Someone considerably wiser than me (there’s a long list) once commented that the most melancholy of all thoroughfares is ‘The Road Not Travelled’.
From time to time we all come to a crossroads where we have to make a decision that could alter the course of our lives. Sometimes we take the right one . . . sometimes we find ourselves regretting the path we took. If we’re lucky, we can retrace our steps and start our journey again.
When I started out as a comedian, I used to feature songs in my act, having had singing lessons from that talented vocalist from Neath, Mister Alun Davies. I sang in my act because at that point I didn’t have enough comedy material to fill an hour, which was the time I was expected to do on stage.
I was fortunate that in most of the places I worked back then, the audiences appreciated a half-decent singer. In today’s comedy venues – that is, when they were open – comics rarely mix jokes with songs, if at all.
Can you imagine Frankie Boyle winding-up two hours of hard-edged, often vicious, stand-up by saying “I’d like to finish with a beautiful song dedicated to all the lovers in the room. It’s featured on my latest CD “It’s Not True I’m Married To Susan Boyle” and it’s called ‘I Will Always Love You’ . . . hit it, maestro!” Or Alan Carr ending his act by belting out “The Impossible Dream”? It just wouldn’t work would it?
Unless they’re spectacularly multi-talented, entertainers have to decide whether they want to be a comedian or a singer. I was no exception in my younger days and had to make a decision whether to stick with solely with comedy or keep the songs in the act and see if I achieved success that way.
I decided to take the comedy route to fame and fortune. I’m still on that same route, but due to encountering a few diversions, roadworks, red lights and the occasional immovable object along the way, I haven’t reached my destination yet.
Is it too late for me to start having singing lessons again?