Fringe Diaries #6: Marcus Ryan
If Wednesday is the hump day of a regular person’s working week, then for Fringe performers the mother of all humps, the humpiest of all hump days is upon us! It’s the halfway mark of the festival and I’ve hit the wall.
But this time I’m wearing a crash helmet, boxing gloves and one of those sumo wrestler blow-up costumes to protect me on impact. In the words of one of our greatest fuck ups, Charlie Sheen, who subsequently would thrive in this environment (the late night parties and boozing), I’m winning. I’ve prepared well…well, as well as any touring comic can.
Before the festivities kicked off I stocked up on groceries, including fruit and vegetables, I laid out clothes in my wardrobe, ironed and hung shirts, I picked up all my posters and flyers ready to distribute, I checked out my venue and booked guests for my first show. Opening weekend is a danger period as I fend off invites for catch-ups and watching preview shows of my fellow acts. I avoid the parties and boozing from day one. Truth be told, I attended three press/venue launch parties in two nights but managed to get through the first four nights with only consuming two pints of cider and one Red Bull. Winning.
I let myself down on the caffeine. It was one of my goals this festival to get through the month without buying one energy drink. Technically, I was given the can of Red Bull as part of the rider at a gig; a horrendous stag and hen party gig that I wasn’t being paid for, so I figured I could get away with that one.
I had a plan to avoid deep fried fatty food, soda drinks, hangovers and coffee. I’m happy to say not only have I avoided soda, deep fried anything and coffee, I’ve even gone for two runs around the meadows, mainly to get away from the hippies and dodge hacky sacks. The crash helmet comes in handy for that too. Looking stupid, but winning.
Perhaps I’m setting different goals to most others?
Colleagues come here to get an agent, a 5 star review, sold out audiences, a TV deal, or a fan base.
I just want a hot chocolate and a good meal. Tick.
Many acts choose this point to take a day off, not me. I figure if I’m going to invest my time, effort and money into being here, I’m going for 25 days straight. After all, the gig you take off could be the one that the reviewer, talent scout or promoter was going to come and see. It could been the night your best audience are in, the night one audience member takes your breath away and you go on to live happy ever after. I don’t think too much about that, I just think it’s another show that may help towards breaking even!
It’s halfway, I still haven’t distributed the majority of my posters or flyers, I’ve not had a single reviewer in. They tend to shy away from free entry shows, which is a pity; but I have made a lot of people laugh and built a fan base. With 13 days to go, I’m healthy, sober have had full audiences almost every day and already broke even. Winning.
The downside to this is everything I make in the bucket from now on is spending money. And what does a comedian with no overheads spend money on? Only time will tell if the lure of a pint and deep fried pizza slice at 4am will get the better of me. Winning? At the moment.