Sunday, 22 February 2009


So this week has been crap. Really crap. Starting with a Monday morning phone call from the letting agents to inform us that the mentalist landlady wants me and my housemates out, so she can try to make even more money from her crumbling, decaying property that she refuses to keep in good condition. She is greedy and grasping and deeply unpleasant, and the only good thing about being evicted from the house I've lived in the last 3 years, and come to think of as home, is that no longer will I be putting any money into her pocket.

(Anger issues? Me? Maybe a little...)

Bright side? Um. Not sure there is one. Except - and this is tenuous - all my writing last year happened cos I was so fucked off with the world, so you know, anger is good for creativity, if not for stress levels, heart rate, general health etc. Maybe now is the time to write the high-concept vampire landlady script where the eponymous villain is killed in a variety of outlandish and quite satisfying methods. It's a thought at any rate...

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Some words about some stuff

So, you know, winning isn't everything.

By which I mean: I didn't win. But that's ok. 

This is what I learned from the whole experience of having my comedy selected, performed and judged in a competition:
  • Writing is fun. I forgot that for a while. (By a while, I mean about a decade.)
  • Every line counts. And the bits you think are clever rarely are. 
  • People laugh at the reaction, not the 'funny' line. 
  • It's not just about the words. And less is probably more. 
  • Rewriting is essential. But also one of the most interesting parts of the process. 
  • Success is subjective. (Short homily follows.) I reckon that if you don't love what you're writing, you could win an Oscar and still not be happy. Conversely, if you enjoy what you're writing, you can get knocked out of the first round of a competition and still feel pretty darned okay about the whole thing. 
  • And - did I mention? - writing is fun. Not always, not every second. But it is. 
(Herein ends this short attempt at wisdom.) 

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

The big night... tomorrow! Am so excited. And greatly cheered by rehearsal tonight. Props and costumes and all that do make a difference. And while I fear my carefully crafted gags may get upstaged by a comedy prop, I don't flipping care, so long as people laugh.

Anyway: mood is one of cautious optimism. Which is a definite upgrade on the weekend. So that's good.

Sunday, 8 February 2009


Ugh. Is this the worst time of the year? I think it might be. Miserable weather, no light, and spring still seems like such a long way off. 

I'm always a bit grumpy in February. The long winter has taken its toll, and a birthday at the beginning of the month makes it worse, not better. This year, a milestone birthday. Which I spent, snowed in, on my own. I hope this is not an omen for the decade to come. Who knows?

I feel there should be a comic endnote to this, but I'm struggling for one, if I'm honest. Suffice to say the comedy thing is happening soon, and even though I stopped finding my script funny a long time ago, through sheer familiarity, it seems to be working ok now that the actors are involved and doing their cool funny stuff. So that's good. 

Thursday, 5 February 2009

the sitcom that dare not speak its name (aka pride/fall)

Here's the thing: I was starting to think my comedy script was quite good. I'd had some pretty nice compliments: good characters, nice dialogue, 'fawlty towers'. 

Oh yes. I was riding high.

And then. In one simple moment. It all came crashing down. One of my actors said, innocently enough, I suppose, "it's a bit like xxx". 

By xxx, I don't mean that weird American ratings thing they do for sex films. I mean, 'insert the name of a really terrible sitcom' here. No, I'm not saying which one. It's too awful.
Hints : it's not a famously awful one. It's one you thought you'd forgotten about, or blocked out for post-traumatic reasons, or - if you're lucky - never seen.  If you do remember it, it's for that guy that was previously in that cult one with the weird fans that was actually quite funny for a while.

It's not 'Two Pints...' either. I'm probably the only person in the UK who is prepared to admit to quite liking 'Two Pints...' offa BBC3.  Decent characters, funny and filthy dialogue - c'mon! What's not to like. 

It' s not that. 

Anyway. Suffice to say. Ego duly in check. Pride duly bruised. Back to concentrating on just trying to be funny.