It's always a relief to get a show recorded on DVD. Just in case something terrible happens to me I know that the show will live on. For a bit. Before being forgotten. But at least there will be a record.
And it was a double relief this year to get to the end of my tour about death, without the Grim Reaper taking umbrage at my disrespect and dispatching me for maximum dramatic irony. I took extra care crossing the road as I headed up to Euston to buy myself some dinner.
Even if he's got a sense of humour and is going to kill me tomorrow, at least now the show is on film. I think it's my best one yet and luckily, a few early stutters and misfires early on apart, it was a really good performance of the material. My brain was trying to trip me up, insisting that I was going to fuck up the good lines or forget how to speak. So much rests on this one performance and it's always my fear that I won't do justice to the tour. But eventually I managed to drown out the self-sabotaging idiot within me and just enjoy myself. Whilst I remain something of a secret (slash failure) compared to some other stand ups, I think that I am quietly improving as a performer and this DVD (I hope) will give a fair assessment of a show I am very proud of (and believe me, I still appreciate my good fortune in being able to get around 500 people into a theatre for a night like tonight - it's taken a long time to build things this far). And I was even finding a new way to do some bits (though found out too late that I had mixed up Polonius and Claudius in the arras scene - why did no one tell me before?). My favourite new bit (which I first did last night) is in the routine where I discuss that you'd get to Heaven with no body and discover that you could not have the best wank of all time due to no longer having a cock. At the end I berate myself for even trying as I don't have a hand either. And in the new bit I then shake my fist at God, before looking up at what would in actuality be an empty space and looking disappointed. Look out for it.
This tour has flown by. There have been less dates than usual, and they've been spread over a few more months, but it really didn't feel like the end. I had to remind myself that this was the last time that I would listen to the audience walk in music. I was glad that William Shatner was still alive, even though in his song "You'll Have Time" he says "By the time you hear this, I may well be dead." I think I might have cried otherwise. By the time some people watch my DVD (or read this blog), of course, I may well be dead. But that's the beauty of recording stuff. You live on a little bit. For a little bit. Until the recording is forgotten and lost. Or the planet earth crashes into the Sun (which ever happens first).
Thanks as always to Chris Evans (not that one, or the one from Captain America - seriously what were the chances it was either of them?) and all the fabulous and supportive crew at gofasterstripe and also to the uniformly excellent staff at the Bloomsbury and Giles "The Cannibal" Wakeley, who only came with me to a few of the gigs this year, but was still invaluable support (and got a signed copy of "Railways and the Holocaust" for his troubles). I am keeping the gravestone with my name on it (might save some money on funeral costs), but the others (which were the backdrop to the Edinburgh Fringe and Bloomsbury shows) are being donated to a theatrical prop store, so may appear in future dramatic productions. I hope so.
It's another thing ticked off the 2014 list of things to get done with Meaning of Life and the Fubar show also now over. And now I must immediately crack on with Rasputin and the Dance Settee (maybe I can combine them into one show). Death has realised that by far the greater punishment for my mockery is to keep me alive, so I have to keep working. Death would be a blessed release at this moment. I don't know why Rasputin did his best to avoid it. It's just a good excuse for a right long sleep and no more responsibilities. Being dead is so easy.
Thanks to everyone who came to the tour show. I haven't done the final tot up on the charity collection, but looks like your donations have raised over £23,000 for Scope.