Gig 1 prep

Hi all,

How’s everyone doing?

So here we go. This week marks the first of the 50 stand up shows I’ll be performing this year. I’ve decided to hit up an open mic night I’ve done before: the Kings Cross Hotel in Kings Cross. It says Thursday, but is on Wednesday.

It’s a really friendly venue, and a safe space. The run sheet is nicely mixed: some first timers, amateurs trying to find their feet (like me), intermediates and more experienced stand-ups trying out new material. It’s run by a guy called Kaiser Seiz (although not always MC-d by him) who keeps it in order. He’s actually quite an imposing figure, and a funny stand up himself. I’m actually going to ask him to be the first guest on the podcast, so watch this space.

In terms of the jokes I am thinking about performing, I had told myself to stick to the 5 minutes I ran through last time. It went pretty well, and I saw a lot of potential in growing the set into a tight five minutes. The jokes followed like this:

  • I’ve not been drinking, and that’s shit
  • I’m not drinking because I’m aware of my body and how I feel
  • And that’s because I am woke (the idea of wokeness is the through line)
  • I’m so woke, I have gone the other way completely, and my girlfriend takes advantage of this, so I end up doing more than I should at home (a big punchline in this segment)
  • And some guys make being woke look so easy
  • But then we live in a world of success publishing
  • This is never more true than in porn, where I fantasise about being able to turn up and blow people’s mind
  • Then I run through the reality of turning up at a porn shoot and it being a male gangbang, and I’ve got to play it cool (some acting involved in this joke, including some microphone work)
  • And the finishing on that my life isn’t too bad, really – even if I don’t make things look easy
  • Close on seeing the advert for ‘secret lives of 4 year olds’, and explaining, how fucked up must their life be to have a secret life at 4 years old. That’s insane.

This set actually went well, but bearing in mind I’m doing the same room with the same open-mic audience, maybe I should change it up. Some jokes I’m thinking about:

  • Men are evil. I saw an animal crush video online, and that is fucked up. How does a man get an animal crush fetish? I the run through a scenario where that happens.
  • I saw a sign the other day saying ‘truckers know your height’, how do truckers know your height?
  • My friends are having babies, and it makes me realise how amazing women are. How unselfconscious they become once they’ve given birth. So many of my friends now get their breasts out in public to breast feed. Imagine if that was guys and it was their cocks (I generally like this one, but it’s crass)
  • The five most popular words in the English language are Time, Day and Week. The other two are cock and vag.
  • Scams to get rich piss me off. I’ve spent too much time looking for a valuable penny.
  • This super homeless guy walked past me the other day, chewing cigarette butts and talking to himself. But what he was saying was SO profound (need to think of profound thing).
  • Can you believe you have a voice in your head? My head says some stupid things (need to think of stupid things).
  • Human perception is an amazing thing that clouds judgement. This is particularly true of the sexual connection. Let’s compare the human response to sexual experience to an animals. Monkey giving a hand job. This joke is based on the juxtaposition of that ethereal connection you have when you are building a sexual connection, and the reality of the physical act.
  • It’s amazing to me that people are tolerant of dogs of all colours but not people of all colours. That they can see them as an animal with a genetic difference that manifests in colours, but can’t do the same with people (this would be through-lined with the two ‘jokes’ above this).
  • I also have a long story about a lost bag of cashews on a bus in India am thinking about doing linked to how entitled I am.

That’s where I am. I feel as though I am beginning to find a point of view in my joke scraps. It’s something like ‘the human experience’ and ‘the absurdity of inequality’ mixed with an attention to detail.

I’ll be recording this gig and will put it up as my inaugural podcast at the end of the month, with an interview and hopefully two more gigs under my belt.

Let me know if you have any thoughts on the jokes above, or any advice.

Finally, I’ve been watching a lot of Theo Von and recommend checking this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByvY3sjOGzo

Big love my lot.

Cleo.

By way of introduction

18.01.19 Hi world. Or, no one.

Thank you for stumbling across this blog. I know the world doesn’t need any more blogs, or self indulgent individuals thinking their ideas and views are unique or interesting. But, this blog has niggled away at me for a while, so I’m doing it. So let me introduce what this is all about.

I have an ongoing desire to do stand up. Well, to do stand up regularly. For some quick personal context, I am British, but living in Australia. I’m 30 years old, 31 this year. I work in public relations, play squash, make pizza dough.

When living in London in 2015-16, I gave stand up a go. Three times. Three open mic nights. I enjoyed it. But, on reflection, I didn’t really do it. I didn’t really write any jokes, per se. Rather I just told tried and tested stories from the pub, ones that I’ve told a million times, that were crass and meaningless, and I drew cheap laughs and held people’s attention for five minutes without blowing anyone away.

Then when I moved to Sydney, I determined to start writing ‘bits’. Trying to write jokes with meaning, one that tie together with a conceptual or thematic through line. I’ve done two open mic gigs in two years, and spent the rest of my time feeling both guilty for not doing more, and ambitious that I will actually do more. I spoke to my partner about it, and she was very encouraging. I told my friends about it – or rather, bragged – that I was writing jokes in the evening. But I wasn’t following through. Then it hit me. If I’m going to do this, I just need to get on with it, and not involve anyone else. I need to do it in secret, and get on with it. Do it on my own terms, only. I have a tendency to involve everyone in my ambitions and plans, no matter how nascent. And this holds me to account in a higher pressure way. And this was born.

So, I decided in 2019, I am going to complete 50 stand up shows in 1 year, and keep this blog updated with my progress. This includes jokes and bits I am writing, the venues I go to, interactions with other budding comics, reviews of my own performances. The whole lot. I’ll also be recording my sets (as best I can), and posting them, so they are recorded, and I can see how the bits I write on here translate in real life. I am hoping that other aspiring comics find my experience of breaking through the apathy boundary, and see me failing joyfully, of comfort, and encouraging to start. Otherwise, I’m hoping you all enjoy the read.

I’ll try to post as often as I can, but at the very least once a week.

Until then,

Yours.

Cleo.