I just spent a year in New Zealand, reacquainting with the country I was born in, catching up with family and friends, and working hard on my comedy in a environment that was new to me in that respect.
I was very new in the country when I saw a post on a Facebook page saying that the New Zealand International Comedy Festival submissions were open. Although a couple of shows I have in development were not ready, I wondered if there could be a way that I could be involved. So I posted a little shout out asking if there was anyone who wanted a support act before their show, with a video of me performing at the Sydney Comedy Store.
Shortly afterward I got a message from a comedian who I was vaguely familiar with, called Ashton Brown. We typed back and forth a bit, and discovered that our acts were very different. Ashton is an elaborate and humourous storyteller, I am a one-liner jokey comedian. I remember talking about the partnership with fellow comedians and I got a few strange looks, and comments such as "Richard Lindesay and Ashton Brown? That's a weird mixture", but I suspected it would work well due to our underlying similarities in our humour and attitudes.
We developed a show that was divided into three parts; a sketch with both Ashton and I, a 20 minute standup set from me, and a 20 minute standup set from Ashton. The sketch excited me the most, as it's something I hadn't done before and I knew that it was an area that Ashton was accomplished in.
Working with Ashton was a highlight of my comedy career, and we thoroughly enjoyed developing the show, and the lead up. It was a nice surprise to be chosen by Spy from NZ Herald as one of the top picks (NZ Herald - Fools Suffering Gladly), and the interviews with Te Waha Nui (Te Waha Nui - Fools Suffering Gladly Article) and the Attempted Comedians podcast (Attempted Comedians.com - Joke Science and NLP).
The show was a lovely success. Performing the sketch was thoroughly enjoyable and was a great way to warm the audience up and kick off before the standup. And the mixture of my one-liner style and Ashton's storytelling really did work, with the audiences staying onboard throughout both. We received great feedback and reviews from Speakeasy (Speakeasy - Fools Suffering Gladly Review) and Theatrescenes (Theatrescenes - Fools Suffering Gladly Review), as well as being the top pick for a double act from New Zealand Comedy Review (NZ Comedy Review - Festival Summary).
Fools Suffering Gladly was easily the highlight of my short time in New Zealand comedy, and I'm sure will lead to more collaboration between Ashton Brown and I. Watch this space. In fact, watch this website - www.FoolsSufferingGladly.com
I was wandering along the high street in Royal Tunbridge Wells, drinking a lovely coffee from Fine Grind (which coincidentally is the same coffee company who didn't sponsor this article), and I noticed this rather shiny watch. Now if you know me well, you'll know that I like things that are shiny, so I thought that it was a lovely thing. But when I noticed the price of over £26k, I realised that my price to shininess threshold did have its limits.
One shiny thing for £26k is quite a lot, and I'm pretty sure that I could find at least 1000 shiny things for this same amount. Or maybe 26 really good shiny things. Maybe 26 Apple Watches, and unlike this watch, Apple Watches have more than just the one app called "clock". Also imagine the happiness on the face of the Apple Store employee if you bought 26 Apple Watches! They're happy enough if you go in and just say you're browsing. It would be like all 26 of their Christmases had come all at once.
Anyway, I digress. Back to the £26K watch. Seeing a watch for £26K, it make me wonder what features a watch would have to have for me to shell out £26K for it. And I'd say that the only way I'd spend that much on a watch would be if it had the ability to control time, i.e. go forward and backward in time. And then I'd buy the watch, and use it to go back in time to before I wasted £26K on a watch.
My adventures in Cooldom started when I was seven. From age 0-7 I wasn't very cool, but at seven I developed a three point plan to turn it all around and become the Emperor of Cooldom. And here follows that plan.
The class were presented with a school project titled "Summer Fun is", in which we had to choose something that we considered to be fun to do during summer, and then draw a lovely picture of us doing that summery fun activity. The other kids were choosing the most predictable things, like "Summer Fun is Swimming", and "Summer Fun is Playing Rugby", yeah I know, yawn. I had a brilliant plan that would not only make me stand out, but also showcase my future predictive abilities and came up with "Summer Fun is Playing Computers". Because although playing computers during the summer was tragically uncool back in the mid nineties, I proved that I was way before my time as now in the 2015s it's quite common and not so nerdy to play computers during the summer. 50 cool points to Richard and he was now entered into the realm of Cooldom.
The second phase of my adventures into Cooldom was deciding to play a musical instrument, because that's the ultimate of cool, being a musician. But I didn't want to be just any old musician, I decided upon a three-pronged approach of learning THREE different instruments. And not just the usual instruments either, like the guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, nar that's way boring. I chose three different woodwind instruments; the flute, the piccolo, and everyone's favourite, the recorder. I spent every night practising rather than going out and doing things with "friends". I particularly excelled at the flute, which lead to my biggest foray into Cooldom which was being the first boy ever to get into the all girls flute choir. Some suggested I might have done that in order to spend more time with girls, but no, it was in the pursuit of fluty excellence. I was now steadily raising up the ranks of Cooldom.
Fast forward a few years into the mid nineties and Strictly Ballroom was a huge box office hit in New Zealand. Although in New Zealand, all that "box office hit" means is the more than 100 people went to see it. But still it was a big thing. So started the next phase of my plan of Cooldom which was to emulate Paul Mercurio and become a ballroom aficionado. So I started to frequent a local ballroom studio, as did many other young people at the time. Heck I even hung it out until after the hype of the movie died down and all the other teens had quit. I became so popular with the ladies, in fact whenever I went to the RSA to do dancing practise they were lining up to dance with me. Well not exactly lining up, but sitting down, as at their age their arthritic hips couldn't handle standing for long.
And that's when Richard graduated to being Emperor of Cooldom.