Monday, 8 August 2011

Day Four: Trenchfoot Sets In

I awoke to find myself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that were not my own and driven by an unknown force to change history for the better. Oh hang on, that's Dr Sam Beckett from Quantum Leap.

It took me a while to leave the house today. It's still raining and the idea of leaving the warm and dry to go out into the cold and wet fills me with dread. The rain makes it difficult to manoeuvre (it took me three attempts to spell "manoeuvre" then I had to spellcheck it instead, isn't the literal translation for manoeuvre "man egg" which I'd say loosely translate to spunk?) I'm glad that I have invested in a waterproof, it's ugly but I love it. When I leave the house and want to speak to someone on the phone as I walk, it's very tricky. I have an umbrella, my carry-cup of tea and my phone and only two hands. Plus the strap on my stupid handbag isn't all that long so I invariably end up with that hanging of a bent elbow.   

Once I eventually left the house, I headed down to the Slappers gig for more soul-destroying flyering. I think a few people are tempted to give up on this gig after only two days. The audience seem to be people that don't really know where they are or why they're there (see Dr Sam Beckett)... probably applies to the comics too. I opened with some banter today. I picked on a guy in the front row who looked a bit like he spends a lot of time masturbating and not much time showering. He worked for a lost baggage company at Edinburgh Airport, I asked him what the most interesting thing that had been lost was. He told me that Samuel L Jackson had lost his golf clubs. The idea of Samuel L Jackson playing golf got a few laughs.

My set was met with a few chuckles but mainly smiles. I picked on a poor guy who was wearing sandals with no socks. I played on the old joke of men wearing socks with sandals and asked if he was that desperate to break stereotypes that he was willing to get trench foot. It got laughs from his mates. I shook his hand at the end for being a good sport. I always like to do that when someone's been a good sport. I know I said the other day that I had contempt for my audience, it's not strictly true. Most people are very welcoming.

I popped along to see Mae Martin, the guitar-weilding Canadian who correctly says in her set that she looks like a young Kenneth Branagh. It was a charming hour and has inspired me to give it a go at some point. 

The other day, someone told me that Edinburgh only had one McDonalds. I shared this fact with Sam, who's written and directed MJ's play, as we walked past it. It was only a few minutes later that we saw another one. I told Sam that I felt like a fucking idiot for believing that untrue fact and promised that I would find the person who told me that lie and kill them.

I bought some Soreen from the shop. A very underrated sweet snack. I thought about making my own Soreen once but it needs black treacle which I don't have lying around the house. I would do loads of baking if it didn't involve buying five tonnes of ingredient that I rarely use. I still have a kilo of cornflour that I once needed a tablespoon of. This is why buying Soreen from the shop is better than making it yourself. The same goes for biscuits (bicarb), scones (cream of tartar) and black forest gateuxs (tinned cherries).

I headed back out for Gagstro. It stopped raining for about ten minutes and I managed half a phone call. After last night's drunken crowd, we were hoping for a more civilised Sunday one. We had about 25 in, which was enough to make a noise. The bar was quieter so people at the back could hear properly. The gig went good. I managed to do 15 minutes without using one of my routines. I also tried a new gag I thought of today:

sings You don't have to say you love me, just be close at hand.
wipes mic Sorry, the mic's a bit Dusty

Mark liked it but then he would because he's loves puns and Dusty Springfield. It's a niche audience but it's out there.

Mark was being rude to people who wouldn't take a flyer tonight. A lot of people decline them politely by saying "no thanks." In London, saying "no thanks" is considered sarcastic and rude; in Edinburgh, it's very polite. We're very hard and cold in London, if you want to be polite, then just be invisible, say nothing and whatever you do, do not communicate. 

Tagline: The Gagstro crew including Bernie Clifton's ostrich hand out flyers in the rain.

I managed to get through the gig without a heckler except that a man in a kilt sat alone at the front. I bantered with him a bit and asked him to give the room a twirl. He milked it a bit and I said, "Alright, don't milk it. Honestly, you give someone an inch though from what I've seen it's less than an inch." Oooooh, you'd think I was a drag queen hostess from one of those awful ladies' nights. We got £23 in the bucket. My share will buy me a packet of fags. That'll do me. Add that to the £2.80 I got from Slappers and I'm well in the money ain't I? I've heard people saying that they've got £50, £80 even £100 in the bucket... that's almost wages and isn't in the spirit of the Fringe if you ask me. (Jealous, I want £100 in the bucket).

There are two types of industry people at the Festival; those with and without a lanyard (@iamtomwisdom is a fan of the lanyard, check out our Podcast Episode 3). If you are a performer or doing some kind of work at the festival, you get a pass that allows you into various shows if they're not sold out. People wear them with pride and, because they don't care about comedy, will only go to shows that will allow them to flash their pass with purpose. They might go and see something shit just so they can say, "Oh yeah, Jim Davidson, I saw him, didn't pay, I used my Pleasance pass (which is the ultimate one). 

These passes also allow you entry into Brooks Bar. Brooks Bar is the place for comics and industry types to be seen. The general behaviour involves looking over someone's shoulder while you're talking to them looking for someone more important to talk to. The idea of it fills me with dread. I am plankton in an ecosystem where a boy with floppy hair, a checked shirt and skinny jeans is the erm... catfish, they eat stuff right? They look like they do. A lot of conversations in Edinburgh start with, "I was talking to xyz in Brooks Bar..." I heard a comic slagging it off the other day and saying that if everyone agrees not to be there then it won't exist.

When I came home, my flat mate was making a snack of (a) broccoli and (b) coriander on toast. That is one health conscious drunk person. What happened to cheese sandwiches made in a Breville or a Laughing Cow triangle wrapped in wafer-thin ham?

Tagline: Nothing like a pile of vegetables to soak up the alcohol. Do you want any kebab meat with that love?

Oh, and by the way, I've definitely cheered up. Day off tomorrow when I shall be paying to see some comedy and doing some day-job work.

I'm going to post this now and hurry to sleep as another of my flat mates have come home drunk again. Last night, I heard her pissing on the doorstep. Goodnight. 

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