Monday, 20 May 2013

The comedy boots well and truly hung up!

Time to hang up the shoes shoes... Clown shoes
Diary of a stand-up comedian Entry #54
Last December at the office Christmas party it was decided we were going to have a bit of a Britain's Got Talent theme, which basically meant someone was going to bring in their karaoke machine from home. At the end of the evening it was suggested that I got up and did a short comedy set, seeing as no one in the office had seen me do my comedy before.

Despite the fact I hadn't performed since June 2012, I decided a quick impromptu gig would do no harm, especially as the 30 or so people gathered in the office were fairly pissed at this point and would have laughed if I'd got up in front of them and asked them to pull my finger.

Fast forward another five months and once again I got asked if I'd put my so-called comedy skills to the test again, and this time at an actual work function for clients. Like most companies, we are trying to pull in the purse strings so getting someone from the office to step in and do the entertainment seemed like a good idea at the time.

The work event in question was a media training scheme for media agencies, media owners, and advertisers. We had 35 of the brightest minds from media - from companies such as Zenith Optimedia, MEC Global, Mediacom, Havas, Euronews, Financial Times, and the BBC- attend a two-day training course in Hertfordshire.

After the first day of training we wanted the delegates to wind down, so we put on a pub styled quiz night with yours truly as the host of the evening. Granted some of my material was out of date, but I felt confident I could pull it off. Hell, I even threw in some new material about the advertising world to try and make it a bit more relevant.

But within minutes of being back on that stage I realised my time in the stand-up comedy spotlight was well and truly over. My joke about how bad the Brad Pitt Chanel advert was was met with near total silence, whilst my attempt to describe how a Stella Artois ad campaign around the theme of 'Wife Beater' would be hilarious was anything but that.

Stand-up comedy, bad jokes, Steven Scaffardi,
Don't move Scaffardi! You're jokes are so bad they're illegal!
What this made me realise was that stand-up comedy requires a lot of work; work I had not put in for over a year. The fact I foolishly believed I could simply get back up that stage with jokes about the London riots from 2011 (material a good two years out of date!) was probably the funniest thing about my set, in an ironic way.

The biggest laugh of the night came when I joked that they had laughed the hardest at the fact that I had died and bombed on stage. That in itself told me everything I needed to know! Back in 2011 when I spent 12 months on the open mic circuit was great fun, and it helped me promote my book at the time, but now it is time for me to stop calling myself a stand-up comedian. I'm a failed trainee stand-up comedian at best!

I'll never forget the memories and experiences of stand-up comedy, but unless I'm prepared to put the work in then it is not fair that I continue to call myself a comedian.

Before you all celebrate, you won't be getting rid of me that easily! I'll still be working on my second novel, and writing down my ramblings on this here blog, but I'll be less inclined to reference myself as a comedian anytime soon!

But just one last thing before I ride off into the sunset with my poor comedic judgment between my legs, let me at least remember a time when I was on the verge of being funny...

You can download my debut comedy eBook The Drought for free by visiting this link and using the code WA65Y.

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