Friday, 5 December 2014

Busy busy busy

I hadn't realised just how much work would be entailed in bringing my new show to the stage.
Not only is there a whole new wardrobe of costumes to create but there is scenery (I know, it sounds unlikely, doesn't it?) and audio visual material to create.
I am learning so many new talents along the way; I have found that green screen film-making, just like in the movies, is available on any domestic computer! Watch out Peter Jackson I may yet challenge your Hobbit films with my very own Mistress of The Ring homage!
I have also taken the huge (to me) step of embracing singing and am having vocal lessons from a wonderful professional singer/coach of my acquaintance, Carol Leeming, who has agreed to undertake the immense task of moulding me into a semblance of a singer by February. Her courage and faith have to be admired!
I am hoping that by the time the show is ready I will be brave enough to go out on the road as a completely live act with no mime.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival

I am so excited to be performing at the Leicester Comedy Festival. I even have a page on the official website Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival
For those that have already seen one of my shows I hope that this night will demonstrate that there is more to me than a few glam frocks and some comedy mime. I intend this show to be a full audio visual treat with brand new costumes, brand new routines and a few surprises along the way.
For the first time I have put together a full theatre show which I hope eventually to tour
A limited number of tickets are still available on here

Monday, 1 September 2014

Me and my big mouth! - part 2

First off, let me reassure you that usually I only use the C-word as a last resort when dealing with hecklers. It is not a staple of my stand  up routines.
The other thing you need to understand about us performers is that sometimes, just occasionally, our mouths work so far ahead of our brains that stuff has tumbled out long before we have time to edit it. Mostly this works to our advantage. A pithy put-down is especially effective when shot out at lightening speed.
So, the story that I am not especially proud of except that it was hysterically funny, in retrospect.
I was recently working a cabaret booking with a regular stand-up comedian, someone I had never met before. As we had loads of time before the show we were sat outside the pub chatting, enjoying the last of the day's sunshine and a crafty shandy before I had to get ready.
As is often the case when someone realises that I am the drag act for the night, a middle aged woman came over to chat. One of the first things she asked was for me to pick on 'her friend'. I replied that that won't happen. The rule is that if YOU ask for a friend to be picked on then it will be YOU who gets singled out for abuse. She quickly changed the subject and the following conversation occurred:
Middle aged woman: "So where do you come from?"
Comedian: "He comes from his mother's womb"
My response, of which I am not proud, was automatic: "And until you came over I thought that was the only c*** I would ever see"

The comedian virtually wet himself, the woman laughed without knowing exactly why, otherwise she would have been mortally offended (I assume) and I stood there straight faced.

As I said, that is not a word I usually utter in my act and I am mortified that it slipped out. But sometimes you have little control over your mouth

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Private parties

In my experience a fairly recent phenomenon is the house party whereby I am booked to perform to a small group of, usually, girls either in a house or in a hotel room.
This started to happen when the smoking ban came in and allows the girls to smoke at will. This, coupled with the financial depression, meant we still got bookings at the same fee.
My initial feeling was that, as I am a mime act designed to be watched from the auditorium of a venue with some sort of stage, it wouldn't work. However, by just scaling back my gestures, makeup and mannerisms, it has turned out to work very well.
I turn up with my PA system, set it up with a low sound setting and away we go. The audience are very close and can see every wrinkle but their experience is enhanced by having a very personal performance.
This weekend I performed for just 8 girls in a hotel suite and we had a whale of a time. The bride-to-be was beyond over-excited and told me the night had made the lead up to her wedding perfect. I always aim to please!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Frustrated performers

Every now and again I, along with virtually every other performer, will be criticised by a venue owner or event organiser who thinks they know better than us what our show should be.
I recently did an adult cabaret show where I was kept waiting an unprecedented hour and a half past my contracted onstage time. Having given my all to a largely uninterested, drunken audience, I left, disillusioned because my show had not been as well received as usual.
Imagine my incredulity when, the following day, my Agent contacted me and said he had had a catalogue of faults passed to him by the Bar Manager of the venue. He forwarded the email to me and, over the phone, we went through every point that had been brought up. Each and every one was either blatantly untrue or was complaining that I had not provided something for which I was never contracted to do (i.e. sing live and dance!)
At first I was at a loss to understand where this litany of alleged shortcomings had come from. Then a bolt of realisation hit me. In a conversation on my arrival the Bar Manager had confided to me that he was a failed/retired club singer. It all fell into place. There is nothing so bitter and venomous as a failed performer who misses the spotlight.
I thought back to another couple of instances when these sort of complaints had filtered through to me and in each case they had come from ex-performers.
Speaking to other acts I have heard similar stories of interference and bitterness. A friend of mine, a drag act with many years' experience, was resident in a pub and the manager pressured him constantly to modify his act. It turned out he was a wannabee drag act.
I have been doing my act for many years and am very aware of my capabilities and failings on stage. There is no point in my trying to be what I am not.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Sometimes the smallest things make your day

Driving up and down the country doing gigs it is always important that my car is in tip top condition.
To this end I have cultivated a nice working relationship with my local back-street garage. Over the years I have spent a fortune on servicing and spares so it is nice when that investment pays a dividend.
This week, prior to having to put in some serious miles for work, I noticed I needed a new headlamp bulb. Nothing expensive or complicated to do but not something I was willing to risk a nail for!
So off I went to see my favourite collection of grease monkeys; a whole heaving garage of black boiler-suited lads in their twenties, grease under their nails and dirty smudges across their faces. The mere smell is always enough to make me quiver!
So I went into reception and told the ancient crone behind the desk my woes. She disappeared out into the workshop and summoned one of the gloriously filthy mechanics. I tossed him my keys (that was all unfortunately) and sat by the window while he worked his magic. A mere five minutes later (barely time for me to wonder where to find a Diet Coke to chuck his way) he was back. Job done. He refused my offer of payment and waved me on my way. Bless him.
So not only did I get my headlamp repaired but I had had my wank bank topped up and all at no cost. Aint life great?!