There you go. That wasn’t so hard, was it?
I always say that to myself after every One Eyed Man offering because the build up to it in my head is so enormous and the level of adrenalin I pump so huge that you’d think I was bungee jumping over Niagra Falls rather than just standing up in front of people who’ve paid to come and see me and talking for an hour or so.
The difference is, of course, that I don’t script or preplan what I’m going to say – I don’t rehearse – I just get up there and talk about the topic that intrigues me at the moment and hope for the best and that people will quickly drop their fears and inhibitions and join me in a conversation.
For that is what CHAT/SHOW is all about. And the first one went really well. A small but perfectly formed audience of friends and newbies came along to Volcano’s fantastic space at 229 High Street Swansea on a crappy rainy Tuesday night. We had tea and coffee and nachos and we talked ... about talk.
Every show is also a work in progress and is unrepeatable since it becomes about that group of people on that particular evening. So, the things I learnt on 24th January, in no particular order, that are unlikely to ever be talked about again in quite the same way are:
Old women in graveyards can often mistake you for a ghost but still like having a chat with you.
Chops are lovely. Especially when they’re minty.
Young people live their entire lives online. They chat online, flirt online, wank online, bitch online and dump people online before they’ve even met them. This at least gives me hope that the current population explosion might soon be on the wane since, frankly, how the hell are these people ever in a position to share bodily fluids?! They’re never in the same room!
Skype can be great but you need to concentrate – some people have to close their eyes even when on a video call. And some people realise that you can take a laptop into the toilet with you when you have wifi ...
‘Electronic toys’ has several different meanings, not all of them family friendly ...
There is risk involved in interacting with other human beings face to face but the pleasures of doing so are immeasurable.
‘The Lean’ is a universally understood part of life.
Not everyone is as enamoured at the thought of conversation with total strangers as I am ...
Once I’d rambled long enough I took the evening to the next level and invited everyone to take part in a conversation.
I KNOW! I’M A FUCKING REBEL, MAN! I LIVE ON THE EDGE! THAT’S TOTES HOW I ROLL! YEAH! WHATEVS!
It always surprises me how afraid we all are of each other. Not because I’m not, I hasten to add – but I thought it was just me. But no. Suggesting to a room full of strangers that they might like to converse with each other, you can literally feel the tension in the room ramp up a few notches.
But I’m delighted to report that everyone really seemed to enjoy themselves. I provided the conversational gambits thus removing the dreaded fear of ‘what are we going to talk about?’ – and conversation flowed.
Then, I ended the evening by asking people for feedback and, as always seems to happen with this work, people really liked it even though they didn’t know what to expect and would find it hard to describe it to other people. One young guy said he thought it was like “a chat room ... but for real.”
So, onwards and upwards. I will be doing the next CHAT/SHOW at the same venue, 229 High Street Swansea on Wednesday 15th February at 7.30pm. (I had thought about doing it on the 14th but then my only audience would be sad, lonely people who couldn’t get a date ... hang on, it could be like a kind of a speed dating thing!)
Keep talking to each other. It’s the only thing that gives us hope.