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: gor.mn/DGMLIGOD

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.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Face Swapping...

I can't really recall how this started, but this morning I ended up swapping some people's faces around and posting the results on Twitter. Not heads - jawlines and hairlines must remain intact - it's just the faces. (I'd forgotten at the time that I did once swap the noses and mouths of Laurel and Hardy too. Odd.)

A lot of people though that Eric's head with Ernie's face on reminded them of Mike Reid here. I can see it, but I thought he looked more Eric Idle. In any case, there's something odd it all looking and feeling both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. 

Or, as Simon Littlefield put it:

Meanwhile, in this one, there's something of a young Benny Hill when Eric's face sits on Ernie's head here:

And then it started getting silly. You can click on any of them to enlarge...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Modern Life Is Goodish... The Last Episode Of The Series...

So the final episode of the series goes out tonight (and also Wednesday and Saturday nights) on Dave. Tonight's show - as with all the Tuesdays - is at 10pm. (And 11pm on Dave Ja Vu)

The feedback on the show has been incredible and I'm very grateful to everyone who's got behind it. Thanks.

I had a nice message this morning from Mike Ericsson, the winner of the mailing-list competition I ran to coincide with episode four. He's now the proud owner of the jumper that featured in that episode. Not sure he'll get much use out of it mind.

If you're on the mailing lis, you'll know that the answer to the final show's competition is in tonight's show...

I get a lot of tweets from people during the shows and I try my hardest to reply to as much as I can. For the last few weeks I've ended up bumping into a Twitter-limit. If you tweet too much the system eventually - like a good barman - decides that you've had enough and refuses to serve you any more.

But as tonight's is the last in the series, someone from the channel has had a word with Twitter and I'm told that for one night only, they're bumping my limit up to stop me running out. So if you fancy joining me online during the show - you know where I'll be.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Final Competition Prize

I think this week's Mailing List Competition was the busiest yet. I picked a winner this morning... and it's ace to see that it made them very happy:

The fifth episode goes out one more time on Saturday night (at 11pm) before the sixth and final episode airs for the first time on Tuesday. I'll do another competition for the mailing list to go with that episode... and this week, the prize will be one of these slim volumes:

As some of you know, I ask the competition question in an email that I send to my mailing list on a Monday... so you'll have to be on the list before then if you want to be in the competition. Subscribing - and unsubscribing - is easy... you just put your details in here...

Join - or leave - the mailing list here:
Enter your name and email address below:
Subscribe Unsubscribe
                                                                      ... and then click on a link in the email you'll receive.


Oh... a lot of people have been in touch to say that they joined the series part way through and they want to know if there's a way of catching up with the earlier episodes. I'm pleased to say that a repeat run of the series for later this year is now looking very likely... so while there isn't a way to catch up now... there will hopefully be a way to catch up soon.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Next Year's Tour... A Map And Some Gaps.

The feedback on episode 5 of Modern Life Is Goodish was incredible last night. There are things I'd like to mention (at one point a lot of people paused and ran to their kitchen) but if I went into any detail about it here I think I'd end up generating spoilers for people who will (hopefully) be watching the repeat tonight at 10.40pm... so maybe I'll save that for another day.

I am getting a lot of questions about my next tour, so I figured it was worth answering some of the frequently asked questions here.

It's become very apparent that a list of venues in date order isn't always the best way for people to search for their local gig. I've had a lot of emails from people who've scrolled through and not seen a gig local to them, even though there is one. Often in their home town. But even so, I figured a map might be more helpful for some. Each star represents a show on the tour. You can scroll the map around, zoom in if you like and, if you click the top right hand corner, you can go full screen too.

It does become obvious that there are a few gap, the furthest into the south west that the tour goes is Yeovil and, while there's a show in Aberdeen, there's nothing else in Scotland.

These gaps are the source of the most frequently asked questions I'm asked... with people asking me if I'd consider doing a show here or why there isn't a show there. Often people ask these questions with an attitude that suggests I have deliberately sought to avoid the area out of disdain for the locality. Which seems to fundamentally misunderstand what a tour involves. My experience of every town I play is lovely. I often don't find out what the town is like - I don't spend my time there sitting in the town centre by the bins - I spend my time there in a venue. The people I meet in a town are the people who wanted to come and see my show. And that makes everywhere lovely. Touring is a very affirming experience.

But there is an explanation for the gaps. The reason is that I don't book venues, they book me. Sometimes it might be that they tried to book the show but didn't have dates that worked. Sometimes it might be that a venue didn't have the right technical set up for one of my shows. And sometimes it might be that they didn't want the show or thought it wouldn't sell. Venues tend to know their own market so I have complete respect for that.

But that's the reason. If I'm playing somewhere it's because they booked me. If I'm not... it's because they didn't. Like most performers, I'm a gun for hire... I go where the work is.

There are two places on this particular tour where venues did want the show but it hasn't worked out for another reason. Those venues are in Glasgow and in Oxford. In both cases I've said no to doing the show there because the venues concerned charge punters booking fees etc that I think are unreasonable

They're both venues that are run by The Ambassadors Theatre Group. At every other venue on the tour, I think the booking fees are between 50p and £3 but somehow in an ATG venue it works out at an extra £6 to £9 per ticket.

I'm not the only performer to take exception to them. As you can see here, Sarah Millican refuses to play ATG venues while this story tells you how Jason Manford felt when he discovered the cost of his tickets in Oxford.

I am sorry not to be playing those venues. But it's a simple choice to make. I don't think the charges are fair. So I don't want to condone them by playing there. I had been trying to avoid making a stink about it - and would still like to do so - but I've been asked the question about Glasgow so many times in the last ten days and always answered honestly and so it makes sense to put something here that I can point people towards when next I'm asked. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

That Hat Has Taken Its Rightful Place...

This won't make a lot of sense to you unless you've been watching Modern Life Is Goodish and following this blog and/or my mailing list... but for those that have, here's some confirmation that one of the prizes from the mailing list competitions has arrived and is now in its rightful place:

Yep, unlucky Dee Traynor now has the original Shitting Hat! Ian Salt has the Gorscreen and the jumper from episode four is on its way to Ireland to Mike Ericsson as I type.

If you're on the mailing list you'll know that this week's competition is for two tickets to the next tour. Oddly, two or three people have already emailed in answers to that question. I say "oddly" because the point of the question each week is that it relates to the upcoming show. If you watch the show, you'll see the answer. But instead, they've taken guesses. Which are a little wide of the mark.

Anyway... the fifth episode is on Dave, tonight at 10pm. I hope you can catch it.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Next week... knitwear!

So I've just been to the post office to send the Gorscreen Frame to the winner of the first Modern Life Is Goodish competition that I previously blogged about here. Congratulations to Ian Salt. I have no idea what possible use it will be to him... but it's his. Or at least it will be in a day or two.

If you're on my mailing list, then you'll know that this week I decided to give away a hat. Yes. That hat. I think that during Tuesday night's show the hashtag #ShittingHat was, albeit briefly, a Twitter trending topic but I didn't see it myself so I can't confirm it.

But on Wednesday morning, as I looked back at the number of people who sent me pictures of their shitting hats... and the number of tweets from people saying they were going to get one, I started to wonder if it was possible this show had done for, um, Shitting Hats, what Delia once did for cranberries. (Probably not)

And, perhaps most disturbingly, this...
Anyway... the winner of the original hat will be picked tomorrow and, as the competitions seem to be going down well, I think I'll keep running them as and when there is something in the show that can be given away. Next week, there is. It'll be a pullover. I can't say more than that without it being a spoiler. But you'll know it when you see it.

If you want to be in with a chance of winning the pullover... you'll need to be on my mailing list before Monday - which is when I'll email the question and all the details. You can subscribe here... it will send an email with a link that you need to click on to confirm your subscription... and, um, that's it.

Join the Mailing List

Enter your name and email address below:




Of course, I'm incentivised to get people on to my mailing list because I use it to let people know about what I'm up to... but that seems reasonable to me because if I'm giving away one-off items from the series, I'd rather they went to people who are interested in what I'm up to.

Of course I'll email you to let you know about a new book or about updates to the tour and so on... but I also give the mailing list advance notice on free tickets for recordings and cheaper new material nights and things like that. So hopefully, it works for everyone...

Monday, September 30, 2013

Scott Free

This contains spoilers for episode two of Modern Life Is Goodish so if you haven't seen it yet this won't make a lot of sense. Why not go and watch it and come back later?

It won't be repeated again during this run, but it will be on the Dave website for one more day. (Each show disappears from the On Demand service on Tuesday night when the next one is broadcast)

Anyway... I thought I'd write this because I've received a few hundred messages since episode two went out that all relate to the same thing
This, for example:

... and also this...
So it makes sense to me to try and add a bit of clarity.

Basically, a lot of people want to know about my "lookalike". A lot of people have seen that "he" is still on the Susan Scott lookalike agency website and then assumed that means Susan Scott and her staff still don't realise and haven't seen the show.

It seems only fair to them to clear that up.

The production team only found out what was really going on about an hour or two before the recording. At which point, everyone was in a bit of a headspin as they dealt with the fact that the show wasn't going to end in the way they had planned. But there wasn't any time for anger because everyone's focus was all about what we were going to do instead. (From my point of view it wasn't a big concern because seeing their confusion unravel as they realised that what they'd been planning as a surprise for me was actually even more weird and surprising for them was just making me laugh.)

The next day I got a bit of a telling off. But only a bit because we all knew that what had happened was better than what they'd been expecting to happen.

It was a day or two later that I got in touch with the people at Susan Scott Lookalikes. I called to explain and apologise. And I sent them some flowers. And they were brilliant about it. They took the whole thing in good grace - it was only a gentle ribbing after all - and, as I explained in the show, they didn't actually put a foot wrong. They did everything right. It wasn't as if anyone was playing a trick on them.

They really have been absolutely fantastic about the whole thing. And they've left "Martin A" on the site, not out of ignorance, but because they think it's a funny thing to do.

I gather also that a lot of people have contacted them and asked about booking Martin A. The truth is that if a booking had come in before the show had been broadcast I probably would have done it. Because being my own lookalike for punters who didn't know it was me would have made me laugh. But of course that didn't happen because of course there is no market for a me-lookalike. That would be preposterous.

But, now that the show's been broadcast, and the only people who are going to try and book him know that he's me... and they're contacting an agent who knows that it's me and, of course, I know that it's me too (I'm clever like that) there's not really anything to be gained by going through with it.

So despite his presence on the site, you'll find that Martin A has suddenly become strangely unavailable. After all, I can't afford to undercut myself by that much.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Getting Straight To The (Power) Point

So... this is a thing. The dates aren't until next year. I know! I suppose I could have toured this year but only with material from the new TV series and I don't think it's on to charge money for tickets to see something you can see free on the box. A tour should contain new stuff.

So, with a few other commitments to look out for, 2014 it is.

The tickets are available for pre-sale from See Tickets except for the Dublin show - those are available through TicketMaster.ie

I've already been answering questions on Twitter so I hope it won't seem presumptuous to try and head a couple off at the pass.
1: I don't book venues, they book me. If I'm not playing near you, it's not because I chose to avoid you!
2: That said, there were a couple of venues that wanted the show, but they also wanted to charge the public extortionate booking fees, so I passed.
3: If you can see a venue on the list but it's not showing up on the See Tickets link, check back in an hour or two... I think some of the venue's box offices are taking a  bit longer than planned to make the arrangements with See.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Modern Life Is Surprising

So episode two of the series airs tonight... and there's something in the show that illustrates a point I've been wanting to make for a while about how we made it that answers some of the questions I've been asked a lot in the last week.

If you've read a previous blog about my last tour you'll know that what I do - which involves a lot of found media (screen grabs from websites, magazines, newspapers etc etc) - creates a legal challenge when it comes to filming things. A few people have asked me why we've been able to include certain material in the show given that it would have been impossible to put it in a DVD.

It's complicated, but in essence, with a DVD, if someone wanted to argue the toss legally over me showing something it's possible to end up in a situation where we'd have to pulp all copies of the DVD and delay release until the dispute had been settled and that means that - even if we won a dispute (which we would do) - it would be too costly...

Anyway... I think it's worth saying that the channel (and the production company) have been brilliantly robust about these kind of issues and taken a far more common-sense approach than I've experienced in the past elsewhere.

One of the things that is often frustrating with TV is the idea that they have a process that can be applied to other things. When a comic builds a live show, they do it by going out and trying out material in front of real audiences. People try out new ideas in low(er) pressure gigs where the audience knows that that's the deal. They do preview shows in smaller venues and at cheaper ticket prices while they hone stuff. And all being well, by the time they're on tour with their name above the door so to speak, the show all works. Because it's been engineered that way.

Too often there is an attitude in TV that they can replace that honing process with a series of meetings. That having a round table script discussion with producers and lawyers will help to hone material in the same way that performing it to an audience will. It's nonsensical to me. I like collaborating, I'm not arguing that they should cede everything to control-freak performers, just that micro-managing the details by committee isn't a very helpful way to work. Not for me, anyway.

It's why with this series we did a load of live previews before the recordings. We were trying to do our editing before the taping, not afterwards. I always dislike watching shows that feel like they were made in the edit suite. It meant that we never had a paper script for the show... I don't want to learn a script, I want to see how the words fall out the first time I try to express the idea in front of an audience and then try again tomorrow if it falls out wrong. I find learning a script impedes the part of the brain that is meant to be engaging with the idea and it starts to sound like a recording.

But lawyers like to have scripts. They like to know precisely what is going to be said and are reluctant to offer an opinion about it until they do. And they are always reluctant to offer an opinion anyway. A constant refrain from the making of this series was:
Lawyer: What exactly are you going to say?
Me: I don't know yet. But tell me what exactly I can't say?
Lawyer: It doesn't work like that.

But we got through it.
The material in tonight's episode was previewed in Fareham and in Windsor. So if you came to one of those shows, you saw a rough version of most of what's in the show.

Apart from one bit. One teeny, weeny... but hugely significant bit.

There's one thing in tonight's show which I couldn't discuss on stage in Fareham and in Windsor because it hadn't happened yet. Or at least it hadn't played out. I was keeping a secret from the production team... who thought they were keeping a secret from me. The truth only came out about an hour before the recording.

It couldn't have panned out the way it did if we'd had lawyers demanding scripts in advance. Weirdly, it's the fact that they accepted the idea of honing the stuff live - and without a paper trail of words for them to stay on top of - that meant tonight's show was able to contain the surprise it does.

I've tried to be oblique and spoiler free... but I hope you can catch the show. 10pm. Tonight. On Dave.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Your Mailing List Questions Asked...

Apologies that what follows is a blog post about some boring admin... but I've received a few emails and tweets from people who are concerned that they signed up to the mailing list and haven't yet received an email... and I find it easier to post an explanation here and then point people at it than to try and explain all this in a series of individual replies. If it doesn't apply to you... feel free to move along!

An email was sent out in the early hours of Monday morning so if you're on my mailing list you should have one. If you're on the list and one appears not to have arrived, the first thing I'd recommend would be to check your junk folder. There are about 11,000 people on the mailing list and some servers assume that any email sent to that many people must be spam and treat it accordingly.If it is in your junk folder, I'd suggest putting the domain on a safe list - so that it doesn't get treated as junk in future.

If you're in any doubt as to whether you're on the list or not, here's a way of finding out:

Join - or leave - the mailing list here:
Enter your name and email address below:
Subscribe Unsubscribe

If you put your email address in here and hit subscribe, your browser should do one of two things. If it recognises your address as already being on the list it will take you to the home page of my website. If it's a new address, it will take you to a page that looks like this:

The double opt in is my way of guaranteeing I can't be accused of sending spam. Only people who get the email and click on the link will then get the mail outs. If at any time you want to unsubscribe, you can just as easily do so in the same way. I can see that in the last week for example, 150 people have tried to subscribe but then not clicked on the link to confirm it. Of course this might be because they decided against it by the time the email came through, or because they entered an incorrect address in the first place or - more likely - it's because the double-opt-in email has been sent to their junk folder and so they simply don't realise that the email has turned up.

I can only send the emails out. I can't do much to influence whether or not your email server recognises it as legit... but you can. If you're on the list but you haven't received the email... then take a look in the junk folder and try adding the domain davegorman.com to a safe list. I promise, I never spam.

That said... if you do want to buy some printer ink get in touch, maybe I can do you a deal.

Oh... and, as well as asking a question about the show as a way of running a Gorscreen competition... the email was also a reminder that episode two of Modern Life Is Goodish goes out tomorrow - Tuesday - at 10pm. So, y'know... there's that.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Do you want a GORSCREEN?

So, the series launched last night and I've been completely blown away by how positive the reaction has been. Thanks everyone. If you didn't catch the show and want to, there's a repeat at 10.40 tonight (Wednesday) and another on Saturday night at 11. And I think it can be viewed on demand on the Dave website for a few days too.

If you haven't seen it, I don't think there's anything that will be spoiled by showing you this picture from the show, featuring the, er... GORSCREEN.

I mentioned on Twitter last night that the props department had given me the GORSCREEN frame after the show and that I might give it away in a competition if people were interested... and some people do seem to be. So I guess I ought to work out a way of doing so.

Sometimes when I see someone running a competition on Twitter (RT this/use this hashtag/that sort of thing) I think it can be a way of encouraging people to spam their followers by filling their timeline with things and I definitely don't want to do that. Nor do I want to do anything that people might mistake for that. And besides, I don't want to exclude people who might follow me on facebook but not on Twitter... or for that matter anyone who does neither of the above.

I also have to think of a way of actually picking a winner. So what I've arrived at is this: a competition for members of my mailing list.

On Monday, I'll email my mailing list a question about episode two in the series.
There'll be a special email address you can send the answers to. On Friday I'll pick a random email from amongst all the right answers. And then I'll send them the GORSCREEN frame. (To be really clear... it's a wooden frame that has a space where you can mount an ipad. Or at least that's what we hung in it. I don't own an ipad. So it really is just the frame. But, y'know... it's quite nicely made!)

Hey, as it's a competition I suppose I ought to have some terms and conditions. Ha ha. Here we go:
To enter the competition, you have to be on my mailing list. I don't want that to put people off. I promise I don't send out loads of emails. I only really use it to let people know when I've got new things happening and I don't store the addresses on my own computer or anything like that. Realistically, I'd rather a prop from the show went to someone who was interested in what I'm doing next than someone who just saw a retweet from their mate one afternoon and sent a reply. That said, it's easy to join and just as easy to leave too. I won't even know you've done it. You can subscribe - or unsubscribe - on this page of my website.

Only one entry per person.
Let's not be silly.

If you think you've signed up to the mailing list but the email with the question doesn't turn up... I can't be held responsible for it. I will send the email. Check your spam folder. Did you confirm your subscription? etc etc etc. If an email address bounces back to the list a few times it can end up being deleted from the list also.

Er... well, that should do it. Y'know, allowing for common sense and all that. If you think I've missed anything out, leave a comment on the blog and I'll try and keep on top of it all. (Oo... oo... I know. These terms and conditions are subject to change etc etc etc... they always say that, don't they?)

I really am hugely chuffed by the response to the show, and I hope people will enjoy the other five shows too. If there are other props, objects, souvenirs or what have you that I can think of from those shows... maybe I'll do this again with other, um, prizes.

Big thanks to everyone who tweeted, facebooked and emailed kind words. You're lovely you are.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

This Isn't A Humble Brag

... it's a brag brag.

I don't really understand the idea that you'd make a show and then not want people to watch it or coolly not mention it and just hope that people find out about it somehow.

This was in The Times yesterday... on Tuesday's TV page.

I expect the first line will be used as a pull quote.

That said, it occurs to me that you could have those two qualities in equal measure by having none of either as well, but I don't think that's what he means.

At least I hope it isn't.

Have I mentioned the show's on Dave at 10pm on Tuesday?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Answering The Tattoo Question That I'm Asked Daily...

I hadn't really worked out what Vine was for before now... but this seemed as good a way to use it as anything else...

Pssst: the sound toggles on/off in the top left hand corner

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Passing Messages On Is Important

This is one of the trails for my new series that are currently being shown on Dave and other UKTV channels. There are four in total - well, more if you count the short and long versions - but there are four set ups. I can always tell when one's gone out because I get a few tweets from people. So far they've all been lovely and it's especially pleasing when someone's been caught out for a second and thought they were watching a real ad.

But, while I'm obviously keen to pass on the message that the series starts on Tuesday, September 17th, that's not the message I'm referring to in the title of this post.

Before we filmed these, there were various meetings in which the details were finalised. There was one script for this trail where it described the model as being "in a bikini". I always feel uncomfortable watching comics do "ironic" things that involve "totty". There has to be a really good justification for someone being a state of undress or it just looks like an old man has come up with a feeble excuse to hang around with someone youthful and nearly naked. So I said as much, and everyone agreed that a towel would be more appropriate. If anything it accentuates the difference between the glamour of the close up shot used for the "ad" and the prosaic reality you see when I've, um, "interrupted".

So the script was changed. And that's the message that should have been passed on. Because someone, somewhere had the job of casting these ads. And they had to meet various, young actresses. And they were still working from a script that involved an actress in a bikini. Because nobody had passed on the message. If you're casting someone for a gig that involves wearing a bikini, it makes sense that you have to see them in their bikini. Or their underwear. Or whatever. And so, apparently, that's what happened. With various potential-shampoo-ad-models.

I wasn't there. I've never even met the person responsible for the casting. But the women involved must be thinking he was a right old perv. Especially, Ashleigh who got the gig. Imagine doing a casting where you're asked to strip down to your skimpies, getting the gig and then discovering that it was completely unnecessary and not required for the part!

My apologies to all concerned. The casting director wasn't a perv. Or at least, if he is it's a coincidence. It's just that the message didn't get passed on.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dave On Dave Action, Coming Soon.

I'm delighted to announce that my new series, Modern Life Is Goodish, will be on the telly soon. It launches on DAVE on Tuesday, September 17th at 10pm and runs in that slot for six weeks. I hope you'll be able to tune in.

This is what the press release says:
Dave Gorman thinks modern life is good...ish. However, tired of endlessly being sold stuff he doesn't need, feeling manipulated by the media and harassed by technology, he’s become slightly obsessive about the 'ish'.

But instead of letting it drive him mad he's decided to fight back. A bit. Sort of. Ish. So he’ll be sharing his observations and venting his frustrations in six mischievous shows for Dave. Presented using his own unique blend of stand-up and documentary comedy, expect a whole new take on the things we normally take for granted.

Whether it’s idiocy on the internet, ill-thought-out technological solutions, unquestioned advertising logic, online ‘news’, one-click agreements to pages of terms and conditions, the cult of celebrity, Lord Sugar, the new Blister Pack Economy, or even (somewhat distressingly) discovering exactly where on the A-Z lists of fame he resides, Dave does what we don't: he stops and actually looks at things. And asks questions. And judging by some of the things he discovers, perhaps the people churning this stuff out ought to stop and look at what they're doing from time to time too. Because there's a hell of a lot of it that makes no sense at all.

The new series is loosely based on Dave Gorman’s internationally critically acclaimed live show, Powerpoint Presentation, which went on a three-time-extended nationwide tour of the UK including multiple London dates at the Hammersmith Apollo and the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre.

Join Dave, on Dave, for a journey of intellectual curiosity and a healthy amount of humour as he holds up a mirror to the countless questionable things we’re all exposed to but just seem to accept as ok.
And that's nice.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Putting A Name To The Face

I travelled into town yesterday, for the first time in a while, and this poster was all over the tube.

Now I know that the order in which the names appear on the poster is all to do with egos, star billing, and all sorts of important negotiations but every time I see a poster like this, with the cast lined up but with the wrong names floating above their heads I just think it looks like someone's done really badly in a pub quiz.

It just looks like the people responsible for marketing the film don't know which actor is which. And they're really bad at guessing. Someone should just take each of them aside and have a word. "Look, Bruce. I know you've got star billing and that means your name has to come first and all that... but because you're the star, we also want you in the middle of the poster and it's making us look a bit, y'know... stupid..."

It's obviously a composite photo - which explains why it appears with the stars in a slightly different order in other versions... like this one...
... where they've accidentally scored one out of seven by placing Mary-Louise Parker underneath her own name. In this one they also give Anthony Hopkins a completely different head. But no handcuffs.

It may be something to do with the way the poster has been  pasted on to the curved wall of a tube station, but the faces look pretty badly photoshopped too.

I mean, those do look like Bruce Willis's features, and it does appear to be his head... but I'm not convinced they're lined up with one another as they are in the real world.

It looks to me as if his features have been dropped in just a little too low and to the left.

Either that or he's had one of those rare Hollywood face-drops people are never going on about.

And as to Catherine Zeta Jones... well, the last time I saw a head meet a neck like that I was playing Cluedo.

So... knowing that the marketing team for Red 2 aren't averse to a bit of shonky photoshopping, I corrected the whole poster and put the right faces with the right names. I'm only trying to help.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Angela Lansbury Forever

Murder She Wrote Tattoo, originally uploaded by Dave Gorman.
On Saturday morning I saw this tattoo on a man's leg.

I have a regrettable tattoo on my left arm. I used to feel haunted by it. Nowadays I rarely give it much thought. But on Saturday morning I spent a few moments thinking, "it could be worse... I could have a tattoo of Angela Lansbury from Murder She Wrote on my leg."

Friday, June 14, 2013

Faintly Ridiculous

Blimey. Well the last recording for the series turned out to be a bit eventful.

The series is six episodes. Each episode is an hour long. That's a TV hour - so it's a little less when you make way for some commercials and so on but even so, that's like putting six different Edinburgh shows together.

In the late 90s, when I was first wrestling with the concept of one-man-shows and particularly with how to make one feel like a show and not just a collection of bits and pieces, I wouldn't have believed it possible to work on six of them concurrently. But weirdly, in the time that's passed, I've got better at doing that, than I am at doing short sets. These days, writing an hour is sort of easier than writing ten or twenty minutes for me. A short set seems unsatisfying because you can't weave stuff back in. It can't really be as cohesive.

With this series we've filmed two episodes in a night. We don't do that just because it's cheaper - although that definitely helps - it's also because it suits the way we want to make the show. And I enjoy the energy of performing. I prefer doing it that way.

TV-people normally like to record loads of material and then edit it down - the idea being that, that way, they get only the very best stuff. But it ignores the fact that, in a show, all the stuff is connected. It isn't a series of discrete, individual elements that can be assembled in any order and with any cuts you like. A particular sentence might have got the biggest laugh of the night... but if you take away the four sentences that preceded it and the one five minutes earlier that planted a fact in the audience's mind that's come back to hang around in the shadows of the later joke... then it just won't be as funny. And the laugh it got on the night will sound odd on the TV because the live audience wasn't just laughing at those words... but at those-words-in-that-particular-context.

I don't like the idea that the recording is where you create all the different elements but that the edit suite is where you build the show. So we set out to build the show first. Which is why I did a lot of dry runs of the show live in advance of the recordings. And I'm very grateful to the venues and audiences in Windsor, Fareham and Tring for making that possible. Doing the show, then changing it, then doing it again and then changing it and then doing it again and then...  - you get the idea - means you find out so much more about the material than you ever will do by having a meeting.

And, if we got it right, it meant we'd be able to make shows that flow in the same way that live shows do. We could record about an hour in a way that had a beginning, a middle and an end and nobody would ever have to say, "can you rephrase that bit because it won't make sense if we have to cut the first part". Because we knew weren't going to cut the first part. Or any part. Because we'd already made sure that things worked and fitted together in the right kind of time.

But a consequence of that is that there isn't much slack in the system. We don't have a lot of spare time for any retakes... so if something goes wrong, we're up against it. And on Tuesday - our final recording - things wanted to go wrong.

For some reason the projection started to flicker and black out on Tuesday. It started during the first show and then appeared to be fixed. Then I started to flicker and black out too. Literally. There's at least one Found Poem in each show. They're silly moments of cod-seriousness and I tend to end them with an over the top bow and a silly, theatrical flourish. At the end of the first Found Poem on Tuesday as I took that silly bow my vision blacked out. It sounded like I was in an echo chamber and I felt my knees buckle. I tried to stand up and carry on, my vision didn't return and I felt as though my speech was slurred. So I had no choice but to stop and tell people I'd nearly fainted. Which is, I think, what had happened.

Producers came to see me as my eyes and ears adjusted. They offered me a break. But I didn't want to take one. And I didn't really want the audience to know how bad I was feeling. Because an audience wants to relax. An audience wants to trust that a performer is in control and that everything's going to be okay. It's harder to laugh if, at the back of your mind, there's a worry that the guy doing the talking might fall over. It adds a new context to things. It isn't helpful. On top of that, a big break could run the risk of disconnecting the material that has to be connected.

And besides, we don't actually have that much spare time in our schedule. So we carried on. Yesterday I saw some footage from the show. I was expecting to see an ashen-faced, hollow-eyed figure saying the words. But I looked alive. And the audience were completely switched on.

In the break between the two shows there was panic in the eyes of the production team. Water was drunk. Bananas were eaten. I hadn't had any dinner that day so a cheese sandwich was provided. But the bite I took came straight back up.

"Sit with your head between your knees." "Lie down with your feet in the air." "Drink more water." "It's very hot in here, let's take him outside for some fresh air." "Do you think you're going to throw up?"

That's kind of how the interval went. The second show started fine. But then, less than ten minutes in, the projector failed again. On tour I take my own kit. I know what the back up plans are and I've never had to cancel a show because of a failed projector or laptop. I'm very belt and braces about these things - it's what I do for a living after all. But for the series we've hired in a different projector. It's still my laptop and I've still made all of the stuff that's on it (and yes, it's still made in Powerpoint) but the projector and the screen are hired in because there are issues with projection on TV that you don't have to contend with live. Hotspots. Colour correction. Etc etc.

People started rushing around behind the scenes, changing cables, trying to work out why the signal wasn't getting through properly. The clock was ticking. I was trying to keep the audience ticking as well. As was the brilliant, Tom Price who's done warm-up for the whole series. He's bloody ace, Tom. If you get the chance to see him, take it. I left the stage - ostensibly to help with the technical side of things. In reality I was going to the toilet and, um, throwing up a little bit. And then going outside and sitting in the fresh air with my head between my knees. I don't mind the audience knowing that the projector's sick... but I don't want them to know about me and I don't want them to think I'm sulking while the fix happens. So when I feel a bit less woozy I go back into the venue and join in a bit with Tom.

Word reaches me that they don't know what the problem is and can't guarantee that it won't happen again. They have a back up projector, but that hasn't fixed it. They have different cabling... but that hasn't fixed it either. They want me to just go on with the show and say that they can fix any problems in the edit. But of course they can't fix the live audience's night out in the edit. If the projection fails again, the audience won't be seeing all the information they need to understand the material. We can't exactly ask an audience to pretend they're getting a joke they're not getting. How would they know what to pretend? So I explain to the audience that if the projection flickers and wobbles we'll all just ignore it and get on with it. They'll still see the information and get the material and the TV audience won't have to know it happened. But if they wince and react to it flickering it will definitely look odd. And I promise that if it cuts out completely we'll stop and do what we can.

I was worried that the audience would have lost all their momentum. I was worried that it would be like someone had pressed the reset button and that we'd be going from a standing start, with all the little details that had been dropped in earlier now forgotten. I think a lot of TV audiences are made to feel like they're a prop for the show. Maybe they go to see a sitcom recorded and they expect it to be like watching a funny play performed. But then they discover they're watching the same scene recorded eight times and there are long breaks between scenes and what they thought might last an hour actually lasts two. Or three. Or four. When there's a twenty minute delay in filming under those circumstances, the audience grows impatient. If they think the delay is down to a fussy director, a prima donna performer or just some TV bullshit they weren't expecting they feel imposed upon. But I think the audience on Tuesday could see that this delay was caused by people trying to fix their evening. Whatever the reason, they didn't seem in the least bit resentful. Rather than resenting anything, it felt as though we had all bonded in a feeling that, while outside forces were trying to ruin our fun, we weren't bloody well going to let it happen.  

We carried on. And somehow the projector didn't fail, blink or flicker once. I don't think the audience realised how sick I was. And fifteen minutes later, I didn't feel sick at all any more. And no momentum was lost. They remained switched on to every nuance and every call-back. In fact, they started finding material that wasn't there because a couple of moments became call-backs either to the delay or to the first show. I had to say a couple of things twice in order to not have some weird out of context laughter in the mix that would make the TV audience feel like they'd missed an in-joke. Which of course they had. They were, quite simply, an amazing audience. I'm very, very grateful.

For the first time the recording overran. By ten minutes. There really isn't much slack in the system. It's better that way.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Life Is Good.

I'm bloomin' loving making Modern Life Is Goodish. The pace of the work is relentless (there were a couple of days last week when I had to work through the night in order to have things ready on time) but the end result has, so far, more than justified the means.

And, actually, I sort of enjoy working like that. Sort of.

One of the reasons the pace is so intense is that we record two shows in a night. We can do that because we're not following the usual TV practice of over-recording. We make two hour-long shows by filming for, um, about an hour. Twice. It's far more fun that way because the live audience gets to see a show, rather than feeling like props at the recording of some stuff that will one day be a show.

It also means that the series is nearly done and dusted. Two thirds of it is in the can, or at least, on a hard drive, already.  We've just got one pair of shows to go.

I'll be fine tuning the material at the Court Theatre in Tring next week - June 5, 6 and 10 - come along if you fancy it - and then the final recording is at the show's glorious home, The Tabernacle (above) on June 11th.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Windsor, Windsor, Windsor, Tring, Tring, Tring.

I can't really explain how much I enjoyed the last week. It's the kind of work that really excites me.

I'm working on Modern Life Is Goodish - a new series for the lovely folks at Dave. The thing with telly-people is that they're normally control freaks. They want to know exactly what's going to happen and exactly what's going to be said... and I don't enjoy working like that.

I've never really written a script for any of my stage shows. There's never been any words typed out and I've never learned the words. When we made the DVD of Googlewhack, people - and by people, I mean lawyers - insisted on their being a script. At first they didn't believe me that there wasn't one. Eventually we solved the problem by pointing a video camera at the show one night and having some poor sod transcribe it. The transcript was full of errors, but they didn't seem to mind that. They had a script. It might have been wrong... but it existed and that's all they needed to enable them to do whatever they had to do.

I find performing to an audience far more helpful than sitting, staring at a blank screen. The phrase that comes to mind when you're trying to write isn't necessarily the same phrase that comes to mind when you're talking to an audience. And often the phrase that comes out in front of an audience is better than the one you would have written.

And that's what's lovely about working on this show. Nobody's insisting on endless meetings where we discuss the minutiae - they're allowing me to work the material up live, which is the way my head works best. I find that if I perform some material a few times I refine the content without really stopping to think about it. The good words start to stick in place and the not so good words get replaced slowly and it all coalesces. In a meeting you'd only be guessing - but on stage you know for sure.

So, on Thursday and Friday night last week I performed shows at the Firestation in Windsor. I thought about it over the weekend. Performed it again on Monday night in Fareham and then on Tuesday night we taped it at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill. That's a six day bootcamp for the shows (I'm doing two shows each night - both of which will become an hour of TV) and it's both more fun and more productive than any amount of meetings. Exhausting. But very, very satisfying.

And now my job is to forget that material and move straight on to the next shows. So I'll repeat the pattern on May 23, 24 and 27th - but all of those will be at The Firestation Arts Centre in Windsor - before the next taping on the 28th and then again on June 5th, 6th and 10th at The Court Theatre, Tring before the final taping on the 11th.

I think the remaining Windsor shows are close to selling out although there are still a handful of tickets for those. And there are more available in Tring.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Tuesday Night

So... on my last post I said we were looking for an audience for Tuesday (tomorrow) night. I've not been in the office that much since then (as well as writing these shows I'm involved in the small matter of moving house - timing's always been one of my strengths) so I've been a bit unaware of things but I'm told there's been a far greater response than anyone was expecting.

Which is flattering. Obviously.

But also means that more people have asked to come along than we can accomodate. Some of you will have had emails saying that you're guaranteed entry - and if you turn up on time, you will be.

Others have been told that they'll be let in on a first come, first served basis. This is one of the problems with free events. No matter what you do, some people will always say they want to come and then decide not to because, hell, it's free so they've nothing to lose. Experience shows that if we only say yes to 200 people we end up with an audience of 50 and a lot of empty seats.

But here's the thing... we want you to come along. We want it to be a fun night. And the people in charge have done their best to get the numbers so that - if the average number of no-shows happens - all will be well.

Luckily, with the series just around the corner - we have a way of rewarding anyone we do unfortunately have to turn away. We'll offer you guaranteed entry to one of the recordings instead.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Goodish Audience Wanted - This Tuesday

Y'know that telly thing I mentioned recently? It's called Modern Life Is Goodish and I'm making it for the lovely people at Dave. Well we want to test out some of the technical aspects of it. We want to see that the set, lights, sound and, um, all-that-stuff works and that things flow the way we think they will.

That way we can tweak things before we get to the actual recordings when it'd be a bit late. So we're going to do a test show next Tuesday. April 30th. And it wouldn't be much of a test if we didn't have an audience. And you - yes you - are exactly the kind of person we'd like to be there. You and a couple of hundred others.

The venue is The Tabernacle, Powis Square, London W11. The doors will open at 6pm. There'll almost certainly be a drink of some kind. And it's free. There'll be a fair old chunk of a show and I'll do a Q&A... basically it should be a fun night out.

If you fancy it you can email us and let us know you'd like to come. We've set up a special email address for it: davegorman at avalonuk dot com. I reckon you can work that out. Don't worry - it's not my actual email address, so it won't be me who's trying to coordinate the whole thing. That would spell disaster.

Anyway. See you there, yeah? Yeah? Yeah. Great.

Friday, April 12, 2013

When Did We Get So Griefy?

BBC2 is currently part way through a documentary series called Keeping Britain Alive: A Day In The NHS. I haven't seen it but I have seen the trailers. The whole series was filmed in one day with 100 camera crews trying to capture the enormity of what happens in the National Health Service which is, apparently, this nation's biggest institution. In the trails for it, we are told that on any given day 1,300 of us die and 2,000 of us are born.

One thousand, three hundred of us. Daily. That's a lot of dying. For each and every one of those 1,300 deaths someone, somewhere mourns. Or at least I (sort of) hope they do... because to contemplate someone passing away leaving nobody to feel their loss seems bleaker and sadder still.

When someone you love passes it goes without saying that the sadness is deep. And it is deeply individual too. But every day we hear about the deaths of strangers and in comparison it barely registers. Of course it can stir some emotions - but none of us is able to pretend that it compares to the death of a loved one. At times we all read news stories that involve the death of a stranger, tut, feel perhaps a blip of sadness and then turn the page. It doesn't make us unfeeling animals, it makes us human. Grief is not the normal response to the death of a stranger... if it were, we would all be in a permanent state of grief and then none of us would get on with living for all the death that surrounds us. Of course we empathise with those who have lost loved ones, but that's not the same thing. We sometimes raise a glass to those whose lives touched ours from afar. And we contemplate our own mortality when it turns out the pop stars we sang along to in our youth don't actually live forever. But we also turn the page and get on with things.

This is a recent story from one of our red top tabloids: 
It's not just the opening paragraph... it's the whole story, as reported, in its entirety. What a way to talk about a man's death! What a way to talk about a man's life. Fifty seven years and he gets one cor-blimey-would-you-believe-it! sentence.

What are we supposed to think when we read this story? What, if anything, are we being invited to feel?  Sadness? I don't think that's the writer's intention. Amazement? Maybe.
How many people do you think read this? How many of them do you think have given Herr Binder a second thought since?

But it seems that when a celebrity passes, the rules are different. Because we know who they are we feel they are not strangers. But they are. Aren't they? We seem to have become, well, something of a griefy bunch.

Not long after Whitney Houston died I was taken to task by a stranger on Twitter for the insensitive way in which I'd responded to that sad news. Which was odd to me because I hadn't mentioned her passing at all. Not on twitter. Nor anywhere else for that matter. When I read the news, I registered my surprise to a friend and then - rightly, I think - regarded it as nothing-to-do-with-me.

And that was what had upset him. It was, he thought, disrespectful of me to not tweet an RIP message. Things have come to a pretty pass when the absence of mourning is considered an insult.

I don't know when we became so griefy as a nation. (Nor do I know if it is confined to these shores). Is it trite to call it a symptom of our Post-Diana world? It probably is. But that was certainly a time when the failure-to-mourn was seen by some to be an active sign of rebellion rather than, y'know, normal. I think it's connected.

But I think things have been magnified by the growth of the internet in general and of Twitter in particular. In a world where everyone can express every nano-thought in an instant, some people do just that. Because they can. Because it's there. It might be a good reason for climbing Mount Everest but it's a lousy one for tweeting what you had for breakfast.

When Stephen Gately died there was a Twitter campaign to get one of Boyzone's singles to number one "in his honour". I suspect that was in part fuelled by the anger stirred up by Jan Moir's Daily Mail opinion piece on his passing. As insensitive a piece of writing as I can recall. The article had angered me but I couldn't begin to understand the campaign. I was asked to retweet a "let's all buy his single" message and when I didn't do so, one person told me that my failure to get on board meant I was insulting his memory. I wasn't. I just didn't want to own a Boyzone single. That's not an insult to Stephen Gately. More to the point, it's not an insult to his memory.

I am unable to feel true, deep sadness about someone's death unless it is someone I know. Does that make me a bad man? I don't think so. When musicians I admire die, they live on in my record collection. I do not lose them. Their children lose a parent, their parents lose a child and their partners lose a lover and my feelings are only for those people. It seems selfish to me to think otherwise. But if you feel differently - if your connection to a performer feels stronger than that and you feel a deeper sadness, then that's fine by me. But please don't make the assumption that we must all feel the same emotion to the same degree and that anyone not doing so is being rude. That's not fair.

For what it's worth, I can't celebrate a death either. And it probably hasn't escaped your attention that this blog is appearing at a time when many appear to be doing just that. I'm as non-plussed by that as I am by those who want us all to grieve. It's nothing to do with me. But then, in truth, it's nothing to do with most of us and that hasn't stopped people weighing in on both sides.

I suspect it would have happened to some degree no matter what. But I wonder if it would have had the same focus? Some of it feels more reactive than that. Some of it feels like people cocking a snook at those who assumed the whole nation would be plunged into mourning. A sort of, "well, if you're going to demand our reverence, we'll show you just how irreverent we can be", stance. And the louder one side screams that we should all be sad, the louder the others will scream that they're happy. And vice versa.

The magnitude of one's achievements does not, for me, magnify the sadness of one's death. What it magnifies is the font used to report it and the number of column inches given over to it. Most of us will get nothing. Markus Binder got one not particularly reverent sentence. Others get pages 1-14 of every newspaper and "souvenir" pull out sections to boot. That doesn't make their passing sadder. Not really. Not for those of us who didn't know them. Not for me, anyway. It just makes it louder. Bigger. More. And if you amplify the response - you amplify all of it.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Goodish News

I'm delighted to announce that I'm making a new series for Dave. That's the channel, Dave, not me-Dave. (I've already had three conversations today where I've had to clarify that I'm not talking about myself in the third person and I don't doubt there will be many more such conversations in the weeks to come.)

The show is called Modern Life Is Goodish because, well... because that's what it's about. Ish.

The starting point for the show is my last tour-show, Powerpoint Presentation. I guess a lot of the material in that show was gleaned from looking a little closer at the information (and misinformation) that we normally allow to float past our eyes unchallenged. But a lot of the material also comes from reacting to it from playing with it, experimenting and generally being a bit mischievous... and that spirit will definitely inform this series too.

So it's a stand up show. Of sorts. My sort. There are six shows in the series - each one being an hour in length - which means I can really get my teeth into things. And again, the lessons I've learned during the run of Screen Guild gigs are going to come in bloody handy. There's a big store of ideas and material right there. Phew.

We're filming the shows at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill, which is a fantastic space. I knew straight away that with a series like this, I wanted to avoid the anodyne atmosphere of a TV studio and make it somewhere special and atmospheric, somewhere the audience will feel more involved - and The Tabernacle is perfect.

We're taping the shows in pairs. The first recording will be on Tuesday, May 14th, the second will be on Tuesday, May 28th and the third and final recording will be on Tuesday, June 11th. Tickets for the shows are free and you can get them from TVRecordings.com. But then, if you're on my mailing list you already knew that.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Filled Guild. Will Build.

The second season of Screen Guild shows drew to a close last night. If you came to one or more of them - big thanks.

They're hugely enjoyable things for me - but hugely stressful too. It normally takes me around eight hours to build the powerpoint elements for each of them and there are times when I've been tweaking stuff until 10 seconds before we open the doors and let the audience in. But it's always worth it. If I didn't do them, I wouldn't have another way of generating material.

And I'm really proud of the line-ups we pulled together for the shows. We never bill the shows in advance partly because things often change at late notice but also because it's nicer with a show like this for the audience to be surprised.

In this season, we've had: Ed Gamble, Steve Hall, Morgan & West, David O'Doherty, Jay Foreman, James Acaster, Lucy Beaumont, Pete Firman, Simon Munnery, Marcel Lucont, Pat Cahill, Richard Herring, Mark Smith, Gareth Richards, Ali Cook, Sara Pascoe, Phil Wang, Andy Zaltzman, GrĂ¡inne Maguire, Tony Law, Holly Walsh, Piff The Magic Dragon, Aisling Bea and Daniel Simonsen. Top notch each and every one of them.

I don't know when I'll return for a third season... but I'm sure I will. And I look forward to it.

But now the task is to see how the various bits of material hang together when it's just me. Which is why I'm doing the Screen Guild, sorry, Screen Build shows in Windsor (May), Fareham (Sold Out) and Tring (June).

Monday, March 25, 2013

New Shows... Windsor, Fareham & Tring

Red SeatsSince September last year I've been doing a monthly show - Dave Gorman's Screen Guild - at Hoxton Hall.

This is the second run of Screen Guild shows I've done there. The idea of the shows is that it gives me a place to try out any new ideas I might have on stage with an audience.

It's turned out to be an invaluable exercise. Knowing there's a show each month forces me to write and be creative. And a lot of what's come out of it has been really useful.

When I first started a run there, back in February 2011 I didn't know what I wanted to do, I just knew I had some ideas I wanted to play with.

But by the end of that run all the component pieces of what was to become Powerpoint Presentation pretty much existed and I was on my way to the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time in 8 years with a show I would end up touring extensively. There simply wouldn't have been another way of building that show up.

I started this second run in a similar place. I didn't know where I was going with it... but a new store of ideas had built up and I needed to get back on stage and play some more. Now, as the run draws to a close (there's actually one more show in the season - next Saturday - but it's sold out) it's time to take stock and work out what to do with all the material I've built up.

So I've got some one man shows lined up in small venues that aren't too far from home. I didn't want to keep the name Screen Guild, as that might make someone think it's a mixed bill rather than a one man show, so these shows are called Dave Gorman's Screen Build instead. Well, they had to be called something. There's a reason the shows are all relatively close to home - it's because, when I'm building up a show of some kind I like to put the material through a sort of bootcamp - trying it one way, one night and then another way the next and so on. That means I spend the day in between hunched over a laptop, changing the powerpoint and that means I can't spend the day travelling across country to a different venue. Which is why the shows are clustered the way they are.

I'll be trying out the first batch of material in shows on May 9th, 10th and 13th. Those shows happen in Windsor, Windsor and Fareham respectively. The next batch of material I'll try out on May 23rd, 24th and 27th. All of those shows are in Windsor. And finally I'll try out a different batch of material on June 5th, 6th and 10th... and all of those shows will be in Tring.

All the details are on the Live Dates page of my site...