Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Warming up

Either I'm warming up, or I'm getting cabin fever from spending two days in my friend's flat, guarding the cat and failing to interact with human beings. Today the cat did her duty and woke me at 6:30 to be fed, after which I collapsed back into the embrace of Morpheus. I had have a strange dream this morning about helping somebody, then sprang awake in a panic, thinking I'd missed an early morning conference call.

The call itself was quite odd; there were four of us on there: my boss and me, and somebody and their boss in Bellevue, and when the person in Bellevue spoke up, his boss shushed him and he didn't speak again. I took the calm and tactical approach of not saying anything until I was asked a direct question, which made it feel a bit as though we'd overstaffed the call by a hundred percent.

It's hard to work on a laptop with a small keyboard when you're used to a full size keyboard, a mouse and three monitors. And there being no cat coming along to rub its head against the side of the screen every time it thinks you've forgotten about it. Don't get me wrong, I love that cat, but I'm just worried that when the laptop is completely full of cat hair and dander, that it might stop working and I might get the blame.

I did a full day's work, most of it lying on my back on the sofa, which is the most comfortable way to deal with a laptop if your back is already angry at you for all you've subjected it to. Then, worried that I'd had an unhealthy diet ever since I abandoned my wife to Singapore for the week, I ran down the hill and had salad for dinner, and then had to scuttle back up the hill to make it in time for the open mike.

They put me on last, which was very kind: I think it was a reward for my performance on Saturday, and a chance to do my full 8 minutes in front of an audience. But I hadn't prepared for that and an open mike audience of 11 comedians is not always the best guide to a proper show, so I'd been prepping lots of crowd work that I can't risk on Saturday. I had fun riffing off as many of the other comedians as I could, then hammered out a few things I'm going to do on Saturday to see if they gelled, and got off stage. And then it turned out I was only penultimate anyway, so everyone there got to see somebody who was prepared, rather than prepared to spout at them.

One of the other comedians had a joke about talking to prostitutes in Wan Chai. Apparently when I was listening to this, I had the world's most angry expression on my face. I hope I didn't. I hope it was really just rapt attention, rather than going a bit alpha-male. "You can't possibly talk about the prostitutes of Wan Chai. That's my material. Mine alone, for nobody else has ever encountered them." No, that's just untenable.

So, a more than satisfactory night for me. I got to make up a lot of jokes in the hour it took from arriving at the club to getting on stage, and in fact I've felt inspired in a way that's been lacking for a long time - last night my brain was buzzing again as I started to construct my knocking-people-over-while-going-running material for Singapore. After a long time feeling that I wasn't adding anything new, it feels like I might have a bit of inspiration again.


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