The idea for a podcast has been a while in gestation. It is a collaboration between Pop-Up Comedy, Hard-Copy.co.uk, and DualFan Productions, and will be filmed weekly in the Halt Bar. It began on a Thursday night. We filmed for about ninety minutes, planning to edit it down to ten or fifteen.
Malky hosted, sitting between two teams of three – Obie and John Sheppard with me, and Sandy Boutell alongside originators Chris Pettigrew and Andy Mackay. It was a learning experience.
We learned that we need microphones, and have to warm the crowd up beforehand. They sat so far from the stage that it made it difficult for them to hear us, which impacted on their enjoyment and also ours. Three people per side is too many, and we should see the script in advance in order to do some minor joke preparation.
I much prefer this to stand-up, engaging in casual chat and relying on my ability to make mundane things funny by simply interacting with others. It feels far more natural and comfortable to me than trying to remember a scripted list of ordered one-liners. That said, I was conscious of dominating the conversation, and found myself deliberately stopping myself from talking so others could get a word in. As much as I had fun and enjoyed myself, I am wary of being an overwhelming presence – given half a chance, I can talk a lot.
Anyway, this should be seen as the first step towards something polished and honed, and viewed as part of a learning curve. You will see what I mean from the video. Very little begins perfectly-formed, and this is no exception. We are, however, learning from it and improving.