I played the piano for ten years.
I’ll give you a moment to appreciate the gravity of that statement. You’d think, after all those hours of lessons, I’d be able to adequately knock out a couple of party pieces. (That is assuming I was at a party where a piano was present, but I aspire to have the kind of life which contains parties like that.)
Problem is, I can’t. For all my efforts I still have the musical ability of a rubber band.
Some of you will have heard that analogy before. There’s good reason for that, its one of which I’m particularly proud. Rubber bands do make a sound which is vaguely musical. In the same way my rendition of In the Hall of the Mountain King is vaguely musical. But you can hardly make a career out of playing the rubber band. Rubber bands do not feature in orchestras. You wouldn’t want to buy a CD of rubber bands.
The whole reason I started playing piano in the first place is my fingers. I have the fingers of a pianist. There’s so remarkably long and thin that people actually remark upon them. I have, on many an occasion, heard the phrase “look at your fingers!”
Point is I was never going to be a concert pianist. I do however, harbour a secret longing to try my hand at musical comedy. This is a particularly futile dream.
Comedy is like most things. In the early stages of forging your way it’s a good idea to look at people who’ve already trodden this path. Look at how they did it, let them inspire you. So if I was going to become a comedian I’d be worth looking at who my favourite comedians are.
Musical. That’s what they are.
I regularly blast musical comedy at the house in general. I sing along to it and wave my arms around. If I were to list my top five favourite musicians the list would include Tim Minchin and Dead Cat Bounce. The rest of the list would either be dead or thoroughly not together anymore. My second and third favourite songs at the moment are Every time you shave a moustache dies (“Can I stroke it? Yes you can!”) and Song for Phil Daoust (“I hope something you love catches on FIRE!”) Musical comedy’s important to me.
(My very favourite song, for the record, is Just Another Nervous Wreck by Supertramp and has been for a long time now.)
To link all this together- I’ve written a lot of speeches. The only times I’ve stood up in front of an audience and made them laugh, I’ve been doing a speech. But the thing about a speech is that you’ve got something to hide behind. If they don’t laugh you can always pretend they weren’t supposed to. Musical comedy gives you the same kind of barrier. It doesn’t have to be laugh out loud funny all the time. Sometimes it can just be a good song.
Does this post have a point? Yes it does. Dead Cat Bounce are COMING BACK TO AUSTRALIA. And I’m damn excited about it.