Open Mic Gigs

Gig 12: Dirty Dicks (Liverpool st, London)

Tonight I’ll be doing a 5 min open mic set at the ‘We are Funny Tuesdays’ night @ Dirty Dicks.

Comedy Night - We are Funny TuesdaysI’ve never been there before, so this should be interesting. I’m also trying out new material again. Yahoo!

This time I was going to try my ‘Selfie and photo obsession’ material, but I was brainstorming today and might try out some stuff about looking after my nieces and nephews as practice for when my little person arrives!

Count down to Gig : 4hrs 14mins

I’m thinking about:

  • Feeding time at the zoo
  • The best ways to clear their little faces
  • Why taking them to the park is never a good idea
  • You must enjoy every second before they come along!

Lets see what happens…

Ok so I arrive at 7.32pm, exactly 2 mins after the cut‐off point for booked acts to arrive! Shit this usually results in you being struck off the list and all possible future lists, with your spot getting handed over to the first ‘walk in’ stop.

Walk In Spots: An opportunity for a comics to get on the bill without pre‐booking

Luckily I was let off, phew. Though next time I wouldn’t be so lucky.

I went to the bar and got myself the usual a pint of water and a pint of coke. The idea of the coke is that it will get me in the zone with the spike of sugar. This only works if I am one of the first few on stage.

I check the list, I’m on… No. 17! Shit, by then I will have happily crashed after my sugar fix and will be an absolute zombie on stage!

I had heard a lot about Dirty Dicks. It’s opposite Liverpool Street Station, on Bishopsgate, a historic City pub, which takes its name from the dirty warehouse on Leadenhall Street (little bit of history there for you!)

Venue - Dirty Dicks

Venue — Dirty Dicks

The night starts and it’s ‘New material and new comics night’, a.k.a. anything could happen!

I recognise a few faces, which is great, even an old work colleague who had taken up stand‐up after his wife bought him a comedy course for christmas!

As each comic steps‐up to the challenge of trying out untested material, they seemed to have to work hard for the laughs. This usually happens when you have a lot of comics in the audience. So I try to see it as good experience; you have to learn to carry on up there as if the audience is loving every second of your material.

Then I was up. I clicked on the recorder and I was off… I struggled with the opening line, but did get a laugh within the first 20 seconds, phew. I worked through my material but nothing really seemed to flow and the audience never really got that involved.

As I walked off stage I felt it was great I did the new material and I would definitely push it for next week, but a lot of work was needed. As I sat down an audience member leaned over and said “I liked the set, you’ve get a lot of charisma on stage, but you should have gone even darker!” Even darker? I like the sound of this.

The guy turns out to be a comedy writer and he was more than happy to meet up and let me pick his brains about how to make the set darker, much darker!

Two comics I really enjoyed were Paul Wong who had me laughing from the start of his set, he looks very comfortable on stage; and Peter Callaghan who produced some super dry one liners with a brilliant story about Panda love making. If you get a chance, go and see them both in action.

Norman Cho performing at Dirty Dicks

Paul Wong performing at Dirty Dicks

Peter Callaghan performing at Dirty Dicks

Peter Callaghan performing at Dirty Dicks

But the highlight of the night was ‘Andrew the Knob‐Head’.

Oh, he wasn’t an act, he was your typical city boy low‐life, who happily chatted through people’s sets as he polished off about 11 pints… on a Tuesday night! Luckily the main act awarded him a balloon ‘Cock and Balls’ hat, and announced “Andrew is clearly the biggest cock in the room!” Nice.

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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