Well, there's good news and bad news.
Good: We had 47 tickets sold for the opening, which is very strong. The average show at the festival sells six (6!) tickets per performance--which means the name of the game is standing out from the herd. Buzz is good so far, and the press launch was killer--my segment looked really solid, and I got a wonderful reaction from the press and other artists.
I love UK comedians--the host was Jo Brand, a very cool lady, who mercilessly made fun of my show having been Off-Broadway rather than ON Broadway, which led into a long discussion with the audience on the merits of the New York theater system. Note: this wasn't American-style "comedian working the room" shit--she actually started a real discussion. It was very cool.
Bad: The performance itself was...bizarre. Even though things had been solid and sharp at the sampler at noon, somehow the 47 people at the show were from another planet entirely. I blame myself, because it's my job, but I honestly don't know what went wrong...they seemed, well, confused. Like they expected something else ENTIRELY. I have no idea what it was they thought they were going to be getting, but I can tell you for certain that I was not it.
They did warm to the show, somewhat, and never seemed unhappy with it...they just seemed distanced, and tired, and the aforementioned confused. Made for an unpleasant show, but after the show a few audience members spoke to me in the street and expressed great warmth about the show...go figure.
I have a theory, but I hope it is wrong--I'm listed as comedy, not theater, and in the Assembly all the comedy acts are pretty straight up standup, and I fear that the people are simply being hit with a show they don't expect at all. I don't even know if people choose their shows that way, but it would explain some elements.
I hope that instead it's just that locals are seeing 10 shows a day in the first days of the fest, because they get this huge discount, and as a consequence they are knackered by the time they show up at 8pm for us.
I'm disappointed a bit, because I wanted a strong showing out of the gate...but at the same time, it wasn't the end of the world. I need more data, so we're buckling down for tonight's show where I'll take another crack at the pinata.
Q: What is life without challenge?
A: Much, much easier. Only assholes go around being happy when they're challenged.