In this weekly podcast, Frankie McNair and her guest share the stories of their worst gigs and explore the highs, lows and shockingly unexpected parts of gigging. We catch up with Frankie to find out more…
Well, well, well. If it isn’t another podcast created in lockdown.
During lockdown my comedy partner, Miriam Slater, and I were talking about a gig we had done pretty early into our career (can I say career? I’m gonna say career.)
Mim and I had spent four weeks writing, planning, rehearsing and making costumes for an event. By the time the big day came around we were exhausted, but we were ready and excited for our ART (and, by extension, our souls) to finally be witnessed by the eyes of the audience, the world, and God. Knowing we had given it everything we had to get to this moment, we finally took to the stage and…
It was shit. There were, like, four people in the audience! And it was still daylight!! It was soul crushing!!!
But we laughed. We had too. Because it was SO BAD.
And the fucked up thing? I missed this during lock down! I missed getting changed in wet toilets, I missed not being able to find my venue on google maps, I missed the mic cutting out in the middle of a punchline, I missed eating Hungry Jacks in the car at 1am after bombing so hard I could die. I MISSED THE BIZARRE UNSPOKEN TERRITORY THAT COMES FROM PURSUING A PASSION IN THE MOST ABSURD OF INDUSTRIES.
Whether they are a comedian, an actor, a musician, a dancer, a magician (definitely a magician) ALL performers have these stories. It’s the side of gigging that you don’t see unless you’re doing it. And it’s the side that we talk about on this podcast.
On the podcast I’ve gotten to speak with a lot of wonderful and creative people. Hearing them tell some of their worst gig experiences has often led to the question; if performing can be so heartbreaking/vulnerable/sleep depriving/financially and emotionally draining then why do we do it?
And this is the most basic-ass but sincere conclusion I come back to every time; because we love it. And it’s worth it. And we sometimes get a funny story out of it.
More than just getting a peek behind the curtain and a laugh, this podcast makes us realise we aren’t alone in an industry that can sometimes feel very lonely. And hearing stories of resilience gives us hope that in our darkest hour of pursuing a career full of self-doubt and unknowns, we too will be able to push through and get back up again.
Sure, there are lovely and soul nurturing parts of gigging. Writing jokes with mates, making people laugh, meeting new people, and making lifelong friends, the unexplainable high of crushing!
But those stories don’t make a great pod.
And maybe there’s a part of me that just needs all that fucked stuff to be for something, and if not for character building, then for a dumb podcast hosted by me.
Worst Gigs is released every Friday.
It is hosted and edited by Frankie McNair. It is mixed by audio king and friend Duncan Turner. The original podcast art is a draft by Emma Holland.
It’s available on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Podcasts (basically wherever you get your pods).