I awoke having not prepared for the competition at all, well I say not at all, I mean I had material, but it’s for the 5min stand up gig this evening. My aim was to use parts of that, so it’s only 60 – 90 second of my best ever material ever…
I was happy with my initial 60 – 90 seconds which I had taken from my 5 minute routine, but I was having trouble fitting it into the allotted time. It kept coming to just under 2 minutes and I had been advised that anything beyond 90 seconds is an instant disqualification!
After practicing for 10 mins, and only 30 mins before I will have to leave for the tube, I switched it for another part involving the expensiveness of weddings, thinking this was stronger material.
That 30 mins went in a flash, and I found myself rushing to the tube, thinking to myself, “I am going to die on stage”.
Thinking about it, it’s probably not wise to enter a stand up competition, especially without any actual stand up experience, or any on stage experience. I did perform in Cats the musical though, but that was in a 1st year school production and I was a dancing cat! And to be honest that experience really wasn’t helping as much as I’d hoped.
The competition was held at the Tommyfields pub in Kennington (where the hell is Kennington!). My slot was at 3.15pm, so I was convinced I’d be fine as I got on the tube at Notting Hill at 2.15pm. As we got into Kennington, I looked at my watch (yes the one with the silent vibrating alarm) and it said 3.09pm! Double Christ, imagine if I miss the competition! Which is worse, getting kicked out first round or missing the competition altogether? I’ve been told the first round is just to filter out the people who are complete shit.
I decided to run in the direction my phone was telling me, though I doubt my phone has ever been to the this pub either, so who knows where we are going?
Luckily I’m just in time to join a group of 40 or so eager comic wannabes, and we head upstairs. It’s happening. I’m doing a competition. It felt like I had entered X Factor! Soon I would be taken into a room and 4 judges would grill the shit out of me and, after telling me I was basically shit, would then release the video of my audition to the nation, annotated with the words ‘sharing is caring’.
Hils Jago, who I had met at the start of Logan Murray’s comedy course, runs the competition and explained to us all how the day would pan out. There was then a small break and then it got serious.
We were split into 2 groups. The groups were then put in order of performance by calling out the last person to perform and then the next from last… this completely threw me as I have never heard a list read out in reverse order before as a way of not confusing every single person in the room.
An even better way could be to call out last person to perform, followed by the 1st person, then the 2nd from last, followed by the 2nd person to perform and so on. Perhaps they will use that next year.
Amazingly, every person was ready for their name to be called out and within moments I heard “Please welcome Dan Tambling”. I was on, I was up, this was it, it was time to shine. I picked up the mic and turned to face my first ever real crowd!
Before we continue with what happened next. I think I should quickly set the scene. This event was held in a room above a pub in the middle of the day. All the lights were on so everyone in the crowd could be seen. Also, the people performing were just asked to stand at one end of the room, with the audience sitting at the other end, made up of all the other comics, all thinking about what they were going to say when they were up there. i.e. The atmosphere in the room was next to zero.
So I started. I had an opening line I knew would get a laugh and I was off, I then added something off the cuff which also got a laugh, but it actually threw my completely off track. I then had to refer to my notes on my hand which probably got the biggest laugh and I finished weak…
I sat back down and watched all the other acts, some of which were very funny. I knew I had fluffed it, but I would have to wait a week to find out for sure.