I Love Matt Fishwick! Fiction and fun with Matt Fishwick


January Improv Fun!

I'm back in the Midlands for another improv gig with Wow Impro this Friday. 2014 sees Wow Impro in their 10th year in business, so come along and see catch the fun.

This is a Friday night 2 hour show at Esquires Coffee House, Coventry Transport Museum, CV1 1JD Coventry, United Kingdom.

Start 2014 right with a double shot of improv goodness with your comedy baristas:

Rich Coad,
Sarah Coad,
Richard Baldwin,
Matt Dibbens,
Matt Fishwick.

FREE gig. Show starts at 7pm.

Come along and bring your friends!

Link to Facebook event.

Link to Calendar event.

Follow @wowimpro on Twitter.

Follow Esquires Coffee Coventry on Twitter.

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A Year Of Confidence With ComedySportz 2: Improv Boogaloo

If you have managed to stop your Gregorian chants long enough to check your Gregorian calendar, you'll realise that yesterday was May 1st.

And what's so special about May the first? I hear you ask.

Well, in the event that you failed to notice the title of this blog post (or you happen to be viewing this in IE9 where the title does appear briefly for a second before going blank), I guess I'll tell you in the body of this blog post.

Saturday May 1st, 2010 was the date that I took my very first improv workshop with ComedySportz. I gained a lot of confidence in the first year of doing improv, so much so, I wrote about it here.

What better way to celebrate my 2nd Anniversary of Improv, and to burn off another Wednesday blog post, than to talk about what I have accomplished during the past year?

There are many things that are better, but until they master the art of getting drunk via the Internet (via the medium of licking your Computer monitor), you'll just have to stick with this one for now.

In the past year:

  1. I've been to New York City on my own to study improv in August. (The first time I'd ever actually taken a solo holiday.) I had an amazing time at Upright Citizen's Brigade. Met some really great people in my Improv 101 class, and got to see some really great improv and sketch shows at night hanging out at the Theatre on West 26th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue. The sad thing about it was, I'm not in New York all the time. I'd have loved to carry on with the 201, 301, and 401 improv levels (and taken the sketch writing course, too) but I can't afford to stay in NYC for that long. Curse you, American women, and your lack of interest in marrying me. :)
  2. I got a "Cut for Time" email from Newsjack, which meant that my writing was noticed enough to be recorded, but not quite there to make the final edit of the show back in September 2011.
  3. Made more friends via the medium of ComedySportz.
  4. I got invited to (and went) to my first ever non-work related / non family related Christmas party. I enjoyed it, but I do need to get more comfortable talking to people in a purely social situation.
  5. I returned to my former job in the Midlands after the all around disaster that was Preston. I should never have left in the first place, and returning to the area has allowed me to attend improv workshops on a regular basis that aren't run by ComedySportz, which gives me another insight into the technique. Since January 2012, I've been a regular attendee at drop in sessions run by Wow Impro (Monday evenings in Bedworth) and with Box Of Frogs (Tuesday nights in Birmingham). These extra sessions have allowed me to have more practice than just at the weekends with the Intermediate workshop run by ComedySportz.
  6. I did stand up for the second time in front of an audience in February 2012. (The first time in front of a paying audience.) I sucked all the joy out of the room and died on my arse, but I didn't care. Unless I come up with something that I really want to perform, I doubt I'll try stand up again, as I didn't enjoy standing up on stage by myself.
  7. I went to London for the first time since 2004, and did a Saturday improv workshop with Hoopla Impro. (You maybe able to see a pattern developing here). It was really good fun. Got to meet a new group of people. Fun stuff. And while I was in London I met up with a friend (whom I first met on the Internet) the first time ever. I was as awkward as you'd imagine me to be, but in the evening I took her to see Comedy Store Players as her first Improv show. (I think she was impressed.)
  8. I performed in my first ever improv gig to a paying audience. (With the members of Wow Impro.) After only doing showcases for ComedySportz in the past, it was nerve racking to be up there. But I did it. Got one or two laughs in the bargain, too.
  9. I got my first ever BBC writing credit for a radio show on BBC Radio 4 Extra. (Internet Radio!). It took me 24 submissions over 4 series over 2 years but on the final episode of Series 6 (Episode 6) in March 2012 I managed to get a single joke on. (My first submission was Series 3 Episode 1 back in June 2010.)
  10. I did my first ever long form improv gig at the start of April, thanks to ComedySportz letting their workshoppers do a Sunday evening free gig in their place.
  11. I got invited to (and went) to the evening do of the Wedding Of The Century. Again I really enjoyed it, but I should try and be more talkative in these sorts of situations. (Though I doubt I'll be invited to another wedding any time soon as I know of no one else on the verge of getting married.)
  12. Boosted by my radio success, I'm writing some sketches for submission to Cofilmic's Sketch And The City New Writing Showcase that happens each month. Hopefully, I'll get one of my sketches picked and it might lead somewhere with my writing.

But that's not all, a group of the ComedySportz Intermediate Workshoppers have set up a Indie Improv group, Starship Improvise, and we will be performing our first gig in June:

(Poster courtesy of Kage.)

So hopefully my third year of doing improv will lead to a lot more gigs (with Starship Improvise, Wow Impro and hopefully other groups too), and learning a lot by doing improv in front of an audience. (i.e. to be more relaxed around an audience when they are staring at me.)

So here's to the third year of confidence. Who knows, one day I might actually have the confidence of someone my actual age.

So thank you to everyone who's helped me become the person I am this past year. You're awesome, especially you.

Let's see what magic is in store this upcoming year.


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Busy, Busy, Busy

So it's Wednesday already.

I've had a mega-busy week so far, and it shows little sign of slowing down. So let's look at the week that I've had so far since last Saturday:

Saturday 25 Feb 2012: In Manchester for an Improv Workshop with ComedySportz.

Sunday 26 Feb 2012: In Winsford, Cheshire performing 5 minutes of Stand up comedy.

Monday 27 Feb 2012: Up at 4.30am to go back to Bromsgrove, Worcestershire for work. After work, over to Bedworth (near Nuneaton) for an improv workshop with Wow Impro.

Tuesday 28 Feb 2012: After work, over to Birmingham for an improv workshop with Box Of Frogs.

And that brings us, tiredly, to Wednesday. But the week isn't over. Here's what I've got coming up for the rest of the week, and into next week, too.

Wednesday 29 Feb 2012: After work, drive back to Wigan, then out to a pub quiz with family.

Thursday 1 Mar 2012: Working from home during the day, then after work, over to Liverpool for an improv workshop with Impropriety.

Friday 2 Mar 2012: The start of a 5 day trip to London. In the evening, I'll be taking in some theatre, darling, when I make my West End debut and watch The Ladykillers.

Saturday 3 Mar 2012: I'll be taking part in an all day improv workshop run by Hoopla Improv. Followed at night by going watch The Scat Pack performing an improvised musical.

Sunday 4 Mar 2012: I'll be taking the day to mooch around London, or maybe just sleep. But in the evening, I'll be going to see the Comedy Store Players live for the first time ever. As of now, the advertised line up is: Paul Merton, Neil Mullarkey, Lee Simpson, Richard Vranch, Suki Webster, and Josie Lawrence.

Monday 5 Mar 2012: I'll be taking the day to mooch around London again, But in the evening, I'll be going to another improv workshop run by Hoopla improv.

Tuesday 6 Mar 2012: I'll be heading back to Wigan, to get my stuff ready to go back to Bromsgrove the next day for work.

And all the while in London, I'll be trying to write some one liners for Newsjack. I'll be giving the sketch submission a miss this weekend, as I won't be taking a laptop with me, therefore I won't be able to submit before the deadline. I should be good to go for the one liners over the course of the weekend, but I'll have to hurriedly write up the one liners when I return home before the 5pm deadline on Tuesday.

We shall see how it all pans out!

And stay tuned this Monday for a very special Big Smoke edition of Mundane Monday.

Catch you then,


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December And Beyond: The Year of Doing Big, Fun, and Scary Things!

And so it's December and all the hoopla of NaNoWriMo is over. Or is it?

Well technically yes, but there is more to the site than just November. Every year, after the final throes of novel writing are done, a new section of the website is revealed called December And Beyond, which is convenient give the title of the blog post, otherwise you may have been misled.

But you haven't.

One of the purposes of the December and Beyond is to help and support people who wish to continue working on the novels they started the previous month. There's also a section devoted to enable people to post their goals that they hope to achieve before the next NaNoWriMo in 2011.

"But Matt, what are you going to do until the next NaNoWriMo?" I hear you ask. If you hadn't jumped the gun, I'd have aleady told you, rathe than make you wait until the next paragraph.

I have a number of creative goals this upcoming year and while I suppose I could have waited until New Year's Eve to post them, that's so passé as everyone does that.

So here they are, all itemised and whatnot:

December 2010:

  • Writing a murder mystery sketch before t'end of t'month which takes us handily to the end of 2010.
  • Try to write a 15 minute sitcom before the middle of January 2011 for a competition.

January 2011:

  • Continue writing sitcom
  • Starting an 8 week stand up comedy course with ComedySportz at The Manchester Comedy Store on January 22nd.
  • Write stand up material

February 2011:

  • Learn whether the correct usage is February or Febuary.
  • Write more stand up material
  • Learn to end all my bulleted lists with a full stop. There's no reason to let punctuation go to the dogs. Because they can't spell. Seriously, ask a dog to spell antidisestablishmentarianism. You'll find they all probably have contempt for you for asking. But they are one of the key demographics of this website's readership, so: Ruff!
  • Write some topical sketches for a BBC Radio Series (if Newsjack returns for another series - usually 2 series are broadcast a year starting in Feb and again in June for 6 weeks at a time.).

March 2011:

  • More stand up writing.
  • More Newsjack material. (if applicable).
  • Stand up debut? (unconfirmed at this point)

April 2011:

  • Script Frenzy 2011 - I think that given the style of writing that I will be doing up to this point, I'll probably be leaning towards a mixture of stand up material and sketch, to get my 100 pages. A real mixed bag as I don't seem to have any luck with trying to write features, so maybe this will be better.

May 2011:

  • 8 week improv course begins with ComedySportz again.
  • More writing - probably a mixture of stand up, sketch and sitcom.

June 2011:

  • Newsjack writing (if applicable).
  • More writing - probably a mixture of stand up, sketch and sitcom.

July 2011:

  • Newsjack writing again (if applicable).
  • Short story writing or a return to writing That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore (though it really needs a page one rewrite).

August 2011:

  • More writing of various varieties.

September 2011:

  • More writing of various varieties.

October 2011:

  • More writing of various varieties.
  • Start another 8 week improv course.

And that little lot should take me right up to October 31st, 2011.

That's what I plan on, anyway, but I'll probably be too lazy to do half that, but there's no point setting goals that I can easily reach, there is no fun in that. I shall endeavour to lunge and thrust my way to writing and comedy perfection in the next year.

I should probably factor in some time to work on a NaNo plot for 2011, too. But I've talked about NaNo plot issues in my previous blog entry.

Do you have goals? Are you planning to sidle up to the big ol' buffet of personal challenges and fill your plate high with creative projects. What will you manage before Oct 31st, 2011?

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Matt Fishwick: I Love An Internet Superstar?

In my Two Year Anniversary Craptacular blog post at the end of March I updated you on the goals that I set for myself for the year. In case you can't be bothered to click the link, I recap the ones that I'm going to talk about today:

Goal Seven
Meet more people. This will be really difficult for me. Anyone who knows me in real life knows how really shy I am around people I don’t know or don’t know that well.

Goal Eight
Be a better person. I don’t exactly know what this entails, but I know I’m not good enough the way I am.

Goal Nine
Be more confident. (I’ll have to wipe the dust off of that CD)

So there were the three goals to try and make me a better person. And I think that I am a little bit thanks to the course that I went on. Up until now I never mentioned what exactly the course was, but it ended last week so I shall tell you that it was the very awesome Comedy Sportz Beginning Improv workshop.

Some of the people that know me, know I like comedy. Some of those people even know that I try and write comedy. And one of those people actually thinks that I'm funny.

Despite all the years of being interested in comedy and in the back of my mind wanting to perhaps persue it as a career of some sort, I never actually did something about it.

Until this year.

I'm 28 this year (pretty soon, *ahem* 13 days actually *ahem* for those of you wishing to buy me a card and present), and I wanted to have a go before it was too late and didn't want to look back on my life and think "if only I'd have tried" and so between scouring the Internet for porn and tea cosy knitting patterns (A man is allowed diverse hobbies, and if he can, then so can I) I found the ComedySportz UK website.

Pretty soon, the first day of the course rolled around and I was really nervous. Had I made a mistake? Would I find out that I wasn't funny after all these years of thinking I was? Are these rhetorical questions and little redundant and boring?

I rolled up to the Manchester Comedy Store (Okay, that isn't exactly true. I don't know how to rollerskate, I walked) and I learned the answers to the three questions that I (tastefully) posed in the previous paragraph.

No, Yes and Definately Yes.

While I was shy at the first class, but over the next few weeks I eventually loosened up a bit and by the end I didn't think that I did too badly. At least not bad for someone with no performing experience beyond Year 9 drama.

I met the fantastic people that organised, ran and taught the workshops: Bron Edge, Sean Mason, Chris Tavner, Jade Fearnley, and Rob Hudson. Big shout out (dig me being all street 'n' shit) to all of you. You guys rock. (Though the rolling has yet to be confirmed.)

I made friends with people and I think that I'm a little more outgoing than I was before I started. Though I can't confirm this, as I went all Howard Hughes and I haven't left my room for six days. I've also been peeing in jars, but that's just for fun.

The last session of the 8 week course was last Saturday, and at the end of our session I presented people with gifts. I won't ruin the surprise for people that accidentally bid for them on e-bay later.

I wasn't entirely convinced that I did brilliantly at it, but it's a start and I've signed up for another course later in the year, to try and improv(e). Get it?

Amazingly, they didn't think that I sucked that badly, and even wanted to get my opinion for the new promo video that they were putting together. And so after a dozen script rewrites and me having to do multiple takes, it was finally in "the can" as they say in "the biz". However, later I was told that having me crying and sitting on the toilet wasn't the best endorsement, so we ventured to the front of the Comedy Store for a little bit of that "off the cuff" magic that I will, one day in the distant future, become mildly tolerated for.

You can find the video on Youtube and on Facebook (search for ComedySportz UK).

Yes I am aware that I could have embedded the video in this post, but for technical reasons I chose not to learn how to do it.

Don't forget to watch the video for the best showstopper in the business, Ashley Miller.

PS. In the spirit of Comedy Sportz, this blog post was entirely improvised.

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