The TV Gala…
2pm was the call time, to get to the St. James theatre in Auckland. Too early for my liking as I am not actually onstage until 10pm at night! I brought my long dress, high heels and necklace. I left Ashley at the hotel as there was no real reason to drag her out with me, she could come along at 6pm and that would give her time to dress up as well.
I got to the backstage door in time (I got yet another taxi driver from fucking hell…what is wrong with these people; he didn’t know where the St. James theatre was!!! It is the middle if the main street in Auckland and has been there for nearly a 100 YEARS, then he had no change so I told him to get fucked and never paid him, two things a taxi driver should have a-Change b-Directions)
Anyway you should see this beautiful old theatre, the intricate carvings, the old music hall façade ….it is breathtaking, and there are Tiffany lamps and stained glass fittings all around the walls….so breathtaking.
I went straight into make up…..I am not on stage till 10pm, my face eats make up, what is the woman thinking of? It is only 3pm!
Slowly but steadily the backstage filled up with the 22 acts that will be on the show.
Arj Barker, Jimoen, Danny Bhoy to name but a few and of course of genial host Dom Irrera. I did my rehearsal, I did my make up again, I did my hair again, I did more make up, I did another rehearsal. It is so hard doing your stuff to four people in a huge fuck off theatre and getting no feedback but the rehearsals are important for the TV people to check sound levels and lighting etc..
There are only 14 acts of the 22 actually getting onto television, so I am not sure if I will make it to the big screen, anyway that wasn’t a worry as I had to get through a whole day of waiting to get on stage as I was near the end.#
Ashley duly arrived at 6pm, she was beautiful, her hair all done nice and wearing her new dress, she arrived on the arm of Stephen K Amos. He is a great comic for UK and an old pal of Ashley’s.
Ashley was nervous for me, she looked strained and tense, I suppose it’s hard for her to watch me up there in case I screw up and she has to be witness to that.
Ashley took the camera and a few of us comics, walked down the red carpet for her video shot, she was not allowed to film inside the venue due to restrictions.
So I got my make up touched up again, got my hair fixed again and the show began.
Comic after comic walked up the big staircase and did their stuff to the 2000 people of Auckland.
I sat backstage pulled out her camera and spoke to it about my nerves and anticipation, she may not be allowed to film but I was ok to do it in my dressing room.
A few comics came and we shared our nervousness to the lens and then before I knew it …my time had come.
I stood there in the dark surrounded by crew, my heart was beating loudly in my chest, my mouth went dry and at that moment I thought “Maybe being a secretary was a good idea to consider right about now” But before I could contemplate a career change the music blared.
“Please welcome all the way from the East End of Glasgow” I heard Dom Irrera announce and my legs carried me to the huge set covered in lighting rigs and wires at the rear.
I walked calmly on stage and took in the whole applause and the sheer size of the room, the audience cheered, and they clapped and all I could see amongst all of those faces was my daughter’s, and for some obscure reason we made instant eye contact! I didn’t even know where she was sat! But my soul found her in those elongated frightening but electrical few seconds as I picked up the microphone. I kept eye contact, she looked scared, her fists were clenched near her mouth, her huge brown eyes staring at me, as I opened my mouth to talk, then she dropped her hands and her face broke into a huge smile, that smile I know so well and I knew it would all be ok.
I took my time, never rushed, never flustered and did my stuff. I got huge cheers and rounds of applause, the punchlines hit the mark, and the asides went well with everything I planned to say. Before I knew it, it was all over. Ashley was beaming at me, the 2000 people roared as I took a bow and left the stage.
The comics clapped as I went into the green room. “Great gig Janey” Ewan Gilmour shouted and hugged me close, I so needed that hug I can tell you.
I ran and got the camera and got one of the guys to hold it as I gave that immediate offstage reaction of the show. I was visibly shaking still!
After the show closed, Ashley was drained emotionally and begged to go back to the hotel for a sleep, “Mum I feel as if I have just given birth” She exclaimed.
Press took pictures of us both, people were shaking my hand and all the time all I could think was “When the fuck do I get to take off these high heels?”
I don’t know if my slot made the TV show, I will find out Sunday._