Tonight, I did a spot in the Bath New Act competition, as it felt like a thing to do while I'm here...and still on the fringes of being able to describe myself as a ‘new’ act.
It was a nice room and a great line-up of a very high standard. I was on first, which can be a bit of a poisoned chalice, as the room aren't sufficiently warmed up, and you can easily get forgotten in the stream of other acts. That said, I quite like getting it over and done with, rather than having to keep my brain firing asI wait to go on. That said, my set went well and the audience were pretty responsive, which was good, as I took a bit of a risk and did mostly new material, in a slightly different format to what I've done in the past.
I didn't get through to the final, which was a shame, but to be honest, it wasn't what it was about for me (but I would say that). I see every gig as a chance to bed in new stuff and settle into working alone again, as I gradually build up my stamina and confidence for Edinburgh. I feel I've turned a small corner regarding working solo, which is good, but I'm still aware of the loneliness that goes with it. My friend Stephen's with me this weekend, and my wife joins us tomorrow, but there's still a subconscious yawning gap. It's hard to remain self-assured in a room of comics you don't know and the lack of camaraderie that goes with no longer facing it as a double act. That said, I prefer working in the context of a show rather than a short spot, as you have more time to get your personality across with no competitiveness - and I can wheel out my projector, which is a comfort (and not a euphemism)
I'm looking forward to kicking off some ‘Work in (Hope of) Progress’ this weekend and experimenting with new ideas. Some will be rough around the edges, but that's okay. So let's bloody get on with it.