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