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February 2009 archive

Bushfires, Stand Up Comedy and Making Your Own Luck

Well this last week or two have been bloody hectic and challenging to say the least. For starters the deadly bushfires have been raging here in Victoria, Australia and seeing as me and my little family live about 40Ks from the action, and are ourselves in an extreme bush fire danger zone (we basically live in a suburb that is also a forest), it has been playing on our minds to say the least. It’s not just that we are feeling cautious for our own safety but our hearts have also been moved by the tragedies our less fortunate fellow Victorians have been going through.

The Monday after the worst fires had started was a weird day in Melbourne, and I was not sure what to do with myself. We’d given money but it felt like we should get in the car and go help, but when we called around a couple of organisations to ask if they needed help they told us that all they really needed was money. This left me with little choice but to go to work as per usual. 

Now according to my public goals challenge for 2009, I am supposed to be working on three things, and I have to say I have been doing so but to varying degrees of application. Namely, I have been working on the music goal extensively, the speaking French goal sporadically and the losing weight goal abysmally!

BUT the year is young!

In the last two weeks I have lined up some more gigs for myself and have also been working very hard at improving my act by building on the humourous spoken word element of the show. Namely, in order to really get my head around making the bits between songs as entertaining as the songs themselves, I have started moonlighting in the foolhardy realm of … stand up comedy … that’s right my friends, call me insane but last night I did my first 5 minute stand up comedy routine in front of a pretty damn hefty crowd at the Evelyn Hotel in Fitzroy, Melbourne. I think I am going to write about this experience separately and in more detail so I will leave it at that for now but for to say that it was a freakin’ trip my friends, a freakin weird and wacky trip.

Meanwhile, in a classic case of what is probably the closest I get to woo-woo Law of Attraction type beliefs, traditionally called creating your own luck*, I got a call the other day from a guy about doing a pretty cool sounding gig this Friday night, once again in Fitzroy. This chap, who’s name (I kid you not) is Ziggy, invited me to an “artists in the round” gig which is apparently a thing where three singer songwriters sit in a semi-circle (a triangle?) and take turns to play songs. The opportunity for exposure to new audiences and a bit of fun abounds so I am really looking forward to this gig this Friday 20th at Vibe on Smith, 123 Smith St, Fitzroy. The really cool thing is that Peter my old musical comrade and best mate, will be in town that night so he doesn’t know it yet but I am going to pull him up on stage with me for a guest spot. You can see a Youtube video of me and him gigging together here.

After that I have a belated CD launch for the Dogs May Bark disc which is at the Brunswick Hotel on Saturday 7th March. This is going to be an awesome night, but I will write more about this soon. 

So yeah, really gung-ho about the music but need to apply myself a little harder to the French lessons and the weight watching. Not that I haven’t been doing anything about them, just not enough. I will report back soon, oh ye breathless masses and ye will be able to sleepeth at night for knowing all about my progress on these vital fronts! 

*The reason I say this, about making your own luck, is because I got the call about the gig when a bloke I met recently recommended me to somebody else. What happened was a few weeks ago I drove all the way into town (a 45 minute drive minimum) to do a fifteen minute gig. This was hard to do, as in it seemed a bit of a big effort to drive all that way just to play three songs and also I went alone and this is never easy (I get nervous and fidgety out-and-about on my own and tend to avoid it) BUT I want to get my music happening again so bad I did it. What happened was the night was fantastic, well worth the drive, the people who ran it were lovely, and they helped me to get the “real” gig I got at the Empress Hotel happening (well they told me who to ring) and then this bloke calls me because the organisers of the initial 15 minute (open mic) gig passed my name on. This is what I (and others) call making your own luck and frankly, I don’t reckon ANY amount of Law of Attraction style New Age Twaddle makes up for the “luck” that ACTION and HARD WORK and BALLS brings you. 

 

Moo Mini Cards

When I meet up with people out and about and they express interest in my music, I always wish I could just give them a CD – and sometimes I do – but it gets a bit expensive so I have just ordered a batch of Moo Mini Cards, with the pic below on them and my contact details, including a space for my next gig and a weblink to hear my free tunes online on it.

seamusscratch.jpg

I got a bunch of these a while back and they get a great response. Most people haven’t seen them before and so they work a treat as they are pretty cute. You can even put a different pic on each card in your batch, but I just went for the one picture for strength of branding.

This way, when some new acquaintance in a bar or whatever says “Oh I’d love to hear your tunes”, I can give them a sweet little branded reminder of my next gig or where to go listen to my tunes online for free (or to buy mp3s or CDs).