The Comedy Store in Manchester OR THE BEST SHOW OF MY LIFE!

It’s been a while since I blogged and I apologise for that but I’ve been saving something amazing for you. Here it is. This is me having a wonderful time at the Comedy Store in Manchester –

I was on just before Sarah Millican and had an absolutely lovely show, wish I could have stayed on longer.  Again this was the big one for me, The Comedy Store is where all comedians want to be in their careers and for me this was another dream come true. Say stuff like this is a big faux pas for comedians but screw it I loved it, I’ve been working towards it and I had an awesome show with some awesome people.

Sparkly new video

Last night I had the pleasure of performing at Ben Van Der Velde’s fantastic show Good Ship Comedy and because I’ve been doing some different, newer, material recently I filmed it.

I have to say I did use my phone to film it so don’t expect Michael Bay lens flare but I hope you enjoy it!

 

 

 

The impossible gig

I gig everywhere and I do mean literally everywhere. In my career I’ve performed in people’s living rooms, in corporate cafeterias, in the street, in football stadiums, in front of a public toilet, everywhere. Soon I’ll be performing in shopping centres as part of a brand campaign.

ImageGen

(target audience for that event)

However the last couple of weeks have seen me do a few gigs that would be seen as “unplayable” and this has got me to thinking that perhaps there’s no such thing as an unplayable gig just an inexperienced comedian. I’ll list them chronologically also for the people who were involved with these I have to say first that I enjoyed all of them immensely.

1. A festival tent in the middle of nowhere – Imagine “The Hills have Eyes” but with wizard of OZ costumes and professional comedians.

2. Local pub new material night – Man in the audience telling the guys around him “don’t laugh! Don’t laugh!” whenever anyone did a joke, I imagine he hangs around operating theatres and shakes the surgeons from behind whenever they make an important incision. 10 people in the audience so it was like having a glass splinter in your lip balm.

3. Preview of my own hour long show to 6 people in an attic with two groups of drunk strangers interrupting at random intervals then staying for the show – Come on! Could it be tougher?!

4. 500 people at a festival during a hurricane with no seating – anyone need more than that to understand how hard that would be?

BoardmastersThumb1

(Imagine this but with a tidal wave and flying cows)

5. First night in a local pub – Group of 20 lads who look like individually they could beat the living shit out of The Rock all trying to see who would come up on stage and take the mic off the comics.

6. Jongleurs – Now there’s a history of Jongleurs’ nights being amazing and there’s a secondary history where some of them are so hard it’s unbelievable, this night I saw a mentalist/comedian get one audience member to guess a word that another audience member was thinking from across a room. The reaction wasn’t what we all expected (the comics were screaming “HOW THE FUCK MAN! HOW THE FUCK?!!”) and instead it got a sedate round of applause when it should have got a standing ovation.

249541,xcitefun-nicholas-and-john-flying-brothers-in-chi

(“Ah yeah my mate Jeff does that, not impressive. NEXT”)

7. Strange new material night with band playing in next room and people banging on the floor from upstairs with no microphone – I mean it would be difficult to watch a DVD with surround sound in that environment let alone a stranger screaming at you about animal procreational behaviour.

8. Private party in a nightclub – Literally just a microphone in the corner of a room with 10 people crowded round it and 200 other people dancing, shouting, laughing and chatting like you normally do in a nightclub.

53_dance_floor

(“So guys! GUYS! LISTEN TO ME PLEASE! THIS IS MY CAREER! I JUST WANT MY KIDS TO BE PROUD OF ME!”)

Every single one of those gigs I did the same thing before I went on. I looked at the gig, I looked at the audience’s reaction to either the acts before me or just the evening in general and I thought “fuck I can’t do this, this is a tough gig” then I thought “who says that? Who says man that’s tough I can’t do it? Other people say that. People who WANT you to fail, people who look at aeroplanes and say man will never fly and you know what FUCK THEM! LET THEM LIVE ON THE FUCKING GROUND”. It sounds all very inspirational speaker but every single one of those gigs was lovely and amazing and I had a lot of fun. I would say I smashed them but I’ve been told that it’s bad form so for now lets just say they went incredibly well.

The only thing that makes a gig impossible, the only thing that makes anything impossible, is you. If you do something half arsed it’s going to fail, if you do something without pouring all of your energy into it then what’s the point? If you realise that in the end it’s just you who’s in control of your success you start to realise that other people’s criticism is just their jealousy and frustration at their inability to affect you. Don’t worry about what other people are doing just focus on being amazing.

58531b1b59150df4e686ed8f9c8b0460

 

Socks – an open letter about socks

As I have been purchasing a lot of hiking gear recently I thought it only right that the manufacturer should get feedback concerning the products I’ll be utilising for the Mic, Bike ‘n’ Hike 

Screenshot 2014-03-21 at 22.07.28

For those of you who can’t read that the email goes:

Hi Karrimor,

I recently purchased a pack of your magnificent Karrimor Pro Trek Walking socks for a particularly gruelling walking event I have coming up and I have to say I’m very impressed. I’m always a little anxious when I buy any socks as I find they fall into two camps. The first is the Grandma’s rough touch woollens. Made from the finest barb wire but held together with love, these socks are the footwear equivalent of Guantanamo Bay. As they tighten around your toes they induce an itching/burning you’ve only experienced through sexual experimentation and deep muscle pain relief. You’d throw them away immediately if they hadn’t been a gift from your crochet crazy Great Grandmother, sent to you weeks before she died from loneliness. You leave them at the bottom of the drawer knowing full well you have other socks you can use in their place and thus assuaging any guilt you might feel from disposing of these monstrous medieval torture devices. However, once in a while, you forget your sock level is running close to empty, it’s been a busy week and there hasn’t been time to load the washing machine let alone hang anything out to dry, and you’re left with these woollen woes staring up at you. Maybe they’re not as bad as you remember, you think to yourself innocently, maybe they’re fine. You couldn’t be more wrong. The moment you tug these chunky foot bags onto your feet you’re struck with an unpleasant sensation you’re not used to, that of a thousand fireants all attempting to reduce your fine foot to raw bone. No these socks are not for wearing, they’re a distant remnant of a bygone era where trenchfoot was rife and malicious merino was used to remind the wearer of their loved ones.
The second is the illusion of thinness. You’re lulled into a false sense of security as you slide the seductive sheath over your smooth foot, the coolness of the fabric scintillating your senses and awakening thoughts in you suggesting that today you can be a bit more frivolous, today you don’t need to just walk to work you can skip a little. Those socks open up possibilities in you that only lay in the land of whimsy before, a land you had never been able to get to as the entrance is a long polished corridor and your only method of transport was sliding down it.These socks could take you through that open door. That is until the betrayal. It starts out as a little extra fabric gathering at your heel, something you barely notice as you dance “singing in the rain” style down the high street, you take no heed instead revelling in the feet based freedom you’ve only ever dreamt of. Suddenly there’s a cold tug and you feel your new sock retreating into your shoe. Like a dishonoured samurai fleeing his master’s burning castle this defender of your cotton comfort retreats into the dark. Your heel touches shoe and the revulsion is too much for your whimsical morning cheer, the happiness is shattered and you’re left empty, the emotional rollercoaster of the day’s asockalypse leaving a lingering distrust for thin footwear. This is perhaps the worst of the two types.
As the event I will be utilising your socks for is a tough one I was doubly worried about them, you can find info here http://www.micbikehike.co.uk/, I shouldn’t have been. Your socks provide the perfect balance of support and comfort. Like the first glass of wine on a Friday evening these socks refreshed while relaxing me. I wore them around the house, striding confidently from room to room, proud that I had made such an excellent decision when previous footwear based follies had occurred. Even in a real world performance test these socks were head and shoulders (although not actually as that would have rendered them useless) above the rest. Unlike my rather distant father these socks gave support when needed and like my over protective mother they shielded me from all external interference on my journey. So this is just an email to say thank you Karrimor, thank you for being the father I never had and being the mother I never wanted.
Yours comfortably.
Chris Purchase

P.S. Have you ever thought about making underpants?

You’re a joke

For some reason I can no longer recognise people for the way they look.

Looking cute

(I mean who the hell is this guy? There’s pictures of him all over my computer!)

Let me clarify. When you are a self employed entertainer you tend to live in a little bubble. You spend your days writing, rehearsing and relaxing on your own. Everyone else is either at work or doing the same. When you go to a gig you usually drive on your own and meet other entertainers who you’ll see for 3 hours max,  and they’ll either be getting ready to go on stage or over analyzing their performance, before getting back in your car and heading home to a house full of sleeping people. Lather, rinse, repeat. The people you speak to meaningfully and for any length of time are either your significant other or children (or housemates depending on how old you are and how much you are trying to escape responsibility). Also the majority of people you’re seeing are audience members and while every audience is important you tend to just remember the absolute best individuals.

shawn-audience

(YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE STEVE!)

So everyone tends to merge into one skin coloured blur of judgement and appreciation. As comedy is your livelihood and your passion you tend to think of people in terms of how much they respect you (other comics) or how much you can make them laugh (audience members), although with family it’s how long they can tolerate you wearing just boxers and a tshirt while shopping. It’s a strange phenomenon but when comics talk to other comics you get this:

COMEDY FRIEND: “Hey man have you seen David Mcjokeandlaugh?”

ME: “I’m not sure. I think the name sounds familiar, what joke does he do?”

Never before have I ever defined the people I meet with the words they say. “Hey remember Jeff from upstairs?” “No I don’t think so” “yeah you do he’s the one that says ‘have you seen pictures of my daughter?’ or ‘have you got those accounts filed yet?'” “OH! JEFF! yeah I totally remember Jeff hahaha I love the accounts thing but he’s totally copying Jane from legal with the whole daughter stuff”.

Men-Office

(Go on Jeff ask me about those accounts again! I love this guy!)

I have never been asked if I remember a fellow comic by any discerning features “hey you know that Sally Funandgiggles? you know she’s the one with red hair and six fingers on her left hand?” “Nope sorry I mean that could be anybody!”. It’s such a strange idea and yet it’s universally how we identify each other on the circuit. This is all down to how judgemental we are. We’re not just looking at all the performers as competitors we are also looking to make sure we haven’t got similar material to them or if they’ve copied someone else’s bit. I’ve seen MCs who do material then introduce the act whose material they’ve stolen so it’s rife and as it’s our intellectual property/cash cow we’re very protective of it.

7c8a5c

(Each goat represents a joke of mine and the fence represents how many times I will punch you in the throat for stealing one)

We want to be original and we want to be good so we remember what other comedians are doing to make sure we’re different and better. Currently I get a lot of “hey you’re that guy who wrote those things” which I much prefer to “hey you’re that guy who does the duck joke” or “hey pedo guy!” which is never something you want shouted at you in the street from an audience member in front of a group of non audience members/saturday night police officers.

This week is a crazy maelstrom of joke telling, story weaving, car tripping, world record breaking madness. If you’re in Kingston, Warrington, Bath, Bournemouth or Portsmouth I’ll be near you at some point this week and if you want to see my hour long show for the first time you need to come to this where I’ll be one of 64 comedians trying to break the world record for the longest standup show.  It’s very exciting to be part of an event like this so come and get involved, it’s history in the making! The list of talent is incredible so get yourself down to Portsmouth to witness something spectacular.

unicornbirth

(Like a unicorn giving birth)

Guilty?

Today I wrote this joke – “I like my coffee so white it can’t dance” – it’s not a great joke, hell it’s not even an ok joke and for all I know it’s not even my joke, but after I’d written it into the tiny box on twitter I just sat staring at it thinking “is that racist?”.

The truth is I don’t know, I really really don’t know. There’s no guidebook for this kind of thing and it’s not the first time I’ve had this kind of dilemma. A while ago I was entertaining people at MotoGP and I’d written a joke about seeing “hoochy mamas” in Amsterdam. The term “hoochy mama” was what was written above these ladies at the brothel I walked past and they were all large, black, older women. My problem was not the words “hoochy mama” as obviously it’s not a term I use ever and was a description of how they were being advertised, my problem was with me personally saying that the women were black. Even as I write this I feel myself cringing away from the keyboard.

cringe

(I sometimes dress as a 1970s fisherman when I blog)

I didn’t know if saying black to describe someone on stage was racist or not and had to ask my fellow colleague and friend Jason (check him out he’s very funny – Link) to get his thoughts. He told me that I shouldn’t even worry about it and really the only people I was ever going to offend were white people who were worried that saying it would offend black people. It also occured to me that just by worrying about being racist might mean that I am in fact racist.

exploding_head_3

(WHAAAURRRGH?!)

Race issues have been discussed over and over by people with a much better attention span than mine but why have I personally got such a problem with it? I have no idea. I think it might be because I come from a middle class background and my mum used to describe ethnicities using bunny ears so she’d say ‘you know Tim? he’s “asian”‘ as if suggesting that perhaps he wasn’t asian and was instead pretending to be asian as some kind of ploy to make conversations about his appearance uncomfortable. If that’s the case then Tim succeeded spectacularly.

So what do you think? Should I be signing up to UKIP and declaring myself proudly white on all national surveys? Currently I tick the “other” box and add a hilarious description next to it. Other…Sperm whale.

Mother_and_baby_sperm_whale

(Studies show Staffordshire has 2.4 sperm whales per household)

Someone pointed this video out to me (thanks Dan) and I wanted to share it with you

As a post

I made myself deaf this week. When people say you need to stop when the cotton bud meets resistance you should totally do that.

Image

(and NEVER use them to store stationary)

It’s really only half deaf as it’s just my right ear but as my left ear hasn’t worked properly since I was 23 and got a serious ear infection it’s more like I’m 75% deaf. Right now all I can hear in my right ear is a screaming, buzzing, hissing noise. It’s like a flock of seagulls trying to fuck a dolphin while bees cheer them on.

(Revenge is sweet)

Unless I’m within a foot of the person talking all I can hear is the teacher from Charlie Brown. My kids are 3 foot tall which means I have to bend in half just to hear what they’re saying, speaking with them is like a pilates class where every conversation is about poo or the daily lives of inanimate cuddly animals. FYI inanimate cuddly animals have exceedingly complicated personal lives akin to the year long plot of Hollyoaks. The girls’ toys have had more issues than Take a Break.

39092

(What you don’t know is that every story on that cover is the same person. I use this magazine as a pick me up, when I’m feeling down I just look at the front cover of ANY issue and think “Yeah I’m good”)

On stage it’s even worse as the audience are further away (usually) and further down (mostly). Last night the closest audience  was a party of ladies and they were 4 feet lower than me and 10 feet away so I could see their mouths moving but nothing was reaching my ears. It was like watching an aggressive silent movie about alcoholic menopause, if you watch anything with Jane McDonald in it on mute it’s similar to that.

Jane-McDonald-Confirms-She-Will-NOT-Be-Going-In-Celebrity-Big-Brother

It has had a beneficial side effect however. When you can’t hear anything you can’t regulate your speaking volume so when I’m on stage I am automatically louder. I thought this would be terrible but it’s added a new level of energy to the set and the audiences have been reacting nicely to it, say hello to a significantly more obnoxious Purchase. Obviously the opposite is also true and sometimes when I’m out and about I scream at shop assistants who haven’t met anyone that aggressive about caramel doughnuts.

angry-man-screaming

(I’D LIKE 4 YUMYUMS PLEASE!!!!!!)

So now I have to put special drops in my ear for 2 weeks, which feels like insects crawling into my brain, then go back to the doctors and have them syringe my ear out, which is apparently a 50% chance of going deaf as it involves a doctor firing a high pressure hose into your delicate eardrum and praying he doesn’t burst it. I just hope he wasn’t drinking the day before and I don’t look like the man his wife left him for. I would rather lose an arm than my hearing and in all honesty I’d rather lose nothing and just have all 5/6 of my senses. Call me crazy but if it turns out I can talk to dead people I want to be able to hear them.

(What’s that? Sorry what? Wakka wakka wakka? Nope nothing)