This afternoon I'm doing Comedy Club 4 Kids at the Edinburgh Fringe... I began my day by watching Despicable Me to get myself into the right frame of mind and now I'm staring out the window at a sea gull on the lamp post who is staring right back - the sea gull, not the lamp post. The sea gull isn't really helping me work out exactly how to whip these children into a comedic frenzy but I do appreciate his efforts.
Had an absolutely amazing night watching The Wrestling last night - it was probably the best thing I've ever seen. I'm 100% certain I watched Fringe History last night. Comedians vs Wrestlers in a 90 minute bout of energy, sweat and hilarity. Andrew Maxwell absolutely stole the show as the commentator for the Goodies - he had the 800 seater venue all chanting "Fair Play! Decency!" for the vast majority of the show while he layered joke after joke about the importance of rule abiding. Sounds weird - was weird. Absolutely brilliant.
After the show, we all hit the pavement and tried to work out where to go next. After a bit of chattering and some strenuous attempts by Pleasance Staff to stop us disturbing the residents, we were joined by a few of the celebs from the wrestling and decided to go off to Brooke's bar, which houses all the cool people you could want to meet. I say "we", I'm not telling the whole truth... I went home to bed.
The Fringe is my annual reminder that I just cannot handle the schmoozing side of comedy and "show business". Not that I really believe my life even vaguely resembles show business. But, then perhaps that's because I go home to bed instead of trying to make friends with people I think will be useful.
The Swede (see blog - "Our House") and I decided that there was nothing we would enjoy less than standing awkwardly in a bar attempting to find things to say to people off the telly. I fear this may be the downfall of my career... I just quite like the friends I've already got. In that situation, you're one of two types of people;
Someone people want to talk to.
Someone no one wants to talk to.
I would most definitely have been in the latter category last night. I expect if you're brimming with confidence and can find a smooth way to strike up a chat with anybody then it wouldn't matter. But I'm not sure I'd ever be very good at that; I'd probably wind up standing by a wall all evening trying to smile at people and hoping no one asked who had let me in.
Self promotion and publicity is rubbish; if you don't do it, you get no where. But if you do do it, everyone thinks you're a prick for how you got somewhere. How on earth do you win? Clearly, I can't answer that question as I'm sitting in my pyjamas trying to work out if there's a way to get sellotape into a house without leaving to go and buy it. There is not much evidence of the word winner stamped anywhere on this person. Hell, I struggle to even say what I want to say to people I do know, let alone complete strangers who experience the fanzone version of speed dating every time they leave the house. I think this is why I spend so much of my time constructing chatter for people who won't really talk back; blogs, plays, stand-up... it saves having to keep putting in those awkward pauses where people notice conversation is not exactly 'flowing'. My conversation leaks. I think that's fair to say.
If you're worrying that the point to this blog is that I think I'm better than people who tag along to things and try and make friends with famous people, it isn't. I don't look down on them at all; I'm jealous to the max. Not jealous of the nights out they must have, but just jealous of the stories they can return home with. Stories where they accidentally got chatting to Jimmy McHellafunny and he took an instant liking to them so they all went and bought donkeys and fed them popping candy while smoking sparklers. These are always great stories... these are stories about proper comedians who will be excellent 60 years olds reminiscing about the golden years. Not stories start with "So, I went home and watched a film with Bill Pullman in it..." and those stories that do are narrated by someone you've never heard of.
Starting tomorrow I might make a conscious effort to be incredibly cool and rock and roll. I'll wear even more eyeliner, invest in some hair spray and I'll go out drinking alone and meet the clown Rolling Stones of my generation. I'll build an encyclopaedia of anecdotes about drinking cider through my eyes while someone with 5* reviews brushes my hair and invites me to go to Morocco. I will be great. I will be incredible. You just wait.
Note: You might be waiting a while. Sorry.