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.


Dave Gorman said...

Whenever I discuss shows like these - or the Screen Guild gigs in Hoxton - I tend to get a lot of people asking why they're all down south.

There's a reason. It's because I live down south. I'm not on tour. I'm workshopping ideas and material. The shows are fun but they exist so that I can work on the material.

In the two shows I performed on the last lot, the two Powerpoint files contained something like 800 slides in total. When I do the Hoxton shows I normally start building the powerpoint at 7am, finish at 5.30pm and then travel straight to the venue. I've never yet managed to stop for lunch.

Now factor in a long journey to one of those days and all of a sudden it doesn't fit. So I can't do them far from home.

If I did, they'd take three days instead of one. That would be expensive, so I'd have to play a bigger venue and/or charge a higher ticket price and then reviewers would come and expect them to be tour-ready... it's doing shows like these that gets material into teh right shape to take it to a bigger venue. Or, in this case, to put in front of cameras!

Rollsy said...

Saw you last friday, thought the show(s) were fantastic. Can't wait for the finished product to appear on telly!

Steve L said...

Trekked down to the big smoke this week and will be there again on the 28th May & 11th June - altho you were filming,loved the show for me it flowed like previous stand-up live gigs I've seen. Was a pleasure!!

Anonymous said...

Fareham on Tuesday was excellent, looking forward to seeing it again on the telly box.

One question I meant to ask: At the end of America Unchained, you suggest it would be lovely to return after 5 years or so and meet those people again that made your journey so special. Do you have any plans to do so?

Dave Gorman said...

@Matthew Saunders: I don't, no. But I don't have any plans not to either. I basically have no plans other than for the next few weeks.

Unknown said...

any plans to come back to Stafford Dave? (Gatehouse?) or any news of more Midlands shows?

Dave Gorman said...

@Ray Crowther: That's already partially answered with the first comment on this blogpost... for a fuller answer, see this post, in particular Q2.

Dan Brookes said...

Good luck with the rest of the shows Dave. Looking forward to seeing the results on TV, and to your next tour 'up north'!

Brian McSorley said...

Show sounds good.
Hope you tour it over here in Ireland

Dave Gorman said...

@Brian McSorley: um... it's not a live show. It's not a tour. It's a TV series. If you get the channel Dave, then yes, it's coming to Ireland.