As the show becomes more familiar to me again, I am relaxing, getting more confident and improving my performance. Tonight I did the second half better than I've managed thus far, with probably the best performance of "The Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly" that I have managed. Not that the woman sitting to my right in the front row got to see it. She and her boyfriend had left in the interval.
I would have bet my house on them going. I had spotted her several times in the first half, with a face like thunder. Thunder that is both annoyed and bored. That kind of thunder. Her boyfriend or friend (I would lay money on the former) was laughing at quite a few bits, but this seemed to niggle her more. I knew he would be collateral damage come the interval.
And I must be maturing, because I didn't really mind. In fact I just felt slightly guilty that I had wasted 50 minutes of this woman's precious life. I am aware that not every new person who comes to see me is going to love me. Luckily some of them do and this is a show that seems to be going down particularly well. So it's slightly upsetting, but mainly amusing to see a disgruntled face amongst the crowd. And I know enough now to know that there's no point in trying to get a person like that on side. Somewhere in the first ten minutes I either said something to upset her or she took against me or she could see nothing funny in what I was saying and she'd then made the decision that nothing was going to turn that around. Comedians will always manage to locate the one non-laughing face in an audience that is enjoying what they're doing and in days gone by I might have broken off proceedings to chat with her and try and cajole her into laughing. I might have then gone back to her on the next big laugh to see if she was joining the crowd and then got another laugh from pointing out that even that one hadn't worked for her.
But now I'd rather concentrate on the people who like what I am doing and realise it's not her fault that she didn't find me funny and it's not my fault either. People have different senses of humour, some people just rub each other up the wrong way. So whilst I saw her and occasionally checked in to see if my assessment had been correct, none of this threw me or made me do anything different. I just knew she wasn't coming back. And nor was her boyfriend/friend. Even though he was quite enjoying it.
Maybe I felt most sorry for him. There would be an awkward conversation at the interval. She'd say how much she hated me, he'd say, "Mmmm, yes, me too, sorry for bringing you. He was rubbish." He wouldn't put up a fight, even if in his heart he wanted to see what came next.
I had had a tweet from someone earlier in the week asking if the show was suitable for a first date. There is no way to answer that. If you both turn out to be the kind of people who love my comedy, then yes, it will be a brilliant first date. Even if both of you hate me then that might provide a bound. But as I don't know you or your date (and neither do you really yet) then I can't really make the call for you. I certainly wouldn't advertise it as that and would be very wary of taking someone to comedy on a first date anyway. Even if you play safe and go for someone relatively safe, they might like edgy comedy. I'd say for a first date you should do something initially involving good and drink and a chat - even if you then go on somewhere after. But I know a few couples who've had an early date at one of my gigs and have gone on to get married. How many couples have I destroyed at this fragile early stage though? None of them really get in touch to let you know.
So I was worried that the people who left might have been the couple on the date and maybe I had wrecked a burgeoning new love that could have got five or six years into their relationship and procreated, before realising that their differing views of my oeuvre and breaking up. You might think it's good to find out your Herring-based incompatabiliy early on to avoid this, but all love is doomed and at least if you stay together long enough to breed then I won't be responsible for the essential murder of some tiny, cute babies.
It's your call. Please don't make me responsible for baby-murder.
Luckily, it seemed, that most of the audience liked the show. I was pleased with it.
On my way home I saw Twitter was abuzz with news of the discovery of some lost Doctor Who episodes. I hope they won't turn out to be the rubbishy old black and white ones. Some new David Tennant or Matt Smith ones would be great. I think I've got some of the Christopher Eccelstone ones on DVD in a cupboard somewhere if any of those are missing. Let me know.
Presumably there are loads of adventures that get filmed but then aren't deemed worth broadcasting, like when the Doctor just solves the problem straight away. Or it he arrives somewhere where nothing problematic is going on. Or where he's just sleeping in the Tardis. I am such a big fan that I want to see it all. But knowing the BBC they will have burnt all the footage from that whilst dancing around it and laughing and shouting, "Ha ha, fire!" Not realising they are burning our heritage as well as countless millions of pounds from nerds who will pay good money to see anything from this series. But BBC executives don't care about that. They just love the colour of the sparks flying off the bonfire as more reels of film are destroyed. If they had their way that's all that would ever be on TV. But alas they need to make some TV shows to fuel the flames.