I’ve been slipping in one or two new bits in my set during my past few spots, but I’ve really wanted to try out a completely different five minutes. I’ve got a bunch of different sets sitting on my hard drive in various states, and it took me a while to decide which one I wanted to wheel out this week.
I had thought about trying to do a clean five minutes as a challenge but it’s not what I’m about, so I settled on some political material because that was really why I started doing this in the first place before I got distracted by dick-jokes. The set is a bit of a mish mash of different bits covering politics, brexit, racial issues, and it doesn’t really tie together brilliantly just yet, but I think it’s got potential.
I performed it for the first time at Lion’s Den Comedy Car Crash this week, and it didn’t go too badly. Lion’s Den feels like a good place to try out really new stuff that I’m unsure about, because it’s a friendly environment and, frankly, the place seems to attract such a random selection of misfits that you can get away with almost anything.
I’ve got to the point with my original five minute set that I can be sure it’s going to work well every time I do it, so going back to completely untested material is a bit of a wrench. Back to using notes and not knowing the material well enough to deliver it with confidence, back to having no idea if people will laugh at any of it.
I stumbled my way through the set and it felt very rough, a lot of it fell flat, but I got a few decent laughs from some bits. There were a couple of bits that didn’t work and I’m not sure if it’s because the material just isn’t good or if they need more commitment in the delivery, so I’m going to have to try doing them with more conviction a couple of times before I write them off.
The bits that got the biggest laughs were for the racial material, which I found interesting because I wasn’t sure how people would take a white guy doing those kind of jokes , but it went better than expected. I got some good feedback from people too, which encouraged me to believe the set has got potential.
Also this week I went to watch my friend, Pauline Stobbs, at Funny Feckers in Camden. Every time I go to that night it’s absolutely hysterical – never seen a weak act, always end up laughing my cock off the whole evening. Too many good acts to name them all, but my personal favourites were Madeline Campion, Hassan Dervish, and Micky Overman.
Next week I’m at Rising Stars in Holborn on Tuesday and the Cavendish in Stockwell on Wednesday. I’m aiming to work on this new five minutes as much as possible, but on Wednesday I might have a bunch of friends who haven’t seen me perform before, and if they show up I’ll probably just do my good set for them rather than subject them to the work in progress material.