It’s the first time I’ve ever sat down and tried to write an almost entirely new 90 minute show from scratch. The three incarnations of one-man shows I’ve done so far have all been, and I will punch myself in the face for you as I use this word, an organic process, with material slowly piling up over a number of months, like cholesterol in the veins of a cheese addict.
A few people have asked at recent shows, ‘When are you going to write some new material?’, the implication being that I’ve been peddling my current stuff for an unacceptable amount of time. It’s a respectable comment, though to be fair I did only really start doing stand up less than a year ago. I guess there’s only so many times people are willing to listen to you doing contrived puns about salt.
As a stand up comedian of sorts – and I see myself very much on the fringes of that group – I see a fair amount of stand up comedy. I love seeing people do new material but usually it’s the same five or ten minutes they’ve been honing for some time – nothing wrong with that because how are you meant to get better otherwise – but sometimes I don’t really feel like I’ve had a chance to really nail down how I want my stuff to sound.
But perhaps with a 90 minute show, people are spending more, investing more and so fresh thoughts are more necessary. I don’t know. I do know I’ve been sitting here for two hours and have only really thought up a weak-ish parody of Get Lucky by Daft Punk.
I’ve done tens of gigs now – and I know some comics work two gigs a night or five a week or something – but I take some pride in never having done the exact same thing twice. I’ve always played with the order, had at least one new poem or bit, changed up the banter. If even Tony Cachere’s aren’t interested in your Tony Cachere’s poem, though, maybe it’s time for fresh meat. Unseasoned, natch.
But back to work. Like the man said, genius is five per cent inspiration and ninety-five percent dicking around on the internet.