Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Fringe Binge

Right now many of my friends (and enemies) are up in Edinburgh shitting themselves about their fringe shows. For most of them, their first show will be tomorrow. I do not envy them. As someone who has done 4 Edinburgh shows (3 with Colin Hoult) I feel I have a fairly good understanding of how they are feeling. Or maybe it was just me who felt like this.

Tonight, the night before your first show, is very weird. Aware that you will be drinking excessively for the next 4 weeks you stay sober. Big mistake. This just leads to a sleepless night pondering your show. One half of you is terrified that you are embarking on a huge failure. Any career that you may or may not have will be over within a week when people realise what dogshit your show is.

The other half of you wonders whether this really might be 'your year'. You remember a producer who told you that it would be and a preview that went incredibly well. That was one of the best gigs you ever did and that was 2 weeks ago and the show is so much more 'slick' now. You wonder if you should wear a suit to the awards ceremony when you're inevitably nominated for the Perrier (I'm still calling it that) or whether that would seem a little fake given that you never wear one normally. Excited, you treat yourself to an expensive meal out, spending the prize money in advance.

Then you remember how much the show is costing you and it spoils your meal. Why do Edinburgh shows cost that much by the way? Last year I sold something like 13,000 pounds worth of tickets and yet I lost 4 and a half grand. That, I think is a fairly average story for someone of similar standing to myself. That's indefensible and the people responsible should be ashamed. Oh, hang on. That's the performers. If we didn't all have our heads up our own arses (and mine sometimes gets all the way up to my pancreas) then we'd all get together and do the free fringe or something. Then the big venues would be forced not to charge such exorbitant rates. That said, if I go next year I imagine I will use the same methods I always have. What a fool I am.

For anyone reading this who is up in Edinburgh I'm sorry if I've sunk you into a depression that you did not yet have. If it's any consolation, deep down, I kind of wish I was up there. Edinburgh is fucking brilliant it's just important not to get to stressed about the whole thing - something I never really succeeded in doing. Two weeks into any Edinburgh August half of the comedians think that they are now famous and half of the comedians think that their careers are over. Both groups are always wrong.

Rant over. Now may I share something with you? This is a band called The Shaggs and they are so awful that they are amazing.

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