14TH AUGUST 2016 - SHOW 11
Went to watch a load of shows today. I am feeling buoyant and inspired and upbeat. I have eaten two lots of sushi and a significant amount of coffee.
An absolute debacle from start to finish.
There is a palpable lack of traction from the off. There is a strong resistance in sections of the audience to even BEING an audience. In the front row, stage left, there are three older middle aged people. They clearly think that coming here was a mistake almost before I open my mouth. They keep looking at each other in a “What is this?” way. They seem to holding a conversation by staring daggers at each other and periodically me.
They will become a running sore throughout the gig but like communism I stupidly try to contain it.
My second routine, about vitamin D, gets interrupted by some distraction, that I can't now remember, and I judge it not worth going back to. I decide to bring forward a routine from later in the show but this just further bewilders the audience.
I have moments where I try to chat to the audience to bring them in but I am not sure if this is a mistake because it breaks up the rhythm and for what benefit exactly?
I have a section in the show where I list as many vodkas as I can remember. It works on the audacity and tedium. Some nights I list about 50 vodkas. If I can deliver it correctly it the laughter builds up. Tonight the laughter does not build up. Generally if people are enjoying the show they will enjoy it more at this point. Conversely if they are not enjoying it they will enjoy it less. Tonight as many of them are already hating it, well, this finally breaks the audience but not in the way I intended.
About ten people leave at this point and finally the three people at the front leave. It is only now that I realise that one of them is on crutches. He leaves very slowly and it is a long room. So he storms out at a snails pace. I cannot have dead air forever. At some point I have to talk and so I start commenting on it. And It becomes really funny. Certainly the highlight of the gig. I have to strike a balance. I cannot mock the afflicted too much. But neither can I pull my punches. He looks in bewilderment at the humour. Why has it got funny now that he is leaving? Is this some elaborate trick being played on him? I certainly hope this episode melts his brain.
I adlibed for around five minutes on this. I am not sure this is the right thing to do. It does relieve the tension but it comes too late in the show and is in many ways an admission that, with fifteen minutes to go, the show is effectively over.
I don’t think I have ever tried to bludgeon an audience into liking a show as much as this before. I kept thinking I could break them up until the vodka stuff and then that was it clear that they intended to break me.
I think I may be going deaf too. After the show some audience members complained that they were constantly distracted by the talking of the three people in the front row. I couldn’t even hear them talking and could only feel their hate waves. With hindsight I should have given them the opportunity to leave and that would have lanced that particular boil. I thought I could play to the rest of the audience and ignore them and to be honest I was kind of getting off on them hating it too. But I guess in non ticketed shows you should sometimes let them go.
May have been over caffenaited too. At times my tone was sounding a bit over aggressive with audience member and this wasn’t intentional.
Pretty much stuck to time today so despite absence of laughter I did keep to my rhythm. Am I supposed to take any solace from this whatsoever?
Made more money in the bucket today per head than any other show in the run? What does that mean?