SHOW 13: 15TH AUGUST
Edinburgh Fringe Part 2: What a difference one day off makes. In the comedy boot camp that is the Edinburgh Fringe, one day off feels like a fortnight off in the real world. I am already hazy about what my show is, vague about what I am supposed to say. I do not overly worry myself with this for I realise it is a trick of the mind. I focus on facial and vocal exercises before the show. I do stupid voices, I try to maintain my silly, I experiment with different accents during the sound check. I plan to introduce myself in a silly voice from the off stage mic. I veto this idea because about one in ten times I accidentally lapse into a Chinese accent and that would be to give a false impression of the show.
The first half of the show largely goes well, not without it blemishes but overall, it has a momentum up to ‘Life is a Waste’. Strangely ‘Gay Town’ does not land as well today and this has been the show banker really. It works but it is a struggle to keep them on board. I am on uneven ground throughout. It keeps me in the moment, with me constantly trying to feel it out, but I would prefer if they just excepted it was good – it would do wonders for my stress levels. Quite a young crowd today though so they may not be as sure where I am going with it.
‘Hitler Left wing Right Wing’ goes well, the cleanest version of it so far in terms of clarity. Millennials goes well – especially with the millennials in the audience strangely enough. And this is the problem with this generation. Even when you are lambasting them, they are so self-aware and well-adjusted that they agree with your criticism in an open-minded fashion. It is enough to make you sick. Strangely it is the older lot, the Baby Boomers, who largely emerge scot free from this broadside – other than me occasionally wishing they were all dead – who get offended! I can’t even insult people when I wish to and still insult people when I don’t want to!
‘Better than You’ is the start of the decline and the early promises of the gig never quite recovers from it. ‘Animals’ has its moments but the energy has largely gone: either in me or the audience. ‘Vegetarians’ is a anticlimax at the end.
I feel I have left the audience more confused today than ever before- an achievement of sorts. They feel that the ending was not an ending. They are coming up to me after the show to offer me explanations. Blaming the heat of the room, blaming the time of day “It would be better if people were drunk”. They clearly know something wasn’t right but strangely aren’t blaming me. Is this progress? Did I look so utterly in command today that anything going awry couldn’t have possibly been my fault? Why has it taken me so long to develop this skill? And how can I use this ability in other areas of my life? Questions, questions.
At last. I now know how to do this show. I have been doing it in the wrong order all along! If you have already seen this show come back and see it again. I have fixed it in my head now. It should be LIFE IS A WASTE, BETTER THAN YOU, BEAUTIFUL GIRL, MILLENNIALS, HAVING A HARD TIME, ANIMALS and finish on GAY TOWN. Cut VEGETARIAN altogether. This doesn’t really fit in with the show and with if left in the whole show takes up the full hour and gives me no time to play. I want to play with it more specifically at UFOs, ANIMALS HAVING A HARD TIME, ANTHROPOMORPHISING.
I now see a lot of possibilities for this show heading into the second half of the run. Excited. Looking forward to doing it tomorrow. Will update further then. Over and out.