2014 Gig Forty Nine: Victoria Hotel


Last night I had the opportunity to check out Steele Saunders‘ new show “Rosebud“. I felt this was Steele’s best show yet and a really important evolution in his stand up career. I’ve spoken at length with Steele in the past and have encouraged him to show more of himself onstage.  Last night’s show was the “mostSteele I’ve seen before at a gig or a show.  There is a really great application to the show that only reveals itself at the end.  A reflective story about growing up and the lessons that are learned in the process, you can never really return home but it doesn’t mean it won’t travel with you forever. This is an important show for Steele and I can’t wait for what he produces next.

Since my show is obsessed with the messages written in cement I have been walking along staring at the ground for quite a few months now.  (This is in relation to my new solo show “Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994” in case you’re wondering why.) While these aren’t declarations carved in cement I still thought they were interesting enough to take a photo.

 

If I had a daughter I hope she would be getting in trouble for doing this.

If I had a daughter I hope she would be getting in trouble for doing this.

 

Why, hello you!

Why, hello you!

 

It is getting darker and colder in Melbourne and without getting too “Game Of Thrones” about it we have to acknowledge winter is indeed coming.  When the weather begins to change I’m consistently at my tiredest.  I’ve definitely felt tired the last couple of days but what isn’t helping is that I’m finding it very difficult to get to sleep before 1am.  I’m quite awake after my show and I’m hoping this will start to even out a little as the season wears on.

My set list was:

 

Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994

 

There was a really interesting moment at the beginning of the night.  My show begins with a piece of music and the lowering of the lights.  I then walk out without an intro and start the show.  Last night was the first time I could hear people talking through the opening music.  Since that hasn’t happened before it made me curious as to what the night could entail.  When I walked out and started the show the first two jokes didn’t hit quite like they have in the past.  They were fine reactions but not the norm. I immediately forgot about being tired because these strange reactions had me very much engaged in the show.

Early in the piece I noticed I used some blunter language than I’ve been using previously. In fact I dropped a “c” bomb in a piece about being inarticulate in a fight.  I have no trouble with this type of language but I’d set myself a challenge to tone down the swearing this year as I think it usually arises from the thrust and parry of pub and/or club gigs.  I think this was a sign that I was over reaching for the audience so once I finished that particular routine I dialled back my performance to make it a little gentler. It ended up paying excellent dividends.

By pulling the performance back I found a bunch of new jokes either in the words or the performance.  There was one moment in particular in the routine about the married couple arguing about their son that really popped.  It was a funny moment onstage and I immediately after the gig wrote a note to myself so I wouldn’t forget it tonight.  After a couple of performances I’m certain that bit well embed itself nicely and will become a staple of the show.

After the show I managed to do a runner from the Victoria Hotel.  There have been some late nights and I had a Syn FM interview this morning, podcasts to produce, blogs to write etc and I welcomed the opportunity to retire to bed earlier than I have been able to do in the last week.  Of course when I finally fell asleep at 2am I wondered why I didn’t stay out but luckily the weekend is just about here and that will give me plenty of opportunities to make some new and fun mistakes.

 

Justin Hamilton

4th of April, 2014

Fitzroy North

 

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