Taking a stand

Reporter James Trimble fulfilled a life long ambition - to do a stand up set
Reporter James Trimble fulfilled a life long ambition - to do a stand up set
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It’s true Funny in Falkirk comes along but once a year - but there are comedians in town almost every week to bring some cheer.

That’s the point Project Mayhem tried to get across to a small gathering in North Star, Vicar Street, last Wednesday night.

The initiative aims to give local - and far flung - stand-up comics, be they experienced or just starting out, a chance to have their material heard by an appreciative audience once a month.

Unlike a number of my colleagues I have not been able to review any acts at this year’s Funny in Falkirk, due to babysitting commitments and other factors, so I decided to get into the spirit of the funny fest in another way - and fulfil a long-standing ambition at the same time.

I’ve admired stand-up comedians for years and collected CDs and DVDs of people like Richard Pryor, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Hicks, Doug Stanhope, Kevin Bridges and Stewart Lee - who appeared at Behind the Wall on Tuesday.

Two years ago, with The Falkirk Herald’s blessing, I was supposed to attend a Funny in Falkirk comedy workshop with the aim of doing a bit of stand-up at the end of the course. Sadly time constraints meant I couldn’t commit to the workshops so I had to knock it on the head.

I’ve always wanted to try stand-up comedy though, and it was always there in the back of my mind. When I heard about Project Mayhem’s open mic night I decided to finally take the plunge at 38 years and 202 days old.

No one really laughed at any of my stuff - my Kingseat Avenue-based sitcom ‘Pals’ or my anti-Richard Hammond rant - but no one heckled me either, so I know I got off lightly.

Actually the audience, stand-ups and organisers of Project Mayhem were really supportive.

Now I’ve finally got it out of my system I don’t think I’ll be doing stand-up again any time soon. I enjoyed the experience though and it made me more appreciative of all comics who have ever stood up in front of a crowd relying on just a microphone and their own frazzled wits.

I even admire Michael McIntyre now. Well, just a wee bit.

Hopefully people won’t just wait for Funny in Falkirk to breeze into town or head off to Edinburgh or Glasgow to get their comedy fix - check the listings to see if there are comedy nights running locally.

And if you fancy having a go yourself - there is a 100 per cent chance you’ll be better than me - head along to Project Mayhem at North Star.