Letter to MICF
Greetings from an Edinburgh Fringe Festival Virgin...
Dear Melbourne International Comedy Festival followers,
At 57 years of age I have undertaken to perform at The Edinburgh Fringe for the first time. It is psychological trauma at its best. I have never experienced anything quite like it. I have received a one star scathing review (from an online publication) and a day later got a great rap in The London Times that sadly didn't give stars, (stars - the number or lack thereof - are what this festival is all about). I have performed shows where there has been barely a laugh and shows where people have loved it, shows where it feels like my show, 'Regrets', is the biggest pile of sh*t ever written, and shows where it feels good again.
There have been times when I have felt as though I have been deluding myself these past twenty five years, concluding I am not funny, never have been, and as for my ability to write - what was I thinking? They have been days I wanted to get on a plane and fly home but I tell myself to 'suck it up' and get back out there. It's a test of mental endurance and I am determined to not be beaten by my own pitiful thoughts.
Audience numbers have been good , esp given we've had Team GB Olympics, Usain Bolt and a Spice Girls reunion to compete with. I've had between 30-56 peeps a night (it's a 60 seater), although having said that, there are only a few booked for tonight. My partner John has done a great job flyering for me. But it has to be said even Mr Positivity himself, aka John, has had moments of feeling like it's a gruelling and relentless hell here at ye olde Edinburgh Fringe. BUT nevertheless every day he gets out there in his especially made suit and, walking on stilts, he hands out flyers, in an attempt to seduce a few punters into coming to my show. No doubt this strategy has worked, the only problem being that sometimes I gaze into my audience and see middle aged ladies looking deeply disappointed when the funny man on stilts, playing a ukelele, doesn't appear in my show!
Edinburgh itself is exquisite. I love the city. Yesterday we had our only day off and John and I climbed up The Crags and went to The Palace (the queens residence when in town) and then had a great night enjoying a home cooked meal and watching East Enders...(actually I fell asleep).
Today we start all over again, climbing that daily mountain of trying to scrounge an audience, convincing people that it is worth their while to come see my show.
Only 13 days to go and I suspect I'll be counting every-one of them.
Having said all that, today I feel strangely positive - oh dear that's dangerous, hopefully it isn't a sign I am about to come crashing down again! But we're halfway there now, who knows what the next two weeks hold? One thing's for sure, Edinburgh Fringe festival has been the steepest, but potentially greatest, learning curve of my entire career.
Okay that's it from me,
Tally ho and onward, ever onward,
Yours in great humility,