Into The Semi


You get up on stage, you have that slightly strange feeling in the pit of your stomach. Most of the people in the crowd have seen your set before, the jokes won't be as funny, you just don't think the material stands up to a second viewing.

It is nerves in a manner of speaking, but not the 'holy crap I am going to fail' sort. More the 'God damn I hope the material is just as good second time round'.

Why? Why worry about something like this? For the simple reason that if the crowd is totally dead then the judges probably won't be giving you all that great a mark. Sure your material can be top notch, but if it doesn't make a crowd laugh the judges might be wondering what the hell is going wrong.

Luckily it seems the material isn't so bad on a second sitting. Either that or those folks I had asked to come along are the best fake laughers in Dublin.

There is a video of the gig floating around as usual, but I was hoping to have two of them again. Sadly we will have to wait for the video to be uploaded this time as it would appear that having a degree in computers means phones are a bit beyond your skill set.

Fran, I kid. Everything is beyond your skill set :D.

But onto the gig last night.

It was more or less (with a big helping of more) the same set that I had used in the heats. As it turned out I wasn't the only person to have this idea, so I didn't feel so bad using the same set again in the same contest.

There were some tweaks to the material, after all this is me. Once I do something I go back, I look at it again, I see where it could be made better or shorter or phrased a little funnier. So I changed the cold open. I padded out two jokes with better punchlines. I created a new link back joke.

I even did something on the night that I never normally do. I let an idea that was in my head on how to present a joke, an idea that had come to me a few seconds before saying the joke, take the lead. Instead of just delivering the lines I went off script a little and acted it out to try and make it all the more funny.

You'll see what I mean when I put the video up.

The end result? I got through to the semi-finals.

This is a big thing for me. Sure it wasn't the top of the round, but second place is still a seat in the next round. There is not changing that fact no matter how you try. Feedback from the four judges was all positive as well, one even saying that the material was my best set yet. That it seemed more natural, just as funny as the old sets but more suited to me as a person sort of thing.

I like that sort of feedback.

Semi-finals. The first time I entered into this contest I didn't place anywhere. Runner up in the first round, only getting a place in another round due to a last minute drop out. This time I have gone from heats into quarters and quarters into semis.

Sure I would like to win the thing. But I would settle for getting a place in the final, even if I didn't win it overall. Hell right now I would settle with what I have. A comedian associate of mine that runs a blog himself said that you enter the same contests each year to try and do better than you did the year before. Not only have I done better than the last time I was in the contest, I have done better again.

That's the sort of improvement I like to see.


Tags: comedy

C | Wed, 05 May 10 22:05:46 +0100

Proud of you bro sorry I missed it

Margo | Mon, 24 May 10 12:11:15 +0100

Good man Derek, but honestly it's not a surprise at this stage as you are an acomplished and confident comedian now. Proud to say we've watched you blossom Good luck in the Semis


blue_jester | Mon, 24 May 10 13:19:39 +0100

Thanks for that Margo :)

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