The next show was at the Toolyebuc Sports Club, This time I was Joined by 2 other acts, Nick Capper a 10 year vet and Dave Ickovic a 20 year vet. Again the AFL and NRL finals games were on this weekend so it is always hard to pull crowds this time of year.
Nick and I caught the 2 hour train ride together from Melbourne to Bendigo which was good cause I could give Nick a heads up on what to expect from the trip as it isn’t a normal comedy setting. I was good to get to know Nick a bit better, we have done a few gigs together and shot a couple of comedy skitz together but never hung out much.
The crowd was small on this one I was Emcee, They were good for a small crowd but it was always going to be hard to get a good rhythm going but I got them warmed up with about 20 minutes, I was saving material for the second bracket where i was going to do another 20 before bringing Dave on.
I found some holes in my set for some of these shows where it was a bit wordy for a small crowd but in saying that I wasn’t on, as in going crazy, I was doing the work to try set up the show for the other guys the same set in a real club goes great.
I brought Nick on first this was Nicks first gig on these shows, he is from a country town in NSW and is very original in his style and delivery which i like. The crowd warmed to him but it wasn’t a punchy set so it did come off a bit wordy but that is Nick’s style I think if i had of introduced him in a different way it might have set the stage for him a bit better. But i know for next time as we are very different acts If rolls were reversed it might have been the same for me as they get set on one style then get presented with another. But we wont know till the next one and a bit of trial and error.
We didn’t have a break because of the small crowd so I brought Dave on and he did some crowd work early and then went into his set. He was struggling with losing his voice a bit but hit them hard and had a strong set although lots of swearing but he was drunk, and a lot of stock jokes and older acts material which a lot of the older acts still do in Australia although they never admit it.
That is what I love about America if you got up and stole jokes or just did stock joke book jokes from the 70’s the crowd will turn and the other act’s on the show will ruin you and you wont get work again! I can only prey that happens here one day.
I went looking for Nick during Dave’s set he vanished when i found him he looked a bit dejected which i know that feeling as I had many gigs like that at the football and cricket clubs when i started. But with Nick If we did a show the next night we would have smashed most likely I think you forget that especially when its fresh in your mind.
The positive thing is he is 100% original he writes his own material and it is far better to die on your sword doing your material than stealing jokes or doing stock jokes and winning. I let him know that and i think that is really important and told him that, I wasn’t trying to give him advice as he has been doing comedy twice as long as me It was more a support for a team mate sort of thing I do hope he took it that way.
On the Tuesday night I jumped up at the Comics Lounge again and had another really fun set in front of about 450 people. I put the foot down in parts and got a lot out of it I am really finding my voice on stage now. It was also great to hear my jokes get what the should be getting and to build my confidence back after these tough shows. I know what i can do in a comedy club and i do it consistently.
I had the crowd in my hands and did a solid 15minute set I made a Youtube clip of about 8 Minutes you can check it out here.
The next night I went to guerilla comedy the small room i usually go nuts in by the time i went up the crowd had cleared and it was just open mic acts watching which really pisses me off. They don’t laugh and if the clicky acts are there they just fake laugh at their friend act and cross their arms for you. It went good though i just worked on presence and control so i ended up getting a bit out of this one.
The next show I did solo at the Robinvale Golf Club this town is very multi cultural.It was a huge Asian and Maori community but also form all accounts a lot of crime. Which suits me fine as I grew up in Springvale which was the Heroin Capital of Australia, you know your suburb sucks when that’s the crowning achievement and what you brag about.
When we got to the club we noticed that the advertising wasn’t the best the poster had betting odds stapled over the top of it, so i wasn’t expecting a big crowd. I did tell the promoter that the posters were not good they don’t have any reference to stand up comedy on them just a small mention at the bottom of it which nobody will read when the poster doesn’t invite you to bother reading it.
When your doing gigs to help out, you want a great crowd so it isn’t painful or really hard work then you can enjoy it and as i was hoping when i agreed to do these shows I can work on my new material and building a bigger set. But it has been a fight the whole way which is making me strong in one way but can beat you down as well.
We had a folk band playing before and after me on this one. There were so many children here really young and a couple of tables of Yee Haa Grandma’s and Grandpa’s so i got up and interviewed Kev and gave them a warning. I would prefer to go hard to nobody than be safe to a crowd that isn’t suited.
There was a good crowd in the end people had come in from the bar area and were right into it. I did a lot of crowd work in this show which set up the material perfectly, They were really fun and interacted with me so i could bounce off them.
In the end everyone had a great night we got a huge donation for the charity and everyone at the show donated so it was a positive experience all round.
The Next show was at the Nangiloc Tavern which is near Mildura, This small town was heaps of Backpackers there and we also had a muso playing at the start Gibbo, unfortunately he has playing in one room while everyone was in the dining room. He was really original and very good I dug his stuff. The next show he will have the crowd in front of him.
I was really worried about this one the crowd were in the dinning room and I was just wrecked and half asleep. But once i got started it was a really fun show, I did heaps of crowd work with the backpackers and riffed on most of it for 15 minutes. I blended my material in here and there I did about 45 minutes and it ended up being a really fun show.n The locals were really nice people and lots of fun.
So the lessons from this lot just work with what you have got.
For me connecting back to crowd work it does get easier just build the tension then release it. I am looking forward to doing a few crowd work only gigs this week in Melbourne it really helps to command the space.
And stay humble just know where you are going and only worry about where you are going. So many people will try and bring you down to their level because they don’t work hard or want to work hard.
Thanks for reading