Room for a Laugh: My work/travel balance

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The world of Tom Taylor, promoter of Harrogate’s Sitting Room comedy club and finalist in So You Think You’re Funny contest at Edinburgh Fringe 2013

As I have mentioned before in these ramblings, the work/travel balance is truly extreme when it comes to stand-up.

We travel for hours in order to stand on stage for what could amount to as little as five minutes.

For the majority of us (the normals, not comedians) we travel for a bit and then remain glued to a computer screen for eight hours absentmindedly devouring a family pack of ginger nuts and desperately trying to convince ourselves that these spreadsheets we’ve spent the last week entering data into really are making a difference to the planet, our relationships, our happiness and all those trivialities that Zen life coach gurus get so hung up about.

It is hard to find a readymade comparison. I imagine wannabe musicians could also face a similar situation in order to acquire stagetime but

I am fairly sure music open mic nights are easier to come by and more local than their comedy equivalents.

My ears have deduced this as I have walked past various establishments in town centres and wondered why on earth a pig needed to be slaughtered to the unrelated twangs of a semi acoustic guitar. Poor pig. And just imagine the mess left for the staff to deal with.

I mean, should my theatre troupe travel to Market Harborough Little Theatre to present Othello we could all reasonably expect to stick around until Othello realises what a silly billy he’s been. We are there to present a full show.

Cassio can’t rock up, deliver all his material about drinking and the woes of being such a lightweight, then shuffle off home at quarter past showtime.

As such, you have to get comfortable with the idea of travelling. The majority of my gig commutes are solo car affairs. I am in command of my space. I have gigged a little further afield over the last couple of months and have been forced to use the train. Goodness me. For your sake I hope you are not one of the following:

The friendly chap: I’ve got my headphones in. I know they’re not plugged into anything but I really don’t want to see another photo of your daughter’s graduation.

The newspaper chap: buy a pocket book of Sudokus mate. Don’t unfold your bedsheet of a newspaper into my face just so you can fail at a maths puzzle. You’ve got two 8s in the third column.

The sleeper: yes it’s okay to sleep on a train. I sometimes do it.

Or pretend to do it. But I always rest my head on a firm surface. I don’t want your giant, flapping baby’s head lolling into my lap.

The reserver: I hope your grocery bag’s comfortable. It sure looks comfortable on that entire seat.

I will see some of you on the Leeds- Peterborough a week next Friday.

Sitting Room Comedy Club returns to the St George Hotel, Harrogate on Wednesday, June 11 with TV regular (Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Mock the Week, Dave’s One Night Stand, Have I Got News for You) and Frank Skinner’s Absolute Radio co-presenter, Alun Cochrane, plus Tom Wrigglesworth, Tommy Rowson and Scott Bennett as compère.

Tom Taylor tweets at @tomtails