Happy New Year! (Part 2)
Here's Part 2 of my "taking stock" blog post, in which I look ahead at some of my bigger plans for 2014:
Looking Ahead at 2014:
1. Awkward Prophet - The majority of my concrete plans for this year concern the new show I've written, Awkward Prophet, which is my first full non-character-based show. Considering how soon after Edinburgh I wrote the thing, I've been really pleased with how the show's gone in its early previews, as I was concerned the whole thing might have been a bit hastily prepared. I'll continue previewing it over the coming months, and it's also booked in to play at various festivals, including Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival, Words With Edge Fest, the Good Humour Club and more to be confirmed. I'll do a proper blog post with more details on all these, and the show itself, but for now I'm hoping to put as much time as possible into this show to make it the best thing I've done yet.
2. More Acting - A number of acting and non-stand-up-related projects are in the pipeline and I'm hoping to devote more time to them this year. At the end of 2013 I started working with Off Key Productions on a new series of comedy sketches called Off Key World, which will hopefully start to emerge later in the year. We've filmed a couple so far and they've been great fun, and I look forward to doing more with them. There's also the ongoing news discussion panel show The Lock In for The People's Voice, for which I've been a panel member on a couple of episodes, and hopefully will be doing more of in the coming weeks. At some point in the New Year my first advert should also be being broadcast, which is a promo for Channel 5's The Wright Stuff. More on all this, and on a few other acting projects, as and when it materialises.
3. Joz Norris & Friends Present... - A monthly booking I made with the Lion in Stoke Newington, which is fast becoming the new home of bizarre and alternative comedy nights, started off simply as an opportunity for me to continue doing monthly previews of Awkward Prophet. I've since decided that I'd really like it to develop into a night of its own with a real sense of identity and of communal fun to it. The night is called Joz Norris & Friends Present... and the first takes the form of a comedy masterclass from myself and Weirdos Adam Larter, Ali Brice, Matthew Highton and Ben Target. March's instalment already has Trodd en Bratt, The Grandees and John-Luke Roberts on board, with many more great acts to be confirmed for that and future nights. Here's to its prolonged success!
4. Weirdos - Also in residence at the Lion is London's finest collection of ramshackle comedy idiots, Weirdos, who it's been my pleasure and privilege to work with over the last year or so. In 2013 Weirdos achieved a huge amount, thanks largely to the tireless work of its spiritual leader and head honcho Adam Larter. The collective was nominated for a Chortle Award for Innovation (losing out to somebody called Louis CK in the end), and finished the year with one of the biggest and most popular Christmas comedy shows, which prompted Chortle's Steve Bennett to describe it as "the closest thing we have to a modern-day version of the Comic Strip." Weirdos is back from the end of January and will no doubt have lots of tricks up its sleeve to capitalise on all its amazing success in 2013 and take things even further, and I look forward to being a part of it as often as I can!
5. Wurst Kabaret - Another monthly night I'm helping to set up at the Lion is this, alongside fellow comics and cabaret sensations Lindsay Sharman, Laurence Owen and Laura Blundell. It should hopefully be another opportunity for lots of avant-garde weirdness, and a nice way for me to continue regularly doing more cabaret, clown and character-based work, seeing as my new show has redirected most of my writing back to being myself. Hopefully this will be a nice opportunity to continue clowning about in makeup as often as I can, although to be honest, performing as myself has hardly been a hindrance to that sort of behaviour.
6. A Savant's Guide to Dating - A much-delayed and postponed project, this one, but one I hope to make a bit of progress with this year. It's something I started working on back in July, and I now have a team of great actors assembled who've helped me to workshop and develop some promising scripts for the premise, which sees me embarking on a series of disastrous dates with a bunch of increasingly bemused and uncomfortable women. I'm no filmmaker, so it's taken me a while to try and gather momentum with this project, but I hope that it might start to see life as an online webseries sometime during 2014.
That about does it for now, I think - there are lots of other little projects and ideas I have to develop and work on, but those are the major areas that I'll be focussing my attention and my energy as 2014 kicks into gear. Here's to its being as big a success as 2013 was, and many thanks to everybody for their support and friendship up to this point! I hope you all have an amazing 2014 too. Much love,