Saturday 9th March 2013
It's tough being away from home on tour, as I miss my cats (and to a lesser extent my wife) though luckily this year I am never away for more than five or six nights. And it also makes it easier when the shows are reasonably well attended and going well. And I know I am lucky. Due to the nature of my job I do get to spend a lot more time than most people at home with my cats (and to a lesser extent my wife). I have a very blessed life, perhaps the luckiest one of all (mild success is actually less stressful than full on achievement), but I am still a human being and being away from the ones you love isn't easy for anyone. I've had much tougher, lonelier and less successful tours, so I have all this in perspective even in comparison to my own life. I mainly enjoy the dislocation and the time to myself and just get my head down and get on with it. I can't imagine how I coped with those 13 night stints in the Christ on a Bike tour.
I've also got work to do which keeps me occupied, though doesn't necessarily cheer me up. I realised today that I need to scrap 90% of the Rasputin script and start again. It will make the show better and more producable, but that doesn't make it any easier. And as much as I always hope I will use the down time on tour to get work done, I always forget just how tired I get after a show. It's very hard to get anything done.
I did manage to turn yesterday's blog into a Metro article though - it's quite satisfying getting work done in the dressing room before the gig. You can use a bit of the imminent performance adrenaline to stir the grey cells up. Maybe I should just forget about writing in the daytime and try and focus on doing stuff in this two hour period. Having said that I guess I did write the actual blog in the morning, so maybe not all is lost.
I guess what I am saying is that on tour not much happens and blog entries become even more solipsistic and repetitive and detached from reality. This is what touring is like. A whole lot of waiting around or driving around doing nothing, with your brain vegetating, before being thrust under lights and made to perform in an explosion of activity (though one that you go through every day with only minor variations) and then back to a room that isn't yours and a bed that isn't yours to wait for your neurons to calm down enough for you to sleep.
I am not complaining. I fucking love it (with slight reservations), but it's an odd purgatory to be in after a while. I can see why some comedians turn to drink or drugs or wanking over skype or murdering homeless people (none of them have been caught doing this yet, but I am convinced there must be at least a couple of stand-up serial killers - the profile is identical). I have found a more Zen place to be with it in recent years. Tonight, after another fun gig, I made myself an omelette and watched a documentary about 9/11 fire-fighters, which is less likely to get me on the front page of the Sun or sent to rehab or prison (unless chickens take over the world and punish us for crimes against their unborn children).
Psychologically speaking tonight's gig is the tipping point for this particular jaunt. Before the gig I had done only half of the six shows in this run and home thus seemed like a long way away, but afterwards there are only two gigs to go (and we're driving home after Harrogate), so the end, my bed and my cats (and to a lesser extent my wife) are within sight.
I love you Smithers.
All the dates for the Talking Cock tour can be found here
Buy the Talking Cock book here
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Buy Fist of Fun series 2 - here (series 1 also available).
"What is Love, Anyway?" also recently released.
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