Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tabernacle Doo Dah


So you'll be pleased to hear that series two of Modern Life Is Goodish isn't going to be called anything silly like Modern Life Is Goodi2h. You might also be please to know that we've now sorted out the dates for the recordings... and that means that the tickets - which are free - are available.

As with last series, we'll be recording two shows each night. Like the first series, the shows will all be recorded at The Tabernacle near Notting Hill. It's a lovely atmosphere, a far nicer place for an audience to be than the normal, anodyne atmosphere of a TV studio.

Unlike last series, there are eight episodes this time, so there'll be four recordings instead of three.

They'll be on Saturday June 7th, Wednesday June 25th, Wednesday July16th and Sunday August 3rd.

The weekend shows will be doors at 5.15 and the Wednesday shows will be doors at 5.45.

If you'd like to come along you can apply for free tickets via the TVRecordings website.

Tickets are issued on a first come, first served basis, but hey, they are free.
(That said... there were a few priority tickets for each recording... but they were reserved for members of my mailing list who found out yesterday).

Friday, March 28, 2014

Warming Things Up...

Now that Modern Life Is Goodish is being repeated (it's on Dave on Wednesday nights, just so you know) I'm getting a lot of tweets and emails from people about the show.

The most frequently asked question is: will there be more. And yes. There will be. It's been commissioned for two more series.

And series two is what I'm working on right now.

TV is normally a very cautious business. TV people like to record 90 minutes and edit it down to 60 because they figure that way things will be okay if they don't work. If you do things that way it means each bit of material has to exist as its own separate bit. And that makes things feel kind of, well, bitty. You end up feeling like you've had a series of snacks when what you wanted was a meal. I try to make shows where all the ideas join up. Often it's the way in which things are connected that's the point of it all. You simply can't do that if 30 minutes is going to get cut out of it later. So rather than doing stuff that might-or-might-not-work-and-it's-okay-because-we-can-fix-it-in-the-edit I try to just record a whole show that works. And so I try to do the editing in advance by road-testing the material in front of real audiences.

Which is why I have a batch of warm up shows coming up.

June 1st, 2nd and 5th: Connaught Theatre, Worthing

June 19th, 20th and 23rd: Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

July 10th, 11th and 14th: Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham

July 28thm 29th and August 1st: Norden Farm Arts Centre, Maidenhead

As you can see there'll be three shows in each venue. Each of those shows will be substantially the same - although I'll be making a few tweaks from night to night as I try to find the best way through that particular material.

But the shows in Worthing will be completely different to the shows in Canterbury and so on... and they'll all be completely different to the tour that starts in October.

Phew. I think that makes sense. I hope to see some of you there.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Good news. And also goodish news.

In my last blog post I said I was ducking out of Twitter and Facebook for a while because I was writing a book. I'd reached the crunch stage of writing where I needed to really focus and those things were just too distracting.

Well I ended up spending 38 days in the wwwilderness and it did me the power of good. I have handed my publisher a completed manuscript. Now it's just a matter of waiting for the lawyers to tell me what is and isn't allowed. Which might be interesting.

Anyway, it's called Too Much Information (or Can Everyone Just Shut Up For A Moment, Some Of Us Are Trying To Think).

I was so wrapped up in my own head that, when I decided to bin social media for while in order to concentrate it didn't even occur to me that I was basically enacting the subtitle. It seems obvious now. Heigh ho. Anyway, it won't be out until early June, but if you're especially keen, you can pre-order it here.

But that's sort of by-the-by, because I have some more timely news. I'm launching a new season of Dave Gorman's Screen Guild - my new material playground.

I have a new tour coming up in the autumn. Obviously it's going to be a completely different show to the Powerpoint Presentation tour.

There's only one sensible way of generating new material: trying it out live. If I did one-man-and-a-microphone stand-up that would be easy, there's no end of clubs where you can grab five or ten minutes of stage time... but I don't... and 12ft by 9ft projection screens don't fit in most clubs. Which is why I started my own: Dave Gorman's Screen Guild.

It runs monthly. I book the guests so I know the audience will get a good show. I introduce them and in between I get to try out as much new stuff as I can muster.

It's where all of the material for the last tour was blooded and the second season helped enormously with the TV show too. Anyway, the third season starts on February 13th and runs on the second Thursday of the month through to June. It has a new home, The Hackney Attic at the Hackney Picture House and of course, the details are all on the Live Dates page of my site.

And finally the goodish news. Modern Life Is Goodish is the TV series I made for the channel Dave last year.

It is, I think, the first thing I've made for TV that is actually a reflection of what I do live. It was a fantastic opportunity, a real privilege - and a pleasure for me from start to finish. I'm thrilled to say that the 6 episodes went down really well - it was the channel's highest rating new commission of last year.

And I'm delighted to say that Dave want us to make some more. A lot more. They've commissioned not one but two new series... each to be made up of eight rather than six episodes. I'm absolutely thrilled

It'll be a while before we have a schedule for them, but if you want to be in the audience when we do film them, my mailing list will be the first to find out about the free tickets.

2014 has got off to a pretty good start!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I'm writing, a sort of, you know, another, thingummy.

I tend to avoid Twitter when I'm writing a book. Because if Twitter is anything, it's a great way of not-writing-a-book.

I'm generally shy of saying that I'm writing a book too. Because once you've said you're writing a book, people tend to ask questions. And answering questions is another great way of not-writing-a-book.

But I am. And it's definitely going to happen. And there's a link on amazon somewhere and so a couple of people have asked questions about it and so not mentioning it has become a bit silly.

And I know it's going to happen because they've designed a cover. Only the cover isn't on Amazon yet. I figured it made more sense to share it here first.

It's called Too Much Information... or Can Everyone Just Shut Up For A Moment Some Of Us Are Trying To Think. It's not a narrative. It's about stuff. Some of it is stuff I've discussed on stage. Some of it isn't.

It'll be a thing you can hold in your hand in June next year...

There. I've said it.

Friday, November 22, 2013

There's Some More Tour

When we announced the tour last month - a year in advance of it starting - I thought the time would mean a few people would make a note in their diary and that would be that. A few people asked why it was being announced that early... and the simple answer is that it's a bit weird to keep it a secret. Once the shows exist, what else are we supposed to do? Keep it all a bit hush hush and lie when someone asks me when I'm next playing live? That would be even odder.

As it happens a couple of venues are close to selling out already and have put in extra shows as a result. There's now a matinee in Salford, where shows will be at 4pm and 8pm on November 23 2014 and an extra show in Stafford a few days after the first. I'll be there on October 30th and then again on November 5th.
We've also added a brand new venue to the tour - the William Aston Hall in Wrexham - I'll be there on October 24th.

I've updated the Live Dates page of my site and on the map below.  

                                   Zoom in, scroll around or see it full screen by clicking on the top right corner-------------------->

Before anyone complains about any gaps on the map, this previous post explains them. Believe me, I find some of it as frustrating as you do.

Oh... while I'm here... you have just seven days left to catch Modern Life Is Goodish on demand:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Well That Was A Nice Surprise

Apologies for blowing my own trumpet but... well, I was just very pleasantly surprised to see this.

Richard Naylor - one of the producers on Red Dwarf - tweeted this picture recently. I don't know what journal it's from, but my guess is that it's Broadcast. Anyway... you can see why he was tweeting it as well as why it was such a nice surprise for me too.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Old Sending-Abuse-To-A-Stranger Thing

I have a policy on Twitter: I never retweet praise or abuse. I might link to a review of something and I feel completely at liberty to promote whatever I'm up to but I don't retweet praise or abuse. I didn't  arrive at that conclusion immediately - I'm sure I took the bait (both sorts) a few times in my early days on Twitter - but that's where I've ended up. I don't for one minute hold that up as The Way It Should Be Done™ and I certainly follow several people who do one, the other or both on a regular basis and only occasionally do they make me wince... it's just that that's the way I personally feel most comfortable.

The recent series was an interesting time for all that because, obviously, it increased the rate of both. The word "troll" seems to be overused at the moment and I'm uncomfortable about using it here. It's now bandied about with such ease to describe anyone being even slightly anti-social online and I don't think it's useful to lump all such behaviour into one easily labelled pile. The person sending "you're shit" messages to someone they've just seen on the TV doesn't seem to me to be that comparable to, say, someone threatening sexual violence or going out of their way to upset some recently bereaved parents.

But I don't know what it should be called. It's not heckling. Heckling happens in a social context - a live show. And actually, while the media loves to portray live-comedy as a bear pit (boiler-plate press questionnaires always ask "what's the worst heckle you've ever had?" etc) comedy simply isn't the battle between performer and audience it's made out to be. Heckling rarely happens. People pay to see a show. They want to see a show. They rarely want to be the show.

Here's the thing. While the series was running I was getting a lot of feedback. It was overwhelmingly nice which made it easy to sweep aside the few abusive messages that arrived in amongst them. There were probably seven or eight people across the series and have been three or four since. I'm under no illusion that they're the only ones who didn't like it - but they were the only ones that decided to go out of their way to tell me they didn't. And that's the part that always seems weird to me. They're not trolls. They're not hecklers. They're just being a bit dickish.

I've never understood why it's supposed to be upsetting that a particular individual doesn't like me. Their tweet always says much more about their level of self-importance than anything else. I don't know any performer in any genre who thinks that what they do should please everyone. It's obvious that no matter what you do, some people won't like it. So everyone understands that what they do will please some and not others. Of course it does. So when someone sends me an abusive message the only piece of information they're bringing to the table is their name. I know some people don't like what I do. And now I can identify one of them. So? This could only be upsetting to me if I knew who they were. If they were someone whose opinion I valued and whose support I craved. Which makes their tweet look incredibly self-important and pompous. Because the act of sending it seems to say, "my opinion should be important to you. My opinions are facts. You should be upset about this because it is coming from me" and that's just weird. Self-importantly weird.

So to help those people out I've prepared this handy guide explaining - without rancour - why they look dickish to other people. It might be hard to read at this size, but if you click on it, it should be a little clearer. If not, you could try here.