day 12: university of comedy

The biggest problem with being a stand-up comedian at the Edinburgh festival, I think, is the same problem that students face at University: that incredible learning opportunities are accompanied by opportunities to indulge in a remarkable social life. This wouldn’t be a problem were it not for the latter’s potential to completely wreck the former.

Which is not to say that networking isn’t an invaluable part of the festival; it is just that it can sometimes be hard to know exactly where the line is between networking, and obscenely hedonistic drinking. The fact that everybody is drinking doesn’t really help; it just means that you know you are meeting a lot of people but it’s not always clear to simple folk like me whether the people you’re meeting are the people you intended to meet. But it certainly is possible to drink your way into some terrible performances.

Thus it was that I, after quite a late night the night before last, crunched on my hoop yesterday lunchtime.

There was no excuse; I was tired, I stammered, I ummed and ahhed throughout my set, and at one point I even described Edinburgh as being a rainy city “in the North of England”. I didn’t get any laughs after that.

I made up for it in the afternoon with a good performance at the Comedy Manifesto, in which myself and Eric somehow managed to beat David Mulholland and James Sherwood, who is a proper bona fide topical comedy writer. Ironically, if I hadn’t been out late the night before I wouldn’t have been drinking with Eric and Jools Constant, and wouldn’t have got the gig. So the ‘networking’ ruined one gig for me, but got me another at which I was quite good. And this is how the balance is restored.

Also, yesterday afternoon, I saw a play, called Splinters of Light. I had been given a free ticket by a flyerer and I enjoyed the performance of the ‘clock-fixer’.

The evening show was also pretty good. I didn’t do puns, just a solid set – perhaps one of the best sets I’ve done, albeit still not as slick as it could be…

So, the work continues. And when drinking and being hungover feels like work, then I guess there’s probably some kind of learning going on.

CTD: Audience – full; Performance – dire (2/10)

The Comedy Manifesto: Audience – full; Performance – solid (6/10)

SSS: Audience – full; Performance – Good (7/10)

Other stuff: okay, considering the late night the day before…

Overall: DRAW


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