When you can’t see the wood for trees
At the turn of this year and after 20 years of performing “El loco the Dentist Chair“, 19 of those on holiday parks, I came to the conclusion I needed to take a break. I had performed almost 4,000 shows. The act was named Comedy Act of the year in 2007 by Carnival Cruise Lines; received awards at the 2005 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. However I needed a new challenge, so I decided to move on from “El Loco”
I do of course have another show “Beastro – Comedy Waiter” I performed this on the cruise ships. It was a good act, received good reports, but it lacked something and as much as I tried I could not find what that something was. I decided to take a sabbatical and spend all my time focusing on finding that “something” that was missing in “Beastro”
Being a comedy visual act I usually start by trying to build a complete new routine. Select what music it needs then source or have props made. Considering I wanted to return to the cruise ships the prop has to be within a certain size and weight. Three months into my sabbatical nothing new was coming. All I was doing was mixing up the pot of props I already had and serving them up in a different order.
So I started going through my collection of black and white silent films, from Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Stan and Ollie. I spent day after day just watching TV; I analysed and re analysed what really makes an audience laugh.
Then one evening in June I got lucky, I had been searching for someone to make me a collapsing bistro table using a hidden remote control. I received an email from a person whom I did not know recommending a guy in the north east. Acts like mine need a “Gepetto”, someone who is brilliant at creating props. I struggle changing a light bulb, but Christian of “Bespoke Magic” can make just about anything my imagination could come up with, and I have a good imagination!
It was like turning on a tap of ideas! I’d wake up in the night, scramble around to find bits of paper to write down ideas, then talk them through with Christian on how and if it could be done. By August I had re built the show; it had taken me 8 months. I made a sizable investment and construction is now well underway; completion of my new “Hi- tech cocktail bar” is mid-December.
So with time on our hands, in September my wife and I set off to tour around Spain and enjoy some winter sunshine. When we return we will then be straight into rehearsals. Yes “we”, as my wife Kate is joining the act on the technical side, and we should be ready to perform by mid-February.
The show is to be re- branded “Comedy Beastro”.