As some of you know I delved into the world of stand up comedy earlier this year, just to shake my brain free of another frantic January dealing with the Self-Assessment deadline.
I have to say that for some time, through the eight week course, I was concerned I had done the wrong thing.
There were ten of us on the course and we would meet up once a week, above a pub, working on building up our repertoire. As not only had we to ultimately go on stage and make people laugh, we also had to write our own material.
On the course were the following:
- An ex-sniper from the army
- A police officer
- A vat consultant
- An Independent Financial Adviser
- A care home worker
- A young Brazilian girl, over in the UK on a language course – Very brave!
- A ski-ing equipment entrepreneur
- An ex-postman of the year, now a house-husband
- An infant school teacher.
On the second week I was told-off for not doing my homework! And yet I felt I had spent all my free time staring at a computer screen looking for inspiration for that winning line that would have people rolling in the aisle. It felt so unfair.
So the second week I sat down in front of the computer with my brother Matt (A far more naturally funny guy than me, without question). We opened a bottle of wine to get those create juices going, but to no avail. Matt felt sure, another bottle would do it. But no, nothing happening. Just a hangover in the morning!
The course forced you to keep working at it though. As each week we had to get up in front of the rest of the class with an additional minutes worth of material. I managed to scrape through with a few observations on the odd things my kids do. The main one being my fourteen year old son helping out at the office by doing a spot of cleaning, he was very good, and very thorough. He took ages doing the vacuuming, whilst wearing his headphones listening to his rap music. Although it took him a while to realise you have to switch the hoover on to make it work!
Slowly, but surely I started to build up a body of work.
I was told by the comedienne running the course (and others) to drop my “Knock Knock, Breaking Bad” joke as not enough people were watching the program in the UK at that time. I declined to drop it, as it one of my favourites, and it really didn’t bother me if only one man laughed; as was the case on the night!
My other favourite joke was about the second coming of Christ getting killed by a suicide bomber. Thereafter, whenever you entered a church, behind the altar would hang a huge rucksack, where once was a cross.
As we got closer and closer to the Friday performance night, in front of over 300 people, nerves started to set in. Was I going to be able make it through my set without stumbling, or worse, totally freezing!
I decided to do some open-mic nights. The first on the Monday, in front of six people, in a bar in Brighton. It went well enough. I got offered 2 gigs for August!
My second open-mic was on the Wednesday which didn’t go so well, but taught me, to jazz up my style a bit. I was also encouraged to drop the Gary Glitter joke (nothing sordid), even though it had a great line about Gary Barlow.
Friday came, and it was wonderful. I was third up. I rushed my first joke, but thereafter I felt very comfortable on stage (Must rub off). I even managed to ad-libe a little. And people actually laughed!
A great feeling!
But I ain’t giving up the day job.
The comedy world already has enough Carrs!
A remain a Stand up Accountant.