Where did I leave you? Time here doesn’t really exist. Nor do dates or days of the week. You enter ‘Fringe time’ and all that matters is shows shows shows and whether or not you’re hungry or if its raining and you need your umbrella and when does the next show start. Ok, so, yes, time does exist and its very important otherwise you’ll miss your next show, but, oh, shut up, I don’t know all the days have melded into one long continuous day even though the clock hands keep moving and sometimes the sun sets and the moon comes up but its all really just the same, long day.
So I think I last spoke to you on Sunday evening whilst perving on a cute tall, bearded Scottish bartender. That sounds like me, right?
Monday I spent at Underbelly doing various odd-jobs. That night we were given a pizza party! At which it was rumoured there were 100 pizzas ordered! Or perhaps 200! We didn’t quite know, but the pizza kept coming and oh were all the little worker bees happy. We possibly had an entire pizza to ourselves! Or maybe it was half. Either way it was lots and absolutely enough. I’ve noticed that my Edinburgh Fringe diet seems to consist of various forms of cheese on/in carbohydrate. Cheese twists. Cheese scrolls. Pizza. Cheese sandwich. Cheesy Mash. Cottage cheese toast. Occasionally I start to feel a little bloated and that’s when I go and buy a punnet of some kind of small, round, juicy thing in various shades (blueberries, cherries, strawberries, grapes) and eat it all very quickly and very enthusiastically and all in one go. ‘Mmmmm!’ I think, ‘Round, juicy sugary thing with Vitamin C will counteract all the rest of the badness I have consumed today!’ I haven’t gotten sick yet, so clearly it is working.
What else has happened? I made the mistake of going into a retro store opposite Underbelly on Monday because things were on sale. Then I made the mistake of looking at all the things very carefully. After that I made the mistake of trying on things that I liked. And I followed that up with the mistake of fitting into them very well and looking pretty so to cap it all off I topped it off with the colossal mistake of BUYING EVERYTHING. I comforted myself that the dresses were at least half (AT LEAST) the cost of similar retro dresses in London and that I had gotten 4 dresses for the price of 2 that I had bought in London just last week. So that is definitely a saving! Of some kind! In the long run! I think! I have worn at least two of these dresses already and lots of people compliment me on them so, mission accomplished! (I have voluntarily banned myself from all other Scottish charity and/or retro stores. It’s hard, but I need *some* money left over for theatre and booze).
Yesterday I got up at 8am to paint things at Underbelly. It was actually surprisingly satisfying. I got to use rollers. Many different rollers of many varying sizes. Long rollers. Little tiny rollers. Rollers with purple paint, rollers with beige paint. The occasional paint brush. Oh, how nice it was to see those lovely bold colours slide on over that boring ol’ wood. I enjoyed it so much I thought perhaps I should become a house-painter. But then I got switched to tech oddsbody on a tech run and I got to pin up curtains and run around looking for things and climb up ladders so people could pass me wires and then I decided I should become a techie. So, just a typical day in my completely unstructured, conviction-less and seemingly aimless life then.
After the day spent building and painting and pinning and cleaning and running around getting sandwiches, I decided to walk to my venue, which isn’t *too* far away, but it is *a bit* far away and its also *a bit further away* then all the places I had been during the day and by the time I was walking back I was ready to eat any particularly juicy looking body part that was swaying ahead of me. I managed to contain myself enough to get to a M&S, but then found myself almost crying in the aisle, staring at the sandwiches and wailing, ‘There’s not enough bread! Where has all the bread gone in these sandwiches?’ And cursing Robert Atkins from the very depths of my soul. Luckily I found an Upper Crust which sold baguettes the length of my arm, so after wolfing one of those down, I was able to continue on my merry way without taking hunks of meat out of passing strangers. I then headed out for some drinks with one of my housemates who knows many, many people at the fringe. So I also got to meet many, many lovely people and then more came along and I met them too and it was all lovely because everyone was lovely and we all gave each other flyers and talked about our shows and swapped stories and gave each other encouragement and it all sounds a bit lovey-dovey now, but it was nice to be in the middle of, even if it’s a little dull and tedious in the re-telling. I made the mistake of coming home late and attempting to do work after 3 drinks and expecting it to take 30 minutes, and then finding out it was going to take more like 2 hours. After far too few hours sleep, the sun rose and I was far too anxious to sleep again, meaning I spent the morning in bed filling out review requests and show information and doing other ‘useful’ things like being on Twitter and promoting my show (and occasionally watching videos of porcupines eating bananas or kittens demanding to be stroked).
Today the Fringe officially started and many of my friends began their previews. I don’t start til Saturday though, which is kind of nice, meaning I can see a lot of stuff and also get eased into the Fringe a little, get used to the vibe, do some flyering, meet people etc. all without too much pressure at first. I am still very worried about flyering. But I’m sure I’ll be over it by the end of the month. The key is just to be confident and happy and certain about the fact that your show is good. I’m sure that’s the key. I’ll try that key and if it’s the key I’ll let you know. If it’s not, I’ll try and figure out what the actual key is by the end of the fringe and also let you know. Just in case you wanted to know the key. Key.
I managed to see 4 shows today, a real wonderful mix of things and if nothing else I’m grateful to be at the Fringe for the sheer inspiration. I think that if somebody wanted to get an education in theatre they could either go to university for 3 years, or they could just come to the fringe and see as many shows as possible. I think they’d pretty much be able to cover most forms of theatre over the 3 and a half weeks. What a terribly exciting project that would be. I’m trying desperately not to think of the state my bank account will be in by the time I get home (September is for sleeping and also eating baked beans on toast and walking all the places because I can’t afford public transport), because I can also kind of tell that this is really, truly worth it. I’m not going to regret seeing every possible show at the fringe this year. That is not a regret I would ever have. So, FTM, as a friend of mine would say (fuck the money) and FTS (fuck the superannuation. I just made that one up). Who needs a house? And who wants to retire anyway? I’ll work until I die! (On a related but completely tangential matter, one of my ancestors did just that. He was squashed in a Newcastle mine at the age of 87. 87! If he can work in a mine until that age I can certainly sit in front a computer screen replying to emails. If there are still computers to sit in front of. As long as the polar ice caps are still in place and I haven’t drowned.)
So far the start of the fringe has been remarkably stress-free and enjoyable. We’ll see what happens when I have to try and get people into see my show. But I have a good feeling. Because I really do have a good feeling about this show. I actually, truly believe in it and think that people will enjoy it. Amazing!