Gonna be honest. I’m not here looking for reviews and stars. I’m not here for connections or professional development. I’m not certainly not here to hone my craft. I chose to throw away my dismal bank savings by returning to the Fringe purely to escape the current horror that is the United States of America. You’re welcome.
So naturally I shuddered slightly when I was offered a souvenir American flag bandana at the weirdly hilarious and slightly disturbing show, The Piece. It was like being handed a complimentary war flashback. I came here to forget about my shite homeland and the baboon in the Orange House. But, my venue is an oven and I sweat like a hungover Russian in a moldy steam room, so I really needed that patriotic Yankee bandana (surely sourced from a Chinese sweatshop) to keep me looking pretty during my act.
I broke it out for the second performance, and as I wiped my brow 5-minutes in, I felt a slight stinging sensation. While soaking up the salty brine from the back of my neck, I felt a distinct burn. Every blot stung. Yet, every wipe was a massive “FECK OFF” to the USA. In every swipe, I was openly and proudly desecrating this once glorious and now pathetic symbol of freedom and democracy. None of this discomfort mattered for I was making a statement! I was openly desecrating my flag on a WORLD STAGE! I would not be silenced!
Also, a reviewer was in from The List.
I continued to perspire and wipe, perspire and wipe, for the rest of the show…burning my sensitive flesh, but never looking at the bandana. At the end of the show, I held up the soaked cloth like a fishing trophy and it looked like a hippie’s tie-dyed frock at a Grateful Dead concert – the red stripes running for their lives into the welcoming blue field and optimistic white stars. I was ready to write a piece for the freakin’ Scotsman now, for I had made a political statement.
Afterwards, I met with friends for drinks in the neighboring beer garden who gasped in horror at my visage, informing me that my hands and face were glowing fuchsia. I ran to the loo to see a sad, blotchy clown staring back at me in the mirror. I looked like I had just finished a twelve-hour shift picking raspberries in a tanning bed. But the pain and humiliation were worth it and I hope The List takes note in what I can only imagine will be a 50 star review – one star for every American state that I honoured in my new politically-charged-performance-art show.
Peter Michael Marino’s Show Up plays at 16:45 every day at The Counting House. www.showuptheshow.com