Last Saturday night was a new experience, it went something like this: I was sat in the previously mentioned joke shop Frighton, researching new ideas, when a clown wondered in under the name of Mr Me Hall. He thrust a bundle of jokes at me and asked me to attend the Green Room Café at The Pheonix and introduce myself as Me Hall to the organiser and his writing partner and comedian Alex.
The instructions were as follows:
You are me: Mr Me Hall. Everyone will be expecting me, Alex included. Keep this secret beforehand. You are me.
You focus on Alex only. You treat the audience like they are not yours but his, and mostly you ignore their presence. You tell him exactly what words, he repeats. The audience hears both you and then him. You also instruct him how to say the words (which sometimes confuses). And you try to make him perform well, wait for response laughter, allow gaps before punch lines, looking forward, not down etc.
You can repeat material if he does not do justice to it. Be in charge of him, quite dominant, physical if necessary. He should mostly stand behind the mic in stand. Go for exactly one hour and then walk away, disappear.
The dialogue with Alex was awkward and tense there was a double edge sword feeling in the room that eventually led to tears
I might become a spy – all I have to do now is learn how to read someone’s writing upside down when they scribble on paper opposite.
I have come to fix your phooone. My phooone. That is what I said, you foool.
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