Monday, 25 May 2015

My Big Funny Yorkshire Wedding #patersonwedding

Hello all,

Originally my blog was intended to be a weekly read. I still have those intentions, but the last two weeks have been absolutely crazy for many reasons. Firstly, the thing which is preoccupying my time is organising shows. I have two Hosstages shows on the 28th May and I'm compering and promoting for my stand-up show: Toys in the Attic on the 29th May. I'm so so sorry if you are one of my facebook friends. I have been plaguing my news-feed with all these events. But come along if you fancy it- they shall both be a laugh. And I will stop verbally harassing you (on facebook, not real life). 

This is not an advert, but come along.

Secondly, I finished my Undergraduate degree! Yay, it was genuinely a great relief to complete my exam: and I use the singular term on purpose. One exam, for my whole three years at university. I mean I acted like I had 8 exams, but it was still stressful. It was actually very strange trying to revise after not doing so for 3 years and I realise I had to teach myself how to write properly again. My handwriting had deteriorated to the point that i could only conjure squiggles and nonsense. So I had to teach myself to write, which felt like I was receiving Physiotherapy after an accident, just like Hank from Breaking Bad (which is my new favourite way to finish sentences). So I have finished my Undergraduate! Grab the Sparkling wine. 

Thirdly I have been doing some really cool comedy stuff. I have been supporting the fourth year comedy students with their Comedy shows (as that will be me next year). I have been working with the British Stand-up Comedy Archive and I even got to meet and work on behalf of the legendary Mark Thomas. I have also been doing some really amazing Stand-up shows, and there is one which I did last weekend which was the Paterson Wedding, and I had to travel to Yorkshire to perform there (which led to me doing another gig on the Saturday too). It was such a long day, but lots of cool stuff happened on the 15th May, so that is what my blog feature: so please sit down, grab a cup of tea and please enjoy reading: My Big Funny Yorkshire Wedding.

Hello Ladies. 

So Friday morning came and I woke up in my Mother's house with my cat on me. I have arrived in Yorkshire in the late afternoon on Thursday. The day started with me travelling to Richmond in my civilian outfit (otherwise known as a checkered shirt over a Marvel t-shirt and some scruffy jeans). I actually was going to meet my old friend, Daniel Webb. I haven't seen him in years so it was lovely to see him again. Genuinely it felt, like we were on the same page, despite being out of contact for all too long. The thing I find with my Yorkshire friends, as I'm sure anyone feels with their friends from their hometown, is that I very much care for them, but we are all travelling on different trains on varying speeds, but we are all heading to great destinations. Except the ones heading to Wales; but sometimes you can't help people who do not want to help themselves. But with Dan, I think we have had a similar experience in our time away from home, despite going in totally different directions: for example, I've done a Drama joint-honours degree and he has got himself a well-paying job. Joking aside, I'm very proud of him as he is (maybe) of me. 

After a Vegetarian breakfast at Wetherspoons (known by the Cool kids as "Spoons") and 3 cups of filter coffee (don't judge me- free refills), I headed back home to get ready for the Wedding. Ah yeah, the Patersons. The ones getting married were Will and Naomi. I have been friends with them both since secondary school but I became pretty good friends with them in my time in Sixth form. As they are real people who will/may/could read this blog, I feel it is rude to dwell on them for too long, but all you need to know is that they are a very sweet couple with their heart in the right place. They have been together for a very long time and they are very much in love with each other. Also they are Pentecostal Christians, which sounds like it could be a weird thing to point out, but this is important for the story later on and not meant in a negative way. In fact it made the day even more awesome. So watch out for that callback. The final thing to bear in mind, on New Years eve/day earlier this year, I bumped into them and we chatted about their wedding and that I was doing Stand-up comedy and we talked bout the idea of me playing at their wedding. It started out as a drunken conversation and the boozeful haze which we greeted 2015 with evaporated  and we discussed it seriously further. I was booked to perform 20 minutes at my friends wedding which was a genuine pleasure, as it was a massive step for my comedy, and I got to spend the day with some of my old friends.  I got on my suit (gorgeous) and head to the wedding venue in my hometown: Richmond (also gorgeous).

I told you it was gorgeous. 

It was very strange experience to arrive at the wedding. As I said, it was the first time one of MY friends were getting married - not my parents' friends, but my own. This was symbolised by the fact that I was there entirely by myself. There were a couple of friends there, but I did not have any tight-knit friends there to begin with. It was something I had forgotten until I arrived at the venue. Something else which I had forgotten was to leave a card and a wedding present for Will and Naomi (and if they never read this blog they never will do. Ha! The most perfect crime), but then again I kinda saw myself as a half-guest: I was there to take part in the ceremonies, but my main reason for being there was to bring the funny. Hopefully. I saw some people that I knew (one of them being the Groom and his best man) and chatted to them.

This blog could go on forever if I don't cut to the chase. It was a very beautiful day, as it was full of rich detail and wonderful small pockets of bliss, but for terms of reading, I must continue about the meat of the day. The ceremony was lovely, and had a lot more grandeur than what I imagined: it was very awesome in the literal sense of the word. This was for three main reasons. Firstly the wedding had it's very own hashtag. IT'S VERY OWN HASHTAG. Which was #patersonwedding. I thought it was the intro to a Black Mirror episode. What would come next? An usher who directed old people to their precise seat though satellite navigation? A Vicar with auto-tune? A flower-girl with a Predator-esque cannon on her shoulder who dispensed petals, lethality and ultimately cuteness!? Funnily enough those three things are what I will have at my very own wedding, and equally stop me from actually getting a bride in the first place.  But it was awesome as it made the event incredibly unique and unifying: not just for the wedding couple but for the community who congregated to watch them.

 Secondly, they had a band play onstage for the Hymns, which was like watching a music video occur behind my very eyes. I was a bit disappointed that they refused my offer of  me playing Guitar Hero 3's Through The Fire and Flames on Expert difficulty in front of the wedding guests. Nothing says "love" like me sloppily mashing buttons on a plastic guitar to a rhythm whilst overdosing on pizza.

Thirdly it was awesome because they had a Vlog play during when the were signing the documents which was hilarious. The married couple starred in it and decided to quiz each other on how well they knew each other, whilst they were signing the marriage certificates, which was overwhelmingly funny. We then left the ceremony hall. The wedded couple stood together outside, chatting to guests. The pride I had for them flourished. Then my overriding jealously of their happiness took over. Then my happiness and pride came back, so overall it was a lovely experience. I got chatting to some people and then this spilled over into the evening. 
#patersonwedding. We truly live in the future. 

Well kinda. I was actually not technically invited to the dinner event, on the grounds of that I will be setting up the Stand-up comedy in the room adjacent to it. So there was a 4 hour gap. I went home and watched Jeremy Kyle whilst profusely sweating in my underpants; as the romance was vividly in the air.

I returned back and I got to see the speeches. At this point it was genuinely terrifying. There were people I knew who were going to watch me perform stand-up. What if I bomb? What if I let Will and Naomi down after they got me up North just perform. I was kinda nervous, more nervous I've been in a while. But after the speeches, some people come through, but it was slow trickle to begin with. But once we had  pretty good capacity I started the comedy. It was weird trying to welcome yourself to the stage - It was like trying to wank your own ego. 

The show started and I got some big laughs to begin with - people were very much up for it! But I just wanted them to get involved, so I have a small bit I have been doing for the last couple of weeks called "Christian Chat-up Lines"- in which  I have 8 differing levels of quality chat-up lines loosely relating to Christians- for example: "THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU - to give me your phone number". As i say, they aren't great, but they are good as a hosting technique to get the audience interacting with me, as I ask them to shout "Yeah" if they like it , or "Bollocks" if they think it is bollocks, and the aim is to leave with one chat-up line i could use at the wedding. They were on-board with me... until I mentioned the thing about "Yeah" and "Bollocks". Here was the roadblock. Remember what I said earlier (CALLBACK)- a lot of people in the audience were devout Christians and some people were very against using foul language. This guy (and he was a lovely guy) shouted out to me and said "No- I'm not going to shout out the bad language". It was very strange, as I forgotten that some people are not as crude as I am. I made a couple of jokes out of it and I told the people who didn't want to say "Bollocks" could just say "NO" instead. Simple? No. 

I realised when I was saying my material, that most of my jokes are a little bit smutty (and perhaps that is where the awkward comedy comes from) as I talk about sex a lot.I wouldn't class them as blue jokes, but equally I wouldn't tell them to your mother.  And this group of Christians were a little bit put off by it. But at this point, there was a rift in the audience: there were the group of Christians and there were the group that wanted the more filthy stuff (and where actually laughing at the fact I was making these jokes in front of a group who didn't like it). Essentially, this meant I couldn't do some of my best material, which  I had prepared. So i had to think pretty fast on my feet to get some new material and still retain being funny. 

This lead to some interesting avenues: I first started chatting to this guy called Tim, who was the most polite heckler in the world and I chatted to him and riffed off him for a bit. I told the vegetarian story but not going too much into it. But then I was stuffed, the time was almost up but I had zero punchlines to go out on. I couldn't do my ancient bit on Online-dating nor could I talk about my virginity being lost. They wouldn't find it funny. But luckily, the Groom came in, and I got the whole group to sing him the song "Baby" (in the process of which I was riffing on people to high degrees of success). It went slightly culty as people were just mechanically shouting "Baby" to the Groom, as his wife would do later #WAHEY #LAD. It went a bit strange but it was good enough to go out on. 

People seemed to like me afterwards. I think everyone enjoyed themselves, but some of the material just wasn't suitable for the audience members. Do you homework before going onstage. The gig starts way before you get there. Have an alternative if things go wrong. Don't give up - if you try hard enough you still make it a great night, which it turned out to be.

The rest of the evening was just swell as well. Really good times. No bridesmaids or groupies, but we can dream for next time. So that was my Big Funny Yorkshire Wedding. It was  privilege to perform there. 

I doubt you have read it this far. If you have. You have too much free time on your hands buddy- but I thank you dearly for reading. This is the longest blog I will do, so the ones in the future will be a bit more snappier and shorter, but I felt such a momentous occasion deserves a suitable blog. Next week I've got something very weird to discuss. I'll see you then! 

If you like the blog, send me a message, like my facebook page and share with your mates! Cheers! Oh and come see me perform in the next week. 

UPDATE: The Patersons have returned from the Honeymoon and read my blog. My plan has been ruined. I'm off to by them a belated wedding gift.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Eerie Silence Review - 3rd May 2015

Latest Music Bar, Brighton (Brighton Fringe Festival).

Sexual politics is an ubiquitous and trending issue in 2015. Discussing their personal role regarding gender in society is Berlin Theatre Company, with their debut fringe show: Eerie Silence.

The performance is instantly stimulating: there is plenty going on. There is no teasing as it cuts straight to meat of the show, as it is initially clear and sustains striking throughout. The piece examines the limitations of gender, in four different aspects: Sexuality, Beauty, Emotion, and interestingly, Masculinity.

                          Berlin Theatre Company

The moral is emphasised with the eccentrically strange performance art aspects, which leads to some intentionally revolting scenes.  Berlin crafts their show well, by making the peculiar extracts incredibly watchable. They deliver their abstract segments in a somewhat comical fashion, leaving the spectators hooked into all the bitter action that they prescribe. It is like popping a spot and getting some pus on the mirror: You are slightly disgusted, but you are shamelessly impressed regardless - as it effectively leaves its mark.

The performance art in the show is captivating, as it happens alongside a recorded monologue of each performer, detailing their honest struggle with gender identity. There are disorienting moments, but ultimately it is utterly fantastic, as it is performance art with a clear purpose, filled with layered artistic imagery reflecting the ideals of the piece. A particular;y poignant moment is Josh’s monologue, as he tears up an onion whilst discussing how one-dimensional some may demand him to be. It is touching scenes like this which make it such an alluringly honest performance. Berlin also uses audience interaction, which lends itself to the purpose of the show by connecting to their audience. They use the moments sparsely but well-chosen making it unimposing.

Eerie Silence does not have the answers to society’s problems, nor do they claim to, but they raise alarming questions in the age we live in, as they show in their tentative ending. They give the audience an impossible question, but attempt to make the audience solve it. It is not particularly a show I would take my grandma to see, but it offers a fresh perspective making it a tactful and passion-driven performance.

Berlin’s Eerie Silence is showing at The University Of Kent’s Summer Arts Festival on 28th May.  Follow their Facebook page for details.

Introduction- a quick hello!

Hello to all my readers,

This is my new blog! Thanks for making coming to have a look. If you stumbled here by accident- here is a little about me: My name is Matt Hoss! I am 21 years old and I am Stand-Up Comedian and I run my Sketch-Show Company called Hosstages. I also perform Improv as well.  I'm also a student of Comedy Studies. That means I both perform Stand-up Comedy and study the academia behind it. I've done a lot of other cool stuff  which I have under my belt too, for example I can play Dragonforce's Through The Fire and Flames on Guitar Hero 3 on expert difficultly. Ladies, my contact details are the bottom of the page.  

This is a picture of me by the way. And I like long walks on the beach.

So this Matt Hoss' Beyond The Blog. I know what you are thinking: "Blogs? He is doing a blog?! Everyone does blogs nowadays- more Blogs than bloody people! This won't be interesting". Well that's where you are (probably) wrong. I'm calling this "Beyond The Blog". Now for the comedy savvy amongst you, this a reference to the comedy critic: Bruce Dessau's website Beyond The Joke. There will be a lot of niche references throughout. Try to catch-up.

But I've called this Beyond The Blog, for another reason other than Plagiarism and that is because though this space does act as a blog, it also acts a platform for so many other things. I intend for this platform to show reviews that I have written. I will show extracts from my personal and private gig diary. I will discuss something comedic that happened to me in my week. I will do mini-essays and articles of things that interest me. I may discuss some observations and philosophy. The foundation and the progress of my stand-up pieces will appear here.  And if you are really lucky, maybe you will see some video clips of what i'm up to.So it goes BEYOND the BLOG. Gettit? Hilarious.

Also please note: Though my writing will lean towards a comedic approach, some pieces will not necessary intend to be funny. You will be able to tell with the tone of the piece what I am going for. Or sometimes I may just be shit yet trying to be funny. But you will never know.

Oh well.

So that's me. Please read my stuff and support me! Follow me and share with your mates.

You can find me on Facebook  and you can Follow me on Twitter too! Please Like my page, follow me and share the things I do. I genuinely appreciate it when people like my things and share my content.
 If you want to see me perform, send me a message on facebook or twitter and I will let you know when  I'm near your neck in the woods. I'm pretty funny onstage so I'm not to be missed.

I will be uploading a review piece as soon as possible! Check it out.

Best wishes,
Matt Hoss