Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fight Comic again, but louder

Back in Singapore from the US, I didn't waste much time in getting back on stage. Unfortunately, this was one of those weeks where I've been jetlagged and aggravated and not particularly focussed on being funny, so I didn't really feel I'd prepared adequately for the show.

It was probably the strongest line up I've ever been on: in the past, there's often been three people who could easily take the win, and three people that don't have the kind of bulletproof ego and quick wit to dominate. Tonight I knew from the start that I'd be eliminated first. I had a few good bits prepared, but for the top ten rounds I was a quiet shadow in the background while the others riffed on. (Not so many running jokes or callbacks tonight - still need to work on those because they're reliable crowd-pleasing techniques.)

Still, lowered expectations lead to less stress, so I could spend a bit more time enjoying the night, watching the others rather than just thinking of myself. I got a few reassuringly big laughs, so it wasn't as if I stood there doubting the reasons for my own existence and then going home weeping.

Because I was the first to be eliminated, I got to be the heckler for one round, and I think I enjoyed that the most. I do like shouting, and I probably got to expunge some stress by yelling all the inane things crackpots had scribbled on cue cards.

After the heckling round, one angry man decided to start shouting: he was very angry that some Indians hadn't drunk as much as he had. Drunks are odd: it wasn't as if he seemed to be one of the bar's owners so quite why it mattered that there was a table of not-utterly-sozzled Indian men on the opposite side of the room should be so offensive. It was strange that he'd wait until I'd finished heckling to start - I worried that I'd either inspired him, or drowned him out before.

I've got a fairly chirpy persona on stage: I don't go anywhere dark and I always try to be friendly, so the other comedians were a bit surprised at the appearance of Aggressive James. It's nice to do something different.

Afterwards, two different guys recognised me as I went to the MRT and told me how much they'd enjoyed it and how they thought I did a good job. That's a salve to the ego that it's always nice to receive but I was just glad to be part of the evening. It's another step, if not completely forward then not backwards.


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