Archive for March 14, 2011

Bright Club

Posted in Biographical, Books, Talks and Reviews, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , on March 14, 2011 by telescoper

Hardly any time to breathe today, never mind post anything. Lectures, and exercise class and a meeting of the lost souls attempting to figure out what we should do to prefer for the Research Excellence Framework.

Now all that’s over I’m going to think about what I should do on stage this evening as I participate in the Second Bright Club Wales, at the Buffalo Bar in Cardiff City Centre. Apparently, this event “blends comedy, science, music and anything else that can happen on stage” which certainly leaves a lot to the imagination.

This evening is part of National Science and Engineering Week. In fact, there’s another event this evening in Cardiff tonight relating to this, comprising a public lecture at the School of Physics & Astronomy followed by an open evening allowing members of the public to use our telescopes. The weather has been lovely today, but clouds are starting to appear. I hope there’s enough clear sky to make it worthwhile.

I’m actually quite nervous about this Bright Club lark,  as I’m not at all sure what to expect, but apparently I’ll be on fairly early in the evening so with a bit of luck the room won’t be too rowdy and I might not get pelted with rotten tomatoes. I don’t really know to what extent I’m expected to play it for laughs either. I sometimes try to tell jokes in lectures, but they usually go down like  lead balloons, so perhaps I’ll just stick to some science and leave the funny stuff to the professional comedians. I’ve only got 8 minutes, but that’s plenty of time to make a fool of myself.

Between you and me, I have actually tried doing stand-up comedy once or twice. In fact, the most terrifying experience of my life was doing an open-mike spot at a Comedy Club in Cambridge Heath Road, when I lived in Bethnal Green. It’s one thing to try to be amusing in a pub or around the dinner table with friends, but quite another when you’re trying to make complete strangers laugh, especially when they’ve paid for it! Anyway, I survived my 3 minutes (just about) and even got a few laughs, but the experience didn’t make me want to quit my day job.

Anyway, I asked for an early shift so I could get home on time to deal with Columbo’s needs so I’ll update this post later on with a review of my performance. Or lack of it.

UPDATE: 10pm. Well, it turned out to be good fun. The audience was friendly and I got a few laughs. Although I didn’t really prepare very much materia,l and I was first one up so didn’t have a chance to see what went down well, I found it quite easy to make it up as I went along, given such a relaxed atmosphere. A couple of pints of Guinness probably helped too. Had to leave after the first half to see to Columbo, but I hope the rest of the evening went well.


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