I’ll give you a brief run down of these shows as the are not all fresh in my mind and i have tried to delete them from my mind. The crowds are small if any which is the problem when you don’t charge entry plus most people in these town don’t know a shows on.
I started a tour along the Murray River a couple of months back for a charity which is raising awareness of mental health issues for our farmers. The Murray river is a very long 2,508 Km to be exact and it runs through three states New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. A huge part of the trek is us following a Kayak-er Kev Cook who is paddling the whole length over 64 days and 42 towns.Four farmers take their lives each day in Australia, so the tour is set up to stop in at the local pub,Golf resort or sportsclub and raise some awareness and bring some laughs to the locals.
We started in Jingellic at the local and only pub in the village, There was only a handful of people at this show but it went well considering. I made one lady spit her drink across the room which is always a win for a comedian.
The lessons range from gig to gig, at this one there wasn’t much i could do either way just plow through it.
The next show was at a golf resort in Howlong, It was a big venue not really set up for comedy but non of these shows are.
Kev and the crew had rounded up a crowd the problem was they were all over 80 years old it was a retirement village show so i was holding back and trying not to offend them.
The slightest swear word got gasps one lady was just shaking her head the whole way through the show. The only positive was crowd work with a couple of the old fellas to the side of the stage they were having a great time a least and came over for a chat afterwards. Tony was a funny guy really friendly and he had a ball so it makes it worth it in some way. The crowd work saved me on this one the material was not suited at all.
Next stop was Corowa Golf Club again this wasn’t set up for comedy and the crowd were there for a raffle so they were held hostage till the comedy was done. And like the night before it was like a retirement village, Add to this there was a darts tournament on right next to me as the show was going on and the AFL Finals on the TV’s.
Again not many people here but at least i found the people who were into it and just worked on making them laugh so it was a slight win. But i was starting to realize the shows might not get any better than this. Again crowd work helped although i didnt do much and punched my way out was becoming the norm on these shows.
Lessons dont finish with a joke about strokes when most of the crowd has had one!
Next was Bundalong a small pub in the middle of nowhere again nobody was there for the comedy it was two groups there for birthdays and I just interrupted their parties with my jokes. I made a dumb move here as i got a child up to tell some jokes which got a great reaction because it was a kid then when i went back to material it didnt work so we had a joke off with some old stock jokes which worked but im not that kind of act i’d prefer to die doing my material than win stealing other comics jokes or reading from a comedy joke book.
Lessons don’t bring a child up on stage until you have finished this gig sucked I sucked the crowd sucked the best thing i did was finish.
Next up was Club Mulwhalla a huge club on the border of NSW and Victoria.
We go in and there are no posters up for the show and the manager knew nothing about the show being on so another good start. I was really over it each gig has nobody there and we have to round up a group of Yeehaa Grandma’s to sit through my hardcore set. The only good thing was it had a huge stage which i feel very comfortable on but a huge room with no audience in it. By the time we finished dinner I really didn’t want to go up, It is more damaging for my mental state and confidence than anything positive that could come from this, I really have not had this many bad shows in a row before.
So I start the show with an interview with Kev and Peter about the trek then head into some jokes. There were mabe 15 people a few ladies from Melbourne who i messed with and did a bit of crowd work but they didn’t hang long. Someone would come down from the pokies so i would hang it on them till they left.
This gig was the best so far mainly because i really didnt care at this point so i didnt hold back or care if i offended anyone plus being on the big stage helped me feel more at home.
One thing I learnt was when i just let loose or get in the zone i win it has been that way over my 25 years in entertainment. It is just hard to let loose when your getting kicked night after night.
When i got back to Melbourne I jumped up at The Comics Lounge which is my home ground and had a killer set, which is just what i needed. I was starting to doubt my material after these shows but when you get up in front of a comedy crowd at a comedy club it made me realize it is the audiences I’m performing to not me.
The next night i got up at a open mic room and ripped out a 28 minute set in a 5min spot haha they dont mind. I went nuts as i do in this room I use it as practice to connect with the crowd.
I really need the real gigs each week to lift me or I will get down,It is hard to get up for a crowd that hasnt turned up for comedy and hasnt paid for the show they have no investment in the show.
But these shows a making me a lot stronger and able to handle to bad things that are going to come up in the next leg.
I’ll do another blog tomorrow about the next leg,