Thursday, April 18, 2002

Just finished reading Tony Allen's Speaker's Corner Journal - it's a great read. It's on the New Agenda site, which is his charitable arts trust thing.
It is very evocative writing: not only can I hear/see his stand-up act (as was) but also the rather different style that he evolved for the particular oddity of Speaker's Corner's dynamics. It is both a guided tour and a critique; you are introduced to colourful characters, given an analysis of the various other speakers, and are even allowed a glimpse backstage of the creative process.

I also emailed his publisher and found that his book "Attitude: Wanna make something of it?" will be out in early October 2002.

If you don't know who Tony is, then check it out - without his influence a lot of what we now glibly call Alternative Comedy would never have happened, or not exactly in this form. He's the eminence gris - the Godfather of it all. You don't see him on tv much, so he doesn't have that widespread fame thing [but then again, he doesn't sell his soul to advertising, either].

I had the privilege of hanging out with him, being helpful, back a few years. This didn't involve much - taking money on the door at clubs, helping with leaflets, setting up workshops, etc. It helped me feel more like a friend than a ligger, at least! And (most importantly) I got to see him perform often, and in many different venues - as well as socialising a little. Still, the stand-up scene is a little daunting for a timid old fool like me - I have never been very Alpha - and Tony knows EVERYBODY.

Saturday, April 13, 2002

Just finished Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson, and in spite of the hassles of trying to read 900 pages while you are in a working week I have to say I've really enjoyed the ride. I am not going to do a precis here. It's too soon since I finished it.

Some of the links on the site seem to be having problems. Even this Blogger thing, since I now do it in BloggerPro, but often find myself in the standard format, too. Or is the server just slow at times?

Thursday, April 11, 2002

It's a funny old world - just as I was expecting a dull year. [The only excitement was a very vague possibility of a Jabba get-together at a Texas Star Wars Convention in October.]

A man stepped out of the elevator today, who said he was a researcher for a daytime tv programme (and in case they want me to be secret plant in the audience, I won't say who, just now) who might consider me a 'colourful local character'. I rarely say no to stuff (that's how I ended up in ALL the good things I did, and a few of the bad.)

They'll let me know.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

I have been neglecting this diary for a while - so here's just a quick update. Keili came for a whirlwind visit, and is as amazing as I expected and more (we didn't meet for a long time).

Spring has arrived, bright but cold.

I spotted Tony Allen's site at last: NewAgenda
He's the original alternative comedian - the godfather of it all - a 'mixed ability shaman' - an act you shouldn't miss if you ever get the chance. And he's got a book coming out, too: "Attitude: Wanna make something of it?". Look out for that.
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