the first day of the Free Fringe has come and gone.
I went to the gym in the morning determined to lose not just sterling pounds but also a few pounds of fat if possible by the end of the month. We’ll see how long that lasts. I burned several calories trying to get into and out of the gym as it is in the basement at the bottom of a maze in a fancy hotel. This is super weird because it is the cheapest gym in the country. I am passing very important, suited people with briefcases and I’m wearing the kind of workout gear that makes me look like I am about to paint a house.
I spend my gym time listening to the podcast 99% Invisible, it is a podcast about angry people fixing bad design and Fresh Air, an NPR podcast by Terry Gross. I am spending my mornings listening and reading anything not entertainment related in a futile attempt to keep my head outside the Fringe bubble.
I work on the show for a few hours and I am very proud of it. 70% new material and 30% stuff that usually always works. Given that Seinfeld gets rid of 10% of his material a year , I like to think he would be impressed.
I flyer by myself as the guy I hired doesn’t start until tomorrow and I’m not too worried. It is a small room and the Fringe Fringe hasn’t officially started yet anyway. I spend a few minutes just before the show starts adding another comic as a Fitbit friend that I can compete steps with. That is the weird thing about the Fringe. When you are flyering about a half an hour before your show and are trying to get people in, every comic you’ve ever met in the past year will pass by and want to have a little chat about what they are doing and why they can’t come to your show tonight . This might sound weird and Californian but I think it might have something to do with the energy we put out revving up for the show, it is probably our most social vibe .( Note to self: I must learn how to do that at will at parties and industry bars. I am awful at those.) To be fair. I love those chats and am guilty of doing the exact same thing to other people. If I go to hell, it will probably be because of all the shows I said I’d go to and never did.
Two friends sent by one of my best friends working in Bahrain come along with two punters that also ignored that start date on the flyer. (I knew nobody reads them!)
The room is stifling hot and sauna like but it doesn’t smell awful. Nobody is drinking anything and this concerns me. I go out and get water for them. Carrying two cups with one hand means my fingers have been in the water but I assure them that I have just washed my hands and the water is for emergencies only. The gig goes great and nobody faints. My buck have to speech is still terrible but I make a decent bucket even though my card reader can’t find it’s g-spot and I forfeit a fiver.
The two friends of a friend and I go to Bob’s bus for a drink and have the conversation only Americans who have spent most of their adult life abroad can have. I learn that it is possible to get sick of even the best Italian food and that Saudi mens can’t drive, let alone Saudi women. These new friends are ace.
I make sure they find their cab back to their hotel a little past midnight. I start to walk home and pass Tom Stade and his wife, the photographer Trudy Stade. They are so super cool. I feel like I’ve just made friends with the most popular kids in school, the cool kids EVERYBODY likes and wants to be around.
Not a bad way to start the Fringe.
This daily blog will not be proofread for spelling or punctuation, just like Chortle.