»How can you leave Berlin during the Film Festival?«, a friend of mine asked.
»Honey, I flee! Like the Jews from Egypt, I’m out of here.«
And so I left for England to perform my new show in London for three nights. Then I travelled up north to do it in Glasgow, and after two more nights in Ireland — Dublin and beautiful Cork —, I returned safely back home just in time before Valentine’s Day.
I don’t perform that often anymore, so doing stand-up has become more and more of a challenge for me. I certainly keep my material fresh, I keep collecting stories and one-liners on a daily basis — as a writer —, but it’s an entirely different thing to go out there and present it to an audience. Frankly, it doesn’t come as easy to me as it did 15, 14, 13 years ago. I was high on adrenaline back then, my urge to perform was insatiable; I lived for the stage. Nowadays, my focus has moved. It’s on the movies and on my writing now. I did have a blast touring, though. Unfortunately, London was frightfully rainy in early February, so I could hardly enjoy it as much as I had planned. Most of my friends had left the city, so I spent most of my daytime in my neat little hostel. A couple of days afterwards, while enjoying my time in Cork, I received the most delightful hate mail ever. It read somewhat like, »I saw your ›comedy‹ act in London. You were not funny. How dare you making fun of Katy Perry! I googled you, you never had a #1 hit single out! So unless you achieve anything, shut the fuck up!« — I thought it was hilarious, even though I doubt that the guy who wrote this mail was English. By the way, all I said about Katy P. was that I am convinced that, privately, she has an excellent taste in music. And I absolutely agree with her: Good taste isn’t something you just share randomly with everyone. Can’t you just imagine Katy, sitting in her living room, wearing bra and panties, listening to Joni Mitchell, Marianne Faithfull, Miguel Poveda, or Stacy Kent, and being horrified at the thought that anyone could find out? I can.
Glasgow was terrific. Not only because I met Stuart and his delicious wife again, but because I had to deal with a heckler — always a tricky situation. You cannot ignore it, but you mustn’t lose your temper. If you come across too harshly or even bitchy, you have lost your audience because they think you don’t have any sense of humor. You have to prove that you’re in charge and have everything under control, but you must never lose your wit or your charm. In this case, I warned the heckler, »Please don’t make me come down there and fuck you up the arse.« Thank God everybody laughed; otherwise that evening would have been over.
»Opening all the windows to the sea so that the written word flies off.« (Pablo Neruda)
I have been a busy bee these past few weeks. I cannot give away too much, but 2015 will be a splendid year with great projects coming along. And speaking of good music: My Monday morning started with Rachel’s magnificent album, »The Sea and the Bells«, a title being inspired by the Pablo Neruda book of the same name. The CD is almost 20 years old, but I discovered it only recently. If you don’t have it in your collection already, you must get it. It’s one of the very few albums that can really alter your life.
Have a glorious week! I’m sending sweet honey thoughts from Berlin,