Comedy Voice: Version One

It is really important as a new comedian to find your voice. Of course, if you were writing my twitter profile, that would be burgeoning comedian, not new. Let me just point out the description of that word, as provided by google.

Verb
1. Begin to grow or increase rapidly; flourish: “manufacturers are keen to cash in on the burgeoning demand”.
2. Put forth young shoots; bud.

To start with, I’m not sure I’m particularly happy with being referred to as a potential performance career choice as a flower. Not only that but more of a Stuart Hall style flower in the case of number 2. (Those of you who got that joke probably just sucked your teeth like you’re a mechanic giving the bad news on a 16 year old cars’ MOT.)

I do tell bad jokes, and occasionally, controversial jokes. It’s my thing, it’s what I’ve been brought up and practiced in. But very rarely do I do it on stage. Probably because I’m a tad scared. However, point number 1 says that I need to grow rapidly in order to refer to myself this way.

So, next time I’m on stage, I’ll introduce myself thusly:
‘Hi, I’m Sean Cleaver and I’m classed as a burgeoning comedian. Which means I will begin to grow or increase rapidly. So don’t panic, if that happens then it is just a fear erection. However if I move on to the second meaning, “Put Forth Young Shoots” then this is a fair warning to anyone in the front row. If you heckle me, it’s bukkake time.’

Which, if that joke goes out before our PM David Cameron bans all pornography online, most of you will understand. Which brings me on to porn.

This week David Cameron expressed a wish to violate some probable human rights by denying us, the people, access to the more seedier and disturbing parts of the internet. Without first putting in an awkward telephone call to our internet provider saying that it’s for research purposes only.

Of course what Cameron doesn’t realise is that his “hug a hoodie” mantra is going to be like Captain Kirk fighting a Gorn lizard monster once he denies the hoodies option to masturbate into a calm frenzy, working off the several cans of taurine laced beverages he’d consumed that morning between McDonalds breakfasts.

Of course the one upshot of this is that maybe, just maybe, facebook might be forced to ban or block the several thousand inappropriate images that mothers keep putting up on their timelines of children, and therefore mine. Not only ridding me of a personal annoyance, but also the acknowledgement of the personal burgeoning’s of the aforementioned hoodie.

So my voice, I tend to feel after a few gigs and writing cast offs, is one of social commentary, satire and occasional penis jokes. Which, in the least phallic way possible, I’m happy to be rising to the occasion for.

More soon… That’s the writing I’m talking about, not anything else.

Put up or Shut Up… Part 2

The Buxton Blog

Walking into the garage, the team turn around and greet me like an old friend. I place my helmet and overall bags down on the table and introduce myself to the men in front of whom I will now have to do my all to not embarrass myself. They show me around the car, and talk me through the specs.

Built and designed by Van Diemen’s Ralph Firman, the MSV F4 013 has superb pedigree. A spaceframe chassis in compliance with FIA A.277 safety standards including front and rear carbon fibre impact structures, Diolen anti-intrusion side panels, cockpit head surround protection and wheel tethers. It’s a proper slicks and wings racer with adjustable front and rear wings, eight inch front and ten inch rear OZ wheels, fitted with Yokohama tyres. In the back, a 2 litre Duratec engine, using a Cosworth management system, kicks out 185bhp. The steering wheel features…

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Gaming Cubed: Trapped in a Box of Jealousy.

Cube World has arrived.

This annoys me.

Why? Well for one, I can’t play it yet as I’m a Mac user (DAMMMMMMNNNNN YOUUUUUUU!!!!). But two, and possibly the more important issue, my friends are playing it without me. To do so, they have left the other cube behind that we’ve recently started, that of Minecraft. This means I am missing out on a huge amount of fun… Or so I thought.

I’ve been watching videos online of course, especially BdoubleO100 on YouTube, to find out what exactly I’m missing. I’ve also witnessed my friends play (although the heat of a small room with two PC’s really isn’t worth it). So far all I can gleam from it is that I will get very bored of this very quickly. Why? Because it’s a cube version of World of Warcraft, et al. Now, I’m currently playing a few games, am desperate for Maxis to hurry up with the Mac release of SimCity, and have very little money. So affording an MMO fee right now is out of the question. But my friends, who are currently playing the low res, independent and customisable MMORPG Cube World, don’t play MMO’s.

I’ve been a WoW and EVE subscriber a few times. My friends don’t have time to play those, or don’t care. I personally get very bored being the anti-social lone ranger I am when I have no friends to play with. So I eventually leave. Now I’m left out of this new indie gaming revolution and by the time I get round to it, they’ll totally be bored of it. So I’m incredibly jealous because I’ll be missing out on all the fun.

Right now, I want to play F1 2012  online with someone, I need to work my way through the Assassin’s Creed series which I ashamedly haven’t had any time for AND want to do more Minecraft online with friends/curse EA for the inventible continuing SimCity Mac delays.

So you can take your “very good for an alpha release game with the small team behind it” and SHOVE IT! *Cries like being the last boy picked for the school sports teams*

Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman

One thing you have to appreciate about reading and contemplating a Neil Gaiman novel for adults is that he is not writing for adults. One of the great talents that Gaiman has is locating our inner child, after all, adults are nothing more than big children. The inner child is what drives us to engage in fiction, to quest for knowledge and to lose ourselves in make believe. Gaiman has the incredibly ability in his writing to find that part of us and engage with it.

Now this particular book doesn’t actually stand as an adult book. Not really, compared to American Gods anyway. But then neither does Neverwhere or Stardust either, though they are written a lot more viscerally. In fact there is a scene in Ocean that an earlier Gaiman would have gone over the top with. A scene of a sexual nature that really does look at upon such things with innocent childish eyes rather than those of the narrators’ true maturity and reflection. Even with the protagonist being older and remembering the story, everything is narrated in a voice that one can only achieve in real life via mass inebriation or running the risk of being sectioned. But it is pulled off so beautifully. Even if you yourself have no relative appreciation of growing up in the sticks with the magic of nature and its hidden goodies, you can still relate to the tone of voice.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman.

Which is where I get a slight bit critical, and this may be because of how much this has been billed as an ‘adult’ book and because I’d not long read American Gods, quite possibly Gaiman’s most adult novel. The prose, whilst still beautifully imaginative and screaming its way off your inner voice’s tongue like sliding down a velour sofa and giving a static shock to the nearest unsuspecting target, does feel different. Maybe because the character is a forty-something man being a seven year old boy struggling with how memory really does betray you and desperate to escape. But it feels like it is a tad forced, maybe? Possibly too aware of the problems that such a dialogue presents, Gaiman honestly and innocently recreates the voice of our character and his motivations beautifully, but at the sacrifice of some of the extraordinary turns of phrase and dialogue he is most certainly famed for.

Having said this, his villain, the evil childminding nanny of many a family movie, doesn’t get nearly enough page time, nor ever comes across as inherently evil. Mainly because she isn’t but the lines blur between her being the antagonist and the child’s opinion of something he just doesn’t like. Which doesn’t make her that strong, unlike the heroine of the piece who is mysterious by her absence when you think the story naturally devises ways to drop her in, and her ability to instill complete trust in a boy scared but reflectively underwhelmed by the proportion of magic before him. A magic that is well presented in the book physically with its lovely cover which feels great and much more tactile than a hardback book deserves to be.

I am a fan of course of Gaiman’s work, which makes this review a little harder to judge critically, but it is most certainly not without its merits and is very good at what it does. However, if you’re expecting a darkly gothic darkly humours masterpiece, this isn’t going to feed that desire fully. But it will certainly keep you going and is a great story to enjoy with your family and to personally indulge in a little childhood nostalgia. Whilst it is Gaiman with his finger on the literary trigger, he keeps us on the edge waiting to hit us with the speeding bullet that will amaze and confound us as readers of his work.

4/5 – Definitely read this lament to our forgotten pasts and enjoy the jolt memory lane will give your brain chemicals. Fun for the family to read, but if you want something harder then dip into the back catalogue now conveniently reissued.