Monday 20 February 2017

Sean Coughlan: When I said I wanted to do stand-up I didn't expect to be on the real telly

Published 18/11/2011 | 15:06

Twenty-four hours ago I was sitting nervously in The Slate bar in Cork, waiting to go on stage for my first stand-up comedy performance. Now, as I write this, I have to get used to the idea of appearing on television in a few days time. If your dogs suddenly started barking for no reason around 5pm last Thursday, you now know it was because I left out a panicked shriek, so high-pitched and shrill, only they and my mother’s hearing aid could pick it up.

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I’m not quite sure how this all happened to fast. The open mic night had gone well. I managed to get through my set without passing out or inadvertently setting the building on fire. My biggest worry was my delivery. I was worried that I would sound forced, or hammy. I didn’t want to seem too rehearsed, which I achieved effortlessly by forgetting my place after my first routine.

Overall, some bits worked better than I expected, some didn’t. I accidentally skipped over some jokes and stepped on a couple of punch lines, but the crowd laughed and seemed to enjoy it for the most part. I was quietly proud of myself as I walked back to my seat. Once my friends were in earshot, I was audibly proud of myself. I had got through the longest eight minutes of my life and I was relieved that I had overcome my nerves and managed to relax on stage. No, nerves wouldn’t be a problem for me any more.

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