Ruddle Me This! with Taylor Ruddle

7. Gary Starlight & Infinite Jeff w/ Jeff Clark

May 01, 2023 Taylor Ruddle Episode 7
Ruddle Me This! with Taylor Ruddle
7. Gary Starlight & Infinite Jeff w/ Jeff Clark
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode we hear part 2 of my interview with Jeff Clark in which we talk about his alter ego Gary Starlight who he performs some incredible musical comedy as, the first time I saw him do it my mind was blown and I was really appreciative of being able to do a deep dive with Jeff and asking all of the questions I've had on my mind since I've known him. We get into the origins of the character and how his mind works when he is playing Gary, it's very fascinating to hear. We then move on to his experimental stand-up show Infinite Jeff a multiverse type show about where his life might have ended up if he didn't become an improviser. We head off on a couple of tangents about an experimental comedy set idea that Jeff has, as well as how amazing public libraries are and the litany of amazing services they provide. We wrap things up by breaking down the first ever comedy poster I designed, Jeff gives me some very kind but very insightful feedback.

0:00 Gary Starlight
19:01 Infinite Jeff
30:00 Jeff's Comedy Set Concept
32:20 Public Libraries are AWESOME
34:46 My First Comedy Poster
49:48 My Life Update

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Intro Music:

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Intro Music:

Funky Retro Funk by MokkaMusic

I had two versions of um Gary Starlight sings the blues and there was one I did for the Christchurch Jazz and Blues Festival and there's one I did at the Nelson jazz festival and that's the poster I did the that's the poster for the one that I did at the Nelson jazz festival which was a bit later and so I guess we'll give a little bit of background as what Gary Starlight is he is a character that you portray in all manner of Cabaret and stand up and he does his own solo shows yep anything else I've missed that's that's pretty much a he he has an ego that only a solo show can provide well that was my first thing I I saw you do I think it was called off book which was at the temporary little Andromeda and what they found really funny is that you had roll-up banners of was it yourself or was it Gary on the beach with his shoes off and he was sort of frolicking um and I just saw that and that told me everything I needed to know about the character absolutely everything like the imagery for that was so great it was awesome yeah I did I first created Gary Starlight in 2012 as a minor character and an improvised wedding reception and yeah and just loved that character so much and so the next year 2013 um so he was there for 10 10 years wow that was the year of the Gary Starlight Christmas special which is where he was fully born in a full-length improv solo and prop show which is incredibly incredibly challenging and also big disclaimer it's never a solo show because you've got your musician I've got a musician yeah and I've got the audience like if you're doing a prized musical comedy you're never alone because you've got your musician or your band there yeah and so I've been really lucky to have worked with some of the best you know um the best improv musicians out there because that would be a special skill set in itself I guess to further clarify the character Gary Starlight performed improvised music and a little bit of pattern banter in between the songs yeah and yeah they're given they give it with Gary Starlight is that he is a failed if he was ever successful singer-songwriter Entertainer who has um had a very tempestuous or tumultuous career in the in Showbiz and it just so happens that at any time he does a show there's people from his past in the audience oh yeah and they happen to be particularly significant to him in some way there you go so he then sings a song that was inspired by then gotcha and when you were coming up with the character was he fully formed from the go or have you built up bits and pieces over the years fully formed wow yeah I mean it's basically um we wanted I wanted a high status character because if you're doing a solo show you have to have high status in terms of you have to be confident and in control of the room but not negative High status yeah because it's really easy to be like controlling or mean or error you know to have their arrogance yeah reflect and sort of Cruelty and stuff like that but I don't like that or at least I'm not very good at it um I'm not I'm not very good at being um a dick yeah to the audience um in my own perception maybe I am a dick in my personal life but on stage I love to be very appreciative and so basically just to find Gary Starlight as a guy who's ego is the room his his arrogance is so big that you're already in it and so and the fact that you're there he sees his own ego reflected back at him he loves everyone because he assumes that they all love him as much as he loves himself that's a that's his mission statement that's the key to the character is that he loves you because he knows that you love him know that's really interesting yeah and so basically that way we don't have an interaction with an audience member I'm not getting them in trouble or making them feel bad if there's ever an audience member who is not into it first of all I won't approach them in the first place it's pretty easy to spot someone who doesn't want to be talked to yeah or you could go or you know you could make eye contact and start and make like a 10 millimeter movement towards someone and in those 10 millimeters you'll know you'll know and then that's when you just adjust your eye line to someone else and keep moving and you might end up walking on a big big Arc as opposed to the straight line you started on but you'll find someone at the end of that that you can actually have a conversation with and then some of them want to get up on you know some of them can come up on stage with you they want to get up on stage with you or they'll stay sitting where they are and you just sing to them from there oh yeah sort of serenade them kind of like oh yeah if it's a love song like Gary's had many many of his first wives in the audience and he's had like you know it's it's great and it's a treat because he is he's oblivious like he's not an idiot he's basic he I mean he's basic he's basically um he's basically Justin Bieber but without the money to have gone completely off the rails like you think about those people that become pop stars at such an early age and getting divorced they get divorced from reality yeah and that is to think Gary Starlight is very much in the Gary Starlet bubble he assumes that everyone there is a massive fan so when he is when he finds out that these are people that are seeing him for the first time it's like wow these people have loved me and this is the first time they get to see me live what a treat for them um and that's the thing right it's um it's all about like it's all you know crowd work is the technical term and stand up you know it's about you know interacting with the audience and oh how are you doing but it's also it's not about them and I think that that gives them that sort of safety that they don't necessarily have that's the hard part about getting kiwi audiences is that they I think their only experience with stand-up and crowd workers seeing those Jimmy Carr like Hitler owned accomplished oh yeah yeah you're just going to pick on them and no amount of no amount of promising that you're not going to will convince them they still think you're going to have a go at them yeah yeah exactly and so when I come out on stage in a wig and where the massive glittery jacket and all of that then it's kind of like well there's not really that much risk because it is such a big character sort of thing yeah and it's almost like what what is he really gonna do like yeah what's what he's not going to get to your deepest insecurities at next 30 seconds and and uh and he's not going to share the stage with them anyway yeah it's like he wants them to be looking at me he wants them to be looking at I want yeah sorry I keep figuring out do I talk about the first or the third person but as Gary I don't I want the boys looking at me yeah the even if they're on stage it's about they are there as a prop for Gary they're not there to be interrogated or made fun of or belittled or anything like that like any answer that they give is absolutely right and it's absolutely true and Gary is totally cool with whatever they throw at him yeah it's it's lovely because it's you know there's there's that reputation that improv is about getting picked on an audience volunteer has to do something embarrassing or share something awkward and that's not what we do that's not what we do and it's not what Gary does at all when I was gonna say the process of creating improvised music to me looks like it might as well be a magic for like I'm sure you have it it's a magic trick yeah yeah no I I actually thought about this a couple of weeks ago it is a magic trick because it is something that requires a whole heap of practice and training and skill both Technical and and and Ingenuity in order to look really easy so when like if you do your job if you do your job really really well people will not realize how hard it was yeah and that's that I mean that's the worst part of it right you do something that was really really difficult like you managed to rhyme with orange or purple yeah and the audience okay there's a nice song yeah oh I was I've always wanted to talk to you about Gary style that actually I was gonna say how long had you been training or practicing and doing improvised songs before you felt like it was you were ready to do a like make it into a show I've been preparing my whole life well that's the thing like when I was at high school my theater sports team ran Roman drills because we poem we were terrified of it because we weren't necessarily good at it I did not like singing in public until I was forced to take the lead in a in a musical like I said the chorus but I wasn't singing very loud and I certainly did a number of my songs until we were forced to in the finals because another team took our game like in the 1994 theater Sports finals I think it was yeah um we were all set to do like um a yearbook photo because that was an easy one for us to do it's just sitting around talking and the other team did it so we decided we were going to do an opera which is awesome but of course the rush that you get from jumping off there that was that seal buffet that was like oh well looks like I'm going to be singing in every scene now yeah yeah and so yeah um I'm I'm lucky in that I inadvertently had been preparing for all of that without knowing I've been I mean by the time I got to do Gary Starlight For the first time I had already been improvising for well over 10 years okay and I was known to be a go-to improv singer right in the warehouse yeah yeah it was absolutely already in my wheelhouse but then being able to go from one song to another song to another song that's vocal training that you have to do that's stamina that's um even in terms of rhyme scheme and and song structure you have to sort of go okay I can't do like the same just rhyming a roaming a roaming B roaming B through every song I have to get a bit more interesting with my lyrical structures so when you in terms of because I've you've watched the would I lie to your show before right yep when Lee Mack is talking about how quickly he comes up with his clips and stuff like that and yeah to his perspective it's not actually that quick he sits there and thinks oh someone will say that and then he waits a little bit and then he no one sees it so he goes oh they'll say it in a second and then no one does say it he says it yep do you feel like your mind works particularly quickly when it comes to that or is it like an instinct in training kind of thing where you have to just trust that your training is prepared you for doing these things and like the right words are going to come out I guess how conscious are you of what you're saying is what I'm trying to ask yeah it's kind of the same thing like it is kind of the same thing like there is there it's a muscle and it's it's a muscle that's been really well exercised in terms of coming up with a rhyme and coming up and being able to listen to a melody and again that's why I'm saying I'm so lucky to be working with the musicians I'm working with because they will give me such a strong offer or an idea at the start of what the music is and the style and the pattern of the notes even if they're playing a chords sometimes they'll even play the melody in there as well but that's the groundwork that that's the base and the foundation is what you build on top of that and so yeah I I love word play and I love words and I've got a pretty good dictionary in my head and so if you hear a word you know I'd say my first line and it's you know you know that that that that a that gives me another seven beats to come up with a word that rhymes with a yeah you know and and more often than not that second line won't start for another couple of Beats anyway so if I've thought of the word within those first couple of Beats then I've got a sentence that lays the groundwork that makes it fit yeah um and so you know sometimes you do decide to live dangerous and do like a faster paste or Up Tempo song yeah and sometimes but then that's when you do the a b and then a b again oh yeah because then you've given yourself a line well I'm saying a line really really fast but then I'm going to do a little bit here and then I go and say something to do with the past and I'll make up the song by ear you know you've given yourself the time but there is that sort of dichotomy if you've still got to be talking and saying the lyrics while you are thinking you're laying Railway track in front of you while you're operating the push cart yeah you know and the good thing is with improv is if it goes off the rails then that's part of the show that's the comedy that's the proof that it is made up true yeah it's I feel like because I do this you would have seen that sure I've been providing a little bit called this one time um have you seen any of the clips I've been posting from that I've seen a few I mean you're very good at posting Clips I've seen a number of them which ones are we but one that you might have seen was me talking about getting a murder of magpies like under my command or something about yes so yeah it's really interesting jobs yeah when you do those improvised segments um I often find that I start to leave myself breadcrumbs almost that I might come back to or I also might forget that I've said it and then just go on a completely different direction do you ever find you also doing that where you you think I'll throw something in there and then if I use it great if not then Yep they're not going to notice yeah all the time okay all the time uh like one of the tricks of improvisation is called reincorporation which is where and the final stage of a scene or is it's when you bring back ideas that were sewn in early yeah earlier in the story it's not like you know and then suddenly uh deus ex machina suddenly yeah yeah helicopter came and everyone got lifted out of this hole that they dug themselves into yeah you know um and that's That's The Art of Storytelling as you you sort of everything becomes significant later on and then if it's not significant it was just World building yeah you know it's like Schrodinger's cat like yeah absolutely but also yeah it's just building the world oh yeah oh I mean it is amazing at that I've seen some of earlier um specials and like um the Darth Vader the Death Star sequence and it is that whole book where it goes on a completely different tangent and then something links right back to a bit that they'd done earlier and it was like oh shifts kiss yeah that was my first that was my first introduction to long form stand-up comedy as well like watching those specials and stuff like that that was like because yeah indefinite articles to kill yep okay I know that one Dressed to Kill years and years ago it was it's yeah brilliant it was great we I think that was a really fascinating I I kind of always wanted to ask you about Gary Style lot but I just realized we didn't really talk much about the posters so again you're trying pastors are just the posters are just a really good photo yeah they're just you know I've been really lucky that I like with that first show 10 years ago we got so many photos oh wow so because we wanted to have you know all the album covers from Gary's history um go through different musical styles of course because you can't just yeah that's the whole point you can't have like an hour of the same type of song so he went through everything yeah his account there would be a country song there'd be a yep there'd be a 90s boy band there'd be uh Power ballad so it's everything it's everything of the of the menu and then I chose the poster image um was the one with the white space around it so that was one that we took a wee bit later um so it wasn't for the original season it was a bit later on but the thing there is that again I could print those without having to worry about getting up sure yeah very cheap and cropped and stuff like that you're right yeah because quite often they come with the white border around the edge if you don't go right to the edge exactly yeah so the white border is the the white Edge is The Edge it's all part of the plan yeah um is there anything else you wanted to add about Gary Starlight I can't think of much else in terms of the posters yeah it's it's the challenge you've got and this is something that everyone encounters is how much information has to be on the poster and how much does it need to be on the poster and the key things with every show poster are what's the name of the show where is it when is it how much does it cost those are the those are the things yeah and then why should I go see it yeah so and then and then compulsory things so you can see both of them have differing levels of pull quotes and the fonts for the location is a bit different in terms of size yeah um but it's it's a challenge right because it is you've got to you've got to try and get it down to the essential information but you've also got to get people to want to go yeah if that's the tricky thing is like you've it's like you're fighting against all the other things to do in people's houses now which the more time goes on the more fun stuff we're going to have to do just in our houses yeah having pool courts helps though yes haven't haven't managed to get any of those myself yet but I imagine the kind of thing where you just accumulate them over the course of uh doing a lot of shows yeah yeah definitely yeah so should we move on to your last post that you showed me so this one I was quite disappointed that I couldn't go and see but I think it was on a Thursday which was a no I think I had Toastmasters on that day yeah so the last post is called infinite Jeff that's right and it was done in 2019 yep four years ago it's wow has it really been four years yeah wow that's time has flat I suppose that's three years yeah three and a half years if you want to get really fussy because it was October 2019. sure yeah yeah so the the show was called infinite Jeff and it was a Multiverse type show which I suppose is what we were talking about before your career has been going for so long that you've you've now entered the Multiverse phase of of jail yeah very much what so I remember I did ask you I think because I just did a show in the Nelson French called Multiverse and it was basically just a storytelling show and I remember asking you if it was okay for me to use a Multiverse title and yeah as far as I remember you you were fine with it because I did that oh yeah I mean my idea was not a was not an original concept either uh so what was the concert for the show like the the idea was where where my life could have ended up if I'd made different choices you know if I had not become an improviser or comedian what else could I have been so it's like Jeff the author or Jeff the rapper or Jeff the motivational speaker or Jeff the marketing you know full Gone full marketing into advertising sort of thing and when you perform I remember you were telling me that the audience picked the ones they wanted to see so how did you listen to a degree yeah there's a big wheel on the screen gotcha and I would click spin the wheel and that would stop on a type of Jeff that was there yeah and then there would be a short character piece that had been created for that most of them were rehearsed at least semi-rehearsed there were very few fully improvised but but it worked pretty well it was it was a nice it was within that sort of improv structure because one of the problems I have as a performer is I've spent so long being an improviser that if I try to do something that's scripted more often the dot it doesn't have that same energy to it or at least that's how I perceive it yeah and so I wanted to keep that feeling of freshness and danger to keep myself in the room and present so that and that way you could have pre-ish rehearsed bits but you didn't know when and at what point they were going yeah and I didn't even know if because there were more bits than I needed how many would you say that you prepared for the show I prepared about I think I prepared about seven or eight and normally I only got six and when you were um sort of knocking them together were they based off of maybe ideas for stand-up routines you had in the past and you kind of thought because context kind of changes everything doesn't it we're yeah I'll give you an example of something I learned recently is Milton Jones you're aware of him the one-liner comedian from the UK not uh not intimately no no he's just a one-liner guy that he's very sort of respected one line ago and he has a joke where the punt the it's a one-liner where he says he woke up with a strange woman in his room and he said who are you what are you doing here and she said Nikita and then the next morning his radiator was gone so it was a Nick heater check yeah yeah he said the joke never worked until he started doing it in his show called Milton impossible which was a cold war spy um everything and suddenly Nikita sounds like a Russian you know yeah yeah yeah yeah the context KGB agent or something can then all of a sudden it worked so I can imagine certain bits you almost need to say to the audience now imagine I'm a painter and then yeah yeah and that's kind of that's kind of what it was I've got this I've got I've got a bit that I've done for a while which has marked me doing marketing I do a marketing but which is normally about five to ten minutes depending on how long I've got yeah and um it's super fun but at the end of the 10 minutes it's kind of like oh they've kind of drained that I've built that a bit dry right um and whilst I could try and make it a you know half hour or a full hour show of me being a marketing scum um it was it would be the the concept wasn't you'd get you'd get sick of the concept or at least I didn't think of it but it's it's a it's that phone line because it's you want comedy to have some honesty in it and some truth in it and some you know real life relevance but you also want it to be a fighter fancy and the possibility for you know yeah humor to come from it yeah you don't want it to be just

it would be great if I got paid to tell people about my problems yeah but um yeah so so basically I just sort of hit came up with well I do this sometimes I do the wrapping things sometimes I do sort of an improv rap um quite a bit uh I do this but yeah so what if I yeah those could be characters and um for a while the poster concept was going to be all the different faces yeah um and so I did go to the truck I did get so many different selfies slash headshots yeah of me wearing different makeup and hats and things like that and making up did you I feel like I've seen some of them did you post some of them when you were leading leading up to the show yeah yeah yeah because I had them and I was like God what am I going to do with those yeah and so I posted the the concept photos that never made it there but ultimately it was just the black and white minimalist Steve jobsy sort of I was gonna say that's the vibe that I got was the Steve Jobs kind of it is a state it was it was just a photo I took not for the show actually it was just a silly photo I made because I was wearing a turtleneck and it was like I look at the pink job photo looking series down the camera um right and then it was like well what am I going to do a show for my poster and there it was yeah and so I went real minimalist white background black text you've used impact impact which is a classic um sort of Timeless uh it does feel very comic Booky which I think lends to it a little bit yep well basically I tuned it into the middle third as opposed to bro as opposed to the full you did didn't you your width of the page basically I shaved it's it's basically half the half the width of the page but moved to the center so it's like you've lost it all two-thirds I'm not sure what the effect is it full justify when you make the font yeah all the text go as far as it can and spread out yes but I'm not spreading up the letters it's just to get the gaps yes just the words yep and that what was there any particular reason because I mean the fact that it says a comedy show that's like quite significant gaps was that just you thought it looked like cool or was there any kind of um yeah it looks better like I did a version where it was spaced out I did um I did a multi I did a sort of uh character-based comedy show but then that was too dense gotcha um and also I wanted them to know it was a comedy show yes um because the photo in itself feels like talking doesn't it feels a little Ted talky yeah so that's why I added the quote at the top well not the type of the tagline at the top what if a comedian decided to do a high concept ill advised vanity Project Infinite Jeff oh comedy show just giving comedy twice and then yeah um sometimes you do have to add that underneath the title especially in New Zealand here I think people yup need you need to beat them over the head with it a little bit at times yeah I do like the ill-advised vanity project it reminds me a little bit of the one Dan Bain did where he did variations on the same joke yeah he had some similar similar wording in his blurb for the show yeah because we've got to undercut ourselves like we can't just go on they're going well this is going to be really cool oh no this is ah this is terrible no no it's gonna go badly because then at least you're right or you've played or it's a presence pleasant surprise yeah under uh under promise over deliverers I like to quite of the Kiwi it's the New Zealand way that's true yeah and so is this a show you would put on again or was it you're happy to just get it under your belt and kind of move on from it I would but very differently I think that there were some bits that I really regretted not being able to do or that I should have done at the end I think that letting the audience or letting the wheel decide was a nice little cop-out for myself but I think that's just because I was too cowardly to properly structure a show right because if you were going to structure it yourself you could build callbacks into other universes and stuff like that could you yeah yeah yeah and both times it did end with a little song that I'd actually taken the time to write yes which was like a little love song to my wife which was very nice and sweet that is rather nice yeah yeah so when you change it when you changed characters on the on the night were you changing costumes and stuff yeah so you would do a degree yeah I could agree I'd look behind the screen and there'd be a little bit that I'd say from behind the screen whilst I was frantically doing gotcha the costume change certainly there'd be a long intro or shot and try to make it once depending on how complicated the costume was yeah generally it was just a like I said I was wearing the turtleneck the whole time yeah which was which was a bad idea in October it was quite warm I can imagine that it got um and then I was throwing on a jacket or something else over the top yeah yeah there was a hat the guy who went before me and the venue and Nelson Fringe did a show called real I forgotten what his last name was but his first name was chai and he it was a three character play and I think he signified his changes by with um lighting changes and then also with his um body language and and all that sort of thing uh proper acting that's that's a good job but that sort of thing if it wasn't for the costumes it would be cool to be able to do that kind of thing with some of your infinite gifs like you could yeah have them interacting with each other and uh all sorts of chaos towards him but again that would be the dream yeah you would have to sort of do that maybe in a pre-recorded thing where you film all the bits and Stitch them together or something but yeah that's a whole yeah you can't really do that live can you yeah well I mean that's there's a there's a concept I've had for a long time of a comedy set that is basically involves a lot of pre-recorded stuff oh so you've never been organized enough to do it so it would be the kind of thing where you would be responding to maybe like a video played on a projector or something like that I I'll say it now because then if anyone uses it I know that I've set up first it's a director's commentary of your own comedy set yeah so you know how they always had the DVD extras of someone yeah so in this in this bit here we didn't have enough um we didn't have enough uh Orcs on the day so what those are on the background are just sticks so it was like literally just me walking on and miming doing a comedy set as a pre-recorded bit goes okay so I was performing tonight um but I obviously you can see here I'm sort of trying to get a little result for a little response from the crowd this is called crowd work and I was chatting to someone there and you can see me trying to ask someone what they do but when I hear it I'm a little disappointed by their answer I don't actually have anything funny to say so I watch as I just do a little bit of a hand gesture and so it would basically be on stage it would literally just be me pantomiming slash mining that's really interesting that's comedy with the audio track there but the thing there is that the audio track has to be so well planned out it does yeah how many beats do you have to give up for the laugh there's no room for improv there's it's a very it would be a very high wire comedy act what could be yeah absolutely one thing that I always think would be funny is I love that the dichotomy of you remember when like you'd watch an old country movie it'll be dubbed and they would rattle off this long sentence and it would just be like I'm gonna beat you or something yeah yeah and be like I told them calmly and politely to please stop talking and then your pantomime and you screaming at them and yeah yeah all that sort of think that's really funny yeah yeah or and then I did talk with the idea of bringing audio like actually talking at times as if they turn up the audio Yeah that's funny but then again that's that's the sort of the that's yeah I want to do it I just haven't had the time slash energy slash drive to do it probably really have to plan that out and have to do production like on point to make it happen well I've got I mean I've got access to those resources no sweet that's public library has a great podcast recording studio so really yeah yeah the Makerspace full-on Pro Adobe tools that's where that's where I made these posters actually um I did it on the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite that they've got upstairs in turanga fourth floor Christchurch public library free for everyone to use that well that's a great plug there definitely get up yeah they've got audio recording stuff they've got 3D printers they've got laminating printers it's great I feel like libraries have done a great job of diversity defying from what you what you come in there for right they are one of the greatest inventions and uh modern society yeah the ability to share knowledge and to share resources like it's it's the ultimate sign of a healthy healthy sort of society is when those sort of things well yeah because when ideas are being given like you know yes they're giving away ideas they're giving away information and knowledge and that's power like that is stuff that is going to people are going to read that and some people are going to come out and go actually I hate libraries now I think we should get rid of them ban them don't fund them you know they'll read they'll read and Rand and go oh right right this is you know it'll turn them into terrible people but it's also got all those other resources that they now know that we have to have and often being functioning Society they give free access to the internet they give free access to software that allows you to design or produce or create things so it's not just the consumption of ideas but the development of ideas yeah they also let you hold um meetings and search for fairly reasonable prices I think yeah they do yeah they have meeting rooms meeting spaces quiet spaces I feel like calling them a library is almost doing them at a service like they need like a

yeah you get into some interesting territory there I wrote I wrote a short story in a library over the course of a week yeah it's had a week off to do some writing and I wrote a 5 000 word short story and that was it about what was it about libraries at all or was it just kind of no it was about a kid who it was about a kid who found baked beans that made him fart there you go really powerfully

yeah but it has never been published but it was still nice you've always got that under your head in case the whole area style I think it doesn't work out you can definitely did that shall we have a look at my first ever stand-up comedy poster absolutely go down the drive there yeah so I've got it right there I've opened it up and let me just by saying open mic stand up comedy I'd never designed a comedy poster until this point yeah so I was really just flying by the seat of my pants making this uh but yeah what are some of your initial thoughts upon seeing this it's a very busy poster yeah there's a lot going on it's a very busy poster I love the use of black space it must have been very expensive to print yeah I think it was I like that for the most part it has two colors black white and then red yeah and then there's good old CC Cafe as the most powerful piece of info or just just just getting your attention right yeah and this is the this is the big challenge of uh I can't especially a lineup show there are so many names that you have to get there and so many potential headshots yes and faces and pictures so you can see you've got the you've got the key information at the bottom left corner it's on at that time on this day at this time at this price at this place yeah and you've got the logo of the place the logo of the the production company don't like nicely down there which is cool and it works pretty well in terms of the Nick Mills headshot yeah because it's still black and white but it's against a white background that does draw your eye quite quite nicely it does doesn't it yeah yeah but the challenge you got with red white and black is that the red for fukuoka's first open mic stand up comedy it's a little harder to read very hard to read yeah yeah so the first thing that I see looking at that is headlining yeah I'm with you there I would have sorry we are we pulling this apart and critiquing it I mean the main Jojo I would have made would be leaving leading or taking fukuoka's first I can make stand-up comedy and putting that in white and then having the name Nick Mills and Ollie horn in red yeah I agree with that because that would get that would be they would be the names that stand out yeah yeah that would be the thing that stands up at this case fukuoka's first open my extended comedy that's the dominant sort of text but it's nice yeah but it's a bit hard to see I would have you could have even flipped it over and had just the red drop shadow

yeah it could be a drop highlight yeah yeah you can definitely do that we also had to have the funny like you know we don't have any quotes so we're going to Chuck a few quotes on there not my cup of tea we can afford not my cup of tea oh he's mum yeah that's that's the whole kiwi lower your expectations folks um and that's fine that's fine like I mean lineup shows are tricky especially when it is that sort of Open Mic or that sort of um emerging showcase yeah um and that's when you make the call is it are you establishing because you can only use that poster once right yeah yeah absolutely you know I think for those sort of things if it's not a massive name headlining if it is great use the headshot use their name yes if it's not again you can sort of jettison a whole stack of that information it is good how a flexible web like if you send them to a link tree or something like that the QR code stays the same but yeah all the information you're going through a little bit different yeah the one thing I never quite got I think this is just a comedy thing but putting the country flags next to all the performers names there was one thing that Ollie insisted on but I wasn't quite sure if that was going to be the kind of thing that someone would see and be like whoa there's there's two English people on the show I'm gonna I'm gonna check it out yeah I'll just go eid's end UK um be ra Brazil is it a leader might even be Ukraine Ukraine I think so and then you've got UK later on so that one worked yeah oh yeah true yeah would be ukr is what it is yeah but yeah um that's the thing right it's it's it's a lot you've got to have a lot of information on these sort of posters because if you have one person like is that the headliner is it the MC you've got that battle going on there yeah it's more important no that that debate will never get resolved no um then you've got like well if we're going to have those people we have to have the other acts on there as well so then you've got that on there yeah yeah it's uh it's an interesting case when you're doing something especially because like essentially everyone on the poster is unknown um International comedian International seems to something that they much like the the countries of origin they sort of just Chuck it on there because it seems more seems more professional or legit or something yeah exactly Saucy yeah um but yeah so that was the first one I I really was riding close to the edge of the page the I would definitely want to Chuck some some deeper margins and if I was going to do it again I have thought yeah yeah I have thought about redesigning it so what would I do now but also I think it's just kind of interesting well like you say the title needs to be a little bit a lot clearer yeah so like it doesn't have a title No it is first open mic stand up comedy yeah your show that's a lot of letters yeah but that's coming from a guy who wrote something with like a 20 word title so I'm probably doing it now I'd probably just have it as Open Mic open mic comedy maybe open mic stand up and see I'd have a look and see what how many how much space we've got to play with yeah and then I'd probably just put it as subtitle saying you know for the first time in Fukuoka or something like that and then yeah in a little star yeah yeah exactly and I probably wouldn't put the open mic performers on because you know we were just I think pretty much all of us were getting up for the first time so no one would have ever heard of us and the open mic is gonna promote it to their friends anyway so you just kind of it's not super necessary if like if I can make some suggestions yeah please go ahead if you were redoing this I would make the comedy fukoga logo the biggest thing on the post sure yeah I think that's that's a cute logo yeah uses red and white really effectively yeah you know you put Focus first you know Open Mic sound card because Fukuoka is that a city yeah it was a city in Japan so you weren't planning on you weren't planning on putting posters and like um

they'd know that they were there right yeah yeah so I just say um yeah I'd go comedy Fukuoka and then the the venue and and things like that like that's you know you could put you could even make that the top third of the poster would just be the logo company yeah yeah I could see there and then you'd do um headlining in the middle [Music] and then the CC Cafe yeah down the bottom the one thing that I remember about putting that logo onto posters is the shape of the logo was just an absolute Bane in my life because it has the the big circle in the center it will never quite sit well in the corner because you had all this weird space between the I don't know the sticks sticking out yeah that's that's why I put that's why I put it as a dominant thing yeah I think that was in the circle then the circle would become the sort of center of the image yeah I think they would have worked better than better than what we had been doing I may show you some more from uh from my Rogues gallery of um I mean I've got I've got stacks of posters like you you'll see you'll see my definite themes and stuff that I have a hand in designing as well that whole imagery running down the center of the poster with the Hollywood space either side that's something that comes up a few times that's a Jeff trademark that is a it's not a trademark it's just a trait yeah I can't I can't say I've trademark I know that there are lots of other people that have done it much better than I do yeah but um I love the design aspect of it because you are trying to get a lot of stuff a lot of information across and as it is I think it's a I think for a first poster it's nice it does it does what you'd expect a first poster to do is like I really want to honor all of our performers yeah I want to honor all that it's got a slightly wacky font which is nice yeah like it's it's it's cool it's cute I think yeah for we could have definitely done worse like are you familiar with the Facebook group called bad comedy posters oh oh yeah I love the one improv group or scar band the close of the prevalence of improv in the 1990s you could just look and it's like improv group or scar band and it's just like so is it a poster or is it the name that you're trying to guess it's it's it's a webs website I'm gonna go it's literally called SCAR or improv on Tumblr gotcha and it is literally just the promo photos that they do for these people and it is just so wacky and yeah there's always the oh a big vaguely funny yeah or are we yeah so you look at it and it's like gosh that's that's brilliant I have a good score of this later but that's really funny you'll just be scrolling for forever because yeah oh that's brilliant so I guess we'll wrap it up there won't take yeah too much Maria time but thank you for chatting with me that was a lot of fun I think if you're Keen to do more of these um definitely a treat yeah looking to create some more content so great where can the people out there find you on your socials well you can find Gary Starlight who has his own Facebook and um forward slash um garystarlight sings all one word um I have a performer page which is Jeff Clark performer on Facebook um which is just Jeff Clark what is it it's Jeff Clark yeah it's just Jeff Clark Dash performer gotcha and then um I'm on Instagram as Kamikaze Jeff c-o-m-i-k-a-z-e-j-e-s-s I was gonna ask you is that an old podcast you used to do or was that just a play on words it was an old comedy show I used to do oh there you go it was an old comedy show I used to do called Kamikaze which was probably problematic then and it's just an email it's just the name that I've ended up stuck with socials yeah and I'm also Kamikaze Jeff on Twitter but Twitter is mostly just me retweeting interesting articles gotcha Instagram there's more sort of photos of me before I do a show so if you're not there in the next 15 minutes you're probably gonna miss out but sometimes I do sometimes I do share promotional stuff for things that are coming up for me but yeah the gym club former and Gary select Facebook pages are the main things to see me on I will endeavor to have a website at some point but not today yeah or at the time of this podcast being played I suspect I'll chuck all of those down into the show notes of that so one other thing I'm not quite sure what this podcast is going to be called like I've been doing it under the poster podcast but I sort of went through a bit of a thing when I did by quarterly and uh evaluation where I decided I didn't want to necessarily limit myself to just posters so yeah I'm gonna I've got a few I I've got a couple of ideas I was thinking of curiosity might be all right because I just like learning about things yeah and then the other one pretty standard maybe rodcast and like each it'll be a umbrella term and then you know this is a poster episode with Jeff Clark or you know I might do one about talking about old video games or I think it would be cool to do a bit like what Dan Maines doing now where we re-watch episodes of an old TV show and go through them so

I'm just asking questions and today we're asking yeah yeah that's not bad at all I have to make sure that hasn't been done because the tricky thing is I have an idea and then someone already has a pod Sprout account with it so I go dang it I can't uh I can't get in there but yeah I'm not quite sure what it'll be about a few weeks before the Pod comes out there is no ruddle me this I've just Googled it doesn't exist right on me that's three words that's nice yeah not too much you could fit ruddle me this question mark and the two lines damn that could be an interesting episode I'll provide you some some album cover ideas and you yeah yeah you give me the tips on on optimizing it yeah I mean that's the thing like layouts a layout of a poster is so interesting because it's all about the journey that the eye goes on yeah the brain processes information as well yeah it's like what is it okay that's interesting why should I when is it where is it like the what's the narrative you want them to be asking are you wanting to answer the questions before they ask them or do you want them to ask the questions and then suddenly find the answers like that's true how you guide an eye sort of thing because there's a thing that catches their eye and then it's where the eye goes from there yeah it's like um like the Star Wars text comes in from the bottom really nice yeah but it starts with a big thing that then School strengths back in the background and then the text comes up over the top it's like you're right I've never thought about it that way but that is you're almost predicting what questions are going or what they're going to be thinking when they see each element of the poster yeah that's a good way to think about it it is because it's it is it is a it is a mission to the eyes you know and and also is it a poster that they're going to be driving past or as a person they're gonna have time to stop and look at yeah a billboard they've got plenty of time to see it yeah they've got time to sit and read it and then you can have the info but if it's posted they're going to drive by three words four words maybe they'll take a slightly direct doesn't it all right that face that name right that's what they get and then they get home and they'll Google it and that's the thing with posters like that's the thing you want them to be intrigued enough to then Google it and it's true yeah and if you can do that then you've done your job okay well appreciate your time uh nice thank you we'll have to bring you back for another one there so that was the end of my interview with Jeff Clark I really enjoyed talking to Jeff I learned quite a few things from actually and I even found myself really just getting into the podcast when I was listening to it and editing it before I just found myself kind of getting lost in it and forgetting that it was me talking to someone and like I teased at the start at the ends gives me of last week's podcast you get to see the birth of the name for this podcast well you know I had it written down as a possible name but hearing Jeff talk about it kind of reinvigorated the idea in my mind and it grew on me and I decided that it would be the the ideal name for the podcast it's been a minute since I've done a proper Life update so I will catch I'll catch the 12 listeners up on what's been going on in my life so since the last time I did one of these used to be called after dark but I think it's just now a life update I went to the Nelson French Festival which was my first French Festival ever and it was a really fun experience I had a awesome uh three days up in Nelson like I mentioned in the podcast with Jeff I performed a show called Multiverse which was basically a solo version of that improvised storytelling show at this one time in case you've never seen that before audience members submit a real story that happened to them into a little Halloween cauldron that I have and I take them out one at a time I add a few of my own stories Into The Cauldron at the start of the show and I perform all of the stories that I draw out as if it was really my story and a real piece of stand up and this was a lot of fun because you quite often get a few really wild card stories there's a lot of Duds but the two audiences that I had up in Nelson were full of interesting stories and they were two really really funny shows I had to take a little bit of an ego hit I suppose you would call it in my audience sizes so the venue I was in Studio One Nelson absolutely love that venue if you're a performer wanting to do something up in Nelson I can't recommend them enough that it's a great little venue it's alcohol free which can be tricky but for what I do alcohol free works just fine and the owner Jasmine who I actually got to meet up The Fringe super lovely super kind and it's really reasonable to hire really cheap as well so I can't recommend them enough definitely definitely check them out if you're looking to do a show there and as Studio One seats about 50 people I think and I I actually basically drove up to Nelson without knowing how many sales I had I think I checked on the Wednesday night before I drove up and it was pretty dishenheartening I think I had four sales on the Thursday and three sales on the Friday and a couple of those were comp tickets so I was really getting concerned that it was going to be a long weekend um long weekend at the office but luckily people came out and on the first night I had 12 audience members in and then on the second night I had a really surprising 17 audience members and that was I was really happy about that and something else I didn't expect but I was also really grateful for was that the average age of my audience was like 30. I've heard in the past that Fringe audiences tend to be very old and very white but I think maybe just due to the fact that my show started at nine o'clock I got this awesome mix of people a lot of foreign people a lot of people from the UK a few people from Ireland who I think might have been locals and there was a guy from the Czech Republic in there it was just amazing like I was so happy with the with the diversity and young age range of my audience I learned quite a bit about how to promote a fringe show during my time in Nelson like I I bought a package of posters that you can do Through The Fringe which I probably wouldn't do next year I think I'll just print my own Flyers off and go around asking cafes if they can put them up in the window for me not exactly something that everybody could do like I have the the background and graphic design so that's I'm quite lucky in the sense that I can DIY that if I want to but I just don't think I got the return on posters that I had hoped for they looked really nice up in the box office but I only saw a couple of them up there so I think next year I'm gonna go get a better hopefully slicker uh video to put on Facebook and then DIY my own flyers and maybe even go up a day earlier and do a bit of barking hang up some flyers go around the the hostels and that kind of thing to promote and I think next year I'm just going to do a straight stand-up show if I'm still doing my Japan material then I'll I'll do that as a French show but I feel like in between now and then I'm probably going to record my Japan special so if you've heard I mean people people have been hearing me do these jokes about stuff that happened to me in Japan which I had to accept recently that this is going on 10 years ago now when did I go up I went Whenever there when I was 22. and I turned 30 this year so I'm starting to feel like it might be a little bit sad that I'm still talking about all these stories that happened when I was over there so I was thinking this year that'll be one of my focuses is to get that recorded and just put it up on YouTube for free and that way I can retire the material and then I'm not that guy that's doing eight-year-old stories about his early 20s OE which I think going into your 30s still doing that I don't know I just feel like that dude who can't who's clinging to the Past who can't move on so I need to record it put it up online a lot of it is some of my best material so that'll be great to have online people can see some of the best stuff I've been working on all over the world hopefully and then I can move on and I can start working on my second hour so follow me on Facebook on Instagram on Tech talk on YouTube it's all Taylor model comedy so the other major life update and this is a big one is about a week ago I decided that my RSI pain was but I was at my limit basically anyone who knows me in my personal life has heard me moaning about my hands for the last jeez I think I looked it up and it started in September last year I'll give a very short recount of it and I think it was September last year I started noticing that my hands were it was mainly my thumbs we're getting really sore after a long week at work and considering most of what I did was clear cutting and very cut and paste sort of design work I think it was just all the repetition gave me a form of repetitive strain injury I booked a week off work to give my hopefully give myself a bit of time to recover and then it's just by chance I happen to catch covert in that same week so I ended up getting all my sick days back and we had like a covered we used the covert subsidy for those sick days so that that worked out okay and my hands were better for a little bit but they've just been getting worse and worse and especially lately uh it's it's I've been telling people that it feels like I've been living to work not working to live because what would happen is I would finish up a week at work my hands would my thumbs my hands would be aching I basically couldn't do anything on the computer all weekend I just had to rest yeah I've been seeing a physiotherapist I've been doing stretches constantly been doing things in the gym to help strengthen them I've been doing little rubber bands exercises I've been trying anti-flame cream I've been using a Thera gun a massage gun and I think ultimately just what's happened is I I use them too much and the small muscles in my thumbs and my hands got strained and they just haven't been able to recover with me working full time so I spoke to my manager and he was really sympathetic about it and my boss and everything and they they tried to uh take some steps to lighten the load on me so that I wasn't bearing so much uh so basically some of my my workload was was lightened to see if it would Aid me in recovering so I tried sticking it out for another I was trying to do a month but after about two weeks I was just at my limit I couldn't I can't do it anymore um my my quality of life was just beginning to suffer and I mean all all of my hobbies involve PC and video games and computers and so it was really wearing on me to finish work on Friday or Thursday they started giving me Fridays off to try and give me an extra day to recover the finishing work for the week and then basically just waiting until Monday and hoping that my hands weren't feeling as achy by the time Monday came around then on the week that I had in my notice in it was 9 A.M Monday I was already really achy and feeling shooting pains going down my thumbs so I just decided it was time to time to pack it in and I'm basically just going to be unemployed for a little while it'll be my first real holiday God knows how many years obviously you take like bits and pieces of time off here and there but I never really felt like I had any extended time off from work so I think it's been a little bit of mental burnout as well as physical burnout so I'm basically just going to allow myself about six months to try and recover from this see how much I can recover I'm not gonna do a whole bunch I'll probably keep doing the podcast and obviously we keep doing stand up and writing jokes and everything like that but I probably won't be doing a lot of video editing because that tends to uh flare up my my hand pain and the plan is basically just try and try and be as healthy as I can try and get as much sleep as I can try and eat right try and go to the gym as much as I can keep stretching keep doing yoga and just not stress out too much and get caught up in that fomo capitalism creative side hustle uh feeling of that I should be hustling all the time and I think that's going to be really good for me I am a self-admitted workaholic and I think it's just gotten to the point where the way I was working and the pace that I used to do things at is just not sustainable you know it was sustainable when I was in my early twenties and I had relative youth as a kind of buffer now that I think about it I feel like I'm the guy who used to go out on a bender every weekend and when he was in his 20s he could bounce back he wouldn't even get hung over but now he's in his 30s and he's realizing he has to actually start doing things like hydration and getting a good night's sleep after a bender otherwise he's just not going to be able to handle it so the other good thing about me having some time off from work and this was through no fault no fault of work but it was so hard to travel for shows when I was working Monday to Thursday another Friday sometimes because even though you would think that a lot of stand-up gigs happen on the weekend but weirdly enough everything that I wanted to get on and I was getting offered to do when everything was happening between like Sunday and Wednesday which were pretty much the three days I absolutely couldn't afford to take off at work because that was a we had a magazine that was going to print on Wednesday so as you can imagine Monday Tuesday Wednesday were quite full-on days and when you know it was very hard to get time off because the team would would suffer if one of us was was out so one thing that I'm really looking forward to is finally being able to travel during the week for shows like Ben Tito Caldwell from DIY comedy has been offering me these like four to five day tours up in the north island that have been absolutely dying to do but just haven't been able to get off from work the right amount of days so that's one thing I'm absolutely going to pounce on and I when I'm up there I'm definitely going to try and do a lot of podcasts with the local Comics because Palmerston North alongside Dunedin feel a bit like comedy second homes to me they've both really embraced me and made me feel welcome when I've been gigging up there so I have a lot of fondness in my heart for Palmerston North as well as Dunedin but I think it's because Palmerston North was probably my first road cakes so they'll always have a kind of special place in my heart and then of course I'll try and make it up to Auckland at Wellington everything like that but that's basically a given at this point you have to go to Auckland if you want a gig so I think I've rambled enough for now that's a basically a general Life update as to what's going on so you can expect more podcasts more frequently I've got one in the works now uh troubadette a local stand-up comic and musician musical comedian something like that I'm not quite sure what her proper title is uh she was telling me the other day that she has been dying to tell somebody about all of the drama from the band Fleetwood Mac and given that that's a band I have absolutely no idea about anything to do with that band I think that's going to be a really exciting podcast I'm quite excited to record that one so that might be the next one we shall see how everyone's schedules line up but as always thank you so much for listening and I will catch you next time