Originally not aired on ??/??/????
Okay, I’ll admit it: I got drunk last night. Big deal. So what? Who cares?
Not me. I certainly don’t care. I absolutely don’t feel incredibly guilty for getting wasted on Vodka Chai’s when I should’ve been getting an early night and keeping myself at the peak physical condition needed to tell my dick jokes effectively.
It’s hard up here. You get sad, you do your show, then you feel a bit better but still a bit sad so you drink. (Btw I get the pronouns “you” and “I” mixed up a hell of a lot). Then once you’ve drunk, you buy some chips and curry sauce, then you get the bus home and the next day you feel hungover and sad and then you do your show again and drink some more and you get stuck in a cycle.
Last night I really smashed my show, so when I came off stage I felt handsome and sexually powerful. The crowd were buzzing, I was buzzing and my phone was buzzing. The twitter notifications were going crazy after my set. Well I say that, it was mainly stuff like “David Mitchell tweeted after a while” but I was just happy that the lad’s putting out content again.
I also love that feeling of milling around in the venue after the show’s finished and the audience start to trickle out in their half a dozens. It’s a bit cheeky, but I like to stand near the exit so they can give me praise as they walk out. It’s a bit like fishing for compliments but worse. I’m kinda poaching for them, laying down a trap on a patch of land I know they have to walk past.
“That’s the guy from the show,” I heard a couple whisper (not great whisperers) as they came out. “Excuse me,” they said. I knew what was coming; I braced myself for some validation.
“We’re looking for somewhere called Underbelly on Cowgate – do you know where that is?”
Brilliant stuff. These guys obviously loved the misdirections in my set so much that they came back for more – so I sent them to the wrong side of town. After the excitement, I got a bit sad again because my brain ain’t wired no good for happiness, and so I went out for a few drinks.
But now, in the cold light of day, I just feel shit.
“Why do we do this to ourselves?” I asked Jem Braithwaite, today’s guest on the hit podcast Comedians In Edinburgh Getting Chai Lattes.
“What on Earth do you mean, Eric?”
Jem has a funny and unique way of speaking that mirrors his approach to comedy. Gracing the stage in a cape, Jem isn’t a superhero (far, far from it), he’s just one of these “alternative comedians” who replaces punchlines with acts of randomness, and I for one am a fan of his work.
“Well, Jem, in comedy, we have these big highs, but they’re followed by crushing lows.”
“Well, is it worth it?”
I looked at Jem as he took some time to think about his answer. “I’ve got a face that needs explaining” is the opening line of his set, and I found myself getting lost in this face. There’s something about that line that explains why comedy is important. Someone who views themselves in that way has no option other than to do stand-up (apart from maybe undergoing therapy, but fuck that shit). But that line expresses a truth – it says “we’re all fucked up and I’m brave enough to say it out loud”. If you have that bravery, then you need to use it, because it helps us all. Sure, there might be big highs and crashing lows, but maybe it’s better to have these extremes than to live in an emotional comfort zone. Humans were built to feel, and no one feels more than the stand-up comic.
I could see Jem had formulated his answer.
“No, it’s probably not worth it,” he said.
We talked for another 20 minutes, and by the end of the conversation Jem had decided he wants to train as a data analyst, starting from September.
Good luck, Jem!
See you next time x