Sunday, 28 March 2010

Ten-Year Self-Improvement Plan.

I've done it, i've jumped on the bandwagon that is Mark Watson's Ten-Year Self-Improvement Challenge. The plan is to make little changes in your life that will lead you to being a better person in 10 years time:

1) I will read a book a month and write a short blog about each one.

When the subject of books/authors/stories come up in conversation, i'd like to be comfortable discussing them. At the moment all i'm able to do is listen/smile and nod. I think reading will increase my knowledge and give me a better understanding of what my friends are talking about.

2) I will introduce myself to people I don't know, but want to talk to.

I do a lot of twitter chat/forum chat. I tend to feel confident talking to people online, but then when it comes to meeting them or introducing myself to them I get all awkward/shy/twatty and wait for them to make the first move or just don't bother. A desicion I always regret.

3) Keep an updated blog.

I love keeping a blog, it's one of my pride and joys. Lately, I have been so lazy at updating it after every show and therefore it has become a bit of a chore and nuisance to write.

4) Keep a book of thoughts.

I think a lot and sometimes have funny/genius (to me) thoughts, but then when I try and remember them, i've already forgotten. A friend gave me a molskine notebook for Christmas so I plan to use it to write down my thoughts as they come to mind.

5) Write an email to a member of my family at least once a month.

I'm so rubbish at keeping in touch with my family on the other side of the world. I try and write to my Mum once a week, but I don't write to anyone else. It racks me with guilt.

I think my challenges will make me more confident and happier. Confident + happy = a better person.

A thought.

As a fan of Mark Watson, this challenge is making me feeling appreciated and involved. Brilliant.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Popcorn Comedy.

The Tabernacal is an amazing venue and at this particular event, there was a pretty star-studded audience.

The first half was mainly funny films by various people (Man vs Toddler was my favourite), 3 sketches from Cardinal Burns (and 2 short films) and some impressions from Peter Serafinowicz. The second half included a bunch of improvisational games based on topical news stories called 'Funny or Die' - "The Blue Team" (which included Mike Wozniac) vs "The Red Team" (which included Humphrey Ker and William Andrews) and hosted by Sara Pascoe.

I couldn't stop laughing at William Andrews who had to convince his opponent that he was a homeless Lady Gaga. Andrews gave Gaga a Welsh accent and his opponent's first guess was "you're Lady Gaga who has just discovered her love of Gavin and Stacey?" to which came the reply "I think the accent is a bit of a curve ball; just ignore it". Hilarious.

A thought.

I hate my new roommate. Lots and lots.

The Slutcracker. Arts Theatre.

The Arts Theatre wasn't the best space for 'The Slutcarcker', but I enjoyed the performance nonetheless. Tim Key seemed to be particularly playful.

Really liked how Tim started in the audience and the start of the show signified by a spot-light shining down on him while this song was played.

Memorable moments included shouting at a man in the front row for not getting up to take Tim's beer (we were encouraged to call him a cunt and "say things about his v-neck jumper") and Key ripping off the sole of his shoe as it had been annoying him for a while (he then completed the show with "one-third less shoe" which "wasn't EASY!").

This performace was lacking Fletch (his tech person) and during the part where he plays trumpet over the top of a poem, a pretty violinist was drafted in. After the poem Key said "you know you've got an interesting job when you have to advertise for a fit violinist on Gumtree".

I found a brilliant photo of Key climbing over the audience with his baton and green headband on Twitter.

A thought.

We have too many staff members at the moment, it makes work incredibly boring.

Colin Hoult. Enemy Of The World.

This was extremely good for a first preview and an awesome follow up from his last show, 'Carnival of Monsters'.

Anna Mann and Len Parker were back and I particularly enjoyed his character who didn't like seeing bottoms. There were a few things that left me a little bit confused (loose ends etc), but i'm sure it'll all make sense by the time the show makes it's way up to the Fringe.

A thought.

I have quite a few "friends" who have suddenly stopped talking to me. I have no idea why.

Tardiness. Week Three.

Lists and Summaries of the weeks events. Normal service resuming shortly. Promise.

Gavin Osborn - 'Meeting Your Heroes'.
A good mix of old and new songs, which included all my favourites. The acoustics in this particular venue at the Battersea Arts Centre didn't do Osborn any favours which was such a shame.

Tom Adams - 'Dropped as a Child'.
I've been meaning to catch Tom's show ever since last summer when I saw (and enjoyed) him perform at the The Invisible Dot's Inauguration Party.

I like his image, stage persona and dark humour in his songs. His guitar playing reminds me a bit of Tom Basden. Most enjoyable.

Party - Recording of Episode 4.
I adored this episode; full of the hilarious quotes (and a new setting!). Some friends had come over from Germany for a few days and came to the recording, we were reciting memorable lines for hours afterward "I think your car could kill a baby, Mel" "Thank you very much, Duncan".

Los Campasinos - KOKO. I'd only listened to Los Campasinos on MySpace before deciding to book tickets. They were a lot rockier that I thought, but still very good. I like most bands with a glockenspiel and a violin (like Broadcast 2000). I was standing in front of the stage during the support bands and then decided to move to the balcony as I couldn't see. I'm really glad I did because the area where I was once standing turned into a mosh pit.

Colin Hoult - 'Carnival of Monsters'
This show had been recommended to me by quite a few people, so I thought i'd better see it (at the Battersea Arts Centre) before it no longer existed. Colin Hoult's comedy shows, laden with characters, are quite theatrical. The audience play a big part in creating the funnies, and this audience, was a good one.

A thought.

I love the idea behind Mark Watson's Ten-Year Self-Improvent Challenge. As a fan, it's really nice to feel involved.

Tardiness. Week Two.

Week 2 of my tardiness means more lists and summaries, i'm afraid.

Love Haiti - Fundraiser.
This was a very very long gig and on a Sunday night which was rather exhausting, really. The Wilton's Music Hall is an incredible venue, but the seats were very hard and I spent the majority of the evening with a sore bottom.

Jarred Christmas, The Penny Dreadfuls (doing Victorian sketches!) and Rufus Hound were the best acts of the night, all the rest were pretty mediocre. Wingnut were absolutely dire.

Jonny Sweet - Mostly About Arthur.
This was my 3rd time seeing Jonny Sweet's award winning show and I could probably go and see it again and enjoy it just as much as the 1st time I saw it. The audience participants were a bit rubbish, though. I have shamefully been quoting lines from the show ever since.

Tim Key - The Slutcracker.
There was quite a lot of material missing from this particular performance of 'The Slutcracker', but by no means did it lack in enjoyment. I loved when Key made a topical reference to the Winter Olympics by comparing the lady that was holding his beer and her partner to a two-man bobsled team. His finishing poem is completely moving; I love sitting amongst a packed and silent audience who are hanging onto his every word.

The Popsocks.
This was my first Popsocks gig and I had the best time! Stefan Golaszewski, of Cowards fame, is the lead singer; he's rather lifeless (my goodness, he has a piercing gaze) while his band go absolutely mental in the background.

Crash Test Comedy.
The line-up was awesome; Idiots of Ants, Delete the Banjax, Cardinal Burns and The Penny Dreadfuls. The Penny Dreadfuls were by far the best act, I particularly liked their sketch about the American broker and his intern (talcum powder FTW).

A thought.

When Dad ends emails with "i hope u are really enjoying yourself over there and although i miss you terribly, i am filled with admiration of the person you have grown into and how you have followed your dreams !", having a little cry is inevitable.

Tardiness. Week One.

I haven't blogged in over 3 weeks. As it will be impossible to catch up, here are some lists and summaries:

Party - Recording of Episode 1 and 3.
This was a seriously laid back affair (complete with booze for the actors). The first time they recorded episode 1 it was too long and consequensly, they had to re-record. I wasn't complaining, I could listen to it over and over and over again.

Nick Mohammed had quite a few lines in this episode. He had roughly 5 takes to get them right, which was rather funny. There were some hilarious moments between Anna Crilly and Jonny Sweet during the pick-ups.

Chris Addison.
I was only just getting into the show and then it was time for an interval; I really didn't feel the need for one, to be honest. A very funny show (especially his material about primary school) which was slightly spoiled my a very drunk heckler.

An Event Of Some Kind (VI).
This gig was a little bit quiter than usual, but still great fun. I didn't really enjoy James Robot (the lead singer was pretty bad), but Better Fires were AMAZING. Stunning comedy sets by James W Smith and Henry Packer.

The last time I saw Henry Packer I was a little bit disappointed; he seems to rely heavily on audience participation and his set kind of bombed. This was not the case at AEOSK. I particularly liked his poem at the end.

Karaoke Circus.
Once again, a smashing Karaoke Circus! Stand-out performances for me were Andrew Collins with 'That's Not My Name', Thom Tuck with 'Two Princes', Robin Ince with 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' and Tony Gardner with 'Teenage Dirtbag'. My friend, Will, gave an awesome rendition of 'To The End' by Blur, but was beaten by Nina with 'Dream A Little Dream'.

It was really great to have Daniel Maier back on the judging panel. Dan Tetsell was great, but nothing will beats Dan Maier's one-liners.

A thought.

At the next Karaoke Circus, I hope someone does Lady Gaga. I think that would be ace.