Not the meditation bit, which I find very useful, but the act of going to classes. I have an in-built dislike for that sort of thing. It brings back unhappy memories of the countless horrific dance lessons I had to do at drama school. I also find the social aspect difficult; outside of my friendship circle – and we do stand in a circle – I like to keep myself to myself.

(…says the daily-blogging performer; work that one out.)

These negative feelings have nothing to do with the meditation course itself, which is good*. I apply them across the board. My wife often suggests I should attend yoga or Pilates lessons to help my bad back. I know she’s right, but I don’t think I could do it. I find it too intimidating. This is solely the fault of all those dance classes in training; there’s nothing like three years of being the only man in a year of seven women, and a non-dancer who's forced to dance daily, for lowering your body-confidence and morale. It made me feel like Gollum.

The fact meditation is inward looking rather than outwardly expressive allowed me to get past my mental barrier. It’s more my cup of tea, and other such clichés. I also don’t have to wear a leotard, which is a bonus. I don’t have to, but I still do. Despite the verbal warning.

*Except for the constantly varying end time, which can be anything from 8:15pm to 8:45pm. People who meditate mustn't have other commitments.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Getting Writing Right.


This morning I tweaked some autobiographical material I started a few weeks back. This was my first attempt at a more ordered approach to writing stand-up – and to my writing in general.

I do too much at once. This is because I’m aware of the deadlines that are approaching. I end up with a lot of half-finished ideas. On Sunday, I decided to get a handle on what I’ve got. I made a list all the material earmarked for stand-up thus far, then went through it to myself, in whatever state it was in, timing as I went along. This helped me get a sense of what was finished and what needs work. It was quite reassuring.

I now intend to gradually work through the list, tweaking as I go. My next gig is next Thursday’s Hitchin Mostly Comedy. I’d like to try some solo stuff then. There are a few bits and bobs I was working on before Christmas that I haven’t performed yet. My set will end up a mix of them alongside a few newer bits.

My first preview – though I’m not sure what I’m previewing for yet: Brighton, Soho, Camden or Edinburgh? - is on 28th February. If I can work up half an hour of reasonably cohesive material for that I’ll be happy. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I’m happy for some of it to be quite scrappy. It’s a work-in-progress and that’s what it's for. The more new stuff I can strike off my list before then, the more content I’ll be that night. For 'content', read 'nervous'.

Monday, 12 January 2015

(Don't) Read All About It.


I bought a newspaper today and didn’t read it. Sometimes, experiencing the transaction is enough.

That’s actually not true. I hate wasting money. It may surprise you to learn my line of work isn’t always the most lucrative. It’s got to the point where I’ve started seeing my wallet less as a functioning item and more as a prop. I only carry it to maintain the passing semblance of an adult.

Buying the paper was a miscalculation. I had a casting with Glyn today, and thought he’d be joining me later than he was. In the end he met me on the train into town. The time for catching up on all the latest (or yesterday’s latest) news had gone. Instead it became something to fill my bag with: a journalistic stuffing, of sorts.

I suppose I can still read it tomorrow, provided nothing happens of note overnight to render it defunct. If not, I’ll just keep it to hold under my cat’s head the next time she's sick. It’s a shame it’s the Guardian and not the Mail; then her vomiting would feel like a political statement. I’d rather have a pro-left-wing than a pro-right-wing cat. If she coughs up a furball on a picture of Quentin Letts, even better.