The other night I accompanied someone to a local stand up comedy gig. He’s quite experienced and wanted me to come along so I could get a feel of a gig as an audience member.
I’m also picking up terms along the way. For example, a bringer. A bringer is an act who brings someone with them to sit in the audience. If there are 15 acts on the bill, that would be an audience of 30 or more. Learning all the time.
The chap I went with kindly gave me my debut the other week, and we get on very well, talking about ideas and the comedy scene in general. He was performing about a third of the way through this particular evening.
The venue was a small building in an arch under a main road. Intimate but with a crackling atmosphere. We sat at the front so we could get a perfect view of the performers. The compere is a top bloke. Witty, slick and blunt, that perfect combination made for a fun evening, in more ways than one.
The theme of the evening was humour that may offend. Now I’m fairly broad minded when it comes to comedy. I can laugh at stuff that is offensive and funny, and all the acts bar one were excellent. I noted their delivery, their confidence and the fact the audience loved their performances.
As always in life, there are exceptions, and regrettably, there was an incident where one of the acts decided to overstep the mark by quite a way. Offensive and unfunny, very definitely.
The compere was very apologetic and reasonable with the act concerned, even offering an olive branch to the act. But the act decided to behave rather unpleasantly when challenged, and was asked to leave. The room was rather shocked and the compere had to get things going again, which he did in a very professional manner.
How did my mate do? Absolutely fine. His “set” was well delivered, punchy and funny, all that you would require. I learnt quite a lot from the evening, on how to perform and how not to perform. Certainly I wouldn’t advise the latter on anyone starting out.
All in all, a very eye opening experience, and there may be an opportunity for me to perform at this venue, at some point. I say maybe. Nothing is ever certain of course, and I’m taking this new venture in careful steps. One thing at a time, time is no object. I’m just loving and enjoying the experience so far.
Yours in comedy
Ian L. Fullbrook