Saturday, 17 December 2011

The Next Big Thing?

So the thing about those indefinite breaks is that they are indefinite! My break from stand-up comedy came to an abrupt end last night when I was asked to stand in as a contestant in The Next Big Thing talent competition. Allow me to try and explain...

Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon drinking at my works office Xmas party. I work for a media company called Haymarket, and around 6pm we headed to Jewel Bar in Covent Garden for the Event magazine Xmas party. Event is one of the magazines we produce at Haymarket, and as media partner with International ConFex, which is the UK's leading event for event organisers, they host one of the first round heats of The Next Big Thing talent competition (which is run by International ConFex in conjunction with entertainment agency Sternberg Clarke) at this Xmas party.

Okay, are you still with me? Good! So we are in the taxi heading to Covent Garden when we get a phone call from Event magazine editor Jeremy King. He tells us that two people have pulled out of the talent competition and he needs two people to stand in.

Remember, I'd had a few drinks at this point so my early retirement from stand-up comedy was a little bit blurred, and I agreed to stand in along with a colleague of mine, Meldoy David, who would sing.

We got there just in time to make the contest, and when it came for me to take to the stage (or to stand on one of the sofas because they were having technical problems with the mic), I was already half-pissed. Getting drunk and getting on stage is something I vowed I would never do after I had crashed and burned after getting a little too drunk earflier on in the year.

But with my inhibitions thrown to one side and a bottle of beer in hand, I gave it a go. There were four judges watching, including Sternberg Clarke director Adam Sternberg, and the feedback was really positive.

After the six acts had done their thing, it was down to the audience to put their favourite through and then the judges got to choose one act. Singer Natalie Buntting got the audience vote, and the judges gave me the nod!

So this means I am now through to the semi-final in March where I'll be performing at - and this is the best bit - the London Excel! I kid you not! Apparently if I get through to the final, I perform in front of around 1,500 people! And if you win, you get a £1,000, a stand at ConFex 2013, and a 12-month contract with Sternberg Clarke! These guys have the likes of Micky Flanagan and Tim Minchin on their books.

You couldn't make this shit up!

Perhaps I should get some practice in before!

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