Random Thoughts

What Happened last night ?

Christ, what happened last night? Why did it not go as well as the other nights?

I’ve learnt from Logan that you need to give every performance 110% whether you want to or not. Last night I was just not that interested in performing. It could have been because I was still tired from the 3am party on Sunday or maybe the fact that I didn’t prepare properly or the fact that I didn’t know anyone in the audience, so the pressure of ‘Do or Die’ wasn’t there.

The bottom line is that the only person I can blame is me. I need to care about the crowd more. I really did in the last gig and I felt that wasn’t with me tonight. I also didn’t deliver any of the punchlines with, well, any punch to be honest.

It was my responsibility to rev myself up regardless of the ‘do or die’ feelings I felt in the previous gigs. I need to care about the crowd more. I really did in the last gig and I felt that wasn’t with me tonight.

I’ve learnt that I must prepare more, be more focused and go for it. Ignore everything else at this early stage. I’m mustn’t get distracted before my performance with chatting with people in the pub, that can all come later. I need to focus on the job in hand, as this is supposed to be a bit more than just a bit of fun.

I learnt that a compere is at their slickest when what they offer the audience is short and sweet, slipping in a few jokes, getting the audience wanting more and then moving quickly onto the next act. Never giving the audience time to think, as if they are thinking too much they are not laughing.

I learnt that instead of going in blind, like last night, I should go to all the venues I am performing at, at least a week before and become familiar with the place, experience the open mic night as a member of the audience, the order of play with the host, the feel and size of the room, the size of stage, any concerns with the mic or the intensity of the lights.

It feels a lot like when you’re learning to drive, you’re so distracted with mirrors, gear changing, looking around, pressing the clutch, stalling, panicking, realising the hand brake’s been on for the last 40 miles etc. you can’t concentrate on the actual task. I’m on stage getting distracted by the audience, the room, the bright lights, wondering if my stuff is funny, what comes next, wondering why that punch line got nothing, and so on; instead of knowing the routine’s good, knowing the audience is just an audience and they just want to hear my take on a situation. Just getting up there and entertaining.

I feel there’s still plenty to learn from watching more open mic stuff. I’ll plan to hit many more gigs from now on.

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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