Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Swallowed up by Edinburgh

I've not done a blog for a while, I have been kinda busy but it's no excuse (it is)

I've of course been to Edinburgh for the fringe, those who don't know what that means it's not anything to do with hair it's a festival, the largest arts festival in the world I gather, so yknow, pretty cool.

In the weeks leading up to the festival the black dog had been paying me visits, my mind was all at sea and there was a storm, and the thing is.. When my mind thought it had found a boat to sail it to freedom it got on board and George Clooney was the captain ably assisted by Mark Whalberg and William Fichtner et al... It's not good!

But my support network have been amazing and I was sent off to the fringe with a goody bag full of food thankfully as I've not been this skint since turning myself into a pro comic which is proving to be a joke given A, gigs dry up quickly and B, some fuckers just don't pay you!!

It's funny how these guys can make you feel like you're the bad guy chasing money you're owed! (It's not funny)

Anyway let's talk Edinburgh experience, I had borrowed my dads car to get there, driving 18 miles an hour to save fuel in a Jag is tedious!! At one point I was overtaken by an octogenarian on a bike!

I had last laugh though as I got to next set of lights and he was having a heart attack! I'd have gone to assist but the 3 dogs that were chewing on him seemed angry plus he'd fallen on the level crossing and there was a train coming!

Anyway I arrive in Edinburgh, I parked down the street from my venue, the White horse on canongate, it was belting down with rain, like I need to say that about being in Scotland although to be fair there were some glorious days.

Having met Jake Donaldson who I was doing the double hander show with (half an hour each) I saw the venue for the 1st time and it was packed... Shame I barely saw it that full again as our 1am timeslot was awful.

Man in kilt atop Arthur's seat and the sun is shining... Amazing

Jake and I had a drink, sorted out a plan of attack for the following days 1st show and I went on foot to try and find my accommodation which was not too far away... As I walked closer there were posters of some of my heroes in comedy, Tommy Tiernan, Hal Cruttenden and more recent hero, one that all podcast listening comics agree on, Stu Goldmsmith... I felt so insignificant seeing these.. I'm fucking nobody (this comment actually works literally too!!)
Then I see the posters of people nearer my experience level, Brennan Reece, Steve Bugeja and I start to feel like I'm a flea at an airport, everything around me is much bigger and way more important but I'm allowed to keep flying about as long as I don't bother anyone.

The thing is, all these feelings went away that 1st show, it was essentially Friday night, early Saturday morning and I didn't do most of the materiel I intended as I forgot the order and wound up just MCing, I mean it was dreadful in reality but I felt like I had as much of a right and reason to be in Edinburgh as anyone, being on stage and talking in a way I never could off is the thing I need in my life! I'm not terrible at it either, I'm not brilliant like but I'm aware and keep working.

One of the quieter nights at the White horse

That 1st night was amazing, I'll not forget it, I imagine Jake won't either, it set the tone for the rest of the festival, but that's another post so we will pick this up soon.

Thanks for reading, I'm back

J x

Monday, 11 July 2016

Feeling meh!

Well, a short one this week, I could turn this into a knob gag and claim it's always a short one (Wahey) but I won't.

The ed fest is drawing closer and I'm not excited, I should be but I'm not.

I'm owed a few quid from promoters, I feel like its a battle for work, I feel like I'm trying to oversell my capabilities despite simultaneously believing I'm more than capable of performing to a high standard.

So I reckon I'm feeling a bit flat at the moment, probably because I've been writing more and performing the older stuff with less vigor, I'm fed up of chasing up owed fees and I actually feel like the whole doing a proper day job thing should replace this trying to be funny malarkey.

Thing is, these flat feelings, these are the ones that act as a cull for so many people, I think I'm just going to power forward, I won't feel flat this time next week so just endure for a while!

It's probably likely everyone has the ol, feeling meh! 
I'm feeling meh about writing this but opted to go ahead and do it! It's just about cracking on, I'm just convincing myself now, although I'm certain some of my readership have been here so it's all good.

Edinburgh is filling me with excitement yet... I'm certain that will change... Bloody better had, I've put so much into the writing it's almost not me!!

J x

Monday, 4 July 2016

Thick racists!

I didn't blog last week in the wake of brexit and mixed emotions about my path, the path of the country and how they both link.

I've had some time off, from everything really as I take stock of the world around me and I think back to my recent blog in which I stated I have no stance for the stage and just want to be funny.

Well I do offstage, and brexit had made me think a lot about how I should vocalise that given that calling people thick and racist was the order of the day initially from the remainers.

That was just the emotional side of people's thinking lashing out, yes I don't think they thought their vote through some of them, yes there is a lack of intelligence in some of the reasons behind voting leave, I mean one bloke in Barnsley was interviewed and claimed its because of the Muslims!! What the fuck does he actually think the EU is?? Really?

There are still people saying they voted out because they don't want EU making all our laws, I mean really???

But some genuinely have been unheard all their lives, they go to work, they go home.

They feel like they aren't being listened to and they get all their info from the media , they innocently agree with a far right groups post about crime stats maybe because they feel worried for their family or because they are spoonfed hate from some news outlets.

Then what? Then they get called cunt by lefty types that would rather claim moral superiority than engage with someone.

I'm a lefty type, I love that lefty types care about others, that they have strong views against discrimination and they fight for those ideals, it's bloody wonderful.

But is everyone who's been derided as thick, racist, a lost cause for friendship really that bad?

Some people spent so much time patting themselves on the back about how moral they are they posted about how UKIP supporters should "unfriend themselves" because they are scum. 

They closed their bubble and they only allowed the views of their peers to infiltrate their eyes and brains.

But in turn they isolated those people from the stories they shared, the news articles that may have changed some minds, the facts about Farage that supporters don't see.

Also not all brexiters are UKIP followers, clearly as UKIP don't have 17 million supporters and again these are people who maybe viewed themselves as non political and were viewed by many of the supposed intellectually superior as a waste of time... Well that arrogant pig fucker gave them a chance to be heard and they fucking took it!!

Then friends, family, neighbours all began falling out, the country became divided and bitter.... In one referendum Cameron, Farage, Boris, Gove and all the other idiots did something 2 world wars couldn't, they divided Britian, they sent the country into some kind of mental meltdown, 

Scotland had a referendum to leave the UK and were warned they would have to leave the EU if they did then we in England took them out anyway so they should be allowed their 2nd referendum and Northern Ireland who relied on EU support in their peace process (something I'm not overly familiar with so won't go on about) 
They have had some dark days and things seemed so much better now in 2016 for them, but they wanted to remain in the EU and so there may be a division there.

There is so much shit going on in the world and I feel sad because of the way this referendum decision may effect me... Whatever happens, recession, prosperity, war, utopia? We aren't sure what's next really but we have to get on with our lives and take stock of our own role in what's happened rather than finger point as well as do all we can to make the improvement or at least be heard, without hating others and driving them to decisions that crates nothing but further division, we are better than that, it's time to show it I believe.

Maybe next week I'll return to mumbling shite about how gigs went!

J x

Monday, 20 June 2016

Performing knob gags

It's been an interesting week, I've been in Spain and Gibraltar pretending this makes me more important than I am and as brexit vote draws closer making the odd social media comment regarding my opinion on this and holy fucknuts people get upset! 

The Rock of Gibraltar, more impressive and probably more nutritious than Blackpool rock

I've spent time this week writing and performing knob gags and absolutely pointless stories (well there is a point, laughter but nothing more than that)

It's brought me back to the thought that I was once told you have the power in comedy to make a difference and make a point and that's what comedy is all about.

Well I firmly believe there is enough opinion peddling, point making bullshit stirring twatfestery going on away from the entertainment world that why continue it if it's likely half the room won't agree with you?

Sure it's great when someone makes a point you don't agree with and you laugh anyway, Steve Hughes and Bill Burr both do that for me but because someone is a right wing twat doesn't mean they shouldn't have a break from their right wing twattery for a laugh?

As I write that I almost think it depends on how right or how twatty but let's consider that they aren't racist c words, went with c word instead of cunt because my mum reads this btw!

Just breaking off from the racist c word, there's a website called spell check a racist, like them being a racist isn't enough for us to decide that are doucheburgers we then have to confirm it with smug pointing out that they can't even spell forin job theef! 

I chose comedy because I want to make people laugh, I'm of course of the opinion that my perfect audience would all agree with me and understand where I'm coming from but my own friendship group don't all agree with me yet I'm still friends with most of them, I'm just doing this to make as many people as I can laugh away from whatever fight they are fighting if I agree or not.

I haven't deleted the ukip supporting friends I have from my Facebook nor have I made a song and dance about them having to remove themselves so all my mates know I'm proper tolerant! Actually I engage with them sometimes and discuss why they think like they do (yeah sometimes it's like asking a dog to explain why it sniffs its own arse, it's got no idea why you think that's wrong and can't contemplate what you are saying but that's just life)

I was saddened by so many things this week, I shed tears for 49 strangers and then even more for a 50th a few days later, I then laughed at a video of Jim McDonald offof corrie celebrating Northern Ireland's euro win and then wrote 3 ridiculous gags about why I don't think I'll live past 70!

The world can be dogshit and it can be nice, I certainly think my place in it is just to bring laughter not to have a stance , not right now.. That version of me though may be bubbling up inside, who knows.

J x

Monday, 13 June 2016

I made them laugh

There's been so much crazy stuff happened on this planet upon which we reside that my weekly self indulgence seems completely pointless. But then again I've felt like there's a point to what I'm doing for the past 4 years and there most probably isn't so I can either lock myself in a cupboard rocking back and forth seething at all the worlds injustice or I can plough forward in the hope that nob gags aside my attempt at world domination through comedy makes a difference.

I actually feel I am doing ok, this is as close to self praise as I'll ever get as I recall once celebrating a goal with my team mates as a junior footballer and my dad calling me a bighead, a memory I'll never forget, my dad is ace but that really made it difficult for me to enjoy success... Lucky for me I've skilfully avoided having any success just in case! Phew!!

I am doing ok though, although I'm not measuring myself against anything so I could be deluded... Thing is I turned up to MC a gig on Saturday and the headline act had made a diary error which was discovered last minute meaning a re shuffle that saw Jack Gleadow step into MC duties from opener allowing me to close.

Now most people who like sport will know that England were playing in the euros on Saturday against Russia who brought their hooligans along to make our hooligans feel like poor sorry victims (there were a bazillion nice people too who were actual victims it should be said)

So with the football being on I noticed a mostly female demographic in the room... Go back less than a year and if you asked me to close a gig and then do so to a mostly female crowd I would have thought there was no chance... Surely my stuff is too laddy and I can't close, well that was then, now I know my stuff isn't too laddy at all and just because one or two people didn't get it I allowed their shitty opinion to cloud my own opinion of me!

I'm not quite the dogs bollocks so here's a picture of some until I am!

So I'll give myself a pat on the back for overcoming that, and not so much a pat on the back but a nod of approval that I stopped thinking female audience members would switch off once I talked about a big girl in a Yates like it was some kind of lad bants story (it's really not so if you don't get that you're stupid ((I originally typed 'your stupid' so technically I'm stupid)) the gig itself went as well if not better than every gig I've closed so far this year, a tight half hour with stories and silliness I'm actually happy with it and there was enough laughter to justify that! It's not like I haven't worked on it as much as possible to make it solid.

Am I one of the deluded fools that used to pop up on the forums though, Yorkshire folk may recall Roy or Colin Bunyan among the more colourful of characters and Peter Fox of Notts comedy review mentioned a guy who for his 1st gig hired a theatre and did an hour... Yeah I'm not in their ball park so I needn't worry that I'm not in Jim Jeffires or even say Pat Monahans (for non comedy people that's the comedian and not lead singer of Train)

I think measuring myself to anyone else in comedy and any of their standards will only leave me feeling pointless, especially when a promoter tells me I need to try some fresher ideas and then 2 gigs in a row for them their £200 headline act does the same joke I heard when I was 7... Like that's 2 different acts a week apart both of them do the same joke! No one says a word!!

Nah I'll not worry about that (beyond of course mentioning it just now) because a room full of people (about 50) left having had a great night on Saturday because I did what I was paid for and all I really wanted, I made them laugh, I still have my own benchmark and need to push towards that but there's enough rejection in this job already to continue to worry about how I'm doing, just keep doing it and trying to improve and that's all that's needed!!

J x

Monday, 6 June 2016

Travel gremlin

So I had an interesting weekend, I drove to Great Yarmouth on Friday, my 1st visit there and seemingly it won't be my last... It was one of those gigs where opening was always going to be a slog but there was enough in the room for me to not come of stage considering setting fire to myself, drowning in slurry or at the very least contemplating giving myself a Chinese burn!

It was Saturday where there was confusion, I was booked for a gig in Bristol but the Booker had been on holiday and so there was a mix up as his replacement booked another act instead unaware I was confirmed so I was cancelled, I then landed a gig closer to home and better money and with one of my best comedy mates.. Happy days... Only, there was a mix up and someone else was booked... So now no gig (sad face!!)
Then as I'm tootling (because tootling is the best way to describe my fuel saving driving speed) back from Great Yarmouth (it's not bad but they really are over egging it with the 'great') I receive a message from original booker in Bristol and booom I'm back on the line up there again... The bloody glamour!!!

Seriously though, who's that prick?

So that was the weekend, but is that all there is to tell? Oh no, it's so not because the 1st of 2 things I should have experienced/ understood before the age of 36 happened.

Last time I went to Bristol I parked in a car park that closes at 11pm and had to find a hotel for the night as I got back to it at 11.15, the time before... Well I missed a train and had to get a megabus taking 3 years to get home via every city, town and village... This time my travel was not going to be an issue... Oh no, you're not getting my this time travel gremlin... So instead a bird shat on me within minutes of my arrival!!

Several people have said that is good luck, these are clearly people who A, don't understand the concept of good luck and B, have clearly never had another animals shit running down their ear and all over their T-shirt.... That doesn't feel so lucky to me!!

Oddly it has been a trigger for me to pull my finger out a bit though, the luck that I feel I've been having lately has been nothing but bad but that's all bollocks, I've been wallowing like a little cry baby and having bird shit on me in Bristol could have been a sign of good luck but it wasn't, it was just a bird taking a dump as I happened to wander aimlessly underneath and if I want good luck I have to go fucking earn it!!!!!

I took that to the stage with me, I wasn't at my best, I was however confident and happy with myself on stage and the 4 or 5 applause breaks I got at points I wouldn't normally was about that.

Don't get me wrong... I'm not here shouting about applause breaks as if I smashed it, there were massive lulls and a couple began talking midway through such was their apparent boredom I really should have addressed it but could not see where they were due to the lights!

But this was a good change in thought pattern, more hard work no more wasted hours that could be taken up writing stuff to fill those lulls or working on tags and afterthoughts and better self promotion.

That said, I did spend today gardening and the 2nd of the 2 things was that today I found out what secateurs are!! Never before knew they were gardening shears!!
I'm not so clever!!

I am though going up a gear, think I located my mojo today!!

J x 

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

A happy div needs no play dough

Well this one is late, I'm not even sure anyone cares but I do like to churn these out on a Monday, my 12 regular readers may or may not like consistency who knows but I've been busy both being funny and trying to be physically fit!

Excuse out of the way I am in a good place at the moment after about 8 weeks spell of up and down moods and some pretty shitty depression rendering me my own worst enemy, but having knuckled down and battled through that I'm on the high that follows and starting to feel like that bag of shit that life is does have a rose fragrance at times.

I've been working a little on my Edinburger show and while the bun is written the burger but keeps changing as does the dressing and cheese so what I currently have is no where near what I told the brochure people or anyone who's cared to ask (so my mum basically!!)

I don't suppose it matters too much that it's not so much along the plot line I had planned because I'm really excited about where it's heading which is pleasing because a week ago it was heading in the bin!!

Writing that I did earlier in the year when I was having my "not giving a fuck what anyone thinks of me" phase is getting a little tickle and being brought back to life as my show becomes some kind of Frankenstein monster of a creation without any of Mary Shelley's intelligence, it honestly makes me laugh when people say I have some intelligent comedy... I'm a div! Fact!

But I'm bloody happy so a happy div needs no play dough, I know that's not a saying but hopefully it will catch on and if nothing else I have at least achieved that!

A little thing that anyone who is writing at the moment may want to take from this is, if you're writing what you think other people want to hear stop, write what you want to write then when you go back over it you can figure out which crowd pleasing elements you may need to add and just enjoy letting your thoughts spill out in the meantime... That's write, top writing advice from a hugely successful comedian here!!

Anyway I best go as I have some nob gags to crowbar in!

J x