Friday, August 3, 2012
Monday, August 29, 2011
Here I am, back in London. As always, the end of a Fringe run leaves you with a feeling of emptiness, but I'm also very happy about the experience. The last three days have been very good, with audiences that really seemed to love the show. On Saturday we did the recording, my performance was a bit more nervous and imprecise than what had become the usual of late, but I got some big laughs. Yesterday before the show I had the feeling that it was probably a day too many, but the show itself went very well, it was a good way to finish. I think this year I learned a lot, in particular I developed my performance skills, becoming much more relaxed, free-form and interactive. I know recognise that the reviewer who last year described my performance as "stiff" might have had a point. Challenging yourself is a matter of balance, too little and you learn nothing, too much and you learn nothing either since you're too terrified to experiment. Last year I never felt free to try new things, which instead is something I did in abundance this year. And I was quite stimulated in terms of the writing too, in fact my set at the end was five minutes longer than it was when we started. Not forgetting that I really liked performing with Alice and Cecilia, who also really did very well. Yesterday Alice was suggesting the possibility of doing a London "postview", so maybe we'll do the show once more, but to be honest I think we all feel much stronger and ready for new challenges. My own challenge will be to try to transfer as much as I can of my newly found performing confidence to my next one hour show. For what the writing is concerned, I have a lot of ideas buzzing in my mind, I'll start trying them out as soon as I have a chance. And for all of this I need to thank again the fantastic audicence we had in the course this month, even when the numbers were small they were always ready to laugh heartly and to love this show. I love you too.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Indeed they have been strange days. After two weeks of almost constant good audiences we have been hit by abysmal numbers, mainly due to the fact that we had finished the flyers. Yesterday we decided not to flyer at all in order to save the few remaining flyers for Saturday, when we'll record the show. As a result we had five people in, so today we decided that flyering was essential and we got 1,000 more printed at an extortionate price. I did a hour of flyering and the other two did the same, so we were quite shocked when only a couple turned up for the show. We were telling them that we were going to cancel when the Waitress arrived. I talked about her on Facebook, normally this blog is all about comedy, there is no reference to my "private life". Thinking better, this also happens to be true for my comedy. During this festival I had some emotional "turbulences" and, for the first time, I included some references to them into my set. I realized with surprise that this was an absolute first and how "disembodied" my comedy had been so far. I don't think I'm going to turn into a confessional comedian, but there is probably room for talking a bit more about what makes me happy or makes me suffer, beside what tickles my cerebral cortex. Moreover, it's very difficult to keep comedy and private life separate when you have only three audience members, one of which had been the subject of some semi-serious romantic fantasizing over quite a long string of traditional Scottish breakfasts. So we decided to do the show anyway, in my case mainly because I didn't want to disappoint her. She seemed to enjoy it and we had an absolutely lovely chat over drinks and a long walk to her bus stop, but she didn't want to come to dinner or to another show. To make things more complicate, I had started thinking and writing about her mainly as a potential source of comic material, intrigued by the idea of a "love story" where everything happens within the strict limits of an exchange of orders and food between a client and a waitress on one side and within the much less strict limits of the client's imagination on the other. The fact that she really came to see my show and that we went for a drink for me was already a cross-over between fantasy and reality almost as surprising as the one in "The purple rose of Cairo", if you have seen the film. Have the walls started to crumble? Is it life that is trying to get into my comedy? Or is it the other way round? I have done quite a lot of comedy this month, I'm afraid that "doing" a bit of life too will be the only way to find out.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
The delay in my upddates reflects the feeling that the last few days have been quite uneventful. When you do a long run the mid of it is probably the most difficult moment. You don't have the eagerness (and the fear) of the start nor the energy rush of the last days. The show is in its shape and although it can still get better the biggest improvements have probably already been achieved. What else can we get from this show? A second review would be nice, but free collective shows are probably at the bottom of every critic's pile. And Saturday we're going to record the show so a good recording would be nice too. And I need to remember that every audience members sees us for the first time, there is no mid run blues for them. I'll try to feed on that thought.
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Saturday, August 13, 2011
Apparently the God of the Fringe is listening to my prayers. I was hoping for a lesson on how to deal with a much bigger than expected audience and, hey presto, we had just that today. The content of the lesson, however, was a bit disappointing: apparently all you have to do is standing outside of the door during your show partners performance while turning people away, which of course was heart-breaking. I hope some of them will try again tomorrow, but doing my set in front of a packed and very reactive (although, thankfully, not in hacklery kind of way) Saturday audience was just great. They welcomed every single joke with big, warm, understanding laughs (yes, not just the pissed kind of laughs: I know what you were thinking) and they were very generous at the end with their applause, compliments and money. Yes, just great.
Yesterday I felt highly energetic all day, maybe because it wasn't raining. I'm starting to think that the mood boost offered by the weather conditions is all relative: a covered day without rain in Edinburgh gives you the same boost as a sunny day in London or a pleasantly breezy day in Italy. I did a lot of flyering and at the end I was a bit disappointed by the audience size, but they were very appreciating and we had a good gig. Our performances seem to have become constantly good.
Friday, August 12, 2011
My blog posts seem be to like our show, at least according to the review we got from ThreeWeeks: the title says it all. Yes, I know what you want to know: it's a three stars. As I said, it's relatively good one: Cecilia treats the audience with "some beautifully quaint and charming acoustic music", Alice is "exuberant and perfectly pitch" and my "academic" investigation into language is "at times fascinating". That's all I got: five words. And I find really strange that, out of the three of us, I was the one to get the adjective "fascinating". But we can't complain too much and the review refers to the second performance, while the show is much better now. And yesterday we had a very good audience in terms of size, at the beginning it was a bit silent but we managed to win them over at the end. Onwards and upwards.