Tuesday, 15 May 2012
That Synching Feeling.
We all have been given one gift and mine is being great at doing embarrassing things in public. They don't always embarrass me but they do make those around me cringe. One of my proudest awkward moments happened just a few weeks ago. And, yes, I am very proud of my embarrassing moments. They're my beautiful gifts to you.
I was compering the new act night at the Comedy Cafe in East London. It's a show featuring 14 of the brightest and best new comedians trying to break the circuit and, as a result, I was drinking heavily. I mean there's really only so many jokes about Groupon or rape that one can bear listening to. And the jokes about Groupon AND rape are even worse. By the end of the night I was drunk. So drunk that I decided to have a couple of nightcaps before heading off home. I stumbled on to the train and made my dizzy way to Lewisham.
The train was noisy. Really noisy. Noisy and nasty. Of course it was. It's the last train of the night and there's only three types of people who take the last train at night to anywhere. The noisy, the nasty and the unlucky. Even though I was drunk and probably could have fallen asleep inside an explosion, the noise was really annoying me. People were shouting and swearing and being aggressive even when being kind. "I'm getting us a taxi when we get off", someone threatened. "Have another beer, Tom", another enforced. It was certainly way too much for my delicate ears so I decided to listen to some music.
I put my earphones in and scrolled through my phone to find some music to match my mood. Not loudly, of course. Just because everyone else is being thoughtless doesn't mean I have to be. It was loud enough to just about hear it. Now, here's the thing...
I don't know if you're like this but, when I'm drunk and listening to music, I mime the song. I'm not over the top with it. Just a tiny lip-synch of a mime. No dancing, no air guitar, just a small movement of the mouth. Alright, my eyes sometimes squint when I mime a soulful bit but that's only because I want to make sure I really hit those notes that I'm clearly not making. I'm not pretending I'm on Top of the Pops, I'm just doing a tiny lip-synch. It's a quiet mime, as most mime's should be I think. But it's so noisy on the train that I can barely hear the song that I'm soulfully and mimimally miming to.
People near me are making so much noise. Talking and laughing. Now, I've never been drawn to the sound of laughter. It's a very cold and hollow sound. Hateful, even. But these guys were laughing loudly and I needed to be able to hear the song to give an authentic performance of it in my head so I broke one of my own train rules: I turned up the volume. Not too loudly, just enough so I could hear a bit better. I continued with my number. Moving my lips to match the voice and squinting my eyes a little to give the folks at home the show they deserved. But the laughter got louder.
Ah, I see. Some of them THINK they've spotted me miming but how can they be sure? I mean, I KNOW I've been miming but how do they know I haven't just been yawning funny or maybe I'm smacking my lips with my tongue because my mouth is dry? They can't KNOW for sure what I'm doing so their laughter is unjustified. Only I know the truth. But I can't worry about that now because I'm halfway through a song that I'm miming to a crowd of thousands (in my head) and I mustn't disappoint them. So I ignored the haters and picked up my phone to turn the volume up again.
That's when I realised that my earphones weren't plugged in.
Don't ever use the phrase "reality check" again without thinking of me, please. In my head the crowd of thousands were loving every note I sang to them and screamed their agreement when Simon Cowell said I gave the greatest performance of that song he had ever heard. But that wasn't true. The truth was I was sitting on a smelly, sticky, late-night train while being pointed at and laughed at by about eight people who all thought I was a cunt.
Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if the song wasn't Man Or Muppet by The Muppets. But it was.
If you like being embarrassed as much as I do or just want to point and laugh at my many embarrassing moments then why not go to Michael Legge's Private Hell on the 3rd June with guests Richard Herring, Catie Wilkins and Dab & Tench or on the 1st July with Nick Helm and Bridget Christie? Shows start at 3pm at The Phoenix, Cavendish Square, London (nearest tube Oxford Circus) and it costs an unbelievable £5.
Or you can get more Legge embarrassment at the Edinburgh Fringe. I'm very proud and happy to say that my show, Michael Legge: What a Shame, is on nearly every day of the fringe at the fantastic Stand Comedy Club. Here's info: http://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/michael-legge-what-a-shame
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