Regular readers (both of you) will recall I mentioned something secret in my last blog (under the section “Secret Squirrel”) which I expected to be shortly revealed.

Well, it goes like this. In September, I started a course teaching me how to approach stand up comedy. Over the course of 8 weeks I went from babbling some random rant into a microphone without looking at my fellow students to performing 7 minutes of comedy on a real stage in a real theatre and an actual living town.

On October 29th, 2023, I performed a series of jokes and stories based around one of life’s biggest irritations. Here’s the full seven minute set.

I hope you enjoyed that. I’ve since performed versions of the same routine 3 times (some cut to five minutes) at open mic spots in Guisborough, Middlesbrough, and Newcastle, and have some dates already booked in 2024.

I also have some new material that I’m hoping to share in the new year. I’ve started a Substack about my first steps into the world of stand-up comedy, which I invite you to subscribe to.

What about this Mick Karma?

Now, you may notice in the video above that the MC failed to get my name right. The dreaded “r” was added into my surname, changing me from a slightly dry-witted Yorkshireman into a town in Surrey.

This is a problem I’ve had to deal with most of my life. To me, my name isn’t complicated; to others, it appears to be as difficult to intone as a remote Welsh village. Consequently, I’ve adopted a stage name, “Mick Karma”.

You’ll notice this cleverly has no relation to my actual name (although it does share some letters). However, it is easy to say, easy to hear, and has minimal opportunities to be screwed up.

I had several alternatives in mind:

  • Marky Boo
  • Christ Ian

…uh, that’s it. As you can see, I picked the best one. Meanwhile, you might find me popping up on posters around the north of England over the next few months…