A night of comedy in Greenwich
Imagine you're sitting opposite this stage with your heart in your mouth. In precisely half an hour, you will be standing on that stage, in the spotlight, mouth dry and knees numb, delivering your five-minute stand up routine in front of the live audience of fellow contestants, and seasoned pros. Imagine trying hard to make people laugh, just by talking. And they don't only WANT you to make them laugh, even worse, they EXPECT you to…
OMG – this would be one of my worst nightmares. HAS been, in fact, through the years! Probably to do with an ill-advised, one-off attempt at being funny on stage as part of my act during a singing talent contest when I was about 19. Forgot punchlines, forgot my 'act' and therefore got no laughs – eeeek!
It's haunted me ever since! In fact, it was only when I was recording 'Meet The Challenge', the BBC1 daytime show at the end of the 90s, when I hosted a 24-episode TV programme in front of a packed studio audience, that I managed to stop being completely incapacitated by crowds! People are scary! Lol.
Yes, I KNOW I present to a big audience – but it's in front of cameras, not people! And it's nowhere near the same thing as my brave pal Alina Starry did last week! She preferred me not to feature her act on my blog, as it's only her second time, but boy was I proud of her – she was good! Got lots of laughs! Most of the acts got SOME laughs, but several were streets ahead of the others, including Ali.
I won't attempt to paraphrase her lines, but suffice to say it was clever and had super delivery! Ali went on a stand up comedy course in preparation for her open mic session – sounds terrifying. Maybe I should do one of those courses for the sheer hell of it – and to conquer my nerves – what do you think?
I wouldn't be as good as Ali though – I was very proud of my friend! Perhaps that could be my TiFFT though, (Try it For the First Time club), to round off a very eventful year and cap all the others, eh!? They actually do weekender courses at the club we were at, Up The Creek, near Greenwich tube. After doing the two-day course, you get to do a three-minute on-stage spot. OOER!
Maybe if I didn't have to do the three minutes I'd think about it!? Mind you, that'd be some achievement – conquering one of my biggest fears – that's for sure! (Bet no one would want to come watch me tho' it'd be so bad! Lol.)
If you had to overcome one of your worst fears, what would it be? And how would you do it? Anyway, till that fateful weekend, I'll just stick to watching other people do comedy I think! Their open mic nights are every Thursday around 7.30pm if you'd like to go down there and support some new would-be comedians. The MC for the night was Jeff Innocent – and he was really, really good. Very, very funny and polished! One day, Ali, one day!
And if you'd like to read it in full, I've put the whole article text at the bottom of this blog.
It was only a little piece, but I was very proud! (and it was true!). There were lots of other examples I could have used to answer their question – 'how did you solve a conflict?'
Do you have anything that springs to mind? Anything you've ever done to solve a conflict, using psychology, which you were particularly pleased with?
During my time away from QVC (between 2000 when I left after being here for six years, and coming back in '09), I ran a business and then worked in finance. I was a manager of a team of 17 people at one point. So you can imagine there were many conflicts of different kinds! I got quite good at handling irate colleagues, irate mortgage brokers and at sorting out good deals for our clients in the end – well I did have to deal with a lot of problems in those days – it was just as the credit crunch hit!
Fortunately I got out of finance just before the worst times. I don't miss that side of it at all, feels like another life now. But my geeky side does miss creating nerdy Excel documents, analyses and reports. Yes really! But that' s another story, along with my love of archaeology – hehe!
I do apologise for the above being a bit more detailed than normal. Maybe it's because I've recently taken the plunge and gone on a dating site, in my quest to find a new man – and I guess people Google me, 'cos they end up quoting bits of my blog! Lol.
I can't promise you any in-depth dating updates, sadly, gang! Not this time! I actually talked about my last boyfriend a bit too much, apparently, according to some people. (Ooops! Sorry! ). And as it led to a few weird messages sent to me on Facebook about him, which may or may not be true, I'd rather keep the details of any new romance to myself in future – that is, should I stumble upon someone foolish enough to take me on as a girlfriend! Hehe! But I will give you a little insight – suffice it to say I'm currently in contact with a film producer, a British contemporary commercial artist, a radio DJ and a warehouseman! Hah! Lol!
Also – if the above saying resonates with you, you need to watch a really funny film from a couple of years back called 'He's Just Not That Into You' – so damn funny – and very true!! And talking of films, here's my WATCH section for this week – it's too big and too juicy to be a mere footnote!
Hot hot hot
No, not the weather, which may or may not continue being rubbish (probably will though, 'specially considering I'm about to go to Devon for a writing break!). No, I am of course talking about two of the hottest movies of the moment, both of which I saw last weekend! In fact, I've been out most nights of late – including a Hallowe'en party on Saturday night (no pictures, sorry!).
It's been fun being single again, but house is a tip! Lol! Anyway on Friday I went to see the amazingly hot George Clooney in 'Ides of March' – an idealistic staffer for a newbie presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail. See the trailer below – but pleeeeeeeeeeez then read on, for one of my best films of the year!
'Nothing bad happens when you're doing the right thing…' – really! If only. George isn't the main character in this one – probably had enough on his plate being the producer, director and co-screenwriter! But that's OK – he still steals every scene he's in (or am I just biased?).
Ryan Gosling is stellar, and two of my other film faves are also in it – Phillip Seymour Hoffman ('it doesn't matter what you THOUGHT, it matters what you DID!'… Tell that to ex-husbands everywhere! Lol), and the other is Paul 'Sideways' Giamatti. Loved newcomer (love interest) Evan Rachel Wood and stalwart Marisa Tomei too. Worth a 'see' – eight and a quarter out of ten from me – that's really good!
Now a fanfare please for… 'The Help'
Rising to the top of the tree though – above most other contenders for my movie of the year – is (fanfare) 'The Help'! There's a definite buzz about it at the moment – from work colleagues to radio presenters – word of mouth is making this a top, top movie. And for very good reason.
If you're going to see ONE movie this month at the cinema, and you really enjoy seeing retribution movies, with a generous helping of emotion, and smattered with tons of laugh out loud moments, then 'The Help' is it. Loved the setting – early 1960s – 'Mad Men'-esque. Absolutely fantastic eye-opener to the prejudices of the time, making us thankful those days are long gone – almost incredible what was acceptable barely fifty years ago.
An aspiring author publishes an expose on the lives of the paid 'help' amongst snobby, suburban Jackson, Indiana. Superb performances, even from the kids. Amazingly strong plot, and compelling, highly watchable main characters. A feel-good film for fans of female bonding for sure! And your men will love it too. One word of warning though – don't just make sure you take 'a' tissue, make sure you take a whole box! Nine and a quarter out of ten! The highest mark I think I've ever given? (I know some people will ask 'why not a ten', so in my scoring system, the only way it'd have got higher was if there had been a strong romance as well, or some sort of puzzle to work out, but that's irrelevant – it was still brilliant!)
FRIGHT: Apologies for the bad friction burn on my wrist this week – no it wasn't my contribution to Hallowe'en – it was courtesy of Gracie and her extending dog-lead! I tried my best to keep out of the way of the cameras as much as I could! (I won't include the pic – it's on my Facebook page should you be gory enough to want to see it!)
EAT: 'This week I are mostly eating…' – EasiYo Greek & Coconut make your own yogurt pack! Back on air recently, after tons of sell-outs, don't miss this pack if you LOVE pina coladas (with or without the 'pina'!)
QVC: There is a very exciting weekend ahead of us on air! And an unmissable selection of offers.
- Friday's TSV – the KitchenAid mixer! For serious cooks everywhere! Yay! I'm fine with the recent stand mixer for £99, because of my limited culinary skills, but if you're able to stretch to it, and you'll get good use out of it, go for the top of the range one for a one-day only price on Friday!
- The Bose TSV on Saturday is a great deal – if you've waited for ages to buy a Bose, this could be it, at one of the lowest price bands we do! I use my Bose at home plugged into my TV for super almost-surround sound effects!
Also on Saturday (November 5th) - that's when I'm next on air (hope my dog-lead-friction-burn is healed by then!!) - don't miss our Diamond Spectacular at 2pm, with one of my favourite expert guests, Laurie Wickwire – do join us if you can!
- Sunday is Beauty Day and we have a Clarisonics TSV. Again, if you've been thinking of super-cleansing and massaging your skin, to enhance your premium creams, don't miss it! I'll also be on air at 2pm for Decleor!
PS: BIG NEWS! We are thrilled to tell you that our lovely Alison Keenan will be back on air on Tuesday 8th November!
Her first show back will be a two-hour Diamonique Christmas Spectacular with Charlie Brook. I'm sure you will all agree it'll be great to see Ali back!
That's it for another week – next week – how I got on in Devon, possibly a review of new film 'Anonymous' , and will keep you informed about my romance novel, even if I don't keep you informed about my romances!
And don’t forget – leave a regular comment on the section below – it's really easy, and I always respond to your thoughts! Let me know about any of the topics above! Have a great week yourself too!
Here's my Psychologies mag online article in full :
My intelligent, happy son had major problems with a maths teacher who seemed to pick on him. Brad said, 'he hates me'. When I met the teacher at parents' evening it seemed to be mutual. He couldn't wait to slate my son. But he didn't look like a vindictive man – he had laughter lines around his eyes, he had a pleasant manner and he didn't seem like an unfair person. Maybe they'd got off on wrong foot. I listened and said nothing.
I went home and instead of berating my frustrated son, I told him that this teacher had praised him and said: 'Bradley really likes me – he just doesn't realise it yet'. Relief washed over his face.
This totally altered how Brad was with him next time in class. Which totally changed how the teacher treated Brad. It broke the circle. Months later, complete reversal. End of conflict. I was amazed at how simple it had been. Neither ever found out. Hehe!
(For more info, Google Psychologies mag .co.uk how I deal with conflict)