Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Weaker Than I Thought

Firstly - an apology to anyone who cared/noticed there was no blog yesterday. There was meant to be a blog yesterday but then I was busy and I wanted to play with my small nephew who is small and my nephew and very lovely. I don't see a lot of him (not because he's that small but just because he's a long away in Somerset and I'm in London). Which is kind of what I wanted to talk to you about, blog folks - by talk to you I obviously mean I will type out some unedited mind-tripe with spelling mistakes galore and you will scan through it to see if I've started being funny again yet or whether I'm still in the middle of a nervous breakdown. Let's find out shall we?

London. What the hell is London? Is London as good as we all seem to think it is? I'm not really sure what I'm doing here if I'm honest and it all feels a little topsy turvy. Last night I shared a bill with 14 OTHER COMEDIANS in Brixton, last week I shared a bill with 19 OTHER COMEDIANS in central London... these are not good conditions for comedy, surely? Tonight I am on a bill with 2 other comedians, in Buckinghamshire, and I have half an hour with which to play around... lovely and delightful! But it is making London and it's terrible cattle-market new act machine seem like a not so good place to ply my trade.

Perhaps I will up sticks and back to the country where I can play with small nephew boy and write books and plays and comedy like a true Bronte sister (with less moors and more high falutin gags) and set up a really lovely comedy gig somewhere else.

Are we sure you have to sit in a slum (sorry Elephant & Castle but you had it coming) and do 4 crap gigs per week to 6 disinterested audience members who've paid £6 for the privilege of watching 19 new comedians trying out crap knob gags and their one topical gag? I'm not slating new comedians here - I'm saying in your first 4 years the scurrying around trying to write original material is fooking difficult when you're also still trying to work out how to do timing, persona and everything else too IN FIVE MINUTES, and so sharing a bill with 19 other people who are in exactly the same boat is often going to make acts seem either outrageously similar or pretty freaking rough round the edges. This state of affairs is neither good for the acts nor the audience.

So perhaps it's time to ship off and set off something really good, something that is good for comedy? Something that at least pays new acts for the trouble they've gone to in getting to the gig. If you're making money (I'm looking at you promoter) and you've considered the act trustworthy enough to delight an audience who you've told are going to have a good time, then you can damn well pay them.

So my fairytale country gig will have maximum 4 acts per night. On their first gig they will get travel expenses, if they do well, they will come back and be paid properly when enough time has passed. If you want comedians to stay happy and to stay good, you have to give them something to work for. I will bake cakes for the comedians and for the audience (the cakes may have a slow release happy pill in them to aid matters as the night progresses...) and we will all be lovely and delightful. Lovely and delightful. Because my life I don't think I can take another painfully quiet new act night where I wonder whether if I scissor kicked the front row to death it would be a quicker way to progress...