Well, last week’s ‘Anti-Valentine’s Day’ show was an absolute blast! Surprisingly so.
Full disclosure, I am a *worrier* and I panicked for weeks about whether anyone would show up, whether I would be able to find any storytellers and whether I was good enough to even be doing this in the first place.
I do this every time, every show. I think even if I had sold out the 02 I would do the same. It is just who I am, especially when it comes to things or people I care about.
Thank fuckery, it all came good in the end, but I couldn’t have done it without my friends, holding my hand along the way and reminding me of what the goal was. I am not always the confident hot mess you see on stage, most of the time, I’m just the hot mess part.
Hosting and producing a live show requires a lot of bottle, as well as a degree of vulnerability, otherwise, where’s the fun? But doing anything creative is stressful and risky. You just never know what people will make of your passion project, your painting, your song and when you put it out there, that’s when you feel the most insecure, not when you’re shut away with your plans, your canvas, your guitar, just enjoying the process, just creating for you, for fun, for the pure joy. I hate feeling insecure, I avoid it at the best of times and every time I have a show date looming ahead of me, boy, do I go through all the feels and yet, I still do it.
The thing is, I know people respond emotionally to the show and that is as good a reason as any to keep going. The warmth and love we all feel as everyone leaves to make their way home (to greet hurricanes, Brexit, coronavirus etc) is incredible and leaves me dumbstruck every time and the affirmations after each story are just wonderful. It is so touching that you all have embraced that.
Telling stories about our lives makes us feel better. It also makes everyone around us feel better, because it is just one human to another, sharing the truth that we all fuck up or miss out sometimes. To err is to be human and I like to think of the show as the perfect antidote to the falsity of Instagram. Not everyone is having a great time all the time, least of all yours truly (seriously, I am currently battling a viral throat infection, a fenceless garden -thank you Mr Hurricane- and various other pedestrian tripe surrounding being a single parent that is far too ‘Eastenders’ to go into here), so, I started this show because I wanted to be honest.
When I came up with the idea of doing this show, I wanted to create a comedy night that left you feeling truly engaged, one which you could go to alone, one which you could join in with if you wanted to. I wrote ‘warm hug’ on a post it note, because that’s how I wanted the experience of the night to really feel. I really did, look:
I wanted to be honest about feeling like an ‘also ran’, about feeling that life never quite works out how you think it will, but that that is ok because we can all be connected by that. That is normal. We can’t always be winners at everything.
I hope that if you have come along to the show, you have felt moved by the stories you’ve heard, the experiences our gracious storytellers have shared, however funny, sad or shocking they might be. And if you have, do let me know. I am always interested to get feedback so I can make the night as awesome as it can be.
And I just wanted to let you know that as the host of the night, I am vulnerable, insecure and forever hopeful.
So, long live ‘The Time I Almost’. See you again soon.