Thursday, 28 July 2011

A response to "Wishy Washy Liberals" A night at Old Rope 25th July 2011

This is exciting, it is very easy to assume as a no mark blogger that anyone reads this. Turns out no mark comics do too. You are in ace company.

I had a comment waiting for me to approve yesterday night and when I checked it contained the email of Jacques Barrett. I had used his act as a lead off for a post about why some offensive comedy is simply bad when it doesn't have to be. I won't publish his email and I do feel he has a right to reply, though why he couldn't have put this in the comment section (without his email) I don't know.

So my email to Jacques first, then his response

Hello Jacques,I hope you don't mind I've decided not to publish your comment as it had your email and I didn't want you getting any spam (I get some weird traffic from Russia and Pakistan and I refuse to believe anyone from there cares about my opinions on comedy)
I also hope I didn't offend with my blog; I posted it because I saw you looking shell-shocked by the bar (perhaps I read your face wrong) and I wanted to analyse why mine (and other audience reaction) wasn't as positive to you as it could have been.
If you would like the chance to have your reply published let me know. I don't want it to be one-sided if you have something you want to say in response.

Hi, I'll keep this brief.  I've listened back to my set, every punchline except for the set up to an ironic rape law premise got a decent response.  That patch I am the first to admit was dodgy, and in the moment I was immediately unhappy with those words, I then went on to recover and finished well.  I wasn't shell-shocked in a negative way, I did a completely new 9 minute set on a stage where some of my idols have also frequented and the intensity of which took a few minutes to process.  I was congratulated by several other comics and was told by the booker that I'll be up again when they return from Edinburgh.   After a weekend of tough gigs I had some new premises I wanted to trial in an environment where there is an understanding among the crowd and your peers that there will be no judgement. I was and still am very happy with my set, I polished all that material and trialed it again last night and tonight and it is now strong.  

This email is no longer about my comedy it's actually your reviewing technique that i'd like to impart some advice upon, it's pointed, constructive and comes from a good place.  Although you said it wasn't a review, like someone starting a sentence by saying I'm not racist but... you then proceeded to review a 60 second period of my set at a new material night. I respect opinion within the subjectively appreciated performing arts but when you publish facts about a performance which err on falsity you are in News of the World territory.  The topic of getting bummed by big scary Aussie blokes is sad and cringe worthy on it's own, but to use it as a starting point to highlight a ridiculous and ironic law about sexual assault in Australian mining settlements contextualises and justifies it well and finished with a good response from the crowd.  You failed to mention where the premise went and instead I believe you heard the set up of a brand new concept about the brave comedy topic of sexual assault and then switched off.  Perhaps you wrote a blog title memo in your own mental notebook and then made inferences about my emotional reaction based purely on face value at the end.   All your readers have relied on your accurate recollection of events to hopefully align with your point of view but you have grossly exaggerated your opinion of the gig and then spread that blanket over the rest of the crowd who according to you all hated me.  
If you are to improve as a reviewer and be respected by readers and comics alike your honesty and focus must never faulter and you must objectively report the response of all others in the crowd.  In this case it would have been better to say that you didn't like it, you thought it was disgusting and here's why.... but the rest of the crowd liked it because they're shit or dumb or too tolerant of subject matter etc.  The most important thing in a review is that the right people see that show or person in the future and the wrong fitted crowd know to steer clear.  The people reading your review have received an incorrect report of my set and may avoid a performer whom they would have actually enjoyed.  That is unfair to all involved.
If you want to publish this response you're more than welcome, I don't mind either way, but if you do it must be in full and not cherry picked. If you continue to pass off your opinions in angry rant form you must remove the 'review' title from your site and replace it with 'blog', or furthermore hit the open mic scene and rant away.  People don't go to comedy for facts, they go for the funny, which was always my intention and motive, to make people laugh.
Piece out,
It is already a bit TL;DR so I will publish my response to the response in my next post.

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