Saturday, August 28, 2010
Learning the hard way
Maybe I should have gone to bed earlier yesterday, expecially since I got the time of the tour wrong by a hour and I managed to catch only the last ten minutes. And when I arrived home at 3.30am I couldn't find the keys and I had to phone and wake-up a flatmate. Today I felt fine but at the end I gave one of my worst performances so far. The audience combination was quite unfortunate, mainly local week-enders with some non resident Italians, with no Londoner and only a couple of foreign UK residents. I know, classifying the audience by geographic origin goes against the very spirit of my show. Whatever the reason, they reacted very weakly to my opening gambits and the vicious circle of the bad show started again. When things go well now I'm pretty good at milking the laughter with a pause and sometimes a facial expression, but when I get silence I just rush towards the next line. What I need to learn is how to milk the silence, how to extract laughter from the jaws of silence with a pause and an expression that says: you can take your time, I'm waiting for you but I'm not anxious, I know you will join me. Otherwise you are telling your audience that you are giving up and even the few members who are laughing will start to think that they are the ones who are getting it wrong, given that their laughter is often covered by your rushing nervously to the next line. While I'm writing these lines I'm quite happy, at least, by the level of consciousness I managed to achieve. I will probably not show today's recording to anybody else, but I'll watch it myself in order to become even more conscious of these mechanisms.