day 14: flyering in the drizzle

My mother arrived yesterday, with an inexplicable desire to help with flyering.

I think visitors to the fringe actually enjoy giving out flyers; they seem to be incredibly keen to help, even though it does give me a sense of how a drought-blighted Tanzanian farmer probably feels when some white teenage christian missionary son of an accountant turns up on their gap year and offers to ‘help with a bit of the digging’.

Flyering is not supposed to be a fun novelty. It is a punishment, it is the forfeit fringe performers pay for our obscene arrogance in thinking anybody would want to listen to an hour of our blathering. It is not good for anyone to want to flyer.

That said, my mum is pretty good at it. She flyers with the enthusiasm of someone who doesn’t actually care whether anyone comes to the show or not, and not with the desperate yearnings of most flyerers…

I was glad when she arrived, because I had just stunk out the lunchtime show. Well, not really stunk, but it was pretty far from being a stormer. I hadn’t had enough sleep, I was tired, and I didn’t really do my best.

So, even though it was nice to see my mum, I didn’t feel actually happy for most of the afternoon. The drizzle seemed interminable; I missed Nan; I was trying to write the blog for the previous day and couldn’t quite word the theoretical bit quite right…and of course, I had to flyer.

On the upside, I did have a really really good gig in the evening. The best I’ve done this festival. It came in at just under 10 minutes, so it needs to be longer, but it was slick, I knew my material, I got laughs all the way through, and it just felt nice to be up on stage getting laughs. It felt like an easy room when I was up there, though I knew it wasn’t – Dee Custance had just had a relatively quiet slot before I went on and then Tony (who was headlining – we’d drafted Rik Moore in to MC) also struggled a bit before his brilliant Prince William routine finally brought the night to a happy ending.

So that was good, and had it not been for a general feeling of unease that I couldn’t seem to shake off, I would been back to happiness by the time I met my Mum at 23.30 to go and see The 80s Movie Flashback. I think Mum enjoyed it, and by happy coincidence I also ran into the former head girl of Hornsey School, who is now in her third year at Edinburgh and was going to see the Flashback too.

Obviously the Flashback show was great again; obviously it was packed out. They’ve been packing it out every night.

They clearly take their flyering seriously.

CTD: Audience – half-full; Performance: meandering and tired (4/10)

SSS: Audience – two-thirds full; Performance: one of the best I’ve done (7.5/10 – I hesitate to give it an 8, only because I forgot what I was saying at one point. But I am definitely improving).

Other Stuff: Nice to see Mum. Otherwise, just…sad and a little unnerving, for a variety of reasons (it won’t stop drizzling and I could probably be getting on better with Loz and Tony, for a start). And I couldn’t help but feel that even a visit and a great gig couldn’t carry the day.

Overall: LOSE

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