Super weird evening for me. Catie was out doing Drunk Women and the kids and dog had gone to stay at my in-laws for the night. I don’t know when I was last in the house on my own in the night time, but boy, it was quiet. It felt almost like a waste of having a free night - if I’d realised this was coming I could have maybe gone out myself - but actually it was pretty cool. I spent a lot of Friday nights in my flat alone in the 1990s and that made my heart hurt, but doing it now was like an amazing holiday - like going to a spa without having to go through all the shitty massages and weird stuff you’re meant to do.
I played Addam’s Family Pinball on my iPad and watched “The Orville” which is much better than I’d expected. I thought it would be another Star Trek parody, but really it’s just an attempt to carry on making Star Trek with a bit more humour and slightly less heavy-handed morals. I really like it.
I am quite nervous about the gig I am doing tomorrow. I did do some prep, but it feels like a long time scene I did stand up. Although I am going to try some new stuff I thought I’d better have some old stuff ready to roll out, but was surprised about how much of it is wiped from my brain. I watched the start of Oh Frig I’m 50 to see if there was anything I could use. Even though it’s only four years since I did it (and five years since I wrote it) it already feels like it was done by a totally different person. Not just cos he shows off about his two balls.
A lot else has changed and that 2018 Rich had quite a different attitude to me. As he should do. It’s good that we move onwards (or at least in a different direction). I am proud of the body of stand up work that I have created (not so proud that I remember any of it) but there’s loads of it that I wouldn’t do any more, either because I have changed or the world has. I didn’t expect my most recent show to feel quite so alien to me. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but that Richard Herring just seems a bit harsher and more prickly than I feel now. But maybe I just don’t realise how I come across.
I think taking a few years away has probably been a good move. If you’re doing a show a year then you don’t get much time to sit back and consider, or work out where you’ve got to. If I do another stand up show (and no guarantees that I will) it will come from a different place. Maybe a slightly more secure one. My stand up journey over the last 30 years has been one in which I slowly get more comfortable with being a stand up and believe in myself a bit more. Maybe the work of the last couple of years has made me more confident about doing the stuff I want to do.
I am an OK stand up, but there’s lots of room for improvement. I think there are loads of comedians who are better at it than me. But nowadays I only compete with myself, so my only goal is to be better with the next show than I was with the last.
And my main goal at the moment is not to humiliate myself in front of all the parents at my kids’ school. I am not super confident about that.