Friday, 8 April 2011

RIP Steven Scaffardi - the night I died on stage

Dead man joking: How my tombstone
might look after last nights horror show!
Diary of a stand-up comedian Entry #13
It was awful. No, it was beyond awful. Imagine the most awkward situation you have ever been in, multiply it by 10, and then sprinkle on top the feeling of having nowhere to hide, and then you might - just might - have an idea of what it feels like dying on stage.

You know that saying You wouldn't wish that on your worst enemy? Well, that is a stupid saying because you would wish this on your worst enemy!

The horrors of last night started at 7pm when I arrived far too early at The Railway. I grabbed myself a drink and sat down and waited. The promoter, Openmic Matt, said he would put me on towards the end seeing as I had opened for him a few times in the past.

So by the time I eventually got on at about 10pm, I was pretty pissed. I had not eaten anything all evening and instead filled myself up on pints of Stella. The audience were in a good mood having been entertained by some very funny acts already including Hannah Deasy, Tom Appleton, and Mr Blair.

Now it was my turn.

I staggered up to the stage, feeling pretty confident, and cracked my first joke - to complete silence. Immediately I panicked, and broke out into a cold sweat. My mind went blank and I just started blurting out the first thing that came to me.

Unfortunately it wasn't a joke. I found myself just waffling, and after about 30 seconds it hit me - I had absolutely no idea where I was going with this. I wasn't even telling joke!

There must have been about 20-30 people in the room, but at that moment it felt like I had a 1,000 pair of eyes on me, all wishing I would get the hell off the stage. So I did the only thing I could think of which was to be honest.

"I'm not too sure where I'm going with this," I told them, shifting awkwardly in one spot. They just stared at me, hatred in their eyes. I attempted to get back on track but by now everyone in that room just wanted me to finish up and get the hell off that stage - no one more so than me!

I shuffled back to me seat after what seemed like the longest five minutes of my life. I grabbed my bag and headed straight towards the exit. Openmic Matt saw me as I was leaving and tried to tell me my set was okay. I appreciated him trying, but I think we both knew I had just stunk the whole place out, so I fled as quickly as possible!

When I woke up this morning I still didn't feel that great, but I figure this is something every comedian has to go through, so I'll just put it down to experience. Plus I did learn a very valuable lesson - don't get pissed before going up on stage... unless your Dylan Moran of course, it seems to work for him!

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