Today I bought a suit. Jimmy Carr wore a suit from the start. Many comedians don’t, especially at my level. It would be fair to say that most comedians both male and female wear what’s comfortable. T-shirt and jeans. One could say that it doesn’t matter what you wear on stage. You just have to be funny. I find that black works for me. Louis CK for the most part wears black T-shirts, Bill Burr; dark shirt, dark jeans. Besides, I can’t wear a slogan T-shirt and jeans anymore on stage. I feel slightly juvenile, I reserve that look for when I’m skating. Besides wearing a suit is easier. Less to think about. It’s alleged that Barack Obama only has black and navy suits. Charles Saatchi goes into to Selfridges every few years and buys 5 of the same black suit. It’s easier to wear a suit. But can be challenging to find an off the rack suit if you don’t have an off the rack body (like me). My body is at best, slightly misshapen. Well stage uniform. Tick. Perhaps I can be the Gok Wan for men. Or make a living as a PSY look-alike?
When I traveled to France, I arrived back to Summer. It was 30 degrees here last week. And I ate fromage du coin and built various bits of outdoor furniture from wood that I found in the grange. I pride myself on using as few nails and screws as possible. Only joins and doweling which ends up being very wonky and then using copious amounts of screws and an nails. Meanwhile my 2-year-old has mastered the iPad and he’s watching the 60’s cult Japanese sci-fi Ultraman on it as I type this on my laptop. I was able to fit in a gig in Paris this past week. It was wonderful to be in the city. Parisians were out in full force, the venue was an old theatre and the room was upstairs. Two things which stuck in my mind: This upstairs room above this ornate theatre had old wooden beams. Most likely survived 2 world wars and now my performance. Also that people on the Paris Metro are able to open the doors before it actually stops, that would be most entertaining to see in London. I can still hardly call myself a comedian. I don’t make any money and I don’t have a career. But just like my moustache in the photo, perhaps it’s growing.
Today is the last show of my Edinburgh run. It’s the first time I’ve ever worked for myself and it remains enormously satisfying. My Dad says of my foray into comedy, that I’m a free spirit, which is a polite way of saying ‘unemployable.’ So as I take the family business back to London, I will greatly cherish this Festival experience, so look out for my show next year: No More Mr Rice Guy.
Since arriving at the Edinburgh Festival, I haven’t flyered much. The result of which has been the audience who have shown up for my show want to see me. That motivation acts as sort of contract between audience and performer which would not always be there with a free show. Refraining from spending hours flyering also allows me to concentrate on why I’m up here in Edinburgh. It’s a boot camp which allows me to work on the product and becoming the Asian version of George Lopez. I am also a bit lazy.
Audiences have been mixed. One mum pointed to her half Black, half Caucasian daughter as she introduced herself to me after the show. Another woman told me about being Chinese, adopted and growing up in Scotland. It could be said that I am a single issue comedian. Just depends on what issue.
I’ve performed stand-up in the London Eye, in the middle of Regent Street and now on the top deck of a bus. And I find myself MCing this Laughing Horse bus show for the next 24 nights at the Edinburgh Festival. Ah.
I’m getting ready to leave my family for the Edinburgh Festival (like a few other comedians this month). I’m looking forward to my last preview on the 29th at Wenlock&Essex on Essex Road, Islington. As a practical measure the events manager at the pub has decided to put a combined show together to include Winter Foenander and Lindsey Bonell. It should be a lovely show in air conditioning.
I’ve sent a total of 4 letters and this one addressed to her last known address was a bit of a long shot. Because Kasue Kawate was struck from her original family register in Yamaguchi-ken because she remarried to Mr Matsumoto. I can only hope that one of my letters to the other addresses that I’ve sourced, finds their way to my birth mother. My first thought when I received this; Isn’t the Japanese postal service efficient?
Alpha males who make it look easy, is one way of describing the type of comedians who regularly play here at the Comedy Store London. Unsure if I fit into that description however, surely the audiences here are very good indeed. Willing to be entertained by the very best. I’