Hola. Hope you are well.
Congrats to those who predicted I would blog this week on a Wednesday.
This week’s blog was going to be different, that was until I did a 3 Prong gig (my double act) yesterday and ended the night in an argument with the compere, as you do.
Ok, so where to start…
‘Her With One Permanent Job’ , Prong 2 and I were all sat at the back of the room, attempting to be inconspicuous. At the start of the gig the compere (the landlady’s husband) spoke about how this was a nice and supportive night, it’s the kind of spiel comperes make at an open mic night because they know the standard of acts will be variable. He then went on to talk about how everyone should be all smiles as this would help the acts. I once again assumed this was just patter and not a binding contract.
I will at this point, admit that I wasn’t at my best as an audience member. A couple of things went against me, firstly it was a hot room and I was already feeling tired after work, secondly, they had this system of not telling the acts when they were going on but randomly picking the acts. I must confess that I’m never at my best before I go on stage as I’m trying to remember my lines and the order of the set etc and with the added factor of not knowing when I was going on, I was less focussed on the comedy than I normally would be. However, I wasn’t being rude, I wasn’t chatting and I wasn’t being dismissive of the acts, I clapped when they came on stage and again when they left.
My problem came because instead of putting all the acts names in a hat (he was wearing a hat) and then pulling them out at random, the compere thought it would be better if he got the audience to choose between two numbers and whichever number got the bigger response, the act that number corresponded to was brought on stage. So he’s doing this before an act is due to come on and then starts pointing at me because I’m not shouting for either number with enough conviction and that my arms are crossed. To be honest, I half turned around unsure he was talking to me because normally at comedy clubs the compere doesn’t interact with the acts. But as it happens he was talking to me, and not content with berating me from the stage he then comes over to me to have another go at me, explaining how this is a ‘friendly and supportive’ night and that I wasn’t entering into the spirit of such a night. He then went back on stage and said something else about me (it wasn’t complimentary.
You’d think the interval might have calmed him down, but he opens the second half by saying how he studies the audience and if any of the acts aren’t being supportive enough, he keeps them waiting throughout the second half and then never brings them on. I wonder who he might be talking about?
Anyway, the second half continues and he’s drawing the acts out at ‘random’, he’s dropped the audience shouting the numbers out pretence. The acts keep coming and going, yet we have not been picked as yet. Eventually after 19 acts he says we have 1 act left, and asks “Do you want to see them”. He may as well have said, “I don’t want to put these two guys on but if you can be arsed then be it on your head”.
So the night ends and he’s at the door, cradling a bucket, collecting donations from the audience for himself, not the acts I should add. My intention was to walk past him and ignore him but then he said a sarcastic comment to ‘HWOPJ’, who responded by saying, “We won’t be back”. He then repeated this back to the people around him, this annoyed me as I felt he didn’t take us seriously, so I had to have a word with him. During our argument he kept going on about how his night was all about being friendly and supportive and me asking if coming from the stage to have a go at me was ‘friendly and supportive’, he wouldn’t answer my question. In the end I called him a “bully with a mic” because the only time he had a go at me was when he had the mic.
I say in the end, I did call him a “knob” when I was outside the pub, ironically with the enthusiasm he would have liked earlier in the evening. All this for the honour of playing 5 mins at his wife’s pub. That’s showbiz, I suppose.
Til next week, stay safe!