Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

Charity Ordeals & reaching 40

Just a quick post tonight after I reached two milestones in my comedy career.

Firstly I just did my first charity gig. To be honest I’d heard a lot about charity gigs being often the worst and hardest gigs to do and approached this one (Help the Heroes) with a degree of trepidation.

Sadly my fears were confirmed with an audience who weren’t there for comedy and didn’t even have the manners to look at the comedians, or stop talking. It was a tough gig but I was quite pleased with how I did, I took the ‘fuck it’ approach and decided to be as energetic, lively and forward as possible which seemed to break the ice a bit. However much like my experience of gong shows the balance of power lay strongly with the audience and at points I wondered why people had actually gone there tonight. Certainly not to listen to people giving their time for free.

I tried to interact with the audience as much as possible but I think I was maybe a bit too energetic and frantic, I didn’t take the time to chat to people and try and develop each area of the room. For example I chatted briefly at a girl with a spangly (a real word) dress, and called back once, but it felt under developed, similarly with the elderly couple on the front row and the bloke who was being a cock. Actually scrub him, he was clearly a cock and not worth the effort, but the others. The best comedians I’ve seen have that way of befriending the audience first and then making them laugh second, so maybe that’s a way to go. Also I blathered on and stamped on lines a bit (mostly to fill the eerie silence, Rob T would have killed me), so need to relax a bit more onstage, although I guess this will come in time.


I don’t know I feel strange about it, I want to support a good cause but it’s got to be a balance for those sorts of night when people are doing things for free. That said, I hope they raise lots of money.

I have another one next week which I’m sure will be better, I’m MC so maybe I can make it work… Gulp.

Secondly I hit 40 gigs (actually a couple of gigs ago but I forgot to write about it). A non-milestone really. I still don’t know whether comedy is something I want to do long term, at the moment it’s definitely in hobby status, but a couple of people have offered me paid slots. I feel a bit weird about it to be honest, like an imposter, also I enjoy it at the moment as it’s something I do for fun and as a way of drinking with people who are very funny and lovely to be be around – I’m not sure it’d have the same dynamic if it was competitive in the paid world.

I decided that I wouldn’t do any paid gigs until I’ve done at least 100 gigs. I think it was Rob Thomas or Adam Rowe (or maybe Binty) who told me this (they are my main sources of wise advice), but you shouldn’t try and play a spot above your level until you know you’ll be  the best at it. I like this advice, I’m still really inconsistent, have never beaten the frog or won a gong show so don’t really think I can hack middles yet.

I’ll try and type up more gigs as I realise I’ve been really lax recently and my writing has gone off the boil a bit. When I first started I found this really useful as a reference point.

That’s all I think. I’m aware this blog is a bit self-centred so apologies, but, lets be honest you chose to read it, you had options to leave after sentence one where it’s pretty obvious this is all going to be about me, so who’s really to blame.

Night. xxx



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