Random Thoughts

Oh man, I’ve given my jokes the kiss of death!

(Presentation to start in: 2hrs 3mins)

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!’

John Major

John Major

(Presentation to start in: 1hr 15mins)

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!

(Presentation to start in: 31mins)

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.

(Presentation to start in: 3mins)

I am more nervous than any exam or hostage situation I have encountered so far.

Oh shit I’m up, here goes…

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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Cartoon of Dan holding a typewriter