I haven’t been on for a while but here is a podcast i was a guest on please enjoy.
I haven’t been on for a while but here is a podcast i was a guest on please enjoy.
Ok I’m back, The last 6months I have been working pretty hard on my act and really trying to bring in all the things I learnt from my last trip to Canada and the US. It was something I wanted to add to my show slowly so I can form new habits that would be lasting. Another thing I have been doing is Roast Battle which I spoke about in my earlier blogs from Just For Laughs and the Comedy Store. I saw how it could really help the Melbourne comedy scene having a sharper edge to it and also teaching the acts to train a different comedy muscle. So we have been running a weekly show at The Comics Lounge to up to 400 people and it was added a new life to some of the shows the crowds really dig it. And last Sunday I stared a new Roast Battle room for the up and coming comedians to get in on it and I can see how it will help them having to write a heap of new jokes each week so I will be doing updates on that show.
I thought it could be of value for my comedy and for anyone reading my posts to start blogging about each gig I do the up’s and downs. I have a lot of gigs coming up some are in some good rooms and some not so good rooms but all will have a lesson I’m sure.
Last night I did my regular spot at the Comics Lounge in North Melbourne this is Australia’s biggest and best comedy club it seats over 500 people and has the best from around the world play there. The Monday show is a little different it is hosted each week by good mate of mine and one our funniest acts Doug Chappel he does live phone pranks which are always funny we also do a roast or two which will be back next week along with a few acts doing 10min spots.
The crowd this night was tiny about 25 people and they weren’t a real hard laughing crowd which is fine because you just have to approach it differently and fight your way through or as Dougy would say keep punching till the end or go down swinging.
I usually go straight into my material but because of the size of the crowd and how they were reacting to the other acts started a bit more conversational which is something i learnt at the Comedy Store in LA if there is a small crowd you can’t go straight into jokes or it will look weird. I started with a couple of older bit I know work the crowd were very judgmental giving oooo’s at any joke that might have a bit of edge to it and some didn’t get a huge response but enough to keep a flow going. Then I tried out some new stuff I have been really excited about one about passing out in a shopping centre and the other about my family and they both got a really good response laughs were where i wanted them and I finished off with a bit I have been doing about the Voice where I do a bit of singing so it’s a bit of fun and it got what you would expect from this sized crowd.
Lessons being confident is a huge thing a crowd can smell it if you show any weakness so stay strong and work hard through each set deliver everything with confidence and a strong energy and you will stack the cards in your favour.
Although I said the crowd on the night wasn’t the best you can never blame them, I have done shows to the same sized crowds and they were awesome, you just have to keep punching through it till the end. Too many comedians say “oh it was the crowd!” And I spoke to Doug on the way home about this and he agreed.
Its up to you! not the audience they have come to laugh so you dictate what happens not them its you 100%!
A Positive I took away was the crowd work it was very minimal but i never do it so I was happy that I did it and then worked into my material from there.
Tonight I head back to the Comics Lounge for the workshop at 6pm with Nick Cody and then the show which is Pro’s running new material night so I can give the new jokes a bit of re-working ill let you know how it goes tomorrow.
I was pumped up for tonight I headed to the Katacombes nice and early to see the Goddamn Comedy Jam again Bill Burr was up again with Margaret Cho and Peter D. The line up was huge and again it was a sell out so I raced over to JFLOL at Newspeak again.
Tonights show was hosted by Jake and Amir they didn’t seem to be very strong in a stand up sense they have a comedy web series and it showed because they we not the best. First up was Graham Clark he is a local and he was ok like the other shows the start really hasn’t been that strong. Next up was Sara Hennessey another local she has won a Canadian Comedy Award for best stand-up and again I had seen better acts when I was in Toronto. The rest of the show was the same except for Duncan Trussell and Ian Edwards I really came to see these two guns and they were great they really stood out from the rest. Duncan did a bit from his show that I have seen before but it was still great and Ian was slow to start but then ramped it up and smashed in the end.
The puppet dude was on again and died HARD again! Mike Ward who is a legend in Canada was on and it was good you could see the years of experience showing through although he didn’t kill. And the final act was Pete Holmes, Pete wasn’t that strong he tends to over smile a lot which I see only as a trick with some acts now. There were others but they weren’t worth mentioning.
Then I headed over to Cleopatras again to see Brian Posehn, Brian has been around forever as an actor, writer, fellow Metalhead and comedian so it was cool to finally see him live. His set was good up and down with the funny but he seemed to have his crowd in so it was more relatable to those people. He sounds like Louis CK heaps if you close your eyes you would swear it was him. Anyway it was a good show.
Next show was the Roastmaster Invitational again the semi finals tonight we have some great acts on. Tonights Judges are Michael Che (SNL) and Trevor Noah (The Daily Show), stepped in for Keith Robinson, and joined director Jeremy Garelick (The Wedding Ringer), and Jeff Ross to take care of the those duties. First was Sarah Tiana VS Trevor Wilson This was so and it was very funny Trevor took it in the end.Ashley Barnhill and Mathhew Broussard. Both L.A. based comics and both regular competitors in the L.A. Roast Battle scene, Broussard eventually advanced to the semis by defeating Barnhill who had been asked back despite losing the night before. That was due to the poor performance of Mark Forward and Sean Cullen’s delirious half-drunken face-off resulting in neither comic winning.
Next was our own Tom Ballard Vs Tony Hinchcliffe Tony started strong smashed it but then Tom smoked him it was so one sided! Then Jimmy Carr Vs Joe DeRosa and Jimmy destroyed Joe it was so one sided it became funny.
Then I headed back to the after party and caught up with Evan and got free drinks and food met a heap of people then ran into Mini Holmes from Toronto and then she introduced me to a few people including the owner of Yuk Yuks who I hung out with for a while.
Later we were out the back were all the Deathsquad guys were and Duncan Trussell came up to me so we hung out chatting, He is such a nice guy very sweet so make sure you check him out in November when he comes to Oz.
The night finish with Kim, Mini and I going back to the vice president of ICM (the biggest agency in the world) Hotel room and hanging out till the next day drinking and being idiots lotsa fun! Chris is a very nice guy and very funny and great to chat with about the industry and how it works. Who would know more huh.
Roasting is awesome! It is what gives the North American acts an edge we don’t have you can see it in their style and we are falling behind in the standard of comedy because we wouldn’t allow a roast back home. Its mean you can’t say that because he might get upset etc. Im starting it crowd or no crowd!
Once you have a fan base it can become easier to perform. Its like your mates all know you and get you so your jokes work.
It seems a lot of the acts are doing the smaller shows to bring crowds for the bigger ones but the sets are designed for a Gala or theater so the jokes don’t work when it is performed as though there are 100 times the people watching. A pro should be able to do a different set for a small room that is why I think so many suck in the small rooms here.
A quick blog today I running behind,
First rule of JFL fightclub is, Don’t walk across town to see a show and leave your pass back at the room.
So the first show was at Newspeak its a really cool room we came here last year to see Iliza Shlesinger destroy. This show has 9 acts and the Mc was Flula Borg he is German and doesn’t do stand up more a weird singer/character. It was trying to get the crowd going. The first few act weren’t the best I have seen one guy had a dummy and got nothing! There was a step back in quality and big laughs compered to the other nights. There was a lot of flat jokes. Some were obviously for a gala crowd so it has a different rhythm that doesn’t work in this type of room.
Then Burt Kreischer hit the stage, he was the reason I came to this show and he didn’t disappoint, Now the movie Van Wilder is actually based on Burt and he is one of the best story tellers there is and the way he tells it makes it exciting all the way through. The rest weren’t the best.
Next stop was to Cleopatra’s a strip club to see Ari Shaffir’s “This is not Happening” This is the same show that is on Comedy Central where there is a subject this week it is CRAZY! Each act does around 8-10 mins telling you a story about something crazy. All of the acts smashed on this show Burt again was incredible this time going topless for the whole story and Sebastian Maniscalco was awesome as well. This would be such a great show if we could do it back home along with the roast shows.
Write stories about something interesting and add your tags. These guys tell awesome stories the way you should tell awesome stories with a great build up and a huge pay off at the end.
There is a big step up from the guys who are the top here to the other acts. The guys like Burt and Ari can crush a room. The others can have good spots and thats it. It takes years there are no short cuts in comedy just years of hard work!
Tomorrow back to 3 shows and an after party drunk on.
After last nights shows I was pumped up for tonight. It was pissing down with rain most of the night but lucky all the venues are close. The first stop was to see The Host with Most show this is show with 8 guests and the MC was Will Anderson with Faisal Butt, Joel Creasey, Dan Naturman, Tom Segura, Ahmed Ahmed, Mea Martin, David Ace and Gina Yashere.
I was really looking forward to seeing and hearing the Aussies here to try pick up on any tricks that might help. Will started well and got the show off to a good start. And then it was really flat the act didn’t get a great response a lot of tags fell flat. The audience really needed a jolt, so the first act Faisal Butt came on and didn’t go much at all. Joel did better at the end of his set but the crowd still weren’t giving much, no one was smashing like last night even Tom Segura didn’t get much. I drank a lot and that didn’t help so I went to see Ari Shaffir at Cleopatra’s a strip club. We saw Ari’s late show every night last year.
The opener was Tony Hinchcliffe he was very solid and doesn’t care what comes out of his mouth which is refreshing to see no PC people here. Then Ari came on with a new look no glasses and now a mohawk and still as funny as ever, Again he goes where ever he wants but brings you along because its funny. This was a great show.
Next was the Toastmasters Invitational preliminary, This is a new show from Jeff Ross the king of Roasts.
Each night 8 comedians will battle it out 1 on 1 and the judges Ari, Arti Lang and Jeff Ross decide the winner each one goes through and by the weekend we have a champ.
To warm up the crowd Jeff bring people from the crowd up on stage and destroys them I love this it is so funny.
First up was Mike Ward vs Joe DeRosa this was a close one with some full on roasting no holds barred. winner DeRosa.
Next up was Tony Hinchcliffe Vs Luenell Tony destroyed her she was out of her depts on this one. Winner Hinchcliff.
Next Tom Ballard vs Randy the puppets was close Randy was funny. Winner Ballard
Last round was Will Anderson Vs Jimmy Carr this was great they had a lot of venom in this one. Winner Jimmy Carr.
This show was awesome! I will get to a few of these shows this week I wish Australia wasn’t so PC.
Sometimes its the crowd, It just is. They were really weird and flat during the first 2 shows. But in the first show it showed if your set wasn’t really funny.
Writing a lot is so important! Ari releases a new special every year his show This is not happening was picked up and is going great.
Every one does act outs here!
Tomorrow a mix show and Ari Shaffir’s Story teller show.
Dig it the most.
I headed out early to see a 7pm show as I had a spot at 9pm, but walking through the crowds and feeling the excitement in the air here I started to think it’s a bit far away.
The first show was at the Katacombes its a Metal venue really cool with skulls all over the pillars, Last year the door guy recognised me from Pegazus. So I rock in, I have an Industry pass so I can get in to most of the shows free. $5 PABS at the bar and I’m set. I was hanging to see this show It has a few of the same elements as a show i have been writing for the MICF.
This show is called The Goddamn Comedy Jam a mix of music and comedy each show has 3 acts get up do a set then tell a story then sing a song with the band. It starts with a band and the singer/Emcee Josh Adam Meyers a very good comedian from Baltimore, Maryland. They play songs but sing them in a funny way taking the lyrics literally while roadies are rocking out with the band and really getting the room pumped up. Then Josh does some stand up and then bring on the 1st act.
First up was Kyle Kinane he has been to JFL a couple of times but been around for ages and he was awesome! The whole room were laughing hard! Great jokes and story before the band joined him for Sweet child of Mine. The guitarist has a flying V violin and starts. And they all go off! They really get the crowd up and going with a crazy intensity and energy. The roadies are jumping around the audience then during the solo the guitarist hangs of the balcony playing the violin then running through the crowd.
Next up was Brent Morin he plays Justin in the sitcom Undateable they are all here for the awards show later in the week. He has done this show a few times and like Kyle he was awesome too he got stronger towards the end.Then they jammed out to Are you gonna be my girl by Jet. Fucken Hate that song! Fake as! But anyway, he and they crew just rocked out hard on it! It was very funny and entertaining everyone is going off on stage the roadies are going nuts and the crowd are loving it.
Then Josh announces that they had a special guest Bill Burr but he has had to split early to film something, But we have a special guest coming up instead one of the biggest rockstars in world Dave Grohl! And everyone goes off! It’s Bill Burr with a wig and a pair of sunny’s on and he launches into a brilliant set, everyone was pissing them selves laughing from start to finish. He is a freak! How can you get much better year after year? To be better than the best year after year and you are the best! My face was hurting! If you know Bill Burr you know he love’s playing the drums so they blast out on some Foo Fighters. I couldn’t believe it this is the first show I see and was I going to go to that gig now? Fuck No! So I bolted to see Duncan Trussell he was right in the middle of the main strip a 5 minute walk.
Duncan is awesome I saw him briefly in LA and he did a lot of the stuff he did at the store but he had tweaked it so it was a lot more punchier. his show has a lot of turns and if you Duncan he has a soothing voice and nature that he can really take you anywhere and you will go.,And his closer is awesome I don’t really want to give any jokes away so I’ll just say when he comes to Australia in November go see him.
Then I raced back to the Katacombes to see Tom Segura, I have been wanting to see him live for ages and he was amazing! He smashed the room was rocking with laughter, Like a packed comics lounge with Pommy Johnson destroying. He is heaps funnier live his mannerisms and looks he gives add so much to his like ability.
The whole night was Stand up Comedy at a different level there is a polish to the jokes and a naturalness to these guys from 10-20 years of really hard work.
If my jokes don’t get the same response they are not finished. They can its just a matter of hard egoless work.
Acting out, everyone does it and does it right!
This is the best festival in the world, if only the Melbourne festival would spend some of that crazy money they make from open mic acts each year and spend it on this level of comedian it would inspire and raise the bar in Melbourne. So we all get better.
Political correctness is way too over the top in Australia the things that get said here are full on and hilarious!
Don’t be afraid to go further it might be where you find your voice.
This was one of the best nights of comedy I have ever seen. 10/10
Ill make this a quick one as Im in Montreal now and saw some crazy shit last night.
We arrived just before 9pm I was told that I should speak to Mike Rita about jumping up. I have saw Mike the other day and he’s a very funny guy. Mike was cool he said he had hear about me which is cool.
The show started off with a guy playing some songs as the room filled up its a long room with benches in the first half and tables in the second half of the room all with tables all with vaours and bongs on them.
Mike is Mc tonight and he is really funny a lot of crowd work and his material is gold he is someone to watch out for. There are about 4 acts on then a magician then a few more acts. The acts on before me were good they all got solid laughs while the room filled with smoke its really cool to see no drunk idiots or hecklers just a room full of people smiling. I was pumped up for this spot to try some new stuff out an add on to the Jesus bit and some editing in the new card story.
Before Mike brought me up he had a DABS! Which is a way of Vaping that smashes you hard! So when he did it i could hear this music like a small bagpipe as he to breaths, then I clicked on it was a music track. So there was my opener I thought he was making that noise with the Vapour It went well. The Card story went good but needs some work on editing and tags but Im happy with how its coming along. Jesus went well but the Punchline didn’t get its usual response then the add on went well so I think that will work out.
The crowd here was split it seemed younger at the front and older at the back and everyone stoned out of their brains! And Mike slipped me some cash at the end of the show. Nice!
Stoner rooms can be harder they don’t pop with laughter for the obvious reasons but they nod their heads along with you and chuckle.
Record yourself from the back and middle of the room I didn’t think I got much then I listened to my recording and the second half of the room were laughing a lot more than the front which is good to know for editing my set.
I wasn’t really happy with my set I said Fuck far too much I don’t know why? There is no need for me to even say it once in my set. I don’t think it was nerves I had a faster rhythm in this set Its just not being aware on stage or being present to being on stage. Next gig no swearing!
Also talk about what your crowd know about if you mention weed they are gonna be up for it.
Toronto was awesome the scene is crazy! It is massive and the standard of acts are crazy their pros are polished and the new guys are like our good pro guys.
But here is the coolest thing about the open mic scene here, It doesn’t seem to have a clique. People get along, And they are so fucking nice and friendly, there is no body trying to protect their spot or laugh at their mates jokes all night and refuse to laugh at another comedian because they don’t them to get over. No bullying or bagging out others and It was refreshing to not hear an open mic act or anyone walk off stage and say ” I killed it I smashed tonight” They don’t say it because they don’t have ego’s which means they will go home and fix the jokes because they need fixing. Always! Just be cool people!
I will be going back for a long run next year.
You have come up a treat today.