Monday, January 16, 2006

2005 Weds Feb 16th 4.20am

So here’s my little diary about doing stand-up comedy for the first time. I’ve just read someone else’s diary which she wrote online in the lead-up to her debut. It was a great read so I thought I’d do one. It’s not online as it happens because I’m in a slightly different situation.

I do a late night radio show on Hallam FM. It gets 64,000 listeners. It’s quite a good show, the last thing I want is any of the audience turning up to watch my kack handed attempts at live comedy. Their expectations would be all out of proportion. No, this is something I’m doing as a hobby in order to take my mind off that radio show.

It started towards the end of January when I was starting to feel a bit creatively flat. Various pressures seemed allied against what I did for a living and my producer Ben had left. I rang a mate of mine, Tom Binns, and asked for his advice. It was simple: “You’re letting this get on top of you because it’s the only creative outlet you have. Write some stand-up material and get some stage time, you’ll never look back”. This advice was uncanny. One of my new year’s resolutions was to do some stand-up this year for a bit of fun. I hadn’t told Tom this but there he was recommending I did it. It’s fate..

So I got to work straight away and with his advice on how to write stuff and wrote two pieces, “Dentists” and “Farts”. It is the second of these I intend to perform. I’ve taken a week off in March, 20th – 26th and I’m trying to book places as we speak, so to speak. My aim is to perform every night of that week! I’ve got one booking so far, open mic at “The Comedy Balloon” in Manchester. It sounds like there’s a very small turn out at that venue. That’s Wednesday of the week covered. Now I need to try and get the others sorted.

My flatmate Anthony is going to help me get to the gigs and be there for moral support. He’s heard my material and been very nice about it. My other flatmate Matt finds the whole thing very funny for all the wrong reasons. He’s being supportive in his own unique way. It’s worth explaining that Anthony is good mates with a stand-up called Toby Foster. He’s The Don of Sheffield Comedy as far as I’m concerned. I’ve NEVER seen Toby “bomb” on stage, ever. He always gets big consistent laughs and his material is a lot more intelligent than it at first appears.

It’s possible that we might try and conclude the “tour” with a gig at his comedy club The Lescar which allows people to do open spots. The only problem with this is that it’s in Sheffield and I worry that people might suss that I’m the bloke who does that “controversial” talkshow on Hallam FM. Unlikely but possible. As a precaution against this I’m using the stage name Nick Sheffield.

So here’s my plan for tomorrow. I intend to practice my “Farts” script over and over and over. I’m going to make sure it’s written out as I want it. I’ll also ring all the clubs I’ve got on my list where they offer open spots in that week and get on them if possible.

Oh yeah, almost forgot. I’m doing a “Gong Show” in Sutton Coldfield on the 11th of March or 18th of March. One of the two anyway. I’ve asked for a slot. Will wait for them to say yay or f--- off!