Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rabbiting on

Last night I ran through my rabbit material with my girlfriend, who was a little put out to have to listen to twenty minutes of paranoiac rabbit based conjecture, but was good enough to give me an audience as we walked to the cake shop.

The cake shop was closed - this may mean there's an opportunity to make money supplying cake to nocturnal wanderers in Tin Hau, although if it's only the two of us once a week, that may be up there with postcard arbitrage - so we went home emptyhanded. To make up for the double whammy of cake disappointment and rabbit infliction, I bought my girlfriend lunch at a Michelin starred restaurant in Central today.

Well, I bought her a ham and cheese sandwich from a Michelin starred restaurant, but that still counts as lunch, right?  And Joel Robuchon does exceedingly good sandwiches. Even better, some say, than Mr Kipling and his exceedingly good cherry bakewells.
I was glad to get out at lunchtime and have a break, but I should have eaten more because all afternoon I found my energy dissipating and my love for life fading. If only I'd found the granola bar that had been secreted in my bag that morning, before I left the office, I would have been much happier. Ah well.

I had soup and a bagel for dinner and read HK magazine, rather than rehearse, and then went to Cul de sac to watch Dorsher eat some pizza, and not rehearse, and then finally I went to the comedy club, and after half an hour did five minutes of rabbit material. It was surprisingly well received: other comedians who've sat through it a few times laughed, as did the group of fresh audience members who'd never seen it before. Perhaps the rabbit does have legs.

Afterwards, I got to talking with one of the other comedians, who admitted that he wanted to be as confident as me on stage. It's always interesting to see how other people see you, and I never used to think of myself as being particularly confident (as opposed to arrogant, which is something quite different) but when I consider it, my best sets have always been when I looked like I owned the stage. It's not enough to just have material; you need to look as though you're meant to be there. Be comfortable, and the audience will be comfortable, and then they'll be able to laugh at you.

Even with bits of the rabbit material that aren't, of themselves, hysterical, it's being able to frame them in a way where the audience feels it's time to laugh can gat the right reaction.

And this is also why I don't feel an affinity to self-deprecating humour. Nobody should be paying hard-earned cash to hear somebody say that they're not very good and this is their first time, or that they haven't rehearsed enough, or they're not feeling very confident. From the first time you're up on stage, you need to be letting the audience know that you belong there, that they should be listening to what you have to say.  You're not rehearsing, you're performing; rehearsing is something you do in front of the bathroom mirror, not at an open mic night.

Because after all, if you start with self-deprecation and people agree with you, where is there to go?


Post a Comment