day 2: a bad day

My first really bad day turned out to be like a teenage boy: it was always going to come, though it would have been nice if it hadn’t come so quickly.

Even that appalling joke, I think, was always going to be so bad because it is associated with yesterday.

The day didn’t start so badly; I found a very nice cafe in the morning, which makes cappucinos with real chocolate flakes on top, and things seemed to be going okay. But when I got back to the flat, things started going a little off. First, Tony beat me at pro evo. Insignificant, perhaps, but a sign that the day was not going to be as good as the previous one.

Then we went to Espionage, where our lunchtime show is due to take place. We hadn’t flyered because Loz hadn’t arrived yet, and so we thought nobody would turn up and we could just check out the venue. But then 10 people from Bolton turned up expecting to see a show; we put one on, but it felt unprepared as we each in turn tried to reel off as much material as we could remember. The audience didn’t even seem to want material – some of Tony’s most brilliant bits were received to a kind of muted smiling (though his stuff for ‘Circling the Drain’ got some good laughs), and my stuff felt mostly laboured and only got laughs for the really jokey jokes. The erotic fiction went to almost nothing.

We didn’t even ask for a collection at the end (though in retrospect, we still should have).

Feeling sombre, we picked up Loz from the train station and got him back to the flat where Tony was due to record his regular podcast with Tania Edwards and guest (who in yesterday’s case was Luke Toulson), but no sooner had me and Loz go out of their way than I got a call from the Daily Telegraph, who for the purposes of flogging their horse way past the point of death were running an article about comedians doing jokes about MP’s expenses. They’ve been practically flogging glue on this for months, even a week after they broke the stupid story, and I wanted to tell them to fuck off and stop wasting people’s time with stuff nobody cares about.

But then, I thought, it would be extra publicity for the show.

So, me and Loz sat in my room for three quarters of an hour and came up with absolutely nothing funny. It was depressing. In the end we’d written two jokes, both of which were lame, and we decided not to bother calling them back.

By this point, Loz had been in Edinburgh for two hours and only seen the inside of a flat, so we went out to put up some posters and then flyer for the evening Scurvy show. We did a much better job of flyering today and we filled the room, but when the show started it turned out that we’d accidentally filled the room with drunk twats. They struggled to listen to Tania, who opened the show; but then, out of nowhere, Lawrence came on stage and absolutely stormed it. By the end of his set they were drunkenly singing and clapping along to his songs and he worked them really well – it was a real joy to watch.

But then I had to follow it. And I couldn’t. They didn’t go for my first joke; a drunk man finding his seat ruined my second; drunk idiots were talking at the back all the way through, and my best laughs were for ‘saver’ comments about things like the sense of awkwardness in the room. It wasn’t a 100% death, and in the circumstances it could have been worse, but I still failed to really pull them round. What made it worse is that my sister and her husband had turned up to see it. The only consolation was that Mike Wozniak, who headlined the show, didn’t really do an awful lot better for the first ten minutes of his set. And he is an incredible act.

After that, all the others went off to watch George Ryegold do his show. I would have dearly loved to join them, but I’d already been booked to do ‘The News at Ten-ish’, Gill Smith’s topical review show. It’s a nice format – Gill gets guests up to talk about things in the news, and I was feeling pretty downhearted but got by on the strength of a story I found about an English tourist in Greece who’d had his genitals set alight by a greek girl he was drunkenly harrassing. So drunks aren’t entirely useless for comedy, perhaps… Still, at that point I didn’t really want to be onstage at all.

And then I went back to the flat, where Tony beat me again at pro evo.

Circling The Drain (CTD): Audience – Small (10); Performance – Unprepared 4/10

Scurvy Standup Showcase (SSS): Audience – Large; Performance – Bad 3/10

The News at Ten-ish: Audience – Small (13); Performance – Not really prepared, but Competent 4/10

Other Stuff: Depressing

Overall: LOSE

A few more days like this and I’m getting an early train back to London.

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