Tonight, I had that snappy transition from hyper and loud performance, to packed bag and rush to the station. Grabbing a sandwich like a marathon runner grasping a plastic cup of glucose drink, and striding up the stairs to the furthest platform before the book contents of my rucksack erupted and fell on to the stairs. I shouted expletives at the disobedient zip and other inanimate objects. I think I may get a seat to myself.
And this is what I wrote to calm myself into a state of near sane computer with clown hair.
Oh, and statistic admirers, pre show nerves dry up a runny nose about 15 minutes before the gig and it starts again about 67 minutes after the gig.
Tonight’s star was Grace Petrie, a belting set.
I sit dripping sweat on a train from Cambridge. I am sodden from showing off in the lights, and the hasty walk to the station to make the last useful departure. My face looks like an extra about to fall down a lift in The Towering Inferno. I am cross, not with the outside world, but with my mind within. It, or I, did not behave as I hoped. I am niche, unlikely to be chosen for Sunday Night at the Palladium, but tonight the odd references, some of which require being me to know what they mean, tumbled out too fast.
Maybe I had too much Cold and Flu Max. A cold is the most tedious malady for a performer. There is no melodrama created or pity required, It just blocks the mind’s creativity enough for you to know what could have been.
I won’t protest too much. The audience were lovely and appreciative, but quieter moments were created by mental stumbles, and improvisations that were gummy, and sometimes didn’t quite make it to the mouth on time.
But why dwell on might have beens?
Get the paracetomol and caffeine mix right tomorrow and all will be dandy.
Much of the the Spring/Summer tour material has gone now and, for the time being, I fonder of the new ideas. Soon, the newer ideas will fade, and I will wonder what i ever saw in them.
This month has reminded me of the importance of the Edinburgh Fringe. It sharpens you, as well as pushing you to risks, material that requires peaks and troughs and moments of quiet. I have never been much for “writing” material, it is the accumulation of thoughts while staring out of windows turned into routines via the adrenaline and fear of standing in front of strangers and being expected to say something funny, or at least entertaining.
There is no grand point in writing this, it is just something to do while the sweat dries and my mind resets from outpouring to input. I think I can start reading again now. Maybe I’ll see you in Laugharne.
Grace and I will continue touring, even if we have a bit of a cold, across the UK – Cardiff, Goole, Bridgwater, Sheffield, London, Liverpool and on and on. Details HERE
“I won’t protest too much. The audience were lovely and appreciative, but quieter moments were created by mental stumbles, and improvisations that were gummy, and sometimes didn’t quite make it to the mouth on time.”
It’s far easier to criticise yourself from inside your own head because you perceive how it maybe could have been different.
As audience members both my wife and I had an absolute blast and we didn’t see anything but how amazing it was.
I guess it comes down to reality tunnels, but please trust at least this pair of audience members had a great time (and with your DVDs hope to have more of the same in the future).
Yes, you are too hard on yrself. It was delightful and although you were obviously not well you kept on sparking! I did some neuroscience once and when you got into as Sperry was convinced this would segue into the grandmother cell theory and evidence http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandmother_cell
You could have real fun with that one wrt recent research (do you have a Brian Cox cell? Or does that just make me a Jungian?)
Take care of your brain – by that I mean extended brain! It’s really quite lovely and much needed in a facile world.
…and don’t forget Josie Long’s fantastic performance while very ill at Jackson’s Lane Highgate. You were there!