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I’d been a comic for a few years, but this gig was making me very nervous. It was about to open a show with a 20 minute set in front of 200 slightly rough-around-the-edges punters in a working mans club in Luton, picture Shameless set in Baghdad. Places like that can smell fear from miles away, and I knew it.
I went to the toilet and I heard a bloke next to me say ‘Butterflies’ and I thought “Ah, how nice. He’s realised I’m about to go on, seen that I’m very nervous and is making conversation.’ I turned round for a quick chat, and saw he was actually struggling to do up his flies. He hadn’t said butterflies at all, but ‘button flies’ that he’d told his wife not to buy him recently on his new jeans, but she had.
Pretty soon I was on stage in front of them and I decided to change my opener; I found the guy from the toilet and told the room the story of the mis-purchased trousers and people nearly fell off their chairs laughing. The rest of the set went like a dream. My only regret was that I’d driven, as about a dozen people wanted to buy me a drink after, which I had to politely refuse.
What’s the moral of this? I think it’s to be brave when speaking publicly, I’d put a bit of myself into my set and they loved it. It’s true what they say; people buy people.
Sam Carrington is a professional stand up comedian and owns Smirk Experience – a company that offers comedy solutions for corporate needs.
Written by: Sam Carrington 3 March 2017
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