Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Who are they?

Yesterday I received from C Venues my first tickets sales report, showing that so far 11 tickets have been sold. I know that this probably will sound hardly impressive to most people, but these tickets are the very first I have ever sold for a solo show so I can't manage to be all professional and blasé about it. Considering that my friends are waiting for complementary tickets, the question is: who are these people? Who decided to pay money with so much advance to be sure they will not miss out on my show? Who is, for instance, that single person with a Senior concession who will come to see me on the 24th of August? Given the advance, they are probably all Fringe regulars who receive the program at home, so there is a good chance that some of them might have seen last year's show. Or they might be people who have seen me on the circuit, maybe at the Hackney Empire, after all there were 2,000 audience members there. Or maybe people who were just made curious by the ad and the entry on the program. In any case, I can't help finding it a good omen. As I said before, I have most respect for free shows and I'll do for sure more free shows in the future, but I must admit that the idea of somebody at home taking his credit card out of his pocket to pay for my show (meaning my jokes, meaning my words, meaning my ideas) is just perfect to titillate my narcissism. I know, this reveals just how much of a beginner in this business I still am, I'm pretty sure that Michael McIntyre doesn't try to figure out identity and motivations of every single person who books his 02 Arena tickets, but for now I'm really loving this "first time" feeling. I just hope I'll also have a chance to become jaded.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

One month to go

Tomorrow it will be exactly one month to the kick-off of my next Fringe experience. Maybe it's because I feel much more confident about the level of preparation of my show, but my attitude has recently switched from "shit, only one month" to "shit, still one month". I thought of why I feel so much longing for the Fringe experience and that famous poem by W.B. Yeats came to my mind: An Irish Airman Forsees His Death. I know, the title doesn't sound well wishing for my comedy show, but the feelings the Airman in that poem expresses about war make me think of my feelings about the Fringe. After experiencing something so intense, "The years to come seemed waste of breath / A waste of breath the years behind / In balance with this life, this death". I know, that's a bit extreme, we are not talking life and death here, but whoever has felt the elation and desperation of the Fringe will probably recognise that it's not completely off the mark.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Back to previews

Yesterday I did the my preview after Brighton. It was for a group of people called Italian Meetup, mostly made of Italians in London and people who want to practise Italian, so I knew it was a particularly suitable audience. Script-wise I had decided to remove all the part when I pretend to be a comedian who pretends to be me, I like the idea but it didn't really work, while of course I added more parts since my target this was 50 minutes. At the end I did 45 minutes after forgetting to do a 10 minutes bit. Considering that I have at least 5 minutes of cuts to do I'm pretty much on target. There were some moments, however, when some weak bits were met by silence and confusion, hence the cuts. But generally speaking I'm satisfied. The links seem to hold much better, the show looks more like a show and less like a patchwork of routines and this is helped a lot by the fact that there are more callbacks. The theme is simpler and much better introduced by a new opening, even if there are still some moments when it carries too much weight. Now the next preview will be in Manchester and it will probably be in front of a less forgiving audience. At this stage, however, what I needed was mainly encouragement and I got plenty of it. There is still work to do but I'm now looking forward to the next previews and of course to the "real thing".