Sunday 27 January 2013

Diary for January


With the deluge of Socks videos that I've been filling this blog with this month, I've not bothered to use it as a diary. So, for what it's worth, here are some of the things I've been up to in January that I might want to look back on and remember.

A Comic Art Masterclass cutting from last year that I've just stumbled upon. So far no press this year, for shame.

Caricaturing. Having ended 2012 with my last job being caricaturing at a Christmas party, I've started the year with a clutch of caricaturing gigs. A wedding in the Welsh Valleys, a hotel's Christmas party on the Strand, and a Bar Mitzvah in Enfield.

The Socks have had a quiet start to their gigging season, with just a heat of the Musical Comedy Awards (we got through) and a two-gigs-in-a-night double-up in snowy Derbyshire on Friday night. This has left me with time to write the new Socks In Space show. And have I? Of course not. Bits and bobs have come together, though I've found myself more inspired to write topical parody songs and sketches for them than to get on with the proper work.

I'll confess I like some of the videos we've produced this month - I watch the Captain Kirk and Eden Hazard songs for pleasure - and getting 41,000 viewers for the Tesco gags was fun (though not profitable, after I was removed from Google's adsense programme last year for clicking on my own ads, and this extended to ads being removed from my Youtube videos, which is annoying and unfair, and not something I can do anything about). But I can't see a topical song about a storm-in-a-teacup news story making its way into our live show ever.

Essentially I have been writing and producing the sort of material that would be great if I was contributing to a weekly topical comedy show, if for example The Socks were on The Now Show, but we must concentrate on stuff that I can still be performing a year from now. I'm on the case.

I've done two days in schools this month, it will be three by the month's end, and again the busy season lies ahead of me with Feb and March booked chocker with a mixture of Socks and schools. April's quiet by the way, if anyone wants me.

And The Sitcom Trials has me hoping to announce a big event, but waiting for someone else to confirm some details before I can say a thing. Hopefully next week the news will be out. In the meantime the Trials' first big event, Vince's play Checkpoint Dave, took place in Bristol and I went and missed it as a result of the small flurry of snow we experienced last week (I chickened out of driving from Clevedon to Bristol & back for fear of getting snowed in). Sorry Vince. Having seen a repeat of a fascinating documentary from 1963 on that year's Big Freeze (it lasted 3 months, and was the worst winter the country's ever seen) and having driven through snow this weekend in Derbyshire and Leicestershire, I feel all the more guilt for not braving the previous week's snow.

So,  a creative month has seen a couple of new Socks props appear, courtesy of Heather who has nailed two key costumes for the new show, and even seen me draw some cartoons and send them to Private Eye (swiftly rejected, of course, but maybe I'll do more).  And I've read some good stuff, Marvels Comics The Untold Story being the most informative and enjoyable read, Simon Baron Cohen's Zero Degrees Of Empathy being a bit of a technical handful that I'm chewing my way through dutifully, and the Pointless book living up to its name being the fluffiest nonsense I've read in a long while.

Parking Schadenfreude.

For a long time now the double yellow lines out the front of our house have been broken, They have served a purely decorative purpose, running as they do the complete length of our road, and routinely used as a car park. Not by us, you understand. I wouldn't dare. I've had two parking tickets in the last 20 years on that street, so I always find a legal space, even though that means half the time I'm parked a street away. However the rest of the neighbourhood have no such compunctions, with the road often having as many as 6 cars parked on the double yellows, overnight and all day.

One car in particular has been bugging us. It seems to belong to newcomers who have made the spot directly in front of our house their personal parking spot. Did I mention that all these cars straddle the pavement, the road being too narrow for them to do otherwise? So there's this one car, a grey Mazda, and it's out there day and night, blocking our pavement, making the recycling lorry's job nigh on impossible, and getting slightly on my nerves.

So imagine my joy when I came home the other day to see a parking ticket on its drivers window. Ha ha. They won't be blocking our pavement any more, I rejoiced as I stepped into the flat. To find, on the table, a Penalty Charge Notice for me! For parking for 3 minutes to nip into a shop in Camden at 10.30 on a Friday night. There is no justice.

Gosh, is that it? My diary for a month? I've, er, made some snowmen. Nope that's about it. I am starting to feel I could have done more in January. Okay, four days left, up and at em Atom Ant!

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