Friday, 25 March 2011

I just went on, and on, and on, and on...

Shut Up Fool!
Diary of a stand-up comedian Entry #10
I've been busy trying to set up more gigs at venues other than The Cavendish Arms or The Railway, because in the last three months I've only done five gigs (including last night)! So in the last couple of weeks I have been busy researching other open mic nights, which basically means friend requesting as many other open mic comedians as possible on Facebook and seeing where they gig!

From that I have found these guys called the Comedy Bin who set up various open mic nights across London and I have a few gigs with them in April. Also through Facebook I have found a guy called Steve Roe, who I went to school with, and runs a comedy night called Hoopla in London Bridge, so he has booked me in to his night as well.

So onto last night. I've watched back the video clip and I just went on and on and on for 15 minutes! I was losing the will to live watching it back so God knows what the audience thought last night! The great thing about performing at The Railway over the last couple of months is that I have been able to try out lots of different material...

Granted most of it has been bloody awful, or at least it certainly needs a lot of work, but I should be able to pull out a decent five minutes of material for the upcoming April gigs... I hope!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Call me the Karate Kid of the comedy circuit!

Steven Scaffardi, The Drought, Stand Up Comedy, Stand Up Comedian, Comedian, Comedy, Lad Lit, Chick lit for men, funny books,
Joke on, joke off: Another night
of comedy in Streatham
Diary of a stand-up comedian Entry #9
Another two-week gap without comedy, but Openmic Matt had invited be back to perform again on the third comedy night at The Railway, so I crammed in plenty of writing and came up with some new gags about the 80s (including my Karate Kid impression), Facebook, mum insults, sex texting, and a bit more.

Some of it worked, but for the most part it needs some touching up. Actually, it needs quite a bit of work! I am also starting to realise that in order to improve I need to start looking around at getting more gigs and performing at different venues. I love The Railway, but I'm not too sure 24 gigs a year in Streatham is going to get me to the Hammersmith Apollo!

But I'm still enjoying it and I've met some really cool people down at The Railway in the last few weeks including Elliot Lerner, Raphael Perahia, Bobby Freeman, and Stu Privett. Here is the video clip from last night...

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Lad Lit Book Reviews: Hell in Barbados by Terry Donaldson

Books For Men Book Reviews! Hell in Barbados by Terry Donaldson
It’s one thing if Terry Donaldson experienced what he considered to be Hell whilst he was stuck in a Barbados prison for three years, but that really was no reason to put the reader through the same ordeal of having to read this book. I can honestly say that having read a number of books about people being locked up in foreign prisons that this is by far the worst of the lot.

At the start of this book, Terry Donaldson explains about his early life and how he became to be a relatively successful British TV presenter in the 90s, but succumbed to the evils of drugs (and prostitutes) at which point his life spiraled out of control to the point where he agreed to smuggle drugs out of Barbados and into Britain.

The problem is I took an almost immediate dislike to Terry, and not because he was a drug addict. I’m not here to judge anyone for what they have done in their life, but I will judge them if they are whiney, miserable, and full of as much joy as an eight hour road trip with Victor Meldrew. Terry seems oblivious to the fact that he only has himself to blame, which meant by the time he got to prison I had very little sympathy for him or any of horrors he faced.

The other issue I have is that this book is called Hell in Barbados but compared to some of the other books I’ve read on this subject matter, Terry’s three-year stint was a walk in the park! Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not for one minute saying that a 36-month stretch in a Caribbean clink was a holiday camp (although it is probably is better than a caravan holiday at Butlins), but if you read the likes of In The Shadow of Papillon or The Damage Done, then you really know what hell is like!

And maybe that is the real problem for me. I’ve seen other reviewers give this book four or five star ratings, and rave about how good it is, but I can only presume that is because they haven’t read any other books in the genre. This one didn’t grip me like those other books did, and as Terry rambles on from one thing to the next playing the ‘woe-is-me’ card, all I wanted to do was reach into those pages, give him a slap, and tell him to man-up! He doesn’t even seem to grasp the fact that he is the only one to blame for the predicament he finds himself in. You are almost glad that he ends up facing a bit of hard time!

I never really worked out why Terry went from being a happily married man with a nice car and a four-bedroom house to using crack and heroin, and sleeping with as many hookers as he could get his hands on. Maybe he did explain it but it was lost on me.

I stuck with this book until the very end in hope that it would get better at some stage, but even the riot in the prison seemed tame by comparison to some of the other horrors I have read about in other books, or perhaps by that point I had simply just lost the will to live and didn’t care anymore. Sorry Terry, this one wasn't for me.