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My 'Second' First Gig

On the 'gigs' page of this website there's a photo of my silhouette on stage. It's from my first stand up performance. Or to put it another way, it's from my 'second' first stand up performance. Let me explain.

I started 2011 with a new years resolution: to do stand up. I met that resolution at the bare minimum standard - I went on stage once, for five minutes, in the third week of December, days before all the open mic nights shut down for Xmas and thus the year. How did I do? I smashed it.

And by "I smashed it," I mean, I died horribly on my arse. I'd been advised by a circuit comedian to play with the audiences perception of me. She told me I looked like I worked in media, which was handy, because I did. So I rewrote all my planned material and tried it. Me, on stage, talking about my job working in television production. And it. Was. Horrendous.

I came across like a media tosser showing off about his cool job. Lesson learnt. The experience was so horrific I didn't go on stage for another eleven months. The second gig was marginally better, and my material better chosen, but I found the nerves paralysing. At both gigs I got so nervous I'd question everything I'd written and by the time I got on stage I'd have no confidence left in anything. Although I was getting more laughs the second time, I forgot my act and had to walk off stage. The MC encouraged me to go back on, as did the crowd, but I refused. My friend Benn said this was the right call, as I would only have been getting "pity laughs" at that point.

Five years later, FIVE I decided to do Hoopla's stand up course, which culminated in what I now call my 'second first gig,' as my stand up virginity had effectively grown back, and was the start of my second, more serious atte