I have been writing a lot more than usual lately, as the very existence of this blog should attest. I've always enjoyed writing but I've never really pushed it, prefering to jot down jokes and scenarios on random pieces of paper, putting them aside and hoping they will grow into amusing anecdotes by themselves.
Obviously, as a comedian, I have to write things down. Joke writing can be a labourious task, writing infinite punchlines for the same joke before settling on the one you first thought of;"Your mother"
But writing a few gags is an easy enough affair as noone expects you to write a whole set in one go. You can pick away by trying out new jokes gradually, and before long you have a brand new set.
So it is rare for me to write anything more than a few minutes of material at a time. Occassionally, however, I become inspired. An idea will pop into my head and take root, refusing to leave until it's dealt with good and proper.
It happened once before when I first started doing stand up. I had very few gigs under my belt but decided to do my own show, for one night only, in Carmarthen.
I wanted it to be different, so I decided on a murder mystery. It was to be called 'Who Killed Gary Lovely?' A local minor celebrity, Gary Lovely, had been killed. I played all of the suspects as well as playing myself interviewing the suspects.
How you ask? well, this was the thing. I used a projector. I had filmed various sketches, containing clues, about Gary's life. I also interviewed myself as the other characters, giving further clues, all projected on the wall beside me. In the second half, all the suspects were brought on one by one to be grilled by the public. What I was expecting was a few family and friends but the hall was filled to capacity by people lured by the thought of murder, comedy ..and free peanuts.
It almost worked. The audience loved it, but the production values were a bit shoddy and I could immediately see how it could have been improved.
But it cost me nothing to make and made me 500 quid so all in all it was a good thing. I may even dig it out some day for a remake.
It happened once again with an ill fated attempt at writing a book. I had a great idea, but not the perseverance to see it through. That's still on the back burner for later.
Recently, though I have started a new show and I have learned from my mistakes. While I am writing most of the show myself, I am not doing it alone. I have invited friends and like minded people to assist. I have actors, comedians, musicians, costume designers, film makers, photographers and writers all ready to give their skills up for nothing.
And when you have a team of people who are ready to give up their time for free, you make sure you don't waste it. Because wasted free time is the worst kind of wasted time, unless you're wasted (that sounds like it might be a song lyric but I don't recognise it)
So the fact that I have people to help, has in turn helped me write. I have been bashing the idea around for long enough with scrappy ideas and half filled pages. So I wrote. I wrote like I've never written before. I used every technique I could to writhe out of it. Endless cups of tea, shopping for a particular brand of apple I'm particularly found of, watching something that is about to disappear from iplayer because 'it'll be gone in two days and I might get busy.
But I kept chipping away until it just started to flow. And once it started to flow I barely left my room for three days except to buy fried chicken.
And then today, it was done. I finished the first draft. It's a bit ugly, there are probably glaring plot holes and inconsistencies. It hasn't quite as many jokes as I'd like and the characters aren't all fully developed. It may be overcomplicated and impossible to do but I'm going to try my damndest. Because its mine. It's in its infancy and is not without its charm. There are certain things about it that make me fell proud and giggly at the same time.
So now it begins proper. Stay with me because it could be ahell of a ride.