This morning, at about 3am, I clambered out of bed, got in the car, and drove to Oxfordshire. Well, my dad drove, but either way, we were travelling very early to the town of Banbury, where history was to be made...
To take away the mystery and grandiose, I'll let you know now, that the Attic in Banbury were attempting the world's longest ever comedy gig, spanning a continuous 92 hours across the Easter weekend. Hundreds of comics had flocked to be a part of the attempt, all of whom had to fit certain criteria of professionalism and length (at least 15 minute sets). I, in my infinite wisdom, volunteered an hour's slot from 5am to 6am on the Saturday.
I rather foolishly thought this would be a good place to run through my new show, but the almost fully inebriated crowd made that impossible. As I watched the comic before me finish his time battling with the early morning audience, I abandoned all thought of structure and tried to think what on earth could work in this environment. The answer? Pissing about.
I threw in some jokes and stories for good measure, but they just punctuated what was otherwise one of the weirdest hours of my life. Running a best beard competition, making people beat box, and stripping off my top whilst the crowd cheered and chanted, were all highlights of the morning; despite their combative nature, everyone was friendly, supportive and well up for a laugh.
A kind Gala Bingo worker named Paddy went and got me a pint of larger and I finished my set chugging it whilst everyone counted down. Then I introduced the next poor soul, and left, laughing to myself, unsure if any of what has happened had really happened.
Just a short one today, to keep up the momentum.
It's been a hectic weekend with three gigs across three days all averaging out to about an hour of stand-up each night! I love doing it all, obviously, but I'm fully expecting the crash on Monday. There's this real adrenaline from standing up on stage and when you've had that rushing through you for a while, the moment you step off the gas is when all of a sudden, all the energy just drains.
Luckily, we're almost at the Easter holidays, and am hoping the next few days of classes are going to be relaxed. A part of me wants to just keep going and riding the high, but I know that's not healthy, so I look forward to the time off.
Whatever you do, or whatever you dedicate your time to, remember to get a healthy amount of sleep and eat properly enough to fuel yourself. I often don't do this, but it's easier to preach than practice!
I'm not sure if anyone is reading these weekly blogs, and I've not exactly been promoting them, so I doubt there's a steady readership. However, in many ways, that's not been the point really for me.
I started back in February when struck with pretty bad writer's block, finding myself at a creative loss. So, I did what everyone says to do in that situation: just do stuff. Write things, brainstorm nonsense, film crap. Don't filter yourself or worry about whether it's good, just get the flow going, and something will eventually come. Creativity really requires the right mindset, and just like any skill, it can get rusty if left un-exercised.
I would say this blog is sort of working, I've not felt so held back, even if there's not an amazing stream of content yet. At the very least, it's been psychologically boosting, and those benefits will really come through in my work eventually.
Similarly, I've been putting out 3 YouTube videos a week, just for the sake of doing them. They've been particularly fun to do, and some of them even have some semblance of humour! You can check out some of the random nonsense and doughnut reviews here.
It's definitely a piece of advice I will continue to heed, and also pass on: just create! Even if it takes a few months to get something really worthwhile, you have to keep that part of your brain active.
Recently, a video on my facebook page has experienced a bit of mini-virality, getting over 125k views as it stands. It was a short mockumentary about Salisbury and the Russian Spy Drama that's dominated the news, and I just shot it on my phone, going round the city for an hour with my friends, Tom and Sam, filming me. An enjoyable way to spend my free periods, and indeed I was quite happy with the final product, but the response has been far beyond anything I imagined. To reach such a large audience and get so many lovely comments about it was really cool, and even more impressively I actually got some hate!
Now it may seem odd to be impressed with that, but I've found it enthralling to reach enough people and make enough of an impact to receive internet abuse. Most of the comments (which has literally only been about 20 or so) have gone along the lines that I am a "twat", "unfunny dickhead", and even a "wannabe that should crawl back up [my] own asshole". How anyone can draw a conclusion like that from one 5 minute video is beyond me, but I'm loving it all the same. I've irked something enough to justify writing out an actual comment, I feel validated.
Online hate is something I just don't have the mindset for, I, and most reasonable people, just mutter it to ourselves and scroll past, but to get a large enough pool of people to be abused is to me, an experience to relish. At last, I am an "unfunny dickhead", and I've never been prouder!
Just a brief entry this week, as I'm still recovering from some flu / cold / other Lemsip treatable ailment. It's been a fairly dull week because of the illness, and also quite a miserable time for me because of the disgusting Lemsip taste.
However, I've very much enjoyed the pretty snow, and all the pictures online; watching my friends through social media windows, like a wistful granny gazing out of her retirement home window towards the adjacent park. Maybe that's more creepy an image than I intended, but either way the fun of the snow has definitely been experienced on my part, even if only second-hand.
Unfortunately, these last few days have also been riddled with first-hand bad snow experience, having had one eventful trip in the car take 3.5 hours longer than it should've done. It was an annoyingly necessary trip, although on reflection I could have just let my Dad drive it on his own. Though, if I had done that, my amazing physical prowess wouldn't have been on hand to push cars off the road and up hills (a surprisingly fair few number of times).
Caution should obviously be taken in bad conditions, but when it's icy/snowy, there are always far too many drivers going too slowly, and getting stuck on hills. Where we could afford to stop and help we did, but sometimes, we had our own upwards force to worry about first.
This is just a bit of a ramble blog, but if I don't force myself to keep writing, I just won't write. So that's pretty much it for this stream of consciousness, but here's a contrived conclusion for y'all:
Go careful and take it easy, but don't lose your momentum x
Any Old Bollocks
A weekly blog where I just share random thoughts, tangents, and stories.