Every so often somebody asks me why I still live in Yorkshire. In fact, they’ve been asking me the same question since the early 90s and I still don’t have an answer.
For years I’ve hung around the periphery of the entertainment industry like a child at the edge of the sea. Sometimes I dip my toe in and sometimes I just stand at the edge thinking about dipping my toe in. It is very toe orientated my life. In fact I should get a job as a toe expert.
Over the years I’ve always hit the same wall. My toe is in the edge of the sea but all the action is in the middle. Fuck it! I’m really bored of that metaphor; it’s becoming far too complicated. There’s a fucking wall in it now! You can’t mix walls and toes; it says so in the rule book of the ‘Guild of Metaphorical Writers’.
Rule 3: Walls and toes are should never be known except before an e.
What I’m saying is – it pays to live in a large city like Manchester or London, where opportunities are plentiful. Up here you’re lucky to get a gig shouting up a sheep. Even then, the sheep demoralises you with a heckling fart and you’re not asked back.
So why do I continue to live here?
The answer is simple: I am very lazy. Moving to a city would mean my selling most of my possessions to squeeze into a room in a shared house. Then I’d have to get a job to pay my rent which is frankly a massive pain in the hole. So I stay on the edge of things, peering in and getting my toe wet. This should make me go stark raving mad. However we live in a modern age with modern conveniences, the best of which is the internet.
The internet allows me to keep in touch with people in ‘the industry’ and (with the use of microphones and cameras) me and my chums are able to spunk our stuff into the eyes and ears of computer owning people all over the English speaking world. Sadly though I’ve never been able to do any stand-up online as it is a uniquely live thing. However I’m working on that, sort of.
So here I stay. It’s not all bad, I have lovely views, my family and closest friends are within walking distance and for a small town it has one of the highest concentrations of pubs in the country. It even has three large nightclubs, which has always seemed excessive. What it doesn’t have is much comedy. At one time we had three comedy nights. Two have now gone and we are left with one remaining (the Dean Clough Comedy Night), which I’m happy to say is quite good. They won’t hire me of course because they only book comedians who are circuit regulars and live in a big city. Go figure!
Well, it is only eighteen days until Tom, Andy and me sit down to do a nine hour podcast. You must excuse me for mentioning it yet again but a huge amount of work is being done to make it all go well and I have a horrible feeling that nobody will listen to it and we will never reach our modest target of £500. Perhaps it is a silly fear and people will listen in their thousands and we will raise a gazillion pounds.However I am a closeted pessimist and my mind always thinks the unthinkable, even if my mouth is saying “it will be fine”, “don’t worry” and “everybody will listen”.
This is the curse of the internet broadcaster. You make the stuff but people aren’t forced to listen to it. Usually you have time on your side as podcasts hang around for ages on the internet. So even if you only get a few listeners on first release, a podcast can accumulate a few thousand listeners over the years. People are still downloading episode one of The Gentleman’s Review, which was release in March 2008.
However this one is different. It has to get lots of listeners on the day. Otherwise we will have no Emails, texts or tweets and the whole thing falls as flat as a dead jellyfish. It doesn’t help that we are doing it on a weekday when most of our audience are at work or that requests for Mp3s and funny songs have met with zero response. Come on people give us your stuff! Just send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll credit you and everything!
Of course it will all be recorded and put out as a series of podcasts later but I’d like it to be a success, which is why I’m being so tiresome.
If you would like to donate please go to http://www.justgiving.com/thegentlemansreview and make a beardy man very happy.
Veggie sausages for tea.