The worst five minutes of my life, are the five minutes before I go on stage. I get wound up and nervous. I start to sweat, suddenly feel like I have to burp about 15 times and my mouth drys up. I get so filled with nervous energy that I’m afraid I’m going to trip up onto the stage hit my head on the mic stand, burp while falling through the air and land in a bundle of farts on the stage until I slide into unconsciousness from the sheer embarrassment. The only reason I put myself through that torment is for the five minutes that follow once I get on stage.
I was a little more nervous than usual before the Rebels Comedy Club @ The LV, in Cork. I think it was mainly due to the fact that it was my first time doing a gig in Cork since November, and as a result there would be people in the audience who I actually knew! It doesn’t really put me off having friends and family members in the audience, but I know it might take a little bit extra to make them laugh, to get them past the idea of me actually standing up on stage trying to be funny. It makes me up my game slightly I think, and makes me more nervous, but it seems the more nervous I get beforehand the more relaxed I am once I get on stage.
The room for the Rebels Comedy Club is great. It’s a really warm, intimate room, and the new lounge seating set up is great and really conducive to comedy. It ups the atmosphere in the room and people seem to relax straight away once they’re in there. Having an audience comfortable and relaxed before you go on is always a relief, it just makes the job of trying to make them laugh slightly less daunting.
Last night, the place was packed, which added to the atmosphere. Standing room only once the night was in full swing, and I think that added a bit of energy to my performance. Last night, while not perfect by any means, was the first night that I felt like a comedian. I was more comfortable on stage than I’ve ever been, and I think I was slow and clear enough with my material. For the first time I think the whole thing clicked. I didn’t forget jokes, I stumbled slightly on a line or two here and there but overall the jokes seemed to go down well. I think I had almost everyone in the room laughing at some stage, so I was really pleased with how it went. I had a new joke that I put into the ‘single’ routine that went down really well and I finally figured out an ending for my politeness bit with a new joke, which seemed to go down well enough, or at least produced a big enough reaction that I was able to say my goodnights and get off the stage before I wore out my welcome!
If every night on stage was like last night I’d be a happy bunny. I didn’t have people fainting from hysterics, but there were laughs, and that’s all I need. The Rebels is great room, and Ann-Marie and Catherine who run it couldn’t be nicer and more welcoming. I felt nothing but encouragement and just downright pleasantness from everyone all night, which put me completely at ease. The other comedians were really good and just a nice bunch of people and Dave Moloney did a great job keeping the night going as MC.
All in all it set me up nicely for Heat 2 of the Paddy Laughs Competition tonight. I have my five minutes down and I should be more comfortable on stage. I’m not expecting to go through to the next stage, but I’m really looking forward to the experience. It’ll be a nice learning experience, doing comedy in a competition environment. Should be an interesting weekend!