Greggs? Bad mother.
If a child asks where do eggs come from you don't say Tesco, you explain about chickens and farms (leaving out the mass production reality and ending in a sing song of old MacDonald but...)
Where do doughnuts come from?
Old Krispy Kreme had a farm
And on his farm he had a Nutella
With a bake bake here
And a stuff stuff there
Here a bake, there a stuff
Everywhere a bake stuff
Old Krispy Kreme had a farm
I said I was bored, my friend suggested we go to Krispy Kreme and then added
'You can watch them make them'.
What's not to love?
You can just watch the people working, creating the wonderful wonderful doughnuts.
I was disappointed that the staff were not all
B) Umpa Lumpas
Doughnut Line up
What's that? A free hat? You had me at Hello...
What about the coffee?
This also got interesting.
Using the Starbucks App we decided to see how many shots they would put in one drink?
It turns out the answer was...
10 shots of coffee
10 pumps vanilla
Lady: I assume you didn't mean to order this?
Us: But you still made it?
Lady: Customer service.
Us: We will take it.
Us: We have a voucher for a free coffee.
Lady: Umm.. i'm not sure...
Us: Customer service.
How to write the perfect press release
Follow our instructions.
(insert jpeg image here to make impact)
Paragraph 1 - Introduction who? what? where? when? and why?
Luke. Comedy show. Edinburgh. August. Because comics do it.
Paragraph 2 - In Depth Provide more information?
Graves. Stand up. Capital of Scotland. 8th month. Everyone else will be there.
Paragraph 3 - Quote Add a quote from someone relevant?
“It is a good show” - Luke Graves
Paragraph 4 - Additional information What is unique about your show?
I am the only white, male, thirty-something comedian performing.
Paragraph 5 - Conclusion Recap what you have already said.
Living Luke, Sweet Venues, 6.35pm, Debut hour by Luke Graves.
Now reread and spell check.
C -H -E -C -K
One of my favourite things about comedy is talking to the audience, one of my least favourite things about comedy can be talking to the audience. A nice thing about going off script is that it creates the live comedy feel rather than watching TV. In fact because we have a phone ban in comedy shows it's one of the few times people aren't watching the world through a phone. Well, I had a lady in my front row on her phone the other day.
Me: Are you okay?
Her: Yes I’m fine.
Me: Is the person you're chatting to on your phone okay?
Her: It’s my daughter.
Me: How is she?
Her: She is fine, you can continue with your show now.
Me: Are you sure? Maybe we should ask your daughter?
I try not to be nasty but she still hated me for the last 30 minutes of the show.
Most of my interaction with the audience is based on questions that I ask, linking things that I'm talking about, for example ‘How did you two meet?’ If it's interesting then we can chat, boring then I’ll start doing my jokes about chat up lines (Or ‘pick up lines’ as I have more Americans here). That question this week has had two interesting answers.
Me: How did you two meet?
Man: We haven’t.
(I'd already spoken to this man and his wife but I'd aimed the question at him and the wrong woman)
Me: Are you not married? (I’ve still not noticed my mistake)
Man: Yes but to her (I now noticed)
(The audience are laughing a lot, but at my stupidity rather than my ability to be funny)
Me: It’s not my fault that you’re sitting closer to a stranger than your own wife. You’re even holding hands it's very misleading.
(He was not sitting closer to her or holding hands. I lied because I felt like a dick but they enjoyed the show and the non-wife’s husband offered to sell his wife to the man, I have no idea how that turned out).
The second interesting answer to how did you two meet.
Lady: You tell him.
Me: Oh we have a winner, this is going to be a great story
Man: Arranged marriage.
Me: Well this is awkward. I now have a whole room of people wondering if i’m going to say the wrong thing and offend you.
All I'll say is, you sir did much better out of the deal than she did.
(If in doubt compliment the woman and insult the man)
Later on when I was talking about people filling out their online dating profiles I asked them if in India there parents did it for them. They thought it was hilarious but most of the room didn’t. I think they were offended for the people laughing.
Years ago a bloke in the crowd didn’t like me, and I forget how we got there but he said ‘I’ll decide if it's funny or not’. I'm not sure what I said at the time, probably something that proved him right, but now I would say ‘No, you decide if you think its funny. Not whether it is funny’.
My other interaction with people is obviously around the ship, as big as it is there is no hiding. Most people are very nice and will just say they enjoyed the show. One man came up to me a couple of nights back and said.
Man: Are you the comic?
Me: Yes, I am.
Man: Good, good. (and he walked away)
People do seem to like walking past me saying 'you are the comic’ (Maybe the shows aren't going well if they feel I need reminding)
My favourite was last year on Allure of the Seas, I was in a lift and a married couple got in. I could feel the man looking at me and then he did the British compliment.
Man: We watched the comedian last night, he was shit? Only joking
Man: We enjoyed the show
(At this point the lift stopped and they got out as they did the lady joined in)
Lady: Ohh we should have a photo with you.
Me: (in my head) I’m not getting out of the lift.
Lady: (as the lift doors shut) It must be so lonely being on the ship alo…
When you write a show for the Edinburgh festival at some point you have to stop writing and perform, and with hour slots being in short supply you find yourself performing anywhere and everywhere. Last week I came off performing my show twice a night on the biggest cruise ship in the world (most likely Universe) to performing twice on a Friday night in Shaftesbury. To give that its full context, Shaftesbury is in North Devon, has a population of 7315 (roughly). The Harmony of the Seas is currently in the Mediterranean and has a passenger population of 6780, plus 2300 crew.
Spot the difference
The Harmony can travel at 25 knots, while Shaftesbury travels at, well, nothing. I mean it's a town it can’t move (do try and keep up). In fact if anything Shaftesbury travels back in time.
It is a beautiful town, as soon as you enter you want to move there, uninvent technology and bake bread (the famous Hovis advert was filmed here to inspire such things). It also stands 215 metres above sea level, so it's one of the few things that can look down on the Harmony of the seas (sort of).
New fringes and festivals start up all the time, with more failure than success. It’s a complete risk for the performer to attend. I have personally twice done so and ended up with no crowd or worse (yes there is such thing as worse. Locals annoyed that you are in their pub) but never do I learn and I tried again. I am very pleased I did.
Due to me only being down for one night I performed my show twice, at 6pm and 8pm and both shows were packed. I mean I say packed, my room only held about 25 people but less is more. Not only is Shaftesbury a beautiful place but the locals are lovely (or at least 50 of them are), they were happy and supportive. At least ten minutes of my show had never been said on stage before and they laughed at the funny bits and smiled at the 'Come on Luke you need to do better than that' bits.
(Although one brand new bit got a good laugh in first show and nothing in second. I mean come on guys all in or all out. What am I supposed to do with that feedback?)
My only regret is that I couldn’t do the full weekend as I was working but I look forward to going back next year, and maybe in between just to enjoy the beautiful little town.