January 11th review
What a cracking night at Enterteasement
We normally take January off because it’s cold, everyone’s skint and after a long year, it’s good to take a month off to recharge. However, The Admiral was available and there were too many good acts not working so we decided that with only eight days notice we would have a show. On Saturday we booked the acts, got the artwork complete, updated the website and boom the tickets started selling almost instantly.
If you were there Click here to take survey
Be warned I’m about to use an industry term for the first time ever!
When I did the …”Casting Call” aka “Who wants a gig?” We had so many responses it was hard to choose. So in an attempt to put bums on seats, we went for a varied line-up picking 2 Enterteasement all time favourites in Gary Little & Billy Kirkwood. Also on the bill were four Enterteasement debuts. Patrick Rolink is a big name on the circuit, Nancy Clench being a drag comedian has a big following, Ryan Dooley was the new kid on the block so has lots of people wanting to see him for the first time and Kavita is a very popular girl who always brings a crowd.
So with this line-up when it’s freezing, everyone’s skint, and with only seven days notice – could we sell forty tickets? I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure but we gave it our best shot.
Almost instantly two booths were purchased by our regulars, then Ryan’s Dad bought a booth and then one of one of our acts purchased one – always love when this happens as the acts are showing an interest in the night.
Next thing Ryan Dooley says he’ll be bringing at least seven people, Kavita says she’ll be bringing twelve and our regulars started snapping them up as well. I genuinely couldn’t believe how fast they went. Eventually Ryan sold over thirty tickets including three to random people in a pub. Next up was The Admiral Bar, they posted about the event and one of the partners, Dave Ross, even made our poster his cover photo and profile picture – considering we started out a bit iffy – this really show how far we’ve come on and it’s nice to feel appreciated.
So did we sell out the 120 tickets in time for the show? Unfortunately not…we sold 130 in 5 days!!! Now we know Robbie Williams etc sell out thousand seater venues in half a second; but in the comedy world fifty tickets, in three months, is about average.
Confession: I never sleep the night before a show, I worry about too many things – we’ve set such a high standard and we’ve been really lucky with so many things that I’m convinced our luck will run out eventually and we’ll have a bad show and that will be the end of us. I’m not an event organiser and in fact…I’m probably one of the most unorganised people you’ll ever meet – so trying to organise a group of people stresses me out. To make matters worse for this show – we had a reviewer in from The Skinny.( A magazine for events). In two and a half years we’ve never had anyone and this isn’t a proper Enterteasement show, this is a comedy show and we don’t have our regular door person, sound guy, photographer or a full team in place – so stress levels were sitting high.
So I get to the venue, meet everyone and I’m aware that I’ve forgotten a few items and will have to go home grr. So we set-up the doors open and I vanish for half an hour. When I returned we were packed – our busiest show ever. Normally I cut the ticket sales at 120 to allow the room to be more manageable as we’re a £14 a ticket show but see for £5, It’s acceptable for more people to be standing / view to be a little restricted.
I, Woody go on stage and inform the audience what we’re about, and give them the rules and by rules I mean one simple rule “Don’t talk during the acts”. You’d think this would be a simple rule but in the early days before we introduced this pre-gig house rules we used to have lots of chatting from people who would say, “But I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to talk during the acts”. So rules done and I’m thinking, “For this room being packed, they’re very subdued” I even started to worry but then I remembered something, Billy Kirkwood is the compere!
Billy is just bags of fun, Mr Energy, he’s the type of guy that everyone wants to be sat next to at a wedding as he’s just got so much positive energy and you can tell that he loves what he does. There are certain comedians that you know if they were given 24 hours left to live they would start planning a 24 hour comedy marathon and Billy is one of these guys – he’d probably do an encore! So Billy took to the stage got the audience from cold to warm and warm to boiling! I think the problem is that so many people are scared to be near the front in case the comedians pick on them. Now – I book the comedians and I don’t book those ones. So after a few minutes they all settled in and thought – “we like this guy!”
One of the main acts over at Jongleurs (Biggest Comedy Chain in UK). Patrick mixed a combination of old fashioned jokes with the more standard story telling we normally book. He got off to a great start with his self deprecating stuff as he’s one of the…cuddlier comedians on tour. All jokes and stories went well especially the tourist board joke comparing Scotland to Disney Land. We were off to a good start!
In the comedy world you’re still considered a new act if you’ve been going for less than three years and Kavita is still in her first year (I think) If she’s not on stage she’s great to have in a room as she’s naturally one of these funny people with high energy who’s a bit mad! When she took to the stage she was nervous which is a shame because normally she performs her best when she just goes for it and has fun. So she started slowly then had some of her friends/fans shout stuff out which is really difficult to deal with when you’re trying to remember your set. However, she dealt with it well and when she relaxed a wee bit she really started to get into her stride and you could see she was starting to enjoy herself and become more natural. As this continued the laughter increased throughout her set and she finished very strong with some big laughs. A real pleasure to work with!
Remember this guy’s name. I first heard it in December when one of our other acts said, “I’ve just worked with a guy who’s only done 8 gigs and he’s amazing!” As the girl who said this recently got married…to her girlfriend, I was pretty certain this was a genuine compliment and not just trying to get her pal a gig. Also, she knows we don’t book inexperienced acts for our regular shows so it was unlikely I was ever going to book Ryan in the next 2 years. (it’s amazing how things work out!)
So Ryan took to the stage and immediately I thought, “This guy must be a drama student” There was no hint of nerves and he has more stage presence than acts that have been going for years. His set was very authentic, he’s not trying to be anyone else just on there telling funny stories about his view of the world and sharing life experiences. What he’s done in about 15 gigs would normally take about 18 months. So here’s our wee Enterteasement tip. This guy’s gonna be really good. I’ve spoken to him and he works really hard and he’s doing all the right things.
1) He’ll be in the Scottish Comedian Of The Year Final if not this year then next year.
2) He’ll be headlining in 2015.
A Comedy Drag act – Come on!! This is Enterteasement, we can’t have a normal night of comedians, that would be boring! So Nancy takes to stage – all 7 foot tall of her and starts some crowd interaction. As the crowd hadn’t seen a drag act before, nor had they seen anyone stand at over 7 feet tall it was a bit weird at first but the thought going through everyone’s mind was, “Is her head going to touch the roof?” After a couple of minutes though it was apparent that Nancy did indeed fit on stage and the crowd enjoyed her unique set
Great news, Gary just sold out his Glasgow International Comedy Festival Show for March 2014 (2 months early Gary – nobody likes a show off!)
So he took to the stage and did his Glasgow Stuff, dogs, and some new bits and bobs I hadn’t heard before. It’s hard to write about Gary to be honest as he always does really well. He’s an act that when he talks everyone thinks “That’s my park he’s talking about”. Always good to have Gary on board and he had yet another really strong gig for us.
Reserving chairs. This is a curse of Enterteasement. If we say to people the seats are first come first serve they arrive in plenty of time and when the show is about to start they have a drink in hand and are ready to go. When people have reserved booths they often turn up, just as we’re about to start and with reserved seats it’s exactly the same – people think, “well I know my seats safe so I don’t have to be there on time.” We rarely reserve seats for anyone but when we do there’s about an 80% chance they’ll be late or just not show up. Mental.
The big ugly creature of talking during the show. There are people who do not understand that comedy is not like karaoke – you cannot pick and chose who you want to listen to and sit and chat during the other acts. Why buy a ticket and talk among your friends when you could go to any pub and do that for free?
Last night we had a crowd of four guys and one woman who wouldn’t shut up. At first they were screaming and waving a camera phone about with “OMG Look at this selfie of me”
Me: “Guy’s can you keep it down please all that noise is travelling on stage”
Guys: “No probs – sorry won’t happen again”
“OMG LOOK AT THIS SELFIE – DO YOUR REMEMBER WHEN WE TOOK THAT IT WAS”
Me: “Guys, it’s been 20 seconds since I was last here, there’s no talking during the acts – if you want to chat – go upstairs, if you want to watch the acts then watch the acts.”
5 minutes later I get a complaint from an audience member, then 10 minutes later I get a complaint from another audience member. I inform these guys about this to which they respond,
“We’re not talking, we’re whispering”
They were being quieter but not quiet enough.
And so the saga continues until it was time for them to leave. So jacket off, door man at the ready and my back-ups ready
Guys: “Do you know what, we’re sick of being told to be quiet and we’re leaving”
Well it was the first thing they’d said I liked the sound of and they took their drinks upstairs where they were refused service for being obnoxious upstairs as well.
Bottle of water Gary Little
I like to take care of my acts and I ask them what they’d like before the show. Gary wanted some sparking water so I brought him a bottle. Although the bottle had been sitting on a table for 30 minutes when he opened it the whole thing exploded. Once that had calmed down he tried to put the lid on it and the lid flew across the room. Only I could pick a bottle that heckles the acts 😉
Back in the early days of Enterteasement we used to be more of a new act night. The new acts used to keep things like merchandise from the show – well tonight our 3 newer acts stole the posters. We like that – it means they want to remember they’re time with us.
The Audience: Amazing, in a crammed room they were so good. Some of the comedians commented about how attentive and receptive they were. Some of them stood for 3 hours watching the show! Apart from the 4 people – exceptionally well behaved crowd.
Star: My lovely manager who puts up with me when I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown and still manages to make my smile and do amazing at her job.
Chris Matthews: DJ & Friend – one of the best people at doing what he does that I’ve ever met. I’m a man known for my high standards and if we were in the same industry – he would crush me! Yip, he’s not that good, he’s better. Vow Nominated Wedding DJ http://www.1stdance.co.uk/ and mood lighting specialist
Wullie Marr: Our photographer who at 2am put up the first batch of photos as a teaser – typical Enterteasement style https://www.facebook.com/wulliemarrphotography
Gary Meikle: Our door person, comedian and good friend of mine.
Edward Reid from BGT: One of the greatest entertainers I’ve ever seen live for his words of wisdom afterwards http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVkURlcF63Q
Joey Dixon: For celebrating her birthday with us. She lied so that she wouldn’t get any special treatment – awww – how nice 🙂 Spoke to her afterwards and she says she’ll be coming back, I get a nice vibe off her and her friends.
Lottie for coming through from Edinburgh for the show – We love it when our performers become guests – means a lot to us
The Admiral for their support – if you’ve ever launched events you’ll know how difficult venues make it for the organiser but the Admiral has been really helpful and supportive for us. They put up our posters, set the venue up and plug the gig and offer advice when needed. Thanks guys.
AND….if you’ve read all that…you need a night out – so come to Enterteasement next month on February 8th Tickets go on sale soon.
Photographs on www.facebook.com/enterteasement