Not written in a while…

but life is up and down…

I have had a couple of interesting offers recently…an audition for a welsh detective series – i did it over the computer. am yet to hear back from them. I was playing a priest. Also, might be doing a bit for Penderyn Whisky…facebook ads over Christmas.

Have also been entered for the welsh Mastermind – that is, welsh language Mastermind. Beatles songs will be my first specialised subject.

what else? just gripes i have today, sour gripes…

i ebay stuff, trying to make any money i can from selling an old crap.

I started selling my collection of Godzillas, from the late 90s. Sold three of them thus far. One buyer gave me negative feedback, for what i’ll never know…if a seed grow he push it down, i shot the sherrif…no seriously, it’s been a tricky year and it’s getting trickier.

Covid killing people. and here’s me complaining about a virtual auction ! duuuuwwww fi’n cofio dod lawr man’na.

BUt things do happen that piss one off…a friend, an ex-girlfriend, – i messaged her the other day just to say hi – she wrote back to me, also to say hi, and added that she thought i should take a political side after all this is over. She meant in my comedy, she said i sit on the fence, and play it safe. Those were her words. maybe a reflection of what she is all about – political conviction. But really? can that change anything? i said to her England’s not interested in my politics. (I don’t think she got that)….the point being there’s plenty of political stuff i’d like to say as a welshman, that don’t fit into the cosy norm of british comedy. It’s still a crime to say anything remotely resembling nationalistic sentiment. when really, all you want to say is ‘don’t treat us as a colony !’ that’s political isn’t it??

But, from an artistic pov, what makes political comedy so good anyway? I’ve had this before where a friend says to me: what’s the point of your comedy? meaning what’s the point unless i have something political to say…well, thing is, comedy is broad, very broad…..but it’s clear that some people get annoyed unless they can hear certain words leaving the comedian’s lips, words which echo their own viewpoint, perhaps. And that to me is one drawback of talking politics: you tend to only please those who share your views i.e. preaching to the converted.

Comedy ultimately makes people laugh. Is that the main purpose or point of it ? Arguably yes. But of course it’s possible to make people laugh by saying very diverse things. and i like to think that what i say is not pandering to society’s prejudices. Fuck it, if people don’t get some of my humour they’re entitled to say they don’t think i’m funny. But i object to being criticised for not being more ‘political’….

If i was a chef who, in real life, is left wing, would you expect my dishes to have red flags on top? If i was fascist plumber do you think the pipes i fix would sport swastikas?? NO! So why does this expectation rest on a comedian? Why is it important for a comedian to talk politics, for their act to be about the state of the govt? the state of the nation? about the marxist dialectic, Mrs Thatcher, Boris, Palestine, Israel????? etc …YES when it’s done well it’s great, there’s a place for it, it is a valid style of stand up comedy. It’s satire! Yes absolutely. The end of the eighties was the peak of this form of stand up, the early days of the so called ‘alternative’ comedy. And some of those comedians were giants: Mark Steel, Bill Hicks, to name two.

But comedy encompasses everything. all of life. And, to me, what one feels, e.g. spirituality, surmounts political doctrine in importance. Can i get this out in my comedy? Yes. do people notice it? I don’t know.

Do i write my own material? Yes. Is that a political act? I think so. I don’t have a ‘political act’ but my comedy is full of political acts like that.

She said to me i should follow the example of Spitting Image. Spitting Image. How i remember it. It had a handful of good ideas, but relied heavily on the sensational, and grotesque, and really just slagged people off. Satire not. It was humour derived from our instinctive fondess of seeing famous people bashed.

Also, political stand ups i think tend to be hippocrites to some extent. Maybe not the good ones. But, becasue they have their audience who likes to hear the shit they’re saying, then that audience also laughs along with the imperfect things. Like, ooh don’t say anything remotely racist or sexist but its ok you can slag off the germans, the french, or imitate the welsh or scottish accents – and imitate them badly – where’s the political ideal there then?

NEXT- i’ll be talking about Radio Wales,- watch out !

29th october 2020.

I am looking back in 2020 hindsight? (to quote the Rutles)…probably.

it’s been a stressful few weeks. still no gigs. and Lockdown ongoing. everyone has to cope with the latter.

But there’s been vile shit going down on the comedy scene’s social websites. I don’t want to go into it, but i’d liek to think it’s over.

Anyway, it could be the stess from that that brought on an attack of proctalgia. at least i think it’s proctalgia…i’ve never had it diagnosed. If you don’t know what that is, it’s literally a pain in the arse!

It comes on very occasionally and lasts just a few minutes, but when it’s there it is very painful.

two nights ago i wake up in the middle of the night with it. The pain is horribel and makes me feel hot. i get out of bed and rush to the bathroom, just so i can sit in the coolness, and bend over and breathe deeply.

but the pain won’t go away, and i start to feel faint.

I get up and head across the hall back to my bedrron. then something very weird happens.

I have the sensation that i am asleep, …and there’s a loud bang, as if in a dream, but traumatic.

next thing, i’m not sure how much later, – it feels like seconds, but could have been longer – i open my eyes, and am totally disorientated. No idea where i am. Then i gradually realize i am on the floor. lying in my stomach.

To cut a long story short: as i walked from teh bathroom to my bedroom i must have feinted, collapsed. I fell with force on something. Now there’s big cut on my forehead, whiplash in my neck, and my arm hurts cos i fell on top of it.

In the minutes following this collapse i was very confused, in fact i thought i might have had a stoke! thankfully not.

18th october

was walking under the motorway a couple of days ago and wouldn’t you believe it…a baby pidgeon, up in the rafters ! Only in myths have i encountered such creatures before.

Monday 14th Sep, 2020.

so…

two things happened-

first, i wrote a ‘pitch’ , and filmed it on my tablet, for a short film. It’s for a competition – £30000 is what you get, to make the film, is it’s accepted.

The film had to be based or inspired by anything out of the Bible. I submitted a modern day a parody of the ten virgins, or bridesmaids. Instead of running out of oil for their lamps they run out of juice for their mobile phones…..the idea’s okay, but my filmed pitch was crappy. but at least i got it in on time – 12 o clock deadline.

The other thing that happened on Monday – a tragic thing.

Paul James texted me to call him. so i did and he told me that Ian Cooper has killed himself.

a friend, a generous bloke. i frequently stayed at his when i gigged in north wales.

He ran a few comedy clubs. He was one of the good guys on the welsh comedy scene.

Last time i saw him was in sep last year – when i toured the welsh Brcht play he let me stay at his pad in Colwyn Bay.

It’s unbelievable that he’s gone….he had a kid, a dog, a house, he was a carpenter, he worked as a counsellor for drug addicts…he was a lovely man.

And now he’s gone. Colled mawr…A loss to the world.

Nos Da Ian

Film nomination

i did a short film called The Comedian. That was in 2019.

turns out it’s been nominated for Best Short Film set in Wales, in the Welsh International Film Festival….