Next Level Sketch and IMDp

Hello! Join me on a journey through time, as I write a rambling, diary-style blog post. Its intention is to remind whatever future version of me that might exist that these things happened. You’re welcome.

Tuesday was the final Next Level Sketch of the year. I was not involved, as I was at an audition at a very cold church hall in King’s Cross. I arrived early, from an unlikely geographical location (let’s call it Lincolnshire, to save time), and discombobulated.

Over the previous two days I had heard many troubling things, and my head was metaphorically elsewhere. All these excuses are preparation for the fact that I was very shit in the audition and I am doing my best to blame factors other than my own (lack of) preparation and competence.

From this, I rushed to Next Level Sketch, the first that I have not hosted or acted within. I arrived during the interval, so I missed our own show but am looking forward to seeing it on video in due course. Euan and the cast look like they did a fantastic job, judging from the many photographs.

I think I had two sketches in this one – my popemobile driving test from forever ago, and a new, specifically festive sketch about Cliff Richard. This latter one is notable mainly for how I wrote it – I just recorded the entire thing into voice memos, from scratch, while cooking, then wrote it up pretty much as is. It’s a miracle it made it to stage. A Christmas miracle, you might say.

The second half was the two fabulous special guests I had booked, Legs Comedy, trying out some new material, and Just These Please, bringing their world-slaying million-viewed songs and sketches to a small room in south London. Both were fabulous, both featured trains in their sketches. This made me happy.

Yesterday I returned to The Miller, but this time I actually managed to go on stage as part of the Improvised Movie podcast.

I had been on once before, during lockdown, but this was my first ever attempt at improv on stage, IRL, in front of a genuine paying audience.

The way it works is you, the guest, plays a director of a film, the title of which (and the name of your character) are revealed to you as you’re sitting there. From this, you can go pretty much wherever you want, and guided by legendary interviewer Martina Minnow, if that is her real name, I concocted a tragic tale of emotion, explosions, and artistically compromising funding arrangements with the Stevenage tourist board. Scenes from this film are then acted out by some fantastic improvisers, while I sat on stage, full deadpan, trying to stay in character.

The whole thing was recorded and will be available on the internets some time in January.

Published by jamesofwalsh

My past blogs haunt the internet like ghost ships on a digital sea.

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