On Friday 9 January at Funny Girls at the Caroline of Brunswick in Brighton I got back on stage after 6 months of not performing comedy. I was trying out my new character called Karroll Kavannagh (name may be subject to change) who is a survival expert and serious about safety.
I prepared my character's material over the last few weeks and used some of my jokes from my tried and tested stand up set. It is quite interesting putting those stand up jokes in the mouth of a character. In my previous post I talked about workshopping a character as being a great tool for getting with like minded people and playing with hot seating your character. It is really useful.
It is almost a bit more easier and fun playing a character are it's different from being yourself just doing stand up. Being yourself doing stand up is really nerve wrecking. I am so glad that last year I gigged every week for 5 months to build my confidence. I really recommend giving stand up a go if you want to push yourself, scare yourself and build confidence.
After 6 months of not performing and only writing it is fair to say I was shitting myself. Excuse my language. At times through the day on the Friday I was nervous and felt sick. These are the thoughts that came into my head through the day:
Can’t do it
I want to cry
I am not going to be funny
Maybe I should cancel
What if no one likes me?
I've got to do a full show in May. What if I can't do it?
It's amazing how your mind (ego) can turn on you and try talk you out of something you want to do!
I made sure to think back to my intentions that I want the process to be fun. I want it to be fun for me to write and perform. Plus, more importantly, fun for the audience. They are the most important thing.I wanted to make sure I could play on stage. In my head I thought about the saying of jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down. I wanted to experience that and enjoy it!
An hour before the show I decided to do a 10 minute meditation. At home I sat calmly, focused on my breathing and visualised the venue, the audience, my character and my energy. I played out the set in my head. I have always found visualisation really helpful with acting in theatres too. You put yourself on stage, in your costume, and get a sense of what it is going to be like. Gives a sense of ease on the performance night.
As I am back into juicing I made sure I had a couple of green juices to get me through the day! Plus, I am still putting the Teapigs Matcha on my porridge to keep my energy up.
Here are some photos of my juicing stock and my power charged breakfast!
Getting back to comedy, two of my friends came to see me on Friday even though I hadn't officially invited anyone. I was worried I might be totally shit. I was ready to be shit so I would have something to work from and learn from. I will be doing so many more gigs trying out my characters so my friends will have plenty of chances to see me perform. Plus, I have 4 shows in May that I will need people to come and see.
Right before I was due on stage I felt nervous. Not as nervous as when I have done stand up. I had a clipboard with notes as a prop which was a luxury. Once up on stage the audience were so warm and I found myself getting lost in the character. Karroll says anything she likes and is super confident so I had to really turn up my energy to 100%. To get my energy up I listened to some energetic music (the soundtrack from the film Heat!) to get me in the mood before the show. Top tip: Doing a playlist for your characters is really fun to do and can help get you in the zone!
I also decided that my costume was going to be a single waist bag, bumbag, fanny pack or whatever you want to call it. My Dad bought me this one for Christmas after I picked it out in the sale. Secretly I would love to wear it all the time! I dressed in plain black jeans, navy blue polo shirt and my hiking boots. I didn't want my costume to be a comedy one for this character. I wanted the material to provide the comedy along with some physicality. Karroll likes to lunge! I don't want to give too much away.
Here are some pics of Karroll in action! (Thanks to Rob for taking them)
I recorded the set on Friday so I can anaylse it and see what new bits were improvised. I was actually surprised how I could play with the character, how little gems of opportunity with the audience came up and how much stuff I thought of on the night. There was one very lovely man on the front row who accepted Karroll's advances with grace! Bless him.There is lots of improve on, but I feel happy that I got my first gig out the way and got some confidence back. Most of all I feel happy that I had fun!
Over the next few months I will be gigging more and writing, rewriting and writing again! Keep an eye on my facebook page for updates. https://www.facebook.com/JanePostlethwaiteComedy
As an extra celebration from Friday night's, 'back on the horse' gig, myself and a group of my close friends went the the 10 year anniversary of Otherplace Productions who have a new venue at The Basement in Brighton. The stage and venue overall is very cool. I am going to be gigging at the Rabbit in the Headlights night at the end of February in The Basement so I am exited about that.
Here are some pics from the night at The Basement. We were sitting the Daniel Kitson chair! (With Lady Charles and Vicky Gould - also comedians/actors)
As you have made it to the bottom of the blog here is an extra pic just for you. Yes, you. I took it of myself after looking in the mirror when I was getting ready to go outside. I am starting to wonder if the boundaries of my show are crossing with my life!! Where does one start and the other one finish? I think this look might become another character!
Scroll through my blog if you would like to catch up with the other Brighton Fringe Diary posts.
See you next time!