December 18, 2012 by Lindsay Sharman
Well now, this is ruddy exciting. I’m in the final of the (formerly Hackney) New Act of the Year competition, held at the Bloomsbury Theatre on January 27th, compered by Arthur Smith. Click on this sentence to see the full line-up for the night!
I got through on the strength of the poet character, and am now described on the newvarietylives website as a purveyor of “comedy beat poetry”. Christ! It looks like my decision to go beyond straight stand-up is bearing fruit, although having said that, I’m in the Piccadilly New Act final on the 28th December doing straight stand-up so I haven’t jacked it in completely. But stand-up is definitely on the back-burner now.
This year has been interesting, creatively speaking (and there’s still a part of me that really objects to saying things like “creatively speaking,” or “my process”, or “I painted this using my own faeces.”) From what I’ve heard, it does seem to be the case that you get to the 3 year mark of doing stand-up and something snaps. This is perhaps intensified by the normal crisis of confidence and sanity that participation in the Edinburgh festival incurs.
Well, despite the crisis, I didn’t give up. I’m entirely unemployable now anyway, which does help. Instead, my philosophy went through a painful morphing process. I got bitten by WereRealism and….oh I can’t be bothered completing this tortured metaphor. Sometimes you need to jack stuff in if you realise it’s not going to work, yahknowhaddamean?
Which is in itself a metaphor for my journey! (See what I did there?) So, a few months ago I was of the opinion that perseverance is key; hang around long enough doing your thing, and a legitimate comedy career will eventually burst forth. Now, that still has some validity, but so does recognising the futility of flogging a dead horse until you’re an insane broken wreck pounding at a greasy stain on the floor. Perseverance is important, yes, but I also needed to remember that I am a higher mammal, capable of learning and responding to changing (or unchanging) circumstance.
So after a year of Cold Hard Truths Dawning on my Ape Brain, my philosophy is now adapt to survive! If what you’re doing isn’t working, and it’s not bringing you sufficient joy anymore, then friggin alter direction. Not exactly rocket science, but surprisingly difficult to accept, because you can only do this after you’ve had a good hard look at yourself and stripped away some defensive delusions.
I have a whole new set of things in the pipeline that I’m getting excited about now. And some of that shit won’t work either, but then I’ll just keep adapting until I find a fit.
I am so wise right now. Think I’ll just go make out with myself for a while…