The story starts on a Saturday, 15 September 2018. I was visiting Leigh Road Recreation Ground in Eastleigh, Hampshire, UK because there was an interesting display of World War II memorabilia. Whilst visiting I wandered over to The Point, a community based entertainment centre, to see if there were any interesting comedians due to perform.
The outstanding comedic performer was Hal Cruttenden, booked for 20 September. However all tickets had been sold but I took a brochure for The Point to see what else may be available. That evening I saw a piece written about The Comedy Lab, a regular meet up for those interested in comedy both performing and writing including collaboration and on the Sunday I made contact to see what the arrangements were.
It transpired that the group met on Wednesdays but once a month they hosted an open mic evening and as it happened the upcoming Wednesday would be one such night. I was invited to come along and also offered a slot to perform if I should so desire.
I made a rash decision on the Sunday to have a go despite my complete lack of experience, my complete lack of a set, a full time job to be carried out that week and a day booked off on the Monday to visit the Southampton Boat Show.
I had performed a stand up routine before. More than seven years before. Just once, on board a cruise liner during a passenger talent contest. But I had harboured a desire to try it out properly. My problem was my distrust of traditional comedy venues which I understood were mainly pubs. I rarely drink and do not frequent many public houses and was not familiar with those establishments that I discovered over the years which offered comedy. The ‘safe’ environment of a cruise ship was much more to my liking. The Point in Eastleigh was both local and generally known for it’s professional, stage performances alongside community style activities and dance routines for young people. Assurances from the organiser of the Comedy Lab also suggested the crowd would be comedy fans, not overtly fuelled by hops based liquids and, crucially, supportive of new talent.
I needed a routine. I didn’t figure in the two to three days that I would have time to write and learn something from scratch so had to develop something I had already done. As a first open mic set I wanted to do something related to a first routine so looked to adapt my previously published Podcast 001 – Beginnings. You can find this within my past feed on this site, dated 6 August 2014. I figured that at least I would be familiar with the structure and some lines. Unlike the other 7.3 billion people on this planet that hadn’t downloaded it from iTunes.
I had to edit it down to under five minutes, remove references to it being a podcast and other irrelevant stuff then learn it sufficiently to perform in front of a crowd. I made a concession by producing a ‘set list’ which, on the night, I placed on the floor in front of me, which explains some of the glancing in that direction.
I asked my wife, Lynda, to record the set which she did on my Apple iPhone X. I subsequently produced a small, titled movie and uploaded into the Comedy category of YouTube on 25 Oct 2018.
I enjoyed the experience and so carried on doing more, different performances at The Point over the following few months in an attempt to find ‘my comedy voice’ and even did another on board performance recently. I will chart my progress on these routines on my main web site so please visit this if you are interested.
Author: Vince Poynter
You can view the routine by accessing my YouTube channel, the link being https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHOD1mm16as
My original stand up set was on Queen Elizabeth. It was also recorded and can be seen on my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZ0bfn4khd4
This article was adapted from my web site entry within the Videos Section section dated 21 August 2019 where a transcript of the set is available
My web site can be found at vinceunlimited.co.uk/index.htm or if you are on a mobile device and want a more suitable reading experience use vinceunlimited.co.uk/mobile.htm