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It’s Sunday, I will be performing my mini 3min routine in today’s comedy course session in about 2 hours. I have written 2 pieces, which are both good fun and I enjoyed writing, but I’m really concerned that when I try to perform them, they sound like I’m reading off a piece of paper!
Even from memory I’m finding I’m using my reading voice and not my actual voice. As I listen back on the dictaphone, its like John Major is trying his luck. Oh man the confidence is dropping rapidly, all I can think is ‘I am screwed!’
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Should I scrap these and start again? God if I write another piece it will also sound scripted, so that’s probably a pointless exercise. Do I just go from memory then? How am I going to keep time, I only have 3 mins and it’s not like that in the pub.
What about all the rules: ‘If it doesn’t add, it distracts!’, ‘Relax and enjoy it’, ‘Make eye contact with everyone’, ‘Don’t drink gin before the performance’, ‘Project your voice’, ‘Slow down’, ‘Don’t lick the mic’…
Maybe it’s the fact that I have suddenly started focusing on all these ‘How to write comedy…’ rules instead of what I usually do, which is just telling a story. Oh god it’s like learning to drive all over again. Actually I can’t remember if I did learn to drive in the end. Oh yes I must have, as I got banned for speed, or was it road rage.
Anyway, normally I tell a story from a memory or a visual I have created in my head. When that happens it all flows effortlessly. I find my imagination just goes for it, until someone says ‘that’s a bit weird’. Now I’m transferring these stories onto paper and then editing them, trying to tweak the language to either create humour or a build up the humour.
This is actually creating a barrier between myself and the original story, surely I should be going down the path of the less resistance, instead of turning it into a mini assault‐course?
Other people in the group actually seem to excel through writing, they seem very good at using the translator.
The only problem is that I seem to be rather poor at using the translator, and very good and disassociating myself from the process!
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I’m on the tube now, on my way to the session. I have decided to scrap the written stuff, I now have zero material!
I quickly went through all my previous notes and ideas on my iPhone and started putting together stuff about architecture, personal training, relationships and getting locked in toilets.
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I am more nervous than any exam or hostage situation I have encountered so far.
Oh shit I’m up, here goes…