My first live DVD Daniel Sloss - Live is essentially all my best bits of stand-up from the start of my career up until the recording of the DVD itself. By doing this is ensured that it was the best possible show I could do and also that I could never really do any of that material ever again. Which isn't a bad thing.
Doing this I've basically managed to put all of my favourite jokes from my early career into an archive which is available to the public. This means I'm more willing to drop the material, now that I know that there is a hard copy of it for people to watch if they so wish. But on the other side, it's effectively burned 5 years of material which I can probably never do in a live show again. And this also isn't a bad thing.
I like coming up with new material, so much so that I probably don't put as much effort into my older stuff or bother trying to improve it. I get bored very easily and my newest joke is always my favourite. It's something I can work out and polish and change or try in new styles. But the second I come up with another new one, all the effort goes into that one. I'm probably going to be a terrible father.
I make sure I do the Edinburgh Fringe Festival every year because that forces me to write a new hour of material every year. This is a bit of advice I read from Louis CK, one of my favourite ever stand-ups. He writes (and records) a new show every year as it forces him to work and it keeps him fresh. And since he's the greatest stand-up comedian of all time I feel like I should perhaps take his advice if I ever want to achieve my dream of being a fraction as good as he is.
My festival shows are never themed, because I'm lazy, but they're always a brand new hour of stand-up than the year before. Which I then take on tour. And it is occasionally quite sad to only give my material a year long run before it gets effectively binned. But the thing is it's never truly binned. It'll end up in my next DVD, or it'll be a bit of material I can pluck out from the recesses of my brain if I'm ever having a gig where an older bit might fit something unexpected that happens on the night. Having more material that you've retired means you have a larger back catalogue of material to call from if you should ever need it.
A lot of the bigger comedians in the UK now - John Bishop, Michael McIntyre, Sarah Millican etc. - the reason they're able to do so much on telly every year is because before they "made it" they had been grafting hard on the comedy scenes for years. And regardless of what your opinions are on their stand-up, you can't deny the fact that they do keep coming out with new material. And that's why they're still big. If they were to repeat the same old stuff they wouldn't be as successful.
We live in a generation which has a shorter attention span than ever before. We want new stuff all the time. More more more more heard it more more. And if you want to keep your audience, keep things fresh and keep enjoying being a stand-up, you've got to keep turning material over.
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