Janey's Blogs - March 2007
Friday the 2nd
of March 2007
I can see the moon and the sun
.look pointed baby Abi as
I walked her home in the late afternoon light.
How can I see both? she asked.
Well its because the time of year and the light I think, I am not very sure Abi am sure Ashley will know because she is cleverer than me, so we will go ask her soon I smiled.
Abi stopped walking and looked at me and said But shes just your baby, she cant know more than you. The wee three year old toddler looked shocked that an adult would have to ask their child for an answer.
Ashley isnt a baby she is nearly 21 years old, that makes her an adult I explained. She still looked confused so I got off the subject of explaining Ashleys age.
Ok then I will ask you, why do you think we can see the moon and the sun at the same time, you are a clever girl you tell me then? I spoke to her wee open face and huge brown eyes.
Abi thought for a moment and looked up at the pale grey distant moon that was peeking out behind the clouds and then shifted her head to look at the late wintry sun on the other end of the sky and said I can see both because they wanted me to see them and they came out so I would look at them
I laughed out loud and agreed, the moon and the sun wanted Abi to look at them at the same time she is right! Why would the world exist if a toddler couldnt look at it?
I miss having a wee toddler's look on the world, it never stops making me laugh.
Saturday the 3rd
of March 2007
Are Women Funny?
The eternal comedy
When a woman walks on stage she knows that the majority of the audience are not convinced she is funny and has to hit them straight away with a joke to get them to relax and trust her, whereas men are assumed funny the minute they walk on and hold a microphone, they are allowed their time to get into their stride.
Having been a stand up for ten years now, I realise I never had any female role models in comedy. There werent that many female Scottish comics around when I started out and wee Jimmy Krankie doesnt count.
My heroes of comedy were Jerry Sadowitz and Billy Connolly.
So my type of comedy
was never female orientated, I was hard core right from the start.
I was told by promoters
that I was too strong and scary, so I had to tone it down as no one
wants to be overwhelmed by a woman.
So I started talking
about personal issues, my past and my own take on life. I dont
do gags, my comedy is more in the storytelling style and connecting
with an audience.
Dealing with hecklers can be a double edged sword coming from a female.
If you are too clever, the insults keep coming as a punter is determined to win the shout or, worse, if a man heckles and you put him down his girlfriend will snarl at you as she doesnt get to speak to him like that so why should you?
No one really likes a smart mouthed woman, not even other females!
Women can be political commentators, social observers and incredibly good satirists; we dont all talk about tampons.
Female comics storm clubs up and down the UK regularly, though we do get accused of Too much information about wombs and Please not the child birthing jokes
Why arent we allowed to talk about such topics when men can bang on about masturbation till we all want to poke our eyes out with a blunt spoon?
Men can do whole
sets about child birth, placenta and womens toilet parts but,
even though this is our domain, we are encouraged not to talk about
it: leave it to the boys!
I love going onstage and talking about subjects that confound the stereotypes of female comedy. I make jokes about murder, violence and gangsters. Trust me there is comedy material right there, you just have to use the language and timing to unfold a story properly and let the audience guide you to where the line cannot be crossed.
Usually, with a
good comedy audience, there is no line that can be crossed and laughter,
tragedy and comedy can be explored and enjoyed with a bunch of strangers
in a wee dark room.
Still, being a woman in stand up has its downsides.
Many times I have
gotten into conversations with cab drivers as they have dropped me off
at club. On hearing that I am a stand up comic, they mostly say: I
dont like it when women swear and talk about sex. You dont
do that do you? Thats for the men to do, and I often sit
there and muse on their words and say back to them, Shut up and
drive the cab." I hate it when taxi drivers assume I am from the
Victorian Era and my comedy act is based around my wonderful parlour
skills, a ditty about my new hat and a song about a yellow canary.
Women can swear, get down-and-dirty, be sensitive, procrastinate, debate, joke and look honestly at life without being vulgar.
Comedy timing and
the use of communication makes all the difference.
I never actually knew I was a female comedian till I went to London and they announced me with:She is a woman and she is from Scotland. I was just a stand up comic in Scotland my sex was never seen as an issue, barrier or hindrance.
We rarely see an all-female line up in a mainstream comedy club; these nights are usually a novelty with the tag Girls night as a feature.
Yet many comedy
clubs regularly have four male comics on and the show isnt presented
as Boys' Night Out, its just called a comedy gig.
Some clubs are still reticent about putting more than two women on the same bill; maybe the smell of ovaries is too overwhelming for some audiences.
So yes women are funny, they have always been funny and we will raise the bar when it comes to talking about the stuff that matters. The boys can have the masturbation material, the childbirth and period jokes I want to talk about how my mammy got a light bulb out of an Alsatian dog's mouth by smacking it in the crotch with a snooker ball in a sock .it's a funny story and there are no tampons in the punch line.
Sunday the 4th of
I have had a really
exciting week. Tickets are selling well for my one woman show Janey
Godley Live! At Garage on March 8th as part of the Glasgow Comedy festival
and secondly I got offered my own weekly column in the Scotsman Newspaper.
I am over the moon and so looking forward to being a real proper journalist!
I have written for
the Scotsman a few times before and they have been so supportive, it
really is a quality UK paper.
My dad is very proud of me and I really want to go and find Miss Miller my old school teacher who encouraged me to write when I was ten. She always told me that I told great stories and she instilled so much confidence into my soul that I really felt good about myself at probably the most difficult time in my life.
I was being regularly
sexually abused at that time.
Good teachers do make all the difference to young people.
On another note last night in Portsmouth as I and the other comics came out of the comedy club, we all gaped up at the moon it was so round and pink it hung in the sky like a balloon it was awesome and then we realised it was the lunar eclipse. I have never seen it look so beautiful and rounded like that, we all just stood and stared upwards.
I fly home today from Southampton so I must get off this laptop and go catch a train to the airport byeeee.
Monday the 5th of
Husband and I went a walk down into Kelvingrove Park. There was a wee winding path that took us down to the river. As we approached the look out point there was this amazing noise, it was like a rustling and thundering running sound. I turned round and before my eyes about 46 squirrels were running down through the foliage and gathered all around me. Staring.
When they reached me they stopped dead, they stood still on the ground. They crouched frozen in the trees; they sat like statues on the flat rocks .all looking at me expectantly and with anticipation.
It was like Hitchcocks The Birds except with squirrels. I was scared. Their wee beady eyes were darting about, I moved and then all the squirrels moved. It was like synchronised dancing and I was the lead hoofer, the tiny grey rats with bushy tails waited for me to move and then they moved!
I was scared to breathe incase the noise alerted them
Then they rushed towards my legs and jumped around looking at me as if saying OK, Fatty where are the nuts and raisins?
I was like a reluctant
those scary wee fuckers are really creepy.
I never had nuts or fruit; they must be those city squirrels that get hand fed.
I dont carry
assorted fruits for small mammals!
Holy Fuck is one near my head? I felt something on my head I screamed at husband.
No its a leaf that fell but there is one big squirrel dangling off the branch and its almost on your neck he answered.
I moved away and watched as the wee squirrels also moved back two steps .yet still in co ordination.
The wee squirrels had these amazing bushy tails that are so soft and look like a boa scarf, the tiny wee hairs on the tails twitch around and they look like they are pixelated.
I was still scared; I dont care how cute they looked.
At that point a few pigeons came flapping down to join the party. They werent welcome; the squirrels were currently acting out their own Gangs of New York but in a small furry woodland animal version.
One pigeon spotted a wee bit of bread on the ground near my foot and waddled over to peck it and to my utter amazement a big squirrel walked over casually and PUNCHED the pigeon on the head with its wee grey midget fist!
I have never seen such aggression in a long time and I used to own a bar in the East End of Glasgow!
I think that big squirrel had a hand gun under its ass!
After the scary grey squirrels realised that I didnt have any food to give them they stood there and sneered at me, I am sure one or two actually gave me the finger .
I am never going there again those wee fat tree hanging fuckers scare me.
Thursday the 8th
of March 2007
The Scotsman Newspaper
called me last week and offered me my own column. I am so excited and
what if I am a shit writer
I know this blog is popular
but I might be crap.
I went through to Edinburgh for the photo session as I needed a new picture for the head of the column. I was so tired and I had to wear my hair in rollers and actually travel in the car with scary rollers stuck in my head. By the time I got to Edinburgh I had a sore nippy head full of jaggy rollers and managed to put enough make up on to cover the huge spot on my top lip.
So the photo came out ok, and my first column is this coming Monday, I will be in London and miss the bloody thing unless I can find an international newsvendor.
Monica and I are going to celebrate on Monday night as I am in London for business for only one day.
On another note, I have eight kids aged 13 to 15 for two afternoons a week.
Ashley and I teach
them film making tips and basic camera work, also some comedy and confidence
I love them all
so much and today we had a real sharing time. We got to talk about stuff
that matters and witnessing them supporting each other through hard
times is life affirming
I love watching
them do comedy, characterisations and stand up
.and they are my
wee bunch of stars and I will hate letting them go next week when it
So this blog is dedicated to my happy bunch of Glasgow Kids you make me smile.
See you all next week in the Scotsman.
Saturday the 10th of March
Glasgow Comedy Festival
Well my one woman show at
the Garage was wonderful and thanks to everyone who came along. The
room was great and the audience were really cool. I love being onstage
and today I got my review in The Scotsman my favourite quote from that
review said Truly inspired how awesome?
The write up was wonderful and I am so glad he enjoyed my work.
Last night Ashley and I took to the stage in Blackfriars for our Sketch Show Square Street. You cannot begin to imagine how amazing it is to be onstage with my daughter making a sell out room laugh .just the best feeling ever!
Ashley has a great sense of comic timing and I laugh my ass of at her when I am onstage with her!
This week has been very busy,
I had the vomits again (turns out I have a virus and not a pregnancy)
and I had a live radio show, a TV appearance and a live show all in
one day with a throat that hurt as I had been throwing up what felt
like dry bricks all night.
I am off to London on Monday and today I woke up (this is Saturday) and I was convinced it was Sunday for some obscure reason! I got up and started packing until husband asked me why I was getting ready to leave so bloody early!
I have lost a day somewhere along this week .what made me think it was Sunday? I dont know!
If anyone can find the day I lost and told me what happened to it, I would be grateful.
Wednesday the 14th
of March 2007
London and Beyond
Monday morning I
woke up and had to pack quickly for London. I had fallen asleep early
the night before and never did my late night suitcase pack up which
is my usual ritual.
Husband drove me
to airport and I was still groggy.
I realised that day my first ever newspaper column went in the Scotsman Newspaper, so I rushed to the newspaper shop and there was the newspaper.
The top headline had a big colour picture of me and it read Our New Columnist Janey Godley I was so excited I squealed a wee bit and flicked open to page 9 and I DONT have a column I have a WHOLE page to myself!
I am Carrie Bradshaw but this isnt Sex and The City and I dont click about in high heels and write about single women and hot nights with Mr Big.
I was so chuffed I called husband as he drove home from the airport.
My God, you have to see the Scotsman its a huge page and the photo is nice, I am so excited I shouted into the phone.
Husband wears his hands free Bluetooth ear piece which makes him look like a man from the future it is silver and the bright blue light flickers. It freaks me out, I was glad I wasnt there to look at it.
Yes Janey, we knew it was due to go in today, why are you surprised? He spoke plainly with his monotone voice. I keep forgetting his Aspergers Syndrome makes him impervious to anything squeaky and exciting.
I smiled, said my goodbyes and hung up and read the page I wrote last week.
There was a funny
bit I wrote about my daughter and it made me smile as I sat on the aeroplane,
who would have thought I would get to write about her in a newspaper?
The plane took off and before long it landed in Heathrow.
I was in London for a meeting then I went to the Last Comic Standing auditions that were being held at the Comedy Store near Piccadilly.
I was glad that I wasnt the only comic I knew there, loads of big names were hanging about outside and I was getting more nervous by the minute, especially when the huge film crew started shoving a big camera into my face.
This show is a huge success in USA, it basically is a reality show where stand up comics battle it out week in week out to become the best comic in the WORLD well according to NBC!
The audition was really odd and I felt so nervous as I tried to make three people laugh in a cold environment, then half way through doing gags I stopped and said This isnt what I actually do, I tell stories not gags
So they let me tell
them a story and I relaxed and chatted about what it is I really represent
I did get through to the late night live show but failed to make it to Los Angeles for the next part of the programme.
I am crap at competitions.
Remember when I was nominated for Scotswoman of the Year? A Polish woman
beat me to the title! Thats how good I am at competing.
I am home, I am tired and I am so excited about writing next weeks column.
Who shall I write about next?
Saturday the 17th
of March 2007
Am just home from
Dundee, it was amazing. Honestly so lovely and the people were nice.
I was booked into a hotel called 25 in Dundee. Its a boutique
hotel and very much big upped itself on its webpage.
Firstly there was
NO wi-fi available and you have to check into the hotel through the
bar at the back which was strange.
I got to the room on the top floor and it was all lovely and smart fancy furniture but when I went to wash my hands there was no soap or hot water.
I ran back down
the three flights of stairs (no lift) and explained to the bar man/concierge
person about the hot water situation.
I went out a walk, came back and still no hot tap water or soap oh well thats what happens when the bar man is also the chambermaid.
Later on around
7pm I started to get ready for my show at Dundee Rep theatre and then
discovered that there was also NO HOT water in the shower.
I ran back down all the stairs and explained this to the poor bar man who was also trying take food and drinks orders. He simply said I am sorry we have had no hot water for ages
You let me check into a hotel with no running hot water? Why didnt you say so? I know its a boutique hotel but surely hot water is a fucking must? I spluttered.
To cut a long story short which incidentally involved the manager accusing me of lying about asking about the hot water earlier in the day even when the poor bar man explained that I had asked I left and checked into the Queens Hotel in Dundee they had hot running water! Such a luxury so Stefan King who owns that bloody hotel called 25 in Dundee really needs to stay there himself and see how it feels to try and shower in a freezing stream of water and deal with a manager who calls his guests LIARS.
After that I forgot to tell you what happened last Tuesday.
I watched a woman outside my local PDSA (vets for poor animals). She let her two fat dogs shit all over the street and she then chased them into the back of her car and prepared to drive off.
That was until I
leaned over and knocked on her window Excuse me, get out of the
car and lift your dog shit up I yelled at her.
She stared at me, rolled down the window and said Whats it got to do with you?
I live here and right across the road is a childrens nursery and dog poo is a danger to them, you must know its wrong to leave dog crap all over the pavement I answered.
She got out of her car and slammed it shut. Her face was fuming.
She then went into
the vets office and came out with a plastic bag and lifted up
the dog poo and threw it into the bin on the wall.
If she hadnt I was planning on picking the dog shit up and throwing it at her car.
I may even pick up the shit and carry it up to DUNDEE and throw it at Number 25 hotel they deserve my shit stick this week.
Monday the 19th
of March 2007
Blogging on a
Standing in front
of a huge bunch of 13 year old kids and a hall full of students was
not the ideal location for my Monday afternoon.
The McEwan Hall
in Edinburgh played host to the election debate and I was the comedy
I was slightly worried that my comedy would either go right over their heads and alienate the younger people OR my comedy was just frightening everyone.
Turns out it all went fabulously well, everyone laughed and then the debate began and all was well in Godley world.
I have to say listening to politicians waffle for a while can be brain numbing and I was amazed at the patience of the people, maybe with my comedy upbringing I need punchline-laugh-interesting story-punchline-laugh-funny observation .
I could hardly bear
to listen to the running around the subject and never getting to the
point type chit chat
thats so fucked up.
I had that screaming urge to just get up and shout For fucksake answer the question and stop wittering I never did that but the urge was positively Tourettes Syndrome-ish for me.
I am still so happy about my Scotsman column, or should I say page I get the whole bleeding page and it's great fun!
I hope the readers are enjoying it as much as I am writing it.
Friday the 23rd
of March 2007
I played the Carnegie
Hall this week
.it sounds wonderful doesnt it?
This one is in Dunfermline, though, which is the birth place of Andrew Carnegie. The wee town is awesome.
The hall was amazing
and the crowd were wonderful.
Dunfermline is a pretty town and the architecture is stunning.
Though I did come across an annoying bastard.
I walked to the local café ironically called Fresh because fresh for a fight was what I got from a pedantic man who owned it.
The café boasts internet at £1.50 for 30 minutes. Now those of you, who know me, will recall my never ending fight with the internet and its not always reliable.
So I sat down outside the Fresh café to check if I could actually get online.
The waitress came out and asked me if I wanted to buy something.
Would you mind waiting for a moment, I need to check I can get on the web, because if I can't get online, I will need to go as I have a deadline to meet, so please bear with me a second, I answered and she smiled and agreed.
Before I could even check the online status a tall skinny man who was unloading stuff into the café came over and said, You are cheeky.
I looked at him and people around me smirked at his comment.
Excuse me, but I did say to the waitress that I need to check if your web works before I make a purchase, as the only reason I will be buying something is to get online, which costs £1.50 and I will have to pay for it so I dont think I am being cheeky, I answered back.
You are sitting in my seats so you need to buy something, he quipped back.
Yes, I will be paying for the web IF IT WORKS, so I am checking that it does before I sit here with a £3 coffee and no internet, I argued back.
I stood up and lifted my laptop and added You know what, Mr Nasty Pants? I will just go elsewhere. I am a journalist writing about Dunfermline and how it treats its visitors. You obviously know how to do that so you can stick your FRESH Café here in Kirkgate Dunfermline right up your own back door thanks.
I marched four steps to the café next to it called ESCAPE.
There the lady told me to sit down and check the web. She wasnt sure if it worked and offered me a comfy seat to try it. The place was busy and smelled nice and the people didnt have that air of Snootiness about them.
The web came on FREE! I was so happy; she even gave me a free coffee because I looked so upset.
I found out from
a customer in the Escape that the guy who owns the nasty Fresh café
next door is a local Labour Politician and apparently he is cheeky to
everyone in Dunfermline and often has that air of superiority about
Well, what a surprise!
So, if any of you
want to go to the pretty wee town of Dunfermline that gave the world
the wonderful philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and houses the best café
called ESCAPE in Kirkgate
.do go and say hello to the lovely woman
behind the counter.
Give the man next door in Fresh café a sneer from me.
Sunday the 25th
of March 2007
can you take me to the zoo so I can stroke a mermaid, coz I have never
seen one yet? baby Abi pleads with big penny eyes as we did a
jigsaw of a beautifully drawn mermaid.
The stunning green shimmering tail enchanted wee Abis imagination as she traced her finger round the swishy bright fish tail and told me how much she loves mermaids and wants one just a wee one even a baby one for Christmas.
I really didnt have the heart to tell her mermaids werent real she looked so passionately at the mermaid that I was tempted to fashion a green sequined tail from fabric and lie in the bath for her with two big clam shells on my boobs tied with string, but that would be tantamount to abuse.
How can you explain to social workers that you dressed in shiny taffeta and let a three year old stroke your flappy fins without it sounding creepy?
And trust me Abi would go to nursery and tell everyone how Auntie Janey is a mermaid, who lies half naked in the bath and loves to get petted; she is the master of telling tales.
Abi told me once that she gets locked in a cupboard, has no toys and hasnt been fed since Tuesday.
She is really convincing
and despite the fact it was me who had been looking after her since
the Monday I actually believed her, till I shook my head and broke the
spell of the wee brown eyed tall-tale-telling three year old.
I do love her and her wondrous stories that involve meerkats, monkeys and a wee fairy that bites babies.
Imagination is more important than knowledge Einstein said and I believe him.
Tuesday the 27th
of March 2007
Mij is crazy
My brother had a
consultation today at the cancer clinic (he has cancer; we werent
there for the social benefits).
I love my brother but he is nuts in a good way.
Janey I have a Mij broke off halfway through a sentence.
The women near us looked up and stared at my brother wondering what it was he was going to say, you see Mij talks loudly and is funny/mental and has a history of drug problems and kinda tells it like it is.
I think the cancer was brought on because I have a he broke off again; he has a really irritating speech pattern!
Menopause he muttered and pointed his finger up with delight at recalling the word he had lost.
The other women in the waiting room looked up and smirked.
When did your period stop then? I asked sarcastically and added Do your ovaries hurt?
Shut up Janey - Stop saying the word period really loudly, fucksake thats embarrassing and aye my ovaries do hurt he hissed. The women across from us started to giggle; I caught their eye and smiled with them.
Mij, you need to know that you dont have ovaries and only humans with a womb can have a menopause you know like WOMEN I spluttered through my laughter.
His face was crimson, he dropped his head and mumbled Not menopause, I meant something else I canny remember now he started laughing and the women joined in.
I shook my head and went over to the tea bar in the hospital and ordered two teas.
That will £1.11 please the lady put her hand out.
Thats a really unusual amount, how much is it for one tea? I asked with confusion in my voice.
Its the way the till works. One tea is 55 pence and two teas is £1.11, she answered.
I cannot begin to tell you how much that sum of money played in my head. Why was it one pound eleven pence for two teas?
How can that be?
This conundrum went round and round my head till I heard my brothers
name being shouted
.at last his menopause could be attended to!
Mij and I went into the consultation room. The cancer specialist opened a clean sheet of paper and started asking medical questions.
Doctor - Tell me how this all began.
Mij - Well, one day Calum looked at my neck.
Doctor - Who is Calum? Is he a doctor?
Mij - No, he is my grandson; he is eight years old, but he saw a lump on my neck and said it was cancer and then Cooper looked at it
Doctor - Is Cooper a doctor?
Mi j- No, he is my dog and then .
Me - Mij, get to the point.
Mij - Yes, I had a lump on my neck and I went to the doc's and he sent me to the hospital and it was diagnosed after a biopsy.
I breathed a sigh of relief at this. You see Mij is funny and chatty and likes to spin a yarn and can make a small story into War & Peace. (Sound like someone we know? Yes me) Anyway the very lovely patient doctor asked another question.
Doctor - Do you suffer from any other illnesses?
Mij - No I am really fine.
Me - Maybe the HIV is worth mentioning, I hissed.
Mij - Oh aye my sister is right, I am HIV since 1986, but Calum says I am good at taking the medicine but he lives far away now but I am going for a visit because Cooper is being looked after by Simon and he had OCD and can actually stick together letters that have been shredded
Me - Mij - the point .please stick to it. I nudged him as he was off on a big tirade about his mental pals and nutty dog.
Doc - Did you get the HIV from dirty needles?
Mij - No I never shared a needle in my life, but my girlfriend at the time forgot to mention she was a hooker. Mij smiled as he threw this information into the ring; he is good at the delivery of some lines I have to admit.
At this point I felt the only way to lighten the mood was to say something funny, so I added: Mij thought he was having his menopause, and I giggled.
The doctor looked at me like I was really imbecilic and Mij kept an incredibly straight face, leaned over and said, Janey, only women have a menopause - thats not even funny, especially as I have cancer and HIV and you are trying to crack silly jokes.
The doctor looked at me really distastefully and Mij shook his head in derision at me, then turned and winked.
stop laughing inside, as he had managed to make me look a fool.
How funny is that?
Mij got through the whole consult and came out and we fell about laughing in each others arms, recalling the menopause joke and Mij talking about his dog.
I miss him and he makes me laugh like no one else.
Get well soon Dear Mij.
Friday the 30th
of March 2007
The Night My Daughter
She was only thirteen years old and the club was full of people waiting to see the UKs youngest stand up comic.
Oh by the way she
didnt actually die physically, its a comedy term for having
a bad gig.
Ashley had been doing stand up since she was 11 years old and was actually really good. There were rave reviews in all the newspapers and she was feted by the press.
She played some of the biggest clubs in the UK and sometimes broke the law by just being in a bar that late at night.
My daughter was
raised in a bar as we used to own one, so it was nothing for her to
be amongst so many adults in a boozing house.
Anyway the night she died on stage was horrid for her.
The audience were already belligerent and I was the MC and to bring my own child to the stage was the worst feeling ever; it really was like throwing a small baby to the snarling lions.
There were lots of other comics there, all supporting her and willing her to do well. They was a great feeling of camaraderie when it came to Ashley, as she could ad lib and free style like the best of them and to hear a 13 year old answer a heckler and beat him was just heavenly.
The audience went quiet as this wee girl with her long hair in bunches ran on stage.
She opened with
her first line and just a few people laughed.
Then the crowd started chatting and they lost interest. Now she had never had this before and we all knew it would happen one day and as a stand up comic and her mother my heart stopped as I watched her struggle to get their attention.
The one thing that made me proud was she didnt fall apart or let them see she was upset; if a crowd smells fear then they go for your throat, especially a tough Glasgow crowd.
Me and the other
comics all sat rigid with anger and fear as that wee kid in the dungarees
ran about the stage trying her best to get on with the show as drunks
started to shout over her.
She eventually shouted Stop talking and ignoring me - This is what makes teenagers commit suicide! and we all fell about laughing. She got the last word.
She placed the mic
back in the stand, took a bow and walked off into my arms.
I had to run on and bring the next act on; my heart felt like it was melting; I really wanted to stop the show and call them all bastards but I couldnt.
You see, my wee
girl wanted to be a comic and sometimes the shit hits you and you have
to be big enough to weather that storm, even if you are just 13 years
A tough but valuable lesson to learn.
When she came off stage all the other comics hugged her and welcomed her to the Real Side of Comedy
You ain't a real comic till you die up there baby, one of the guys said to her and they all cheered. She was one of them. Her age didnt get her away with it and her talent for sticking with it shone through and that was to be admired.
She didnt see it that way and was crushed.
She had to get up the next day and go to school knowing that she was booked again that night as the club ran over a weekend.
I offered to pull her off the bill if she felt that bad about it.
I know how hard
it can be to die like that on stage, so I sympathised and gave her an
No, mum, I
will honour the gig and go back onstage, but I am going to write new
material and do a different show.
I advised against
this, saying she should work the new material in slowly; this is the
advice I would give any new comic.
That night, she stood at the side of the stage, her heart was in her mouth and I tentatively announced her name.
She came marching
on stage and grabbed the mic and did a whole new 15 minute set. The
entire show was punctuated with big laughs and rounds of applause.
I could her see
her face light up and I watched her lap up every moment of the joy of
being laughed at.
The crowd roared as she finished her set, she took a bow and walked off.
In the green room, I ran up and hugged her saying, Well done - that was awesome.
She put on her coat, turned to me and said, Get daddy to take me home. That is the last time I do stand up. I just wanted to get back on and prove I could do it and now I have I am done with this. I am not doing stand up again. Good luck, mama, and walked out of the club.
She never did stand up again until she was nineteen years old.
I still recall the night she died with horror but with huge pride as well.
This coming month, Ashley will be 21 years old; she is a wonderful comic writer and performer. Her sketches are a joy to watch and I proud that I got to see her grow up in comedy.