Eleven weeks into the new year and this was the first week that I have put on weight. I was 0.4kg up on last week's weigh in. There's no real explanation for it as I've been keeping up the regime, but this time last week there was a two day spike where my weight dropped by about a kilo and then went back to the previous level, so if you ignore that anomaly then I am actually still moving slowly downwards. Still over seven kilos down on the start of the year and nine less than I was when I went to the doctors and started this quest to show the medical establishment how ludicrous their BMI stats were. I will keep pushing onwards.
Got some great reactions to the new poster shots, especially the Rasputin one, which is further on that the Lord of the Dance Settee. Great work as always from Steve Brown and Steve Newman and their friend who looks a bit like Rasputin if you put him in a hood.
I am trying to think of inventive ways to spend my advertising budget for my stand up show, in lieu of paying for lamp post adverts. Ray Peacock was highly amused and felt vindicated that there will be lamp post adverts for the play. I think he thought my campaign last year was somehow aimed at other comedians, but it was attempting to expose what I still consider to be shady practices and dubious expenditure. I hoped that other comedians might get on board with me, but no one seemed that bothered about it and no journalists took up my suggestion to investigate where this money went. Ultimately I was trying to make the point that if acts all stopped putting up these posters then we could all save some money, but it was a failure, as, I think was the offer of free DVDs instead (it was nice to give them away, but it didn't help me sell any more tickets I don't think). I am going to spend the publicity money for the stand up show on something else this year - and have a potentially exciting, but almost certainly doomed to failure plan that I will let you know more about if and when it comes off (it will require your support) - but due to the way that the play is being funded I actually don't really have a choice about the way the publicity money is spent. It's with a slightly heavy heart that I've gone along with that, especially as it's even more expensive this year, but there are a lot of seats to sell and maybe it will help. And I am also hopeful that this different and classy poster will stand out from the pictures of comedians trying to look cool/stupid.
And hopefully I can make up for this partial backing down by making the Lord of the Dance Settee campaign a bit more interesting. I have ideas that are both guerilla and also high profile campaigns. I basically need to double my Edinburgh audience (or quadruple if you add in the play), so it's going to take something special to get me noticed this time.
A lovely warm welcome at the West End Centre as usual from both crew and audience. Jules, who has operated my shows there for a decade at least had bought in some Nepalese food, some dumplings in a hot curry sauce (I think they were called moo-moos). I never thought I would sample a new food in Aldershot, but these were great and as I correctly guessed the town is home to quite a few Nepalese restaurants because of the Gurkhas stationed there.
There was a slighty over-excited audience member chipping in during the early part of the show. He was clearly a fan as he was referencing other jokes of mine (when I discussed 9/11 he said, "shouldn't that be 11/9?"). Alas even well-meaning interruptions can throw off the rhythm of a show and having to deal with that meant I had to bail out on one of my favourite routines in the show. But I explained to him what he'd done and that he would have to recompense the rest of the audience a pound each for what they had lost. I added he was welcome to interrupt more, but that it might become quite a costly exercise. It was quite funny (not as funny as the bit we'd lost) and it did make the man stop saying stuff, but it still felt bad to be a little bit rude to someone who clearly liked my comedy so much. But I knew that if I didn't put out that fire that it would spread throughout the whole show. Sometimes one man has to die for the greater good. And I don't want that man to be me.
I am a massive fan of this place, which like most Arts Centres has had to face some tough times in the current economic climate. But they're such a dedicated team that I am sure they will get through all this. And as I've said before, the respect and support that they've given me through the years mean that this will always be a stop on every tour I do, not matter how big I get. It would be more meaningful and impressive if I could get really big and be playing arenas and the West End Centre. But they know I am sincere about that. Which will just have to do. Where else will the tech share their moo moos with you?
Nowhere, that's where.
The expert for episode 6 of Meaning of Life about "The Shape of Things To Come" on May 18th will be Aleks Krotoski. I don't yet have an expert (or any script at all - shush) for episode 5 about "Good and Evil" on April 13th. Loads of tickets available for both shows and they're only a tenner. Support us if you can and buy your ticket here.