DAY 1 – THE PRINTER
“Should we pack the printer?!”
“Yeah, but we won’t bring it back. We’ll find someone who wants it up there.”
“Don’t forget the cable.”
“I won’t forget the cable!”
“Last year you forgot the cable!”
Interactions like these are unique to packing for Edinburgh. No-one packs the laser printer for a scuba holiday, ski trip or dirty weekend. You only pack the printer for Edinburgh.
So it was, that the printer wrapped in a makeshift blackout curtain (“I’ll go mad if the place doesn’t have blackout curtains”), a video projector (“the venue doesn’t have their own”) and a DSLR camera (“we might want to film it!”) got thrown into the massive backpack that I bought before I headed overseas for my first Edinburgh Fringe in 2002 (here’s a tip kids, spend on quality. It’ll pay off in the long run) and off we set; same same but different, for my *cough*teenth Edinburgh Fringe.
Some things are the same (the packing, the constant feeling that I have definitely forgotten something absolutely crucial that I won’t be able to find at a Poundstretcher), but some things are different (my train ticket is on my phone rather than one of those massive passport sized pieces of paper mailed to me weeks in advance, I seem to have traded some of my hair for trunk girth)
Oh, and that this year I’m blogging for Fringepig. What an honour to have been selected for one of their unpaid internships (“It’ll be great for exposure” said Liam). But that’s just the Fringe isn’t it? We’ll all do free gigs, spots, performances, panels to hopefully get ourselves in front of the precious eyes of potential paying punters. Which I’m fine with. I didn’t quit my job as a lawyer because I love money. I quit it because I love attention and have a strained relationship with responsibility.
I am doing a show about humans and technology called I, Human because technology is powerful enough now that we really need to think about our relationship with it. Maybe you got this blog post pushed out to you on Facebook. This is because a platform that you use for free but pay for with your essence has minced together your likes, preferences and values with an algorithm designed to maximise revenue from advertisers and keep you on the platform as long as possible. They may do this by pushing you stuff that you like, or more likely, by triggering your fear response and pushing you stuff that you worry about and are likely to click on. All of this takes place completely out of your conscious awareness, as you fall into the daily loop of ‘scroll down, look’, ‘scroll down, look’, ‘oh God I really should be packing’, ‘scroll down, look’. And at the end of these large chains of algorithmic manipulation and profit maximisation are you, me and everyone you know. Humans. And we are important.
So yeah that? But with jokes. And a projector transported all the way from London! That’s at 9:40pm at Pleasance Dome.
I’m also hosting two sillier shows. Comedians Against Humanity is an improvised comedy show where our guest comedians get suggestions on what to improvise material on from Cards Against Humanity cards wielded by the audience. A real late night festival favourite all around the world and you can see it at 11pm at Pleasance Dome.
And Is this the Worst Quiz/Game show? (Edinburgh Regional Championship) is a new silly (and extremely loose) quiz show format where three comedians battle it out in a cross between Mastermind, Ultimate Cage Fighting and the Royal Variety Hour. It’s new, it’s fresh, it’s an Edinburgh Fringe WORLD PREMIERE. That’s at Sneaky Pete’s at 7:30pm. Will it be funny? As they say in my favourite TV show, ‘LET’S FIND OUT!!”
Anyway, I must scoot. I’ve just realised that we forgot to pack Kevlar vests, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna walk up the mile without a flak jacket. See you up in Edinburgh, or on Fringepig, the Fringe’s home of irreverent comment, plush toys, and the genius of Liam Mullone.
Pleasance 10 Dome