Last night's show (SFSPT Edfringe) was definitely a low. Our lowest audience since week one, and they weren't making much noise right from the start, and I realised I'd been spoilt by responsive crowds. I guess I got a bit obsessed by how bad I thought we were going, when really they were liking it just in their own quiet way. A few more props went a bit wronger than I would have liked, the ad lib sections just didn't take off at all, we squeezed all of the material in, which we've been cutting two or three minutes of every night before now because of extra time for laughter and adlibs, and all the things that just weren't great.
Worst point for me was during the big Mary Poppins song near the end when, during the costume change, I knocked the microphone out of its holder and had to perform the next 5 minutes with the mike clasped between my knees, unable to bring my hands down from the visible area to do anything about it.
On top of this I was painfully aware that there were three press tickets out there among the audience, and I won't know who they were until later today, but I'm dreading them being really important press (ie the Comedy Awards, Time Out, The Guardian) in which case we get bad reviews and no prizes.
I had already vowed not to go for a drink after the show, but had to turn that on its head and go to the Loft, with Owen from Bath who had put on our last preview show and was in the crowd last night. It's the first time since week one that my nerves have been shredded by the end of the gig, and I'm still feeling bad about it this morning. I even had a bloody dream based on it last night: I'm on stage doing the socks and someone comes in flyering and walks across my stage, I try and remonstrate with the flyerer and he nicks the Action Man that I'm waving, I get up from behind the stand, wearing socks on hands and try and get my Action Man back from the flyerer and fail, so I have to tell the audience the show is over. Is that Freudian or just a little sad and literal?
(Two nights ago, when I was in the middle of a run of great shows, I dreamt that my set fell off the front of the stage and came to bits, and that I found myself performing with my head showing, which would be the sock puppet equivalent of standing on stage naked. These are, I think, the first two dreams I've had which have involved me performing the Socks).
Today we do art galleries. (And inevitably some flyering, cos numbers are low today. Maybe they've all heard about last night and have started talking.)