All in all, today’s show in Brighton was a good way to start the run.
I travelled down alone, case in hand (except for when I stowed it), which was fine, as it’s a journey I’ve done a lot, but it was a long time to be in my own company. In some ways this was nice - it meant I could finish my book (‘Conclave’ by Richard Harris, which was very good) and meditate for a bit - but it made for quite a culture shock, going from speaking to no-one for three hours to speaking to a room full of people.
I’m already feeling the benefit of scaling down the things I carry; so far, the show is prop-less, save all the projector gubbins, which consists of a small suitcase, a music stand and my manbag (when I’m playing a room with a projector and screen rigged). As it stood, I used their projector, which worked fine, but it’s always good to know I have one with me that I can trust if the technical shit hits the metaphorical pan.
I arrived at the venue two hours before the show kicked off, which gave me enough time to set up - accounting for the inevitable problems - and about forty minutes to quickly run through some of the material before the guy doing the door arrived. That guy was Dave Chawner; a lovely chap who I’ve met briefly before of whom I’ve heard great things about his stand-up. He arrived about twenty minutes before kick-off and acted as my depressurization from the deep-sea silence of the journey.
I was very surprised to see the room fill up when the doors opened, as me being me, I’d expected to perform to one man and his emaciated whippet. They were a nice bunch, but a little restrained, though they were probably confused by the sweaty mass of man in front of them. I’m still aware there’s lots of work to be done to the show (not that it really is the show yet, so much as a string of things that might end up in it), but the first half particularly seems reasonably tight. One tiny downside to the venue is the screen fills the whole space with nowhere to stand next to it, so this reined me in a bit and made me upstage myself occasionally, but that should improve when I’m back there on Monday, now I’ve done it once. It was hard to gauge the laughs, but Dave gave me some good feedback and a few notes to think about, which was very helpful as it isn’t always easy to judge how things come across, or how things could be tied together, without a good outside eye. This reminds me I need to find a director, but it’s so hard to get anyone to commit.
My only fail tonight was I foolishly left my ideas pad behind at the venue. I’ve emailed the landlord and text Dave in the hope he’s still there, so hopefully one or the other will pick it up. The annoying thing is I know exactly where I left it. Without it, I’m idea-less. Without it, I’ll need to find a writer; applicants can leave their details below; I’m a reasonable mistress.