Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Dead Man Walking.

I'm going through a bit of a spell. It's nothing new. It happens every six months or so. I go to a gig, jump up on stage with enthusiasm and vigour and then....nothing. My heart's just not in it. This will last for a few gigs, anywhere between 3 and 500, until something snaps me out of it. Every night getting on stage and looking at the ugly, disgusting, punchable faces of each and every audience member who have the gall to give me attention in an airless, black box of a venue that was rude enough to give me employment. Who the hell do these people think they are? Can't they see that I just want to sit in a corner, crying into my sick and feeling sorry for myself?

Watching robot comedians is just depressing. Dead behind the eyes, unfeeling, empty cyborgs who electronically transmit their act word for word without any deviation at all every single night without knowing the difference between a good night and a bad night (they are ALL bad nights) and then drink themselves into a coma to rid themselves of the last of their humanity. Emotionless ghosts who have no choice but to hang around after the show in the hope that someone from Earth will come up to them and tell them they were good and that everything will be OK and when they hear "You're amazing. How do you do that every night?" their electronic mouth says "Thanks" but their hollow, hollow skull screams "BECAUSE I'M DEAD. I WILL REMAIN IN LIMBO DOING THE SAME THING EVERY SINGLE DAY UNTIL THIS CURSE IS LIFTED. NOW EITHER BUY ME MORE BOOZE, FUCK ME OR KILL ME AGAIN". Well, they're my friends and I'm often like that myself.

On Saturday night, I did a gig in Bethnal Green and I just couldn't get it to work. I'm not sure if it was what I was wearing, the venue's PA or the material that I am bored shitless with but there was just something that wasn't right. Luckily, I had a very generous audience who patiently sat through my incredibly dull performance and only dreamt of punching me instead of actually doing it. I'm very grateful to them.

I was in a mood though and I still had another gig in Forest Hill to do. Well, I can't look and act that bored at this gig. I'll be utterly depressed if that happens. But lo and behold, I got on the stage and flung the same shit at a group of people who deserved better. Halfway through, something happened. I just told a story about something that happened to me a few weeks ago. Something that was so "my blog" that I didn't blog about it. But the story worked on stage and I was happy and animated telling it. Thank fuck for that.

Then I went straight back to doing my material and the audience shrugged and let me. BALLS!

Like I say, something comes along to just snap you out of that feeling and, luckily, mine came along right after the gig. Lynn Chambers, who was also on the bill, congratulated me on my story going down well. This made me happy because the rest of the gig was a shambles. "Do you mind if I say something about the rest of your act?", said Lynn.

Ah, crap.

"Please, go ahead", I said even though I meant to tell her to fuck off. "Well", she continued while trying to find the right words. "It's just like you don't like the rest of your material and you can't wait to get rid of it".

Well done, Lynn! Those were the right words and they have been making me laugh for the last couple of days. She's completely right. For the last few gigs I've basically been getting on stage and shouting "I HATE THIS SHIT. YOU HAVE IT" at the audience. And that's that. Time to shake up my act a little bit, write some new stuff, take a few risks and, you know, maybe enjoy myself on stage a bit. And then the cycle can start all over again.

Last night I performed at the excellent Storytellers in Hoxton. I wasn't great but at least I wasn't great while trying out new stuff.



Anonymous said...

You were great at Storytellers' Club last night. So great.

Rich said...

Great post Michael. Thanks.

Michael Legge said...

Thanks very much to you both.