NEW YORK GIG RECAP NEWS!
DR BUCKLES: STAND UP MACHINE!
I’ve been back from New York a few days and I’m still claiming jet-lag as my excuse for rising unusually late. Think my luck will run out if I try it tomorrow though.
The rest of my time in Tall Town (only tourists call it The Big Apple) was a total hoot. The Saturday night following BUG I had a 50 minute show of my own offal booked at a venue called The Creek & The Cavern.
This was the furthest out of town of all the gigs I did and I got there at 8pm, an hour before I was due to go on to plug my laptop into the projector and make sure it was all working (one of the drawbacks of being more of a sit-down, A/V comedian than a proper stand-up). When everything was sorted I went to the bar to get a drink and struck up a conversation with Mike and his friend Sally, from Manchester and Newcastle respectively, who had moved out to New York last year. They’d seen my previous blog post and decided to come along. We talked about music and Mike told me he had a friend serving in the current line up of The Fall which was cool, though I believe most young men from the north end up in the Fall at some point.
I looked at my watch and it was 10 past 9! I was supposed to be on at 9 and wondered why no one had come to get me. I rushed upstairs to the 60 seat black box theatre. Every seat was full…with none people. I’d realised this was going to be a possibility but had blocked the notion hitherto. I only considered buggering off for a second before, feeling a tad loserish I went to the bar to fetch Mike and Sally and escorted them to their seats whereupon I performed my show for them. I’ve had worse gigs. At least everyone there (all 4 people if you count the venue owner and the tech) seemed to dig it, though admittedly it would have been hard for them to do anything other than appear to be enjoying themselves unless they really wanted to stick the knife in.
Below is a pic of me with Mike & Sally in the bar afterwards. As this was being taken I was thinking ‘surely this is the apex of my reverse career; doing a gig for two people then asking them if they’ll pose for a photo with you afterwards’. Thank goodness for Mike and Sally, who for the time being kept my ignominy from totalosity.
On Sunday night I was booked for another 50 minute showcase at The Luca Lounge over in the East Village. After checking my laptop hooked up OK at the Lounge I got a taxi to the Bronx for a quick 10 minutes at The Union Hall. It was a packed room of attractive hipsters there to see the wonderful Kurt Braunohler and friends (though apparently it’s usually hosted by the equally wonderful Eugene Mirman). This seemed like a great night with a very warm and responsive audience who forgave my nerves and made me feel completely welcome. Feeling jazzed and relieved to have performed in front of more than two people and gotten laughs I got a taxi back to the Luca Lounge just as they were letting people in for the show.
There were several Brits there including a regular poster from The Adam & Joe Blog who contributed the title of my 12th Big Mix Tape (2010: A Tape Odyssey). So satisfying to put a face to people like this, and in such an unlikely setting! At this point I should say a long overdue thank you to Auntie Nubbins and the Adam & Joe fansite who do an amazing job of keeping interested parties abreast of news relating to both Joe and myself out of pure demented sweetness. It was their tweets and posts that got a good few members of my audience along that night (as well as the Hot Fuzz reference on the board outside of course). Thanks chaps!
Host for the night was the thoroughly amiable Sean Crespo who warmed up a good full room for very funny, hot new thing Jessie Klein. By the time I took the tiny stage I was battling with jet laggy tiredness and, as always with my longer sets, I was feeling odd just showing videos a lot of the time, but that was the object of the exercise: to hopefully introduce a few people to stuff they wouldn’t otherwise have seen with tooling about in between. Also if you’re someone like me it’s probably not a good idea to watch an extremely moving and inspiring documentary about a real stand up before getting up and doing your ridiculous thing. I’m sure Bill would have loved it though…
On Monday night I did another 10 minutes at the legendary Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre alongside some intimidatingly funny comedians (my favourite was John Mulaney) and delightfully, Simon Amstell who was in town for several shows of his highly intelligent and chucklesome introspection at the UCB. I love Simon. He helped turn Never Mind The Buzzcocks from a stinking, bile filled decomposing corpse of a show into a fragrant, witty, bile filled, more attractive corpse that always made me laugh when I stumbled across it. Thought his sitcom Grandma’s House was excellent too. He’s one of those people who’s in for the long haul and will just keep getting better.
The UCB gig was the most nerve wracking for me but it was a peach and a great way to end my trip. There’s something inexplicably thrilling about finding that people in another country get what you do and enjoy it. It’s hardly the beginning of some kind of campaign to ‘crack’ America but it’s very heartening nonetheless and I look forward to returning before too long.
See ya heckface! (my last traditional New York sing off)
Love Adam 16th October, 2010