Silly title, because it sounds like I can?t stop writing music, but instead of putting the word writing in parentheses, I’ve mistakenly put music. And even then, it would read ‘can’t stop the writing music’ makes as much sense as ‘can’t stop the music writing’. It’s all a lie anyway because I don?t even write music. I was of course trying to cleverly reference the Village People song, though in their case, it would have been better if they had stopped the music.
I actually meant that I can?t stop writing comedy material, though I wish that would include better crafted blog titles. Specifically I mean stand-up material, I can?t stop writing stand-up material. There, two paragraphs just to make that clear. Please don’t feel obliged to read on. Though I will say that there’s no more references to stopping or even starting the music.
I?m not really complaining about this writing binge, or at least I shouldn?t, I just wish I could pace myself a little better. I don?t need five new stand-up bits to try out this week and then have nothing for the next. Of course I don?t have try out every new bit as soon as I?ve written it and I should probably watch the movie Seinfeld every time I head for the club as he makes precisely this point. But frankly if I was writing stuff as clever and funny as he is and getting that much stage time I?d just think why the hell not. My new stuff is far less successful, probably because it goes straight from the page to the stage where it often flounders like a — flounder. You know, the fish. Clever? Not really.
I have noticed though that I?m writing more truthfully and about subjects I care about. There’s also more self-deprecating material, making myself look the idiot. This is good as I know I?ve tended to come across as a little superior in the past. For example, opening my set with:
Hello, I?m British. Or as we call it, better educated than you.
I’m told that being able to make fun of yourself and the stupid things you do is important because it helps the audience relate to you a little better and establish more of a connection. Truth is though that I hate looking like a twat and embarrassing myself and the more I joke about it on stage, the more I hate myself off stage. I?ve become increasingly critical, moving from self-flagellation to asking passing strangers to severely beat me with a mace. And this isn?t easy because a mace is a heavy medieval war club with a spiked metal head and they aren?t very easy to come across. Plus a lot of people today aren?t to sure how to wield them correctly.
Maybe this should be the theme of my one woman show I keep talking about writing. The social awkwardness that is, not medieval instruments of torture. But then again, that same of fear social embarrassment will probably prevent me from actually staging the play. For now though I’ll dream of the applause, the reviews and all the other wonderfully shallow rewards.
Most of my ideas for new material come at night, often when I’m driving home from the club. This worries me a little because I’m told that inspiration mainly hits when you’re doing something totally mindless, when the brain can shut off. I rarely have any paper to write on and anyway I don’t think you’re supposed to do that when you’re driving (I’ve just taken a defensive driving course so I’m pretty sure). So I have to try and remember the incredibly clever punchline I’ve just come up with and repeat it over and over in my head as I drive. Last night it was ‘parrots are allergic to air freshener’. I repeated it parrot fashion. Good god that was bad, but that punchline is real.
By the time I got home, I still remembered it, but I’d forgotten the setup. It’s annoying when this happens because then you have to write a whole new premise around the punchline and it’s rarely as funny as the original joke would have been. The other thing about me writing at night is that somewhere around midnight I become the funniest fucking comic on earth and every word is a gem that’s carefully crafted into a killer bit. Tomorrow night the audience will be astounded at my wit and talent and the other comics will hate me even more. But in the morning I see that what I’ve actually written is three pages of pointless drivel (much of which ends up as my blog) and a couple of witty lines to try out.
I have to stop here, there’s more but I’m supposed to be on stage soon and need to have a run-through of my music.
Back. Well that was a fabulous evening. Lessons from tonight:
1. Bigger crowds don’t guarantee a bigger response.
2. Bombing with suicide bomber material can be painful.
3. If you don’t want to play it safe, you have to accept the risks.
4. It’s not enough to find the truth, you also have to make it funny.