Edinburgh Fringe Week 2

Apparently I got a little ahead of myself…

When I posted about Week 1 it wasn’t actually over. “Week 1” in Edinburgh is actually 3 days into the festival, and actually I was already 5 days into my season. I had been in Edinburgh for a full week, so it was technically my week 1, but in real terms, we are only just starting Week 2.

Which, at this point, feels exhausting.

But also I have just gotten over the hump. We are officially half way though the festival. Officially in that I have performed 14 shows and I have 13 to go. So all I have to do is do the same thing I’ve done, once more, and then it’s over.

Every day. EVERY. DAY. I think that is what is starting to snake up my arms and legs and curl into my knees, back and neck. Every day I get up, get ready, leave the house, flyer, show. My body has formed a pleasant, repetitive routine. Much like my show. Performing the same thing everyday is starting to feel like groundhog day. The shows are starting to even out into a gentle consistancy. My actions and delivery may vary, but my words have reached a point of homeostasis, I like what I am saying and I want to keep saying it in that particular way. The rhythm of the show finds its pace early, and whatever show the audience on that day wants to receive, I find and give it to them. The pedulum swing of the first few days has gone, when the glow of performing at a world class festival was still shiny and stimulating.

So the glow has warn off, for sure. A slight fatigue and, if I say cautiously lest it becomes worse, a creeping monotony is encroaching. It’s not unwelcome — it feels good to find the right balance and seek the perfect moments, and bear the brunt of any imperfect ones with a trained mind, one who has been in the comedy gym and is starting to get some real definition.

When I was first offered my quite early timeslot of 12.45pm I was a little worried. I asked around various Edinburgh Fringe veterans and concluded that if I worked hard, I could make anything work and I accepted the offer. I’m glad. Without a lot of time to overthink it, I go directly into show mode and throw myself into whoever has assembled before me. The beauty of my time is there is zero competition. Basically, if you’re near Gilded Balloon, and don’t have small children, you’d be happy to come watch me for an hour. My houses have been healthy, my mind and body also. Being early agrees with me. I emerge at 2pm with the day ahead of me. Flyerering post-show hasn’t been as successful. The gauntlet of paper around GB is intimidating and many people aren’t thinking about tomorrow, they want to see something NOW. My best and most effective technique is approaching couples and small groups squinting at the GB board out the front.

I’m a little sick of thinking about myself and thinking about the show. It’s consuming in a way that buzzes and thrums around your mind. I am not panicked but I am not completely calm. The energy I generate depletes quickly. I can’t stay out all day. I have to split days, to come home for a bit if I’m out later at a gig or show, or to stay for the afternoon and early evening then call it a night.

As I expected, ideas and thoughts about my new work-in-progress show pop into my mind and I welcome them. This festival is incredibly inspiring. What it has taught me is that you can do anything. Anything is funny if you make it. I get caught up in being the ‘right’ kind of comedian — approachable, friendly, broad, open, and possibly limiting myself to the brick-wall-and-microphone type of stand up comedy. The mom-and-pop comedy. I like that, as it has a solid foundation, you can’t hide behind audience tricks. I have developed a deep hatred for that. There’s comedy, and then there is audience tricks. Tricks you can pull on your audience, hack if you will, but there’s easy laughs there if you want them and easy shows that you can do. But who wants to do the easy stuff? How will the challenge, create a proper experience, engage and make an impression? It’s not a question of how will I be remembered, but how will I not be forgotten?

Thanks Edinburgh. For a lady that already has high expectations of herself, you’ve already pushed me harder than I thought possible. And we’re only half way through.