From the Top.

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“Where do you get your ideas for jokes from?” Someone asked me recently. This is what I told them.

Let’s take One of my joke’s: “I really love films, especially black and white ones, like Lethal Weapon.”

Before I was a failed stand up comedian. I was a failed filmmaker. Growing up I always wanted to be creative somehow. But I was always too shy and untalented to do anything.

I always loved film and as I got into my late teens, what I wanted was to be a movie writer, maybe even a producer. This was odd. As most people wanted to be an Actor or Director. Also, I didn’t really know what a producer did.

This was before I had the internet and there weren’t any film schools in my town, hell we barely had a regular school. I watched a lot of films, DVD extras, and listened to directors commentaries.

I came across a quote that inspires me. “If you can watch a film you can make one.”

This was not true. My attempts were awful. I had no money, clue or a support network.
Except for one of my friends, called Sean.

Sean wanted to make movies too. He was into directing and editing. His awful films were much better than my god awful films. So we teamed up.

One day he said “I have an idea for a movie. You write it and I direct it.” We saved up our money to buy a decent camera while I was writing the script.

The project was called 10-48. It was very much inspired by the Saw films. Two different groups of people wake up in the forest. Not knowing each other or why they are there. Then the two groups are pitted against each other. Where the winner’s get to walk away with their life’s.

It came in at a massive 40 plus pages. There was also something like 16 characters in it, along with a lot of action scenes.

1048

A rare time anyone used the script while filming 10-48.

It took two years to make and even at that, we didn’t get all the footage we wanted.

The main issue was that Sean lost his passion for the project pretty fast. Sean could only shoot on the weekends, would show up late and not really have clue to what was going on.

I was left to do everything. All my spare time and money went into 10-48. From going around to getting the props and costumes, or having to make them myself. To finding locations we could shoot on, getting the cast together and sorting the transport.

We would have massive fights all the time over it and finally, I stepped aside. From the footage we had. Sean managed to cobble together a working movie. After all that work it came out like nothing we hoped for and I had lost my friendship with Sean over it. I never wanted anything to do with making films after that.

But Mike, a guy I knew from school, hounded me for a year to make a movie with him. I told him about how people had let me down, not just Sean. Other people would be all keen to act in it. But when the time came they no showed.

Mike promised he wasn’t like that and after a year of asking me, I caved in. I came up with the simplest idea. A mock interview. Mike would play a director who’s a bit full of himself and I would play the interviewer.

The day of the shoot I was all ready to go. Mike was a bit late do. Then he was over an hour late. I sent him a text. No reply. Almost two hours later he sends a text back saying he can’t make it with no reason given. I didn’t speak to him again after that.

I liked the idea of the delusional director. I developed it bit more. Making it into a mock documentary about a snotty director poking fun at a young director who looked up to the likes of Micheal Bay instead of Martin Scorsese.

During one of these exchanges, the snotty director tries to undermine the younger director, by asking has he ever seen any black and white films? The younger director responds by saying:
“Yeah, black and white films, like Lethal Weapon.”

That’s where the joke came from. I said to the imaginary person who I pretend asked me that question. For the elaborate set up for this blog entry.

After doing stand up. I finally had the confidence to write and direct my own short film called “D.T.A”. It’s not great but it’s ok. The Irish motto.

I can only find the trailer for the film Sean and I made:

The link to D.T.A:

Thanks for reading guys. Some of my Upcoming gigs:

Jesters Comedy Club, Co. Dublin. July 26. 8.00pm.

Gorey Comedy Club,  Co. Wexford July 28. 9.00pm

The Comedy Crunch, Co. Dublin. July 30. 8.30pm.

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Daniel Kiston and on on on.

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Holidays. I hate them. I mean I hate work so it’s nice to be off work but I don’t really like going anywhere. Since I was always single I was traveling by myself which was always awful.

Since starting comedy back in 2011 I used my holidays to do gigs. For the past three years that mostly means using them to do the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

But this year my partner and I (who is also a comedian) agreed to have a non-comedy holiday. Just go somewhere and not do any gigs. Just walk around, do tourist things.
(I know so boring).

During our four day visit to London on our non-comedy holiday. We went to two stand-up comedy shows, a comedy film, and a comedy play. So we really nailed the non-comedy thing.

We managed to get two tickets to Daniel Kitson work in progress show. It was in Angel comedy club at the Bill Murray bar. Sadly despite looking I couldn’t find the Dan Ankroyd barbecue pit or the Jim Belushi Gym.

Being honest I only heard about Daniel, never seen any of his work. He is very underground shunning any mainstream attention. My girlfriend is a fan of him and happy to sit through stuff to make her happy. Except Bridget Jones 2 and her smear test.

Arriving at the venue we were greeted by, Kevin O’Connell. Kev is a young comedian from Ireland who betrayed his country by going to England to further his comedy career and to finish his collection of retro Coke cans. Kev is also the first person in real life who’s said they have read this blog.

The club was full (About 50-60 people). It was late (10.30) and sweaty. Daniel casually walked to the stage in shorts and a t-shirt. He had a little desk where he put his 40 pages of notes on and told us it would take 1 hour and 40 minutes to get through it.

He tears into his pages almost like reading a novel out loud. Through the story, Daniel starts seven or eight narratives about various things in his life. Like Living alone, Isis and getting a seat in a restaurant by yourself and kept them all going throughout the show.

There wasn’t much in the way of crowd interaction. Expect close to the end where you got very angry when he heard someone talking.

Being honest I hate when people read off notes and this was closer to storytelling than stand-up. I know that’s is a contentious issue dividing comedy into sections. I can hear someone now “Who are you to divide comedy into groups? Bet your pro-Segregation, you racist bastard”.

But it was funny in places and I was engaged throughout the almost two-hour length of the show.

Afterward, I asked the mother of my hamster was this typical of Daniel’s work?
She said no, his regular stand-up is completely different. I would definitely like to check out one his “normal” show via his website or in person.

Which is clearly a sign I liked his work. Becuase after seeing Rob Beckett live, I never want to see his face again.

Come see MC The Battle of The Axe in Temple Bar, Dublin on 13/07/17 from 9 pm.

Pro for Pro.

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I recently responded to post on “Rent-A-Comic”. For those that don’t know “Rent-A-Comic” is a group on Facebook for Irish Comedians. Where people post slots for gigs, get mad at the lack of women on the Irish comedy scene and ad’s for half price sunglasses when the page gets hacked.

The post read “Looking for a headliner (20-30 minutes) for an upcoming charity gig. Sadly can’t pay, please pm.”

I know you what you’re going to say. “You shouldn’t do 20-30 minutes for no money and remake the Mummy with Tom Cruise .”

Your right of course. But I often don’t get to do 20 plus minutes, the gig was pretty close to where I live and knew the guy running it. His pretty new to comedy and didn’t want him to get lumbered with someone who would just say they could “Headline”.

Recently I was part of a gig, where the “Headliner” was a newer comedian. He had about 7 maybe 10 minutes. The rest was him trying out new stuff and reading things off his notepad. It was brutal as you can imagine.

The best one ever was the comedian who’s set was on his tablet. While on stage he was struggling to recall his set. He pulls out his tablet. It was in sleeping mode. He had to start it up, put in his password and had to scroll to find the section where his set was written. It took two minutes for all that but it felt like two hours. Worse of all it wasn’t even funny.

I messaged the promoter about the charity gig and the response I got was “Thanks for applying but looking to get someone with T.V. or Internet Credits.”

I’m sure you all thought the same thing I did. I bet you, Dara O Briain, will gladly come over for free to do the gig. Sure he might even mow the lawn for you while he’s at it.

The point I guess I’m trying to make you have to be realistic and professional when contacting people.  This works both ways of course.

When I was starting out a friend of mine e-mailed a comedian. The e-mail was really nice and asked him to do the gig for fifty euro.  My friend had no idea what people charged to do shows and even admitted this in the e-mail.

The response he got back was disgusting. The comedian tore into him. Going on about how dare he offered him such a low amount and went on about being a professional.
I would say being a “professional” would be responding like one. If I naively made a low offer to a painter for a job, I doubt he responds by smearing poo all over my house and saying “You wanted a brown color didn’t you?”.  Which would be a lie, who wants a brown color for their house?.

To sum it all up let’s quote Jesus Christ “Do to others as you would them to do to you.”
“Love they neighbor” & “Let’s get this party started.”

I’m off to London for a week. But on July 10 I’m in Manchester doing Beat the Frog.
Then in Dublin July 13 hosting the Battle of The Axe.

Check out the podcast I did with the comedy cast: