Day 38 of 80 — Stand-up

Around London in 80 days

In these uncertain times, I need a lifeline and a horizon so I have — somewhat arbitrarily I’ll admit — set a date. April 1st will be my horizon ; my lifeline will be the 80 days separating me from it.

And as I cannot go around the world right now, I give you A Mad Belgian’s “Around London in 80 Days” : eighty impressions of London, eighty stories, places, thoughts from my experience of this wonderfully mad and maddening city.

Day 38: Stand-up

My heart is pounding. I go over my notes once again. I shouldn’t be so nervous, I’m used to being on stage. But this is different, there’s no filter, no instrument. Nothing between me and the crowd: just me and my words. The previous act is wrapping up; my turn to shine or crash.

I‘m in London for a few days with a challenge in mind: to give stand-up comedy a try. On paper it really is an easy process: you write a 5 minutes set, you go out and you start. I was once told the rules of comedy: “the only way to know if a line work is to try it” is the first one; “everybody bombs at least once” is the second.

I’ve seen it happen to some of the best, on my favourite London comedy night. Every Monday, in a dark pub basement just off Oxford Circus, the Old Rope presents a fantastic line-up at a reasonable price. There’s a twist, though: it’s all “new material”. One after the other, the big names of the day step up. Notebook in hand, they try out their new ideas for better or worse. That’s where I started liking stand-up.

It’s my turn now, my turn to take the leap. I take deep breath and grab the mic.

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