Terribly sorry about missing the usual Christmas / Boxing day upload for State of the Ramble, everything fell to bits all at once; I was losing my voice, had about 3 gigs coming up that I needed said voice for, and the first recording of SOTR2023 clocked in at a whopping 43 minutes AND to top it off I had messed up the audio mastering and it ended up unlistenable.
But we rebuild! I was feeling up to recording again on the 30th, so I smashed it out in an afternoon and here we go! I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to yapping at you some more in 2024!
I've had ChatGPT the ol' faithful workhorse that it is format this podcast into a nicer list, which you can view here.
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Welcome, faithful listeners to State of the Ramble 2023. State of the Ramble is my yearly evaluation of how the year went, what was good, what was bad, and then what's next. This is actually take two, my second attempt at recording State of the Ramble 2023. I normally try to record these around Christmas time, usually Christmas Eve or Boxing Day, and I had the 2023 edition all recorded and ready to go. only to realize by the time I got to the edits I had actually balled it up and messed with the settings a little bit when I was removing some of the silences and it ended up chopping off like the End half of words and it was just completely unlistenable. It was it was horrible on top of that It was also about 40 minutes long, which is too long. So I'm gonna try and keep this less than 20 Let's see how we go. First of all, I'd like to go through the highs and lows of showbiz This is a document that I've been updating every time something really good or really bad happens, usually they're on the same day, just to remind myself as well as any young comedians coming up there that it's not all roses, you're going to have days where really good things happen and really bad things happen, so here's my highs and lows for 2023. On the 4th of May 2023, I left my day job for the first time to pursue being a full-time comedian. Whether that's a high or a low is currently undecided, but we'll see how we go in May next year. We'll see how I'm feeling about it. Another high, I finally got to create my pop quiz, the pop culture format, and it was a smash hit. I think there wasn't a single one that didn't sell out the time we were doing it. Another high, we restarted the Austin Club shows, and those have been going so well that we've just added a second show Tuesday nights. So now we're doing Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7 p.m. for $10. Another high, we did our first corporate show for an energy company, which was incredible. It was one of my favorite experiences doing standup to this day. Another low. we had to cancel Date Night Comedy for the first time ever which was devastating. Normally that show sells out without any trouble but we had, I think we even had to cancel it twice this year. A highlight is I met Sam from G Quiz and that he ended up becoming sort of a mentor figure to me and ended up helping me get a lot of work so very grateful that I met Sam. Another highlight, I did a middle of the year sort of mid-winter Christmas corporate... performance for one of the big telecommunications companies in New Zealand. Again, felt like a proper comedian doing that. One of the lows, I didn't get into the court jesters. I auditioned there, a big improv company at the Court Theatre in Christchurch. I auditioned, excuse me, to join their apprenticeship program. Did not get in, didn't even make it through the first audition. Another highlight, started working on the radio. I've been doing shifts on Compass FM. I actually did my first completely unsupervised full shift yesterday from 10 o'clock till 2 o'clock. So big shout out to Kerry and Steph especially, but the whole team from Compass FM for letting me learn like on the job essentially. It's been so much fun and I'm really appreciative of the faith shown to me. Another highlight was Beckin Media, setting us up with a billboard that was. It was so surreal to see us up on the billboards and we got a lot of sort of mainstream recognition from some friends and family for being on it. Started working with a company called Outstanding Performance who do a lot of work in conjunction with medical students and the police. Can't really say too much about what we do but that was another little string to my bow as they say. And pretty much everyone that I've worked with there has been super lovely so really good experience. Another highlight, I had my first time ring announcing at the Titan Training Ground Smoker. Titan Training Ground is a kickboxing gym that I used to go to and I'm still very good friends with the owner. And they let me do a little bit of ring announcing at one of their amateur events. It was a lot of fun. Another highlight is we got in touch with the Cancer Society and we're going to do a couple of shows, some kind of fundraiser shows for them in 2024 in February. Another lowlight, we had to cancel our Halloween show at Five Stags. We've always done a Halloween show through Can Do Comedy for the last sort of three or four years, so that was really disappointing that we had to cancel that. But I was right in the middle of my tour with David Kareos, so I just didn't have the time to promote it. On the 26th of September, my bank account balance went up for once, the first time since I left my job. And then I created my first voiceover reel with some help from Compass FM, and then I'm also working on some stuff with another Community Access Radio, Plains FM. So I'm hoping to get into the voiceover. Couldn't mention the highs and the lows Without mentioning the David Correos tour. You've heard me go on about that so much Listen to the previous episodes of the podcast if you want to hear me talking about it Life-changing tour so much fun really appreciate David for letting me can't cling on to those coattails and then of course being awarded the Breakout comedian of the South Island and the Comedy Guild Awards That is a bit of a highlight to say the least nice way to cap off the year I'm never really sure how to feel about comedy awards, but somebody put it into perspective and they said I wouldn't have received the award if I hadn't been making good decisions in my career, which led to me getting asked to go on the tour with David, which then, you know, I don't have any delusions about that was the only reason I got the award was because of the tour with David. But my friend did say that if you hadn't been making good decisions up until that point, none of it all would have happened. So that put it into perspective for me. So I'm quite... Quite grateful to the Comedy Guild and all the comedians who voted for me to win that award, I appreciate you. So in terms of personal gigs, I did the Nelson Fringe Festival, had 12 audience members on night 1 and 17 audience members on night 2. I'm hoping that I'll both get into the Fringe next year and also be able to beat those numbers next year. The tour with David Carrillo, I've actually got the numbers for that right here. So the tour started on the 4th of October 2023 and ended the 28th of October 2023. We sold 696 tickets, which I think was about 77% of tickets possible. We did 20 shows in 13 venues and we travelled 2700 kilometres. As a part of that tour, I was able to play Little Andromeda for the first time. Well, I played the old one when I opened for Joe Damon, but this time it's the new. They've moved since then, so I counted it as the first time. So that was a big achievement for me because Little Andromeda is getting up there in those gigs in Christchurch where you're kind of becoming an established person in the arts if you're doing stuff with... In terms of the regular weekly shows, we've of course got The Laugh Seller on Tuesdays and Thursdays, except for the last of the month, which is when we do the Sprig and Fern Merrivel. The Sprig and Fern Merrivel is taking a little bit of a hiatus, we're going to come back in March, I believe. And then on Tuesdays, except for the last, Henry Hickman and I are working on a project called Pop Culture Showdown, which we'll announce later on, but it's a little teaser there for those of you interested. We did have to cancel and do a lot of one-off shows. in 2023 so the ones we cancelled, Wigram Hotel, fun little room we just couldn't seem to get any audience in there. Didn't burn the bridge or anything like that, probably could still put on a show there. Same with Five Stags Rangiora, love the venue, the staff always really look after us, Kerry the owner's a great guy, we just can't seem to really drive any numbers in there, we think we've run the well dry in terms of Rangiora, there's a lot more supply than there is demand for stand-up there if that makes sense. So yeah. Still on good terms with them, we just have to be a little bit more choosy about when we do shows there because we don't want to wear out the welcome, so to speak. Union Faire, another one. That was pretty hit and miss. We had some nights that were completely packed and then we had some nights that were really quiet. It was just unfortunate that we couldn't seem to get the financing to where it was. Even if we had like a full house, it still wasn't quite worth it for Union Faire to put on, I think. So we did a run of shows and then... I think we had to cancel one because we just couldn't sell any tickets to it. And then we both mutually kind of just let it lapse and still in good terms with Tom, the owner, I went in there for breakfast kind of recently and yeah, all good. We may do something with them in the future. Who knows really. A Rolling Stone, the, we had to cancel, we were going to do a fundraiser for them. I think we sold maybe two tickets or something like that. So one of these days I'll put on a gig at a Rolling Stone, but that day was not then. We did several one-off shows. We did a night at the Carlton Eatery, which was okay. I didn't do a very good job of selling tickets though. The room was nice. I always liked the location of the Carlton, but yeah, just couldn't get the numbers in there. Taitapu Hotel, we did quite well there. We did a dinner and a comedy thing, and I would be quite keen to come back there if they'll have us in 2024. We did burgers, beers and banter at Arabica and Methvin. I loved the poster for that, and I'm sure we'll be back in 2024. We did Super Comedy Bros at the Wanda Bar, which is a combination of me, Matt Threadwell and Vasu Premkamar, three two, two lads that are just very near and dear to me. I got all the time in the world for those two, and it was just fun to do the comedy, sorry, the Mario-style branding for those ones. Tapas and Chuckle was at Moi Moi. That was a roaring success. I really enjoyed that show. We had like 70 or 80 people in, definitely one of our bigger nights, and that kicked open the door for me to work with them. so much on quizzes and other things like that so I consider that gig a roaring success. We're hoping to do another one we just can't seem to lock down a time that works for both of us so which we hopefully we'll do another one in 2024 and then Matt Threadwell did his Don't Call Me Daddy his solo show at the Darkroom and sold it out and from what I hear it was a like non-stop laughter for about an hour and a half so Matt did very well there. Quiz Nights we've recently added another leg to the stool with Can Do Comedy we are... sort of hosting and promoting local quiz nights. So the way it works is I sort of wrangle the quiz masters, I host a few of them myself. G Quiz provide us with the quiz and then it's hosted at the actual venue. So that's been honestly just a really good stable source of income for me in 2023. We are currently doing Tuesdays at a place called Bridies Bar and Bistro. That's in, I think, Linwood. Might be more like CBD. I'm not quite sure what the suburb is there, but people, if you're on that side of town, you know Bridies. Started out with Henry Hickman running that one. and Henry went away a bit, transitioned that to a comedian called Chris Wood, who's a very lovely guy and Chris has really sort of embraced it and taken it over and he's now the full-time host and he's just been doing really well with it so we believe it'll continue in 2023. We do a quiz on Wednesdays at Moi Moi, that's been going really well, I host that. It's just a fun quiz, I'd love to see you there, really fun atmosphere, like the place a lot, good projector screen, not much more you could ask for. We did a couple at Tasteful Affairs in Kaiapoi, that's at the golf club. Really cool room, really looked like really good foods, good parking, really successful I think. So we might do something with them in 2024, not too sure yet. They might've got their fill from the two that we did. So we'll see how that goes. We did have to cancel a couple, had to cancel the pop quiz as I just couldn't keep up with the needing to write it every week with my RSI. It was just killing me having to write, create all the slides for the quiz. and then Meepalopolis actually closed down their main location in the CBD and they've moved to Stanmore Road now. There was an offer for me to come back and do it but we couldn't reach terms with kind of making it ideal for everyone so we might do something with them in the future, we're not too sure at this stage but it looks like the new location's been going really well and it looks really good, it's a big improvement on what the cafe used to look like so well done to them. Black Pearl unfortunately we had to cancel that one. The... I think they were struggling a little bit. It's a tough spot to be in. They were right next to like CBK and Smoke and all these other really big sort of trendy eateries and stuff like that. And they were unfortunately ram-rated just coming up to the end of, it must have been like October, November or something. And I think that was just the finisher for the owners. So they're, they're selling it on. I think it's got a four lease sign up for it. So if you're looking to buy some real estate, look into it, I guess. But yeah, unfortunately we did have to cancel the quiz, which is a shame, because I really liked that little bar. It had wide tables and a low ceiling. Those are big selling points to me. We'll quickly go through the social media. So my YouTube account started the year with 114 subscribers, ended with 295. My Taylor Roodle Facebook page started with 369 likes and ended with 467. My Instagram account had 467. Oh, that's weird. It started... Instagram... started the year with the amount of likes that my Facebook page has so Instagram started with 467 and ended with 616. TikTok, I was abysmal with this, started with 11 followers 143 likes, ended with 37 followers 1115 likes which is just shocking for TikTok. The Can Do Comedy Facebook started with 580 likes, ended with 715 likes, a lot of that was from the David tour and the Can Do Comedy Instagram started with 41 likes and ended with 122 likes so that is growing quite nicely to be honest. My only goal with social media for 2024 is I need to post more clips. I need to write more jokes. I need to film more jokes and I need to post more clips from both my podcast. I'm going to try to do like a little, write on me this animated and uh, just stand up clips, one liners, stuff like that. The podcast that you're listening to now, write on me this. So how do we do this year? We released 45 episodes. The total downloads were 1,523. which means the average episode got about 33 downloads, but just looking at my stats, it's more like most episodes got 20 and there were some outliers that did really well and got more listens. And the most downloaded episode was number 13, episode one of the Phantom Files, which is currently sitting at 99 downloads. So we've got a lot of work to go. I can't say too much about it now, but I've been in talks with a podcast label to kind of join their network. so I'm hoping that will help me get some more listeners overseas as well as around here in New Zealand just cross over with some other podcasts and then I've also it's been played every Friday night on Planes FM which is Crosschurch's local community access radio station. It is Friday nights at 11 o'clock and Planes FM is 96.9 if I'm correct. Yes indeed 96.9. See you the goal for 2024 keep producing episodes. I've got a live show at Little Andromeda on the 13th of February. So if you are interested in coming along to a live show, check that out on the go to Little Andromeda's website. If you just Google Little Andromeda and you'll see it on there. My guests for that episode are going to be Matt Lilly and Georgia West Cahill who also have a podcast called Playtime with Georgia and Matt. We're going to be doing a new format or a new segment to the show called 10 Tiny Joys where we're going to talk about the 10 little mundane things. their respective lives that help them get through the week and we'll open it up to some questions at the end as well as maybe the audience can suggest some of their 10 tiny joys. I'm also doing a couple of audiobooks I think I can announce it now is I'm recording Treasure Island for Plains FM they've got a series called Spin Me A Tale it's just where they play public domain audiobooks so I am doing a swashbuckling adventure which has been a lot of fun I'm about halfway through it now and I've just been given permission to record the rest of them from my home studio, which I guess it's another high I could put on the list is I've put some soundproofing foam on the desk, on the wall next to my desk, excuse me, so now I can record a little better. And I'm also recording the Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi. And I think I'm gonna do an episode, a series of the podcast where we look at each book and then I'll talk about what we can take from each book and apply it to the arts, but let's be honest, more specifically stand-up comedy. So what are my plans for 2024? Well, I'm currently gigging two nights out of the week that reliably produce dollar-y dues, as we say. And I've got a couple of irons in the fire that I'm hoping to get out of the fire in 2024. So the end goal would be having these evening gigs, whether they're quizzes, bingo, comedy, whatever it is. I would love to be working either four nights a week, so Monday through Thursday or Tuesday through Friday, depending on how everything pans out. Concurrently with that, I'm going to be starting, I'm going to be doing my best to get into a new routine. I had this epiphany kind of recently that one of the reasons I find it difficult to switch off on the weekend on the downtime is I'm still in the mindset that I'm working full-time and all of my comedy design, hustle writing, podcasting, etc. needs to happen like outside of the 9 to 5 work hours. But that's actually not the case anymore, as what I need to be doing, and this is, I've got a plan for this in 2024, is to just basically block in time. to write every day, block in some time to go to the gym every day. I'm sort of working on thinking maybe I'll go to a little cafe kind of near my house in the mornings, do a bit of writing for an hour, go to the gym from there, have a shower there, go home. And then the afternoons can be a little more flexible depending on whether I need to do a podcast or I need to do some whatever, you know, preparing promo for gigs, et cetera, et cetera. Admin, correspondents, to quote Tony Soprano, that's the thing about us wise guys is the hustle never ends. So that's the idea is just get into a routine of stability. It's one thing I've been historically shocking at and need to improve. Take the lead child advice and start treating everything like a job. Get everything done within my working hours. And then I should be able to give myself permission to shut off and just enjoy my leisure time. Because really, if you think about it, what is the point of being a full-time creative? If you're still like working as if you're working during that. I don't know. It doesn't make sense, but it's. many years of having a nine to five. Evidently I still need to unlearn some of that program. As well as that, I'm currently working on a new show for the Fringe Circuit this year. I'm gonna do as many Fringe shows as I can. The show at this stage is called Panic at the Buffet. And a lot of the themes in it was stuff I discovered from the tour with David. And some of the things I can talk about, it involves a story and experience at Hungry Walk. I talk a lot about Ram Raids. And then the rest of it is my attempts at being kind of reinventing myself from being like a safe nice guy kind of best friend vibe to having a little more edge be like a dangerous guy a little bit of the bad boy that kind of thing so just keep an eye on the Facebook page for that you'll be able to see when and where you can catch the runnings of this show at the French festivals and we're going to try and do some little four day mini tours. Don't want to say too much about that because it's still under production but that is an idea for 2024 that we're gonna try and get rolling as well. So I think in the past I've given each area a different grade. I don't think we're gonna do that this year. I think I'm just gonna talk... I used to do them in like a blog format but they were just too long so from now on I'm just gonna do a podcast about them. I'm gonna try and keep it to 20 minutes. I'm hoping this is about 20. I'm just about to successfully cut all of the... cut all of the silence out it. We'll see how we go. So as for right now, it's currently the 30th of December, 2023. I hope, I think by the time this goes up, it'll be the new year. So I hope you've had a wonderful new year. I hope you set some goals for 2024 and I hope you just get to work on smashing the hell out of those goals. Even if the goals are just chill, you know, my go- genuinely my goal for 2023 was to say no more. So that's, you know, your goals can be anything. They can be fun. They don't just have to be. I wanna save money and lose weight. Not that there's anything wrong with that if that's your goal. You know you better than I do, so... Whatever your goals are, I hope you smash the hell out of them. And I hope you'll keep listening to right on me this. And I look forward to checking in the end of 2024, and finding out how I did. I'll talk to you next year.