Don Moses Comedy & Magic Blog - A light hearted look at life, comedy and magic.

Sunday, August 26th, 2007 at 7:37 pm

Editing

Looking at yesterday’s blog made me think about how comedy clubs these days, are now catering for, and actively encouraging, the group bookings of Stag and Hen parties.  It certainly fits the criteria for the “business part” of Show business, as in, it will get bums on seats and also increase the sales of overpriced drinks.  However, on the down side, the “show part” of show business suffers.

For example, my late gig, last night, was very well received only because I made ongoing changes to hold the room.  You may have seen the variety act where by the entertainer spins many plates on upright sticks and his job is to keep them all spinning, well I can’t do that act, but I have taught a class of mixed ability children, which is very similar and is excellent training if you are ever faced with audiences who have got a bit of lash on board. The idea is to make it look effortless as you work out how to keep the plates spinning (it is an analogy right, I am not actually spinning plates). 

Anyway, last night I left out anything from my set which required even a little bit of thought and/or attention span on the audience’s part.  I also worked more with the audience; this inclusion can lead to a great gig with lots of ad lib stuff* working in your favour but be warned it can also be very dangerous.  On such occasions the comedian is using great skill to adjust to the (mainly hammered) audience; it will get him paid but he won’t be using all of his artistic talent (kick me in now).

So what am I getting at?  Well, if you are brave enough to stage your very own month long Edinburgh show (I am not) you have the luxury of one hour to express yourself.  You can use this hour anyway you want, with no restrictions at all (well apart from no smoking on stage).  I say luxury, but luxury does come at a cost of about £2,000 (that being, the average loss from your ambitious vanity project of self indulgence).  Anyway forgetting about your crushing debt, the beauty is, there is no comedy club owner, saying, you can’t say this or that (apparently this and that are very offensive).  There is no mentally editing out anything which requires a bit of thought and then replacing it by mindlessly editing in a nob joke.  You simply don’t have to do what you don’t want to do.  And that is why Edinburgh is the number one arts/comedy festival in the world.  Now can someone pass me some step-ladders so as I can climb down from my own arse**.

*Most times the performer just comes up with stuff on the spot and has very little idea where the comedy bits come from – other times, the performer can use a previous piece of writing, which has “rolodexed” its’ way to the top of his brain at exactly the right moment.

** I would love to say that I came up with that phrase but I didn’t; it came from Frank Skinner’s wonderful book which I urge you to buy.

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Don performs as a wedding magician, corporate entertainer, and after dinner speaker at events throughout the country. London Magician, Manchester Magician, Liverpool Magician, Birmingham Magician, Newcastle Upon Tyne Magician, Magician Surrey, Edinburgh Magician, Oxford Magician, Bristol Magician, Magician Milton Keynes, Leicester Magician, Leeds Magician, Magician Kent.