I performed my show at The Poly in Falmouth. I was scheduled to perform two shows- but the ticket sales were too low so it just become the one. I was told Cornwall are big on supporting their own but not so much for touring shows (especially ones with "urban" flyers).
I was told that there might only be thirty tickets sold. Honestly- for me- thirty is not a problem- at all. I cut my teeth on doing stand up at open mic’s in London performing just to the other comedians and their partners/mates. I can have a lot of fun with thirty. I can have a lot of fun with one. Trussssss me Daddi.
Torbay was really nice. I was at a Travellodge in Paington, a seaside town- lots of beautiful arcades that sorely lack arcade machines. Everything closes at five pm, something that deeply offends me as a Londoner. The team behind The Doorstep Festival, in particular Jade, the co-director of the festival and a Brazilian Jujitsu enthusiast- were so wonderful and made me feel really looked after.
My first show was in a sport community centre and my audience mainly consisted of the parents of the local drama club who were my curtain raiser and some people from the local council to check if I was worth bringing down. We ended up getting to the venue way too early and spent loads of time practicing workouts with Tom- one of the lighting engineers and learning some of Jade’s Jujitsu grapples. By the time the show started I was already knackered.
Also spent a little bit of time with Rihannon. We worked on her introduction to her show. The cartwheel was her idea, asking the audience to turn their phones off, mine. I also made sure that she said her name slowly, and took a pause afterwards so she could get an extra applause. I wish her dad came to watch. He’d have been proud.
the show, in that community centre- to the thirteen year olds who had performed before me and to the parents of these actors- somehow created the most hospitable room I’ve ever performed in. I genuinely felt loved by that audience.
Me and my sister grew up going to nearly every youth club and community centre and I think there’s always a natural love to anyone trying to do something there. It meant a lot to perform there. It really did. The drama clubs we went to shaped both of our lives so much. Youth clubs and community centres are very cool.
I then ran a workshop with some BTEC Mandem at a nearby school. I spent a lot of time ranting- trying to drill into their heads that they can do anything they put their mind to- but I think they’d rather had put their mind to doing some drama games and workshops a bit earlier.
I’m having a lot of fun doing these workshops. I don’t think it’s something I’m naturally good at- like Polarbear- who is a genius at it. I’m getting better though, and that one in Torbay was a big step in getting better at it.
My second show was at the Edge, in the Brixham. Not much to say other than that the audience were also really lovely, when putting the gum shield in my mouth I threw up, had to hold it in my mouth and swallow and do the rest of the show wondering if anyone noticed. Actually, Harry Bower wrote something really nice about the performance which I think is worth checking out.
After the show I talked to a seventeen year old called Jay. It was a really intimate chat. When I was seventeen, I had a very real hatred for my school system, for failing me, for making me feel stupid- for making my friends feel scared and pressured and worthless. My focus and energy was instead put into the gym, to comedy nights and (free) courses at Hampstead theatre- Jay doesn’t have those things here. He just writes. And he’s really, really good. Talking to Jay has been the highlight of the tour so far.
Right now I’m in Darlington- got a few hours till I do another show. I’m loving this tour- talking to new people- realising that country actually has a peaceful beauty I thought could only exist on other islands.
It’s lonely though- and when I get back to London I get this desperate feeling that I need to be out as much to make up for the time I’ve been away. I miss my girlfriend a lot. She lives in Brooklyn. Izzy was saying that all this travelling I’m doing could make me feel lonelier because all these trains I’m taking me aren’t getting me closer to the one place I really want to go. I think there’s a lot of truth in that. I’m so happy- overwhelmed by it- I just wish I could have her with me at the BnBs and Travelodges.
Ah man I don’t want to end on a downer. Here is a link to Cecilia Knapp’s show Finding Home that will be at the Roundhouse Last Word Festival at the end of May. As to not date this blog post I’ll also post the wonderful trailer for the show that feels a lot more like a short film.
Here's the L---I---N---K.