Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Hydralin-Flavoured Burps...

Pointy metal spikes have lined the insides of my throat, my lungs feel like they are filled with the tar of a thousand smokers and I can taste cough-syrup everytime I burp. None of which is helped by the fact that I am at work trying to make Knorr Pulao Cubes look appetizing.

Used the last of my strength/voice at the Open-mic last night. Spent the entire time before the show started gargling with salt-water and chugging coffee. I refused to make conversation with anyone and every ten or fifteen minutes would hide in a corner and mumble "hello hello testing one two three" to myself to make sure I still have a voice.

The show was fantastic by the way. Saad really is a genius when it comes to organizing things. No one has that boys sense of committment. Caffeine, a rarely-visited coffee shop that at the best of times looks garish, turned out to be the perfect venue. No parking problems. Enough room for the audience of 80 or so people to sit comfortable and everyone had a view of the performance space.

The show started at around 8:20. Saad opened with some hilarious bits. They were his less experimental, more guaranteed-laugh bits, but worked great. Around 6 minutes of thematic material, all of which killed. The audience loved him. Bastard. I really hope he just does his solo-show soon. Really looking forward to it. Plus it is a pleasure talking to him, the only other person who is involved with the technical appreciation/understanding of Stand-up. We always end up swapping pointers and discussing technique. Stand-up is mostly a lonely craft. Not like Improv. You write your material alone and until you perform it the only knowledge you have that it is funny is what your instincts tell you. Which is fucking frightening if you think about it.

Anyway, after Saad there were some poets and musicians. Mikail (Saad's friend) read a lovely poem for his fiancee and the musicians were really damned talented. Great performances. David of ARTSAYPUNK did a ten minute bit about being a foreigner in Pakistan which I thought was fantastic. I found him through his blog a few days back and got him in touch with Saad. Glad saad convinced him to give it a try.

I was one of the last acts up, which had me extremely nervous about the condition of my voice. Got up to the mike after a touching into by Saad and as far as I could tell my voice sounded like two strips of sandpaper being rubbed together. Apparently the audience could understand me fine but I really wasn't sure throughout. That coupled with a sudden urge to cough violently the moment I stood up had me a tad panicky. I ended up doing three bits. Opened with the "G.T." stuff, which didn't do as well as I thought it would and then did two new bits about cell-phones on airplanes and cops. They killed. People laughed at all the right times, got all the jokes and even the stuff I wasn't sure about did great. It felt fantastic.

One problem though: I raced through the material. I mean really spat it out too fast. Even I realized half-way through I should be slowing down a bit but I just couldn't. My mind stops and my mouth takes over. Three, four words a second. Material that was supposed to last 7 minutes was done with in 3. That is extremely problematic. I thought I had enough material for 40 minutes ready. And if I speak normally it would work like that. But the fact of the matter is I talk fast. Very fast. And chances are it won't change on the November 13th show. I like talking fast, it is my style of delivery and it works for alot of the material. But that mean that what I thought was 40 minutes of stuff is barely 20 minutes. I need twice as much material in the next one month. Time to stop procrastinating and writing out and editing and timing all the new material I have been meaning to get around to.

The Open-mic was a success though. Hats off to Saad. The audience loved it and I think it would be a great monthly feature. I doubt he will have trouble finding more performers.

If you want to get involved; do some stand-up, read something or even act a mime...anything, contact Saad at sadharpoon@hotmail.com

My throat gave out the moment I finished my bit. It just collapsed and I've been whispering since. Time to rest.

Time to write.


Blogger Abbas Halai said...

nice! thanks for the write up. people like you and saad and the gang are one of the few reasons i have left to come back and visit karachi. i should write to mik and zo and get a copy of that poem too since i missed their engagement. good stuff man, keep the reviews coming along.

6:21 AM  
Blogger atrophying said...

it sounds like a great show! congratoolations to you and saad, and you had better do your stand up show fast, we are laughter starved people.

11:44 AM  

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