Gig 18, Boards.ie Comedy Gig – Cassidys, Westmooreland St, 05/12/09
Some lovely guys from mixtape.ie filmed this gig properly with HD cameras and such. Should hopefully get the footage from them at some stage.
I had a good feeling about this gig going in. Geek crowds I suspected, would be smart, self deprecating, and (according to world beating sex columnist Dan Savage at least) kinky. The perfect audience for my creepy routine. The gig was a lucky snatch (ok ok), as I’d been fortunate enough to stumble across a thread on boards.ie discussing it, and offer my services. So when the first promoter pulled out, and Drogheda’s Graham Duffy stepped in, he was able to offer me the gig. Just another demonstration that in comedy, it never hurts to ask. Cassidys on Westmooreland St, where Shane Browne runs the excellent ‘27 Club’, is a strange room. Wide rather than long is a good thing in Comedy, as more of the audience can see and hear the acts, and there’s a normative pressure against talking to their table rather than listening to the set. However Cassidy’s is bisected by two mirrored walls, so that the audience is divided into three Chunks, and in some seats the view is better through a mirror. One result of this was that I spent this gig glancing left and right like a nonce in a infant care unit.
Watching the Video…
Apologies for the cruddy video quality- there was actually a video crew at this show from Mixtape.ie, so perhaps a good quality recording of this show will emerge at some stage! MC Rory O’Hanlon (a comedian with probably the most comfortable stage presences in the country) messed up my name, made me sit down and reintroduced me, which messed with my intro a little. Right before I got up Graham told me 10 minutes rather than 7, which of course I didn’t hear, meaning I did a shorter set than I needed to with such a great crowd.
I’ve discovered at this point that anything you can do to reference the night you’re performing, this venue and this crowd in particular goes down a storm: Caveat, that’s assuming it’s a joke- merely saying ‘Tim talked about this earlier’ doesn’t get a reaction. I’d written a brief derogatory intro with lots of geek references, but I threw in a ‘callback’ to an earlier performance by Hamlet Sweeney (an up and comer with great delivery).
Right away I can see how distracting all that looking left and right was. Must remember to focus on one portion of the audience. On the plus side I’ve reduced my wandering about the stage and general twitchiness to a minimum. I’ve also gotten better at slowing down and waiting for the laugh. This is so important. When I first started I’d watch comedians with awful material get up and get laughs that I couldn’t explain. So much of this is due to simply waiting for the audience to respond, guiding them (and occasionally cajoling them), and giving them permission to find you funny.
Really happy with how I adapted my material to the audiences reception. It’s a small thing but saying ‘Never since have a found a lady under-confident and psychologically screwed up enough to lick my arsehole’ is so much better than ‘…kind enough to indulge’.
This show was the first time I shortened the intro to the ‘older girls’ bit. Contrary to most comedians I think being verbose is fine- assuming the audience understand that you’re being intentionally pompous. But ‘bits’ do need a quick payoff. It’s alright (better in fact) for grotesque descriptions to go on and on and on, as Richard Herring says “Past funny, to unfunny, and back to funny again”; but introductions should be slow but brief.
My intonation during some of this gig was great. I really inhabited that ‘character’ (Edgar Oliver by was of Francis Urquhart), with lines like ‘a yooooung girls vagina…’ Although I’ve done the ‘vagina impression’ much better. This is a bit that I really need to commit to. I need to become the cunt. The description afterwards was well done though, I feel I did the ‘older girls vagina’ gestures better than I have before. I still don’t understand the last line in that bit, “It’s not the teeth you need be afraid of, it’s the acid tongue.” It seems to work, so what the hell!
Tried a ropey new bit at the end, ‘Pooing old man’, which went down OK, but doesn’t work in practise nearly as well as I’d hoped. Still, glad I tried it.