Once, many years ago, when I was younger and more prone to public foolhardiness, I learned to rollerblade. One of the online resources that helped me learn had a quote that I often think of. "The perfect way to rollerblade", it said, "is to feel that you're continually just at the point of losing control, but you don't". I think that can perhaps be applied to virtually everything, and it's certainly how I feel at the moment.
Last months London Varieties was big fun, but this months is going to be insane. Some of my favourite acts will be there, I'm doing some new stuff, and I have to get my shit together and not make a fool of myself when I interview one of my comedy heroes. Eeep. It's also the time of year when I start to get serious with plans for the Edinburgh festival. I'll be doing an evolved version of my one man show there, and..a couple of other things.. It's all a bit scary and exciting. Put that all together with the actual job of bouncing from club to gig to club to earn a crust, and sometimes I feel that I'm at the point of losing control. But so far I haven't.
Bearing all that in mind, then, it was nice to find the time to shoot a quick portrait of ex-street performer, clown, great hat juggler and comedian Andre Vincent. If you listened to last months varieties podcast (and if you didn't, then you are dead to me) then you will have heard Andre talk very entertainingly about his years as a street performer. The portrait at the top of the page is your chance to put a face to those words.
This week also saw me doing a corporate gig for a bank in Bradford. Contrary to what you might be assuming - and to what I might have assumed - it was actually a fun gig. I don't do any real street performing any more, so it's always a nice trip to the gym to be doing some street shows in the middle of a cold shopping street to unsuspecting people. In the opening minutes of my first show, as I was chatting to the handful of people I had convinced to watch, a dodgy-looking bloke half-walked and half-ran through the show, pursued by two policemen who caught him, slammed him into a shop doorway and proceeded to look through his bags and then cuff him. I don't like to blow my own trumped, but I think it's a good sign that both policemen and the shoplifting suspect watched my show right to the end, before going off to complete their arrest!
The rest of my week was spent doing some lovely burlesque shows, and spending a fun Sunday at a Japanese culture show at Earls Court. Photographic proof of both these claims, below.
I'm also very happy to announce that I'll be doing a couple of dates of my one man show "Mat Ricardo: Three Balls and a New Suit" at the Brighton Komedia, as part of the Brighton Festival. Dates for this show are the 7th and the 17th of May, and you can get tickets here. The good news for you is that it's a show I'm very proud of, it got great reviews and won me the Herald Angel Award for theatre. The bad news for me, is that I have to learn it all again.
If you haven't subscribed to the London Varieties podcast, then do! We've got some great shows on their way there soon, plus some extra special bonus podcast-only interviews. Also - if you submit and review and give us a star rating, then it really helps the iTunes rankings. I thank you in advance.