The only heckling I’ve heard in the last year has come from my children. Can I remember how to respond to the real thing? It has been very exciting over the last couple of weeks to be able to start doing standup gigs again. Comedians, like all performers, have experienced the longest period offstage, and being back in the spotlight has very much felt like the thrill of doing it for the first time. But along with that first-time thrill has come another first-time feeling: the complete erosion of the ability to actually do standup. Even when I’m not touring, I like to gig two to three times a week. It’s a bit like going to the gym, except that, actually, I only go to the gym twice a year (which, factored against my monthly fee, means I am currently paying about £500 a visit). When it comes to gigging, I have found that regular live shows are good for keeping you sharp; I am better at everything in my work when I am regularly doing standup.
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