26. The Next Comedy Gig
So, here I am in London for the intravenous vitamin C therapy having driven straight down the morning after BGT. And on the Wednesday I have another gig.
Being turned down in front of 3000 people can be a bit of a knock to your confidence. So it was good that I did have another gig – and a high-profile one too – that following week. It was at the Stoke Pub in Guildford, a monthly comedy night compered by Paul Kerensa (co-writer of Miranda and Not Going Out). Paul is a Christian as well as a comedian and he asked me via Facebook. I was thrilled.
Getting there was going to be a bit of a problem because of the tube strike and my lack of knowledge of London. I was going to be very late back because I wanted to see the headline act – he’s an A-lister and very funny. I’m not going to name him here because I don’t have his permission.
I could get back to Diane’s with the night-bus from Waterloo but I was finding that prospect fairly scary. Although I’m very well, the vitamin C treatment is making things rather sore and I am tired – we came straight to London for the treatment the morning after BGT.
So, just on the off-chance, I emailed Paul to ask whether any of the other comedians was driving down from north London and, if so, could they give me a lift to Kentish town? I was quite confident walking from there.
The wonderful thing about spiritual people is that they are not like your average comedian on the circuit ... who are, I regret to say, a bit on the tribal ‘do we know you?’ side.
An email came back from the A-lister within two hours saying he was happy to give me a lift, door to door.
So, I went straight from the day’s treatment down to Waterloo and took the train to Guidlford ... walked to the venue, ordered some food, chatted with the other two supporting comedians and did my act.
It went well. All the jokes that hadn’t worked on BGT got big laughs. Weird. I wasn’t sure whether to use them but I thought I’d see how it went. But I went back to my own favourite starting lines instead of the YouTube one that the producers wanted me to use.
And I was brave with the second half – I used a new joke about how the flooding was not because God hates homosexuals (a British UKIP member had said that the flooding was due to the government allowing gay marriage) but because he hates vegetarians.
I followed that with a Genesis based – hopefully funny – story about the Garden of Eden, Noah and the flood. I got some good applause.
And at the end, when I went to sit down again, the A-list comedian, who had been lurking out of sight of the audience, came and sat down beside me.
‘I really enjoyed that,’ he said. ‘I converted to Catholicism two years ago and I’d love to talk with you more. We can talk on the way back to London.’
He then went on and rocked them in the aisles with an act that kept my face aching for a couple of hours.
We drove back to London together and talked and talked and talked. I later found out that his astrological chart and mine have several important connections. We talked about how we found benediction; redemption and hope. How mysticism was the way forward. We talked about the life-enhancing disease and aspects of his life and youth. He asked me to recommend some books. We spiritually fell in love.
That’s not a sexual thing – at all. To fall in love spiritually is to feel a deep connection with another’s soul. When you’re young it’s hard to tell the two apart but when you’re getting on a bit, the difference is palpable.
We’re meeting for coffee in a week or two. He thinks what I do is amazing. He is fascinated by the independent Catholic movement. He is known for helping aspiring comedians. This could be a deeper synchronicity than I ever thought possible.
Thank you God