A Voice (and a Face) for Radio

A Voice (and a Face) for Radio

So have you all been saying to yourself for weeks …… “How did Gemsy end up on the freakin’ wireless?” Good question and it shall be answered here so grab a brew……Go on, I’ll give you a minute……ready?

July 29th saw another cheeky gig at Hot Water Comedy Club.Β  I love it there as the audience are just so up for a laugh and the MC Freddy Quinne did a great job in getting them all laughing beforehand. An old college mate, Sharon, was in the audience so I always like it to go well especially if there are people who know you.

Here again, for your visual and auditory delight, is my “before vid” – I really need to work on the vlogging skills (yes I tried to shoot a vlog in the dark πŸ™„!)

How did Gemsy end up on the freakin’ wireless?

Anyway, it went well very well actually and I got lots of laughs – it’s a great place to gig! So a little quiz – Do you remember my last blog where I couldn’t do the night at The Albion in Warrington as George was ill?Β  Well, the very lovely Dave Appleton gave me another gig on 1st August 1st – YAY! I went along and Laura (my lovely bestie) was there (whom I affectionately call “Dogface”…it’s ironic as she’s gorg!) and she brought the lovely Paula & Pam, her sister, bro-in-law and nephew! It’s brill having support, so thank you guys 😘 At this very gig I met Roy Basnett (brilliant ex Radio City Talk DJ) who was there with his mate Peter Slater. Peter was doing a set as the hilarious Randolf Tempest…if you see him advertised, you must go, it’s brilliant !!!

Anyhoo, I got chatting to Roy and after seeing my set he asked if I’d like to do a spot on his new radio show at a brand new radio station in Crosby called Bliss Radio (it took me about 3 seconds to say yes !) as it sounded like great fun and of course radio is great exposure for gigs etc. THEN, as if that wasn’t brill enough, Peter offered me a great gig at The Mercury Comedy Night in Westhoughton on the 6th September- my first 20 minute set! I went home so excited about the new challenges this journey has brought me.

There’ll be weekly updates and links to the radio show which is available on DAB in the North West & North Wales and also on the internet…. it’s brilliant fun (oh did I mention, Roy offered for me to go in weekly – so I’m on every Tuesday between 10am-11am discussing all things funny & topical!) So excited, it’s great fun & I have a real laugh with Roy doing the show.

All sooooo exciting… Points to Ponder

  • Life is great……that’s it for this week folks πŸ‘

Did you wonder though how did she end up on Radio City as well ? Wonder no more, I’ll tell you in my next blog.

Big up to the hubband for support & techy stuff …….. I’d be using a pen & paper if it wasn’t for him and a huuuuge thanks to Roy Basnett & Peter Slater for having a bit of faith in me. In the world of comedy, you need people that are going to give you a chance in order to progress, so massive thanks guys!

Gem x

My First Fringe!

My First Fringe!

No, not that one…

My very first Fringe Festival in Yorkshire ….. I’ll tell you all about it but first to the week commencing July 16th …. cast your mind back …..sorry dear readers I’ve neglected my blog again but I will get better!

So, the week began with 2 planned gigs and a heat of the Yorkshire Fringe “New Comedian of the Year” competition.

My first gig was due to be for Dave Appleton at The Albion in Warrington but I had to cancel it as my little boy had terrible conjunctivitis and we ended up in Alder Hey – a truly wonderful place, who, when we’ve needed them have been amazing

But remember this it’s important later… So, I reluctantly cancelled the gig but by the next night George had recovered well enough for me to go and do a gig after he’d gone to bed.

I went to gig at the very lovely Pros and Coms in Lark Lane….. I have enclosed a bit of a vlog !!! It was a great gig with Dave Bawden, Sam Freeman and Sam Avery trying out some of his tour stuff. George who runs the gig let me go first in case I had to come home early. It’s a lovely intimate gig and if you get the chance go along they have a bit of poetry and music too – I really enjoyed it. Sam Freeman as an MC was brilliant the audience loved him πŸ‘ my set went well and I tried out some new bits which got a laugh and I was happy, I didn’t bring the house down but the laughs were there…. always room to improve !

Here’s my post vlog ……. it’s just the kind of expert oratorical and visual genius you can expect when following me πŸ‘Œ

Youuuur welcome πŸ˜‚

To that there Yorkshire ….

I had entered myself into the Yorkshire Fringe “New Comedian of the Year” competition and I headed on up there with one of my numero uno fans (there’s two of them!!πŸ˜‚)

The festival is a great atmosphere so go if you can ….. the heats were in a lovely venue called the Teapot tent.Β  There were 8 acts on and I was 6th in the line up and my set went well and got some good laughs so I was happy…… but I know when I’m beaten – Mark Grimshaw & Chris Jackson went through …… they both got to the final and Mark won so if I’m gonna lose out, I was very happy it was to the best of the bunch – big congratulations to Mark … one to watch (check out his performance at Hot Water Comedy Club).

It was a great experience……I shall be back next year – with a bit more experience under my belt πŸ‘ Me and my cousin Helen had a great time in that there York …. see you next year.

Points to ponder:

  • You learn from every experience in comedy – I’ve had good feedback mostly for my set everywhere I’ve been and a competition reminded me not to rest on my laurels and continue to write and try new stuff.
  • Mates and family are boss at making you feel better.
  • My comedy journey will take time to become professional and I need to slow down a bit and learn / hone my skills.Β  It’s not as easy as it looks.
  • Have fun always …..it’s only a laugh.

Thanks for reading you guys …. gonna keep the next ones coming soon and will blog weekly from Sep 10th when I’ve allotted myself weekly comedy time for blogging & writing. I had to do this as if you don’t devote time to getting gigs, sending emails and video clips and updating media you’ll just fall by the wayside.Β  I admire successful comedians you’ve got to rreeeeeaally want to do this as it takes perseverance and your own time and expense to make waves and get noticed in this game.

Did you wonder how I ended upon the wireless ?? I’ll tell ya in my next blog πŸ‘

Thanks to the hubband for all his great tech knowledge and work, and to Hel for coming to my competition with me 😘

Gem x

In Hot Water…

In Hot Water…

This week I got to do some comedy at Liverpool’s hottest comedy venue….Hot Water Comedy Club. I did a 7-minute set that was filmed and will be on their YouTube channel in the not too distant future! (UPDATE: I’ve added it below).
It’s a great set up, the acts are in another room and the crowd was brilliantly warmed up by the great MC Freddy Quinne.

I was so nervous I forgot to make a before and after video…. and managed one picture! A lot of family & friends came so I was even more nervous….. but it went well apart from one woman falling off her chair….. I was relieved I wasn’t being heckled to be honest, as there was just some noise coming from the corner but under the lights you can’t see in the dark corners.

I mean in fairness to her falling off a chair is always funny……and I carried on regardless got my jokes out on time and got a nice comment off Freddy so I was happy. Great night of comedy πŸ‘

Here are my lovely bunch supporting me 😘

And there’s me on that there poster !!! πŸ‘

Onto Friday & I was to have a smashing night of laughter …… I’m genuinely loving comedy. I had messaged a guy called Ged Jaras who runs Stand up at The Studio in Widnes to get a gig. He said he had a gig supporting comedian Lindsey Davies on her Edinburgh previews of Gin & Comic …. so after work I went over to the studio and had a great night. Ged is a great guy and was happy with my set and said if he could he’d offer me another gig at some point πŸŽ‰

That’s what it’s all about !! I was so happy.

Lindsey’s show was hilarious and if you get the chance to see her get there.Β  I also met another comedian and Aussie Kath Marvelley – very talented funny lady.Β  The brilliant MC was Neil Shawcross really friendly and great at warming up the lovely audience.

It is such a great relaxed atmosphere and Ged does the comedy night monthly so follow the FB page and go along it’s a great way to spend a Friday night.

Here’s my picture gallery if you will …..

Positive Points:

  • Keep asking….the comedy circuit is so busy and places for open spots and gigs get snapped up so I’ve learnt if you don’t hear back straight away, just wait watch the forums and go for the next gig.
  • Patience pays off
  • There’s always something to learn at every gig speak with everyone you can. I got lots of contacts from Lindsey she was so encouraging.
  • Write & edit, write & edit……. you never know where you’re going to go next be prepared. Have a good 5 min set and a good 10 min set at least. I’m now building up to a 20 min set but I’ve yet to try it as I’m perfecting my 5 & 10 sets.

What’s next …….. Jesstival my first festival gig!!! Stay tuned.

Rather worryingly I came home and the Hubband had been at the races all day and this was on the side….

I fear I’m neglecting him for comedy……..

He says he didn’t watch them – he stayed in the bar πŸ€”πŸ˜‚

Gem x

A Tale of Two Cities…and Widnes!

A Tale of Two Cities…and Widnes!

Well, the start of another week brought a message from The Studio – they’d had a drop out and I could have the spot! I loved it there so I grabbed the opportunity to go again and this time I was on the bill for the comedy night with headliner Liam Pickford – he was hilarious, in a dead pan way, but brilliant timing – just great!Β  The MC for the night was the brilliant Edy Hurst who can also do musical comedy – a great talent.Β  I also met a great female comedian called Sarah Lloyd from the Rhyl Comedy Club, who was very witty and a great darker sense of humour.

My set went well and I enjoyed another great night at The Studio in Widnes. I was flying solo so it was fantastic to see our mate Rob and his daughter Louise come along for support. Thanks guys 😘

On to Manchester…

On Sunday 8th July, I went and did Laughing Calves in Manchester, organised by Hazel and the brilliant MC Sian Davies. This gig is a great one to do and I was made up to get a spot…it’s the precursor to Laughing Cows which is an all female professional gig!Β  It was held in Tribeca in Manchester which is also home to the Women in Comedy Festival, so a very exciting venue / event to perform at.

Some great females were on the bill and I met a great comedian called Penella Mellor, a very funny lady who gave me some sound advice and contacts –Β  thanks Penella hopefully see you soon!Β Β  Hazel was happy for me to come back when the night returns in September, so that’s great news!

Sorry there is only one pic, Andy filmed the event, resulting in minimal pics and as I really enjoyed the night, I forgot all about taking some photos…😜

On to Brum…

I’d emailed a list of contacts that we were given at the end of our comedy course if we wanted to continue with comedy and do open mic spots. One was in Birmingham, a bit far, but my mate from the course (and fellow comedian), Paul, said he’d go too, so we emailed Dave Francis @ The Holly Bush and headed on down that there M6.

The comedy night was in the beer garden and the stage was the grid… and it made for one if the best sets / gigs I’d ever done!Β  All the locals come along and really support Dave’s night – and what a great bunch they are!Β  It was a great atmosphere and the other comedians were all great too. Paul and I both had a great gig (we even managed a pre-gig curry in Spoons beforehand) and I’d love to go back and do it again.Β  Dave said he’d gladly have us back which is great!

Positive Points

  • I can’t think of any negative ones!
  • Go to every gig you can get, as you meet so many interesting people and sometimes all you get is one great comment which really helps with confidence.
  • Write and re-write…film yourself! Really look at how your set can be improved.
  • Take advice – Sian Davies & Penella Mellor gave me some great advice which I’ve already implemented.
  • Re-work some jokes that could be quicker, or punchier, to get maximum effect.
  • Enter some competitions so you get to really know where you stand.

So, I’m entered for the Great Yorkshire Fringe “New Comedian of the Year” competition this weekend watch this space as there’ll be a vlog!Β  I’m also going to go back to the Frog & Bucket as I’ve got my eye on that damn frog! Oh, and I’ve submitted two more entries for new comedian awards, so let’s see where all this takes us…

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my Hubband for his support and all the techy stuff with my blog etc and a huuuuge thank you to my Mum-in-law Ann, who has done extra baby sitting without whom I couldn’t go and do some of these gigs 😘

For a good balance, I aim to do two gigs a week and they’re usually after my little one is in bed so comedy works so well for me, I work part time and do comedyΒ  – in between work and dooogs and baby and house time I look for gigs and email and write jokes…though that mainly happens when practising my set(s) in the car as it’s a great place to come up with new stuff.

On a serious note, as is well documented, I suffered with anxiety after George was born and I’ve barely had an anxious thought because comedy is keeping me busy and positive.Β  It’s not for everyone, but if you think you need to build your confidence, keep busy, get out if the house or just want to have a laugh then book onto The Comedy Trust Comedy Course!

Thanks for reading.

Gem x

Jesstival

Jesstival

I’m going to do a blog post devoted to just this day.Β  It was in memory of a beautiful young lady named Jess Fairclough who very sadly lost her battle to cancer in 2015, who’s story you can read here if you would and you can also donate!

Jesstival was brought about by Jess’s parents in her memory to raise money for the charities close to their and Jess’s hearts.Β  I’d like you to click on the link and read Jess’s story and you’ll see why.

I was honoured to be a part of this day actually it was a weekend and may happen next year too so follow their page to keep posted.Β  I couldn’t go for the weekend but some friends and family did and what a weekend it was! They had stalls, bands and entertainment for all.

I went on the Sunday with my crew (Hubband & Baby that is) to do some comedy.Β  Their MC was the very brilliant Gwen Ever who also has her own radio show….. and the other comedian was Jess’s friend Kelly Marie.Β  Jess’s parents Rod & Tracey were so grateful to all the acts and bands that went to support the charities they were raising money for CLIC Sargent and the Teenage Cancer Trust.Β  It was a truly moving experience and I’m just sorry I couldn’t go earlier, or stay longer, like leaving a party when it’s just getting started…..

Comedy wise it was a new experience on a large stage with a large audience in a field …..but every gig is new, I was concerned as the band before me had really got the crowd going and they’d all started dancing and singing – and then there was me to halt proceedings and try n make ’em laugh πŸ˜‚. But Tracey assured me they were all expecting comedy at this point whilst they awaited the next headliner Beans on Toast (Jess’s favourite) so on I went and thoroughly enjoyed it.Β  I tried out new material I’d written that day as my slot was 15 minutes and I had previously only done 10 min slots…and it went down well.Β  It’s a tough gig when people have been listening to bands to get up and make them laugh but I managed it and Rod,Tracy & Gwen all seemed very happy with what I’d done.

After me came the headliner Jess’s favourite act Beans on Toast (a Glastonbury regular), prior to him Rod said a few words that were personal to him so I won’t share them but needless to say we were all in tears….. what a beautiful emotional afternoon.

My ace support crew was the ever brilliant Hubband, Baba G !, my lovely cousin Jo and her man Nick – thanks guys it’s always lovely to see friendly faces in the audience 😘.

I never knew Jess but when I left that day I felt like I had…what a beautiful tribute to her.Β  Her family & friends are a wonderful credit to her. Also in this pic is Ben who works in Andy’s office and was Jess’s good friend.

Positive Points

  • Every gig is something new, just like everyday. Embrace life and live it. I got to 40 and I’m doing something that makes me happy and that’s what life is about. You’re only here once you never know what will happen or how long you’ll be here so be as happy as you can let the small things go in the big scheme of things they don’t matter.
  • What’s important is to love and be loved, and in these blogs you’ll see I’m doing something I love surrounded by people I love ………..

I’d like to take this opportunity to remember my sister too we lost her in 2012 and Jesstival brought back so many memories of her…we love and miss you kid I wish you could see me doing comedy now you’d love it…… actually you’d be managing me!! (Aka bossing me about ! πŸ˜‚)

Gem x

Competitive Comedy…that’s a laugh!

Competitive Comedy…that’s a laugh!

So guys, I’m so sorry to the 3 readers of my blog – I neglected my fortnightly duties and missed my end of June blog!!! I’m surprised you’ve not all been outraged!Β  So, here it is, but the good news is I’ll be doing another straight after so tonight when you can’t sleep look no further…

Last time I left you, I was about to do Beat the Frog in Manchester…well I went along and I did a little Instagram video “before” and “after” – see below.Β  For those of you who don’t know, my instagram account is @gemmascomedydiaries – follow me why don’t ya!

The idea of the event is that you try to stay on the mic for 5 minutes without getting ‘frogged’ off (i.e. when the 3 selected audience members, given cards, all put them up). Anyhoo, I arrived going solo (as hubby couldn’t make it) and when I got there my lovely comedy mate Allan Lear was there with his wife Erica and they showed me some support which was great!

I felt really nervous and I think it showed…but I stayed on the full 5 minutes & so did Allan (honestly we’re dead funny πŸ˜‚). I got a huge cheer at the end but the frog winner was Mamoun Elegab who was just brilliant so I figure if you’re going to lose it, it may as well be to someone good – he certainly had the edge over all of us that night! But I loved it…it was great fun the Frog & Bucket is a great venue for comedy!!! I may go back and try and win that damn frog at some point…. Here are some visual delights from the evening – I’ve cropped out my rolls of fat from the stage picture (more rolls than a Greggs counter under that top) – wouldn’t want to put you off your pre bobes tea and toast 🀒.

PS – my Dad dropped and picked me up and got lost in between. So, when he arrived to collect me he had 2 “randoms” with him that he had rescued out of the rain in exchange for directions…they were a lovely couple who looked very grateful he hadn’t turned out to be a raging murderer and had in fact just bored them stupid with anecdotes of his funny daughter trying to win a frog or summat ??! Big shout out to them, otherwise I’d still be standing on a street corner in Manchester πŸ‘.

What I love about comedy is random stuff…the next day, after Beat the Frog, my mate Paul couldn’t do a gig and let me know I could do it.Β  So I messaged John Wilson at HooHa Comedy and went down to Constellations a great bar in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle.Β  It was a small gig as their comedy nights are new but great πŸ‘ and I bumped into Sam Avery doing some try out stuff for his tour – it was great to see a face I knew as I was flying solo again. The venue is great and watch this space as I’m trying to secure it for a little idea I have for the Liverpool Comedy Festival in September…oooh are you intrigued ??? Are ya ? …… no? ok. I’m thinking of a little comedy showcase of some funny people I’ve met and hopefully we’ll be able to pull it off and I think this venue is great so keep your eyes peeled….John Wilson of HooHa Comedy was really helpful showing me the space that could be used so thanks JohnπŸ‘ great gig.

Positive Points !

  • Put yourself forward & step out of your comfort zone. There’s one thing in getting up in the first place, but another in making connections and putting yourself forward for competitive comedy…nerve-wracking, but it turns out great fun.
  • Any gig (big or small) is worth every minute to chat to others who have been doing comedy for a long or short time as you get so much advice and contacts.
  • I didn’t get frogged off πŸŽ‰πŸΈ
  • Ad lib occasionally to edit and develop. I’ve added and taken away gags and bits of stories to make them quicker or sharper as re-writing and editing is important. In the car, I go through my sets a lot and then randomly add bits. This week I stopped at the side of the road to write a gag down I’d just said randomly in the car because I was laughing at it…..I mean if I don’t think I’m funny I’ve got no hope have I ? πŸ˜‚
  • There is always something to learn…and what’s the worst that can happen in comedy…you’ll get laughed at…hopefully πŸ‘

Check out my website for gig updates they change weekly ….. and come and see me it’s lovely to see a friendly face.

Gem x