Random Thoughts

Four 10 min gigs in a row: A round‐up of the week

Well, it’s done, I have done four 10 min gigs in a row and I’m feeling quite tired.

It’s a lot of energy to perform each night. Performing every night in a Fringe Festival must be very intense and a big hat off to anyone who does one.

The gigs were all over the shop: East London, West London, Essex and Reading. It’s cost me a fair amount in cash, time and energy.

Doing gigs in a row has removed the thoughts of ‘should I do this gig?’ or ‘am I good enough?’. Each time I just walked on stage and did my stuff. It felt like another other normal job. Though I have to be honest, is this the best way to spend four nights out of seven every week?

I am concerned that out of the 50 people who saw me perform my material, how many remembered my name, or even heard it on the night? How many will jump on Twitter or FB and start following me as a comic?

Financially, how many weeks can you spend £50-£100 travelling back and forth to these gigs?

I have met a lot of comics who have been going for years, who say ‘That’s the only way to do it. You have to do all these gigs every week’. It’s like some sort of rite of passage, but I just can’t accept that as the only way to do this.

So far I have done approx 30 gigs and only 3 have been great nights where I am bouncing down the street. The other 9 out of 10 have been hard work, confidence smashing and sometimes a complete waste of time as the audience couldn’t really hear me or simply came to the pub to hang out with friends while a comedy night was going on around them. I completely understand that it’s always hardest at the start, but watching the guys who have 200 – 300 gigs under their belts, it seems just as tricky for them too.

Therefore I am not going to aim to do as many gigs as possible in a week, just one or two a week is fine. I’m going to focus all my time and energy on my own venue/venues as well as creating mini comedy video clips, whether it’s voice overs, acting out silly sketches or promotions for the venues.

The aim is to create something each week. So watch this space.

Dan Tambling is a stand-up comedian, sketch comedy writer, actor and producer of ‘12 sketches in a London house’. This is his blog.

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