Friday, 4 December 2009

Been away

For those of you wondering what has happened to this blog, things sort of got away from me after we performed at Edinburgh Festival. And I do intend to get it running with regular updates again, but first it's probably a good idea to catch people up on where I have been and how Edinburgh went.

I went to Edinburgh ready to perform, only to discover once I got there exactly how frightened and nervous I was. Even at the time, I couldn't find any words to accurately articulate exactly how scared I felt, so what chance do I have of finding them now?
I was so worried that the material wasn't good enough, that it wasn't going to be funny and that the crowd wouldn't respond at all, and it would be awkward and embarrassing.
At one point I even contemplated in my mind, how possible it would be for us to pull out of the gigs.

But as predictable as this sounds, as soon as I was there and was faced with the prospect of actually doing it I was absolutely fine. We went on stage and our first show was a success.
For completely the wrong reasons, but still a success.
It seems our performances were a little rusty and people were responding to the bits between sketches and all the improvised stuff, but not the sketches themselves.

Our second show didn't go as well, it was raining heavily outside and we had only managed to pull in a very small and drenched crowd. Which made me rather nervous and way more prone to fuck ups, and even worse, pointing out those fuck ups in a desperate attempt to validate myself and get at least a cheap laugh. This was a huge mistake and I should never of acted like that.
This was my personal low point of the week, I really blew it that day, and even now, I can't apologies enough to the other guys for these mistakes.

But that's when it all changed, with two days practice under our belt, on the third day we went out to one of our largest crowds and absolutely nailed it.
Not only was every sketch getting laughs and in all the right places, we were really starting to enjoy ourselves. In some way's I think I fell a little bit in love with that audience while on stage, those utterly wonderful people made every single second spent preparing that show worth it in an instant.

The fourth gig went just as well and did nothing but raise my spirits even more. The fifth gig brought us yet another rain swept audience that put in a good effort but ultimately didn't connect with the material as the previous two crowds had. But it was at this point that I realised that sometimes that just happens. Out of our control, we were just as good on stage as we had been the two previous days and yet we had a much more reserved reaction. I learned not to beat myself up about it.

The final day was an odd mix, the crowd found themselves somewhere in the middle, they laughed more often than the two soaked and small audiences but still seemed a little detached from the material, laughing occasionally at some gags but leaving us with nothing but awkward silence at others. Almost as if they weren't really paying attention all the time.

The week itself was excellent, when we weren't rehearsing, rewriting or performing we spent our time in pubs reading the audience reactions to our show they left on the appraisal forms we handed out at the end. Which were positive in the majority, and hilariously insulting in the minority. My favorite negative reactions included

"A scathing indictment of our education system."
and
"Better than going to work..."

Other than that we went and experienced some of the amazing things that festival had to offer. We saw and met comedians Matt Kirshen and Carl Donnelly as well as seeing all sorts of weird and wonderful free shows from unknowns like ourselves.

My highlights were...
Seeing Casper improve every night in regards to his stand up. His acting was always spot on, but he struggled on the first night with his stand up because of his nerves, and it was truly amazing to see his confidence grow to the point where he would just walk on and completely own that stage on the final couple of nights.
Meeting Matt Kirshen, he's a bit of a hero of mine and was an absolutely amazing on stage and a really nice guy off.
Living with all four guys for the week was a damn good laugh, there were some amazing moments, such as Casper asking us if a blue shirt would work as a black shirt.
Some amazing "On Stage" mistakes such as Casper getting his line mixed up and proclaiming he preferred Men.
Going to the random bar round the corner after ever gig and drinking while reading through the audience responses.
Getting to spend time with my friend Frankie who I hadn't spent a significant amount of time with in years.

So, after all that, I got back fully intending to blog about the entire experience as it was probably the most exciting things that has ever happened to me, but was simply too tired, and the longer I left it, the less relevant this blog felt. But It was an incredible experience, and I learned two very important lessons from it.

Number one, always have faith in your material.
And Number two, accept that not every audience is going to respond to your material the way you want.

So I thought I should recap the people who don't already know through following my tweets how it went.

And since then I have simply been busy with university work, since this year as well as our dissertation they want us too write two other essays, a film and pitch a separate project.
So that's been keeping me busy since.

So, sorry it's taken been me so long to get round to posting this, and hopefully now I will start updating this regularly again... well. At least as regularly as can be expected when I'm involved.

Thanks for reading.
-- Dan

PS: Damn, and I originally just intended to write a paragraph or so explaining where I have been. I think it got away from me, didn't it?

PPS: Will be back with some bloglettes soon.