Sunday, 22 May 2011

Nick Sun is crazy!

Nick Sun: Funny and crazy!
Diary of a stand-up comedian Entry #20
I experienced a lot of first's tonight. It was the first time I had performed on a Sunday evening. It was the first time I performed at the Laughter Lung. And it was the first time I have seen Nick Sun.

Wow. That three-lettered word probably doesn't do the man justice. How about I try WTF?! From the moment this dude stepped on to the stage with his crazy hair waving all over the place, you almost knew that something out of the ordinary was going to happen.

Such as barking like a demented dog! It was the kind of performance you couldn't take your eyes off of! The guy is clearly unhinged (in a comedic way!), and I can imagine that Nick is a bit like marmite - you love him or hate him, and I don't think he really cares either way!

As for my own performance, it seemed to go well. My comedy buddy Stu Privett was also there last night, delivering up his usual array of funny puns. Not a bad gig to end the month for me.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Video clip from Dirty Dicks!

For those of you with a filthy mind, you are probably not going to get the type of video clip you might have been hoping for based on the title of this blog post!

This is a video clip from my first ever appearance at Dirty Dick's in the city (near Liverpool Street). The footage is actually quite good because it is the first video clip I have that has not been filmed on an iPhone!

Bobby Freeman was on the line-up for last nights show, belting out his classic rendition of You Say It Best.

Apart from my opening line, which went down like a sh*t sandwich, I think it was another decent set. But with each gig I am now learning how much work you need to put into stand-up comedy. It's not all one big joke you know...!

... Well it kind of is one big joke, but you know what I mean right?!

Friday, 13 May 2011

It wasn't stand-up comedy but it was bloody impressive!

Philippic, beatbox, beatboxing, diary of a stand-up comedian
Diary of a stand-up comedian Entry #18
My work colleagues came down to support me last night at a gig in West London called the Retro Bar. It was another Comedy Bin gig, and then first time I had been done to this venue in Westbourne Park.

Nathan Khan was the host and is a bloody funny guy. But the most impressive act of the night wasn't even a comedian - it was a beatboxer called Philippic. The dude was pretty impressive! Anyways, here is my performance from the night...

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Advice for Indie Authors: Think before you print!

Advice for Indie Authors: Think before you print!
They say that everyone has got a book in them, which apart from sounding quite painful (sorry – bad joke), it probably goes a long way to explaining why so many people are turning to self-publishing.

The numbers speak for themselves, with some self-publishing companies in the UK boasting of 40,000 authors on their books (pardon the pun) with over 60,000 titles.

But there is of course the argument of quality over quantity when it comes to self-publishing, and it certainly adds up when you consider that just one best-selling novel will easily outsell 60,000 bad ones.

In the current climate, the majority of literary agents and the major book publishers will now take on just one new writer a year; so for an aspiring new author like me, self-publishing makes sense. It also offers the author more control over their work.

After much research, I eventually decided to self-publish with a company called Pen Press. Unlike their rivals who churn out authors and books by the dozen, Pen Press only published 137 commercially available books last year.

Whereas this may not seem as much when compared to companies who are publishing titles in their thousands, Pen Press pride themselves on offering a tailor made experience for their authors.

“We work hard to ensure that the author feels like they have a working relationship with every member of staff they deal with at Pen Press and are very comfortable contacting us for assistance throughout the process of bringing their book to life and beyond,” Danny Bowman, the Marketing Manager at Pen Press, told me.

I have to say I am already reaping the benefits from this approach. Four weeks ago I received a Reader’s Report from Pen Press after submitting my manuscript. It was so refreshing to receive professional feedback after dedicating over two years of hard work to make my novel, The Drought, a reality.

Of course I had previously received positive feedback from friends and family, but what else were they going to say? You only have to tune into Britain’s Got Talent every Saturday to bear witness to a whole host of sorry souls who have been encouraged by their loved ones to share their talent with the world.

The Readers Report offered an unbiased opinion of my work and pulled no punches. Unlike my family and friends, it didn’t care if it hurt my feelings. It told it to me straight – what was good about the novel and what wasn’t. It allowed me to go back to the drawing board and change the parts that needed changing.

My book is now in the process of going through the proof-reading and copy-editing stage, another service offered as part of the Pen Press package. After working in the publishing industry for over five years, I am well aware of the pitfalls of a print job done badly or littered with errors. When this happens, print can certainly be one of the most unforgiving forms of media, so these services are essential before I even consider getting around to the actual printing.

With any piece of printed material, you only have one shot at the reader – they don’t care if you can correct your mistakes and supply a new book via print on demand at a later date. And as the author, you really don’t have any excuses for this to happen, but some people find out the hard way!

While self-publishing may not be the traditional form of book printing, it still needs to be professional, and so far I can’t have any complaints in that department. Onwards and upwards!

This blog was originally posted on

Friday, 6 May 2011

The gig that never was!

Too late, Diary of a stand-up comedian
Diary of a stand-up comedian Entry #17
So I experienced something at The Railway that I had never experienced before in my short comedy career. I didn't even get on stage!

Openmic Matt had put together a great line-up of comedians including Ben Adams, Christian Manley, Johnny Armstrong, and Lucy Jagger. The show was running a little late (standard at The Railway) but by the time it got to my turn, I had to dash off and get my train!


Thursday, 5 May 2011

What a night!

Oyster card, diary of a stand-up comedian
Diary of a stand-up comedian Entry #16
What had to be the worst gig I have done in my short comedy career at The Railway one month ago, now seems like a very distant memory after the success of last nights gig in Lambeth North.

A few weeks back I got invited to take part in this charity event organised by Ashley Cowan; a musician I met at The Railway who sings a very funny song about God smoking weed! It was a fundraising event at The Horse pub in aid of raising money for the people of Japan after the terrible earthquake.

I was one of two comedians on, with the very funny American Elliot Lerner also performing, and I don't think the two five minute sets I did could have gone any better. It makes such a difference when you have a packed room full of people who are actually there for a good time. You would be surprised how many people come along to open mic nights with the attitude to try and not laugh at the comedians! It doesn't make any sense to me.

The only moment of concern last night was when I did my gag about not having a car, but having an Oyster Card instead. I got a bit carried away bantering with the audience and at one point I threw my Oyster Card into the crowd. It was then thrown back at me but I had no idea where it went! I kept asking if anyone knew where it was as I had just paid £105 to renew it, but the audience just seemed to think it was all part of the act and simply laughed!

I'm pleased to say I found the Oyster Card in the end and I even won the raffle! Happy days!