I’m busy practising my stand-up routine for next Wednesday (26th August). I have a five minute spot which doesn’t sound a lot, but trust me it’s longer than you think when you’re standing on a stage in front of a crowd of people who have paid to be entertained.
I suppose I could have taken the “easy option” and simply re-worked the stories from last December’s debut – actually the easy option would be to stay at home with a glass of vino and watch Corrie – but instead I’ve decided to change pretty much the whole routine and see if I can raise a chuckle or two from my “home” crowd.
It might be asking a lot for spontaneous applause, but I really hope there are a few giggles because I’ve timed my routine and unless I talk really slowly, I’m currently about thirty seconds short of my allotted time….
Actually that’s not entirely true. It’s nearer a minute.
The venue is the Westgarth Social Club in Middlesbrough; doors open at 7pm, and the festivities get underway at 7:45pm. I understand numbers are limited and it’s first come first served on the night, so for those of you who are thinking of coming along… don’t be late! The headline act is Adam Rowe, who hails from Liverpool. I’ve seen a few clips and he’s a funny bloke… which is obviously a bit of a blow for us novices… but massive thanks to anyone who is coming along to support me; it means a lot.
Hopefully there’ll be a few photos and maybe even some footage of my “performance” (which will only be shown if everything goes well). I’ll be very nervous on the night, but I’m also excited about giving it another go.
On the subject of giving it another go… I have now purchased a pair of trainers for a couple of upcoming athletic (term used incredibly loosely) challenges. The first is my long-unawaited return to the netball court. Last year’s first attempt was a Goal Shooter, but trust me throwing a ball into a hoop is nowhere near as easy as the Grangetown girls make it look. I tried to convince myself that my shooting was fine, it was just that the net was in the wrong place, but the reality is I was rubbish…
Take two will therefore be as a Goal Keeper. Since last summer I’ve watched the Commonwealth Games, some highlights from the World Cup and nearly all Grangetown home Prem games, as well as having chatted to regular starting defenders Jen Mrozik and Vicky Rees, so I’ve got no excuse for not knowing what I should be doing. There are a few downsides, mainly relating to ability and fitness, but I’m also concerned about the interpretation of the intimidation rule that might well lead me to being penalised just for the way I look….
Also in a sporting vein, I had an e-mail yesterday from Badminton England regarding the possibility of playing against (which implies a level a level of competition that clearly won’t exist) a current international. I’ve been told that it may be possible to arrange this… although I might have to drive down to Milton Keynes for the privilege. But in fairness, it would be a privilege and opportunities like this don’t come around very often, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Two other tasks are now likely to be completed in the not too distant future: receiving a letter from my local MP (thanks to Gel for her help), and interviewing an international sportswoman… but in amongst all the preparation, and hopefully the sense of achievement at completing each task, I never lose sight of the reason why I’m doing all of this: to raise awareness of mental health issues… and the fact that it’s fine to talk… to ask for support… and to give support.
Anyway, thanks for reading… and hope to see some of you on the 26th…