Category Archives: Comedy

A Macro-Micro Blog

This entry in to my occasional blog is an experiment in macro-micro bogging, a term that I have just made up. Basically, there are things that I wanted to talk about that are too small for a usual blog post but just that bit too large to post on Facebook. So, instead, I am going to write a blog post (the macro) encompassing much smaller (micro) subjects.

What’s the point in Social Media?

A friend of mine posted a blog regarding how he is agnostic about social media and the irony that those views are most likely to be seen by people who have found the blog through social media. I personally found it through Facebook where he posted the link (Take a look here). This just reminds me of something that I was told a long time ago. It doesn’t matter what you produce if no one can find it. That’s the real power of social media for businesses, musicians, writers and the like. But why is it important to post the same stuff across facebook, twitter, Google+ and whatever other network comes along? It’s all to do with the way people want to follow you. Some people don’t like Twitter or Facebook or might just use one of them. There has been an increasing move away from Facebook recently and many people on the Google+ platform have said they will give up twitter when plus is accessible to all their friends. If you make your content only viewable through a blog or only on Facebook you will alienate those people who don’t use one or other platform.

Take me for example. I’m on Facebook, twitter, MySpace… God, I had a Bebo account at one point but I spend most of my social media time on twitter because it’s just like chatting to friends (in a way that Facebook isn’t) and I get push messages to my phone. For me, twitter has replaced SMS for quick messages to friends and it doesn’t use up any monthly allowance. So if I want to find out about a comedian, band or product I am more likely to follow them on twitter than like their facebook page. It suits me better and that is the point I want to make:

If you have a business, produce something creative or just want people to read what you write online you have to make yourself accessible in the way your followers want and not try and force them down a path they might not want to take. If you do, you are alienating the very people you want as fans and customers.

Writing Comedy is Hard…

…So why haven’t I done it yet?

I know how difficult it is t get a 15 minute set together but for some reason I can’t bring myself to do it until I am under pressure to. I’ve done a few stand-up gigs over the past few months and my next two are coming up. It’s the next Comedy Showcase at Cafe Rene this week and they have heard my material before so I want to write something new for them. What have I got so far? A small story about going to the loo in the pub when you’re drunk and some songs that are 15 years old now. But I will write more, it’s what I do.

What I wonder is why I find it so hard to be funny unless deadlines are looming. I suppose it could be argued that the pressure you are under acts as a false sense of being on stage (that sweet spot when you are talking and what’s coming out of your mouth is just gag after gag). Perhaps that is it. Maybe it’s because as the hour approaches I spend more time writing without distractions although I tend to write short stories with the telly on and they are still selling all right. So, here I am with 5 days to go and I know that by Tuesday I shall have my 15 minutes. I also have the feeling that I shall scrap the whole 15 minutes on Wednesday night when I come up with something I think is better.

Friends With On Benefits

OK, not actually on benefits but there are a few people who I know who are doing some fantastic things and could do with getting the word out.

Packtypes Life

I almost want to call this game “Which dog are you?” and I’m sure that Facebook would enjoy an app like that. My strongest type is Mastiff, for example which means I’m big with an easy to care for coat that sheds terribly. To be honest, I think they go it right.

I jest of course. The game uses questions that you answer in order to determine what your personality type is. It looks really interesting and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with it. They’ve got a very limited demo to give you an idea on their Facebook page. It gives you an example of what Packtype you are and what Packtype you look for in a partner. Personally, I’m looking for a fox.

Click here to see them on Facebook and try out a very limited demo

The Pride

There aren’t gay superheroes? These are men who spend there time in spandex and tights and there aren’t gay superheroes? Actually, there are but you would be forgiven for thinking that there aren’t. Marvel didn’t have an openly gay character until 1992 and even then he was Canadian so you’ve probably never heard of him. Over the last few decades a few characters have been outed as being gay but it has largely seemed like something crowbarred in to appeal to a specific demographic. Enter The Pride.Writer, Joe Glass, speaks about the project.

When I was growing up, and coming to terms with my sexuality, one of the things I always felt sad about was the fact there were no visible, openly gay superheroes I could relate to. Sure, there were one or two, but they lived in the background or were poorly reresented. Ever since then, I wanted to change that. And that’s what The Pride is all about.

It’s a really great project and they’re looking for a bit of funding to get a larger foothold in the industry and start distributing properly. Head over to there IndieGoGo page. You’ll get something for it. Every dollar helps.

Snappers

As I am writing this I am watching Kitchen Nightmares which has just had the best line EVER. “I can’t wait to try your snapper”. Just saying! 😉

Finally

Well, that’s about it for my experiment in macro-micro blogging. Did it go well? I think so. Might have to try it again sometime. One final thing before I go. Doctor Who is back shortly. Can’t wait.

Stay safe everyone and have fun 🙂

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Big Red Hootenanny

About a week ago, I was involved in organising a party for Comic Relief. I was only a small cog in a big wheel, the bulk of the show organised by P. J. Montgomory. I hosted the show on the night (my first time doing standup in five years) and brought along equiptment for the bands who would be performing on the night. P. J sorted out some great prizes for an epic raffle held at the end of the night as well as the venu, the acts and everything connected with that. I’ve known about this since November and I have been writing since then to try and come up with material suitable for the show.

At the last minute I scrapped the Lot and decided to write something the night before the show. This is actually something I did a lot when I was performing before but something (I can only assume the onset of old age) meant that I can no longer remember things the way I used to. So it was an interesting night from my perspective.

I would have liked to have blogged about it at the time but it was a long night and I just can’t remember it anymore. Anyway, today I have been looking at the footage from the night and I have to say, it wasn’t half bad. I actually spent most of my time on stage performing comedy songs and I learned that the stuff I write by myself seems to go down better that the stuff that I had always thought was tried and tested. If you don’t know what I mean by that, I used to be in a comedy band performing other people’s material, loads of people wrote for us.

I suppose it is the onset of the same memory erasing old age that has made me look more closely at the material I write and perhaps the hootenanny will see me return to writing and performing stand-up. Certainly the few jokes I did went down well. These days, however, I just need to put it in to more of a rehearsed set.

All of this introspection is detracting from what I wanted to say in this blog. I really wanted to thank everyone who was involved in the night. Our headline act was the amazing Taylor Glenn. We also had acts from friends of ours Verity Smith and Andrew Davies.

In all, it was a good night where we raised over £500 for comic relief. We also released a single as well called Red on the Inside which is still available and I urge you to go and buy.

Thank you. To everyone who came, to everyone who laughed, to everyone who bought the single. You really did help us help comic relief make a difference.