I'm here! I'm a day in. And I haven't cried yet... Emphasis on yet.
It's hard to believe this festival is in a little city in Scotland, because it's big. Well, big doesn't do this thing justice -- The Fringe is bigger than big. It's huge, massive, enormous, or in American terms, it's super-sized. Imagine a Double-Big-Gulp, but instead of a 50-ounce cup of High-Fructose-Diabetes-Mix, it's live entertainment instead. Now can you almost wrap your head around how gigantic this festival really is?
There are over 2,000 acts from around the world presenting comedy, music, art, dance, spoken word, kid shows, street performance & more. And the streets are filled with visitors eager to catch as many shows as they can. They're excited about seeing the giant acts. They're excited about discovering nobodies. They're just excited to be entertained.
I wish we had something so inspiring in the States. Unfortunately, a fringe festival requires people to leave the house, so I don't think it'd make it past season one. There just aren't enough Kardashians to inspire so much enthusiasm.
I was hoping to write something last night, but there hasn't been a free moment until just now. From the hour I arrived Wednesday, I've been prepping and promoting and doing all I can to get people to either of my two shows. Again, there are thousands of acts here, so unless you're one of the giants with massive marketing, promotion, PR and advertising budgets, you've got to figure out how to get onto people's radar. The simplest promotion is flyering -- literally putting your own flyer into the hands of a stranger and telling them about your show. I grew up on the East Coast, so anticipated exactly I would be told to shove my future land-fill items (recyclable flyer is a naïve oxymoron), so wasn't prepared for that exact place to be in their hand, for them to look at it, then ask genuine questions about when and where it was. My inner dialog went something along the lines of: "What's wrong with you? You actually want to hear about my show?" The East Coast attitude isn't always healthy.
At least half of yesterday's audience were people I'd talked to on the street. And they were ready to laugh and have a good time. I guess people like mixing a personal touch, alcohol and a free show. That's the thing the big acts don't have going for them: key word "FREE"!
Day 1 was exciting! Marcus and I are having fun with the LOLympics Live show. And my late-night solo was a blast. It's amazing when you look at the time and realize you've already done 55 minutes and haven't even hit your big 15 minute closer. I'll try to get that in tonight. If not, oh well. You can really take your time over here. As a performer, it's incredible.
Today, the streets were packed. The LOLympic show had double the previous crowd, so I'm hoping my midnight "Life's Short. I'm Not!" show will be the same. If not, no worries, I'm always happy to do what I do in front of an intimate audience. It improves my chances of getting phone numbers actually. But that'll have to wait for another night, because after the midnight show, I rush across town for a guest spot in the 1am Set List. Set List is one of the more popular shows this year, and one of the scariest to do because it's improvised... And I'm on the lineup with a couple of giants... Oh man, I might cry yet.
Day 1 & 2 Percent Chance of Tears = 0 Percent (but two shows to go, so who knows).