Edinburgh Fringe Festival

I’m doing the Edinburgh Fringe this year and I’ve already fucked it up: Entry 26 Top Bum

As the Festival is winding down and Monday is a bank holiday, I muster the strength to deposit the now obviously ridiculous and stupid amount of cash I’ve been carrying around all festival. I haven’t been consistent in writing down how much money I made from the bucket this year. The buckets have been good but I don’t want to measure my show in an oven monetarily. It’s nice and embarrassing to realize I’ve been carrying around over 300 pounds in cash. I have been using a card reader as well and it was nice to look at my bank balance and know I’ll be comfortable this Fall. I’ve made a profit this Fringe, second time in a row. It is much easier to make a profit when you’re not flying in from Japan, I’ve learned. I had a chat with my boyfriend about my turning down the paid Fringe offer earlier this year. I was wondering for a minute if I had made a mistake not trying to gather a big 4 stamp. He reminded me I would have hated bleeding money for a month and the payoff was less than guaranteed. He’s right. I would have hated it.  

I still have 90 posters that I haven’t put up and I am wondering if I should hire someone to put them up next year. Every year I think that and then I also think, “The money is better spent on flyering. If the poster image is ridiculously entertaining, I just might.  

The bank is on the other side of town and I rush to my first spot of the day. I arrive backstage 2 minutes before I go on stage and that was really fun. The adrenaline of running to the gig extended to the stage and woke up a very hungover crowd. 

The show tonight goes well. I give myself some more time to talk to the audience that usual and it goes well. Comedian Aaron Twitchen  told me I’m like a drag queen that can write actual jokes. That sounds about right.  There is one joke in my show that I love. The punchline is fine but I feel like there is a better one just around the corner. Hopefully, it will occur to me by Sunday. To be honest, it’s probably one of the reasons I am not bored with the show yet. 

Afterwards I do porno charades and   Feel like I am finally getting the hang of this game and am getting better at jumping in on the shit talk and banter. 

One of the team captains “stole the wife” of the other.

I said “ If’s fine because she was inflatable anyway.”

Team Captain “Aye, that’s why she went down on me.”

Me “Because you’re a prick.”

Fist bumps galore.  God I love being a dick with like-minded people. 

Three Prosecco later Aaron Twitchen and I are are in an industry bar as we both believe Fringe flu comes from drinking outside in the cold.  Seriously, unless you are ice fishing, what is the fucking point?! And if you are Ice fishing, what is the fucking point?! Ok. I’m drunk and I know that because I suddenly have a self-esteem and am about to tell everyone exactly what I think of them. Time to go home. 

Night night! Lights out at 3:14 am. 

I'm doing the Fringe this year and I've already fucked it up: Entry 24 I had to pull the show

The boyfriend has flown back home and it is starting to feel like the last week of the Fringe. People on the streets look tired and  their brains are fried. Wednesdays are the hardest days at the Fringe because even if you are on holiday for a week, you don’t go out to watch a show on Wednesday. You are recovering from whatever it is you did to yourself on Monday and Tuesday. You might go out on Thursday but even on vacation, you are still looking forward to the weekend. It is just hardwired in the brain. If you are a local not on vacation, you don’t go to a show on a Wednesday unless you are a diehard fan or you hate your life. That’s my theory in a paragraph. 

I’ve got a breakfast meeting at Starbucks with people from the Ouch BBC podcast. They came to the show the night before. I suspect they  wanted to make sure I could get through an entire conversation without using the word “cunt”. It was a struggle but unlike all my applications to the BBC 4 Radio Comedy Award, I manage to not drop the c-bomb the entire conversation. 

I sit in the cafe for three more hours and do my best to not move a muscle. I have been walking so much that the side of my big toes are bruised. I didn’t even know that was a thing. 

In the afternoon, I go to the BBC tent to record the podcast with two other comedians doing the festival with other physical disabilities, Jon Long and Aidan Green. The green room has clear boxes of perfectly-cut triangle sandwiches that look like the  start of an OCD infinity mirror. I’d like one but no one has opened the boxes yet and I don’t want to be that asshole because it looks too perfect. It’s fine, I’ll get one later. Plus, I‘ve been given a white and red stripe bracelet that lets people know I am with the BBC or that I have started working at TGI Fridays. (It’s also on my good hand to which means I have no idea how I will take it off.)

We talk a lot about growing up with a disability and I have always thought having a really supportive group of friends and loved ones is really important. I moved around a lot as a kid and changed schools relatively often. We always lived in the Kansas City area but far enough away that I had to change school districts a lot. When asked why we moved so much,  it was really hard to answer. I had never given it much thought. After thinking about it now, I believe my parents were just very bad with confrontation. They would have a tiff with a neighbor that would eventually become an all out war. I remember one neighbor’s dog kept killing our dogs and another neighbor got upset when our dog killed one of their cock-fighting chickens. Of course I remember this AFTER the podcast. It’s fine, the BBC  probably wouldn’t have let me say “cock”.

With the BBC or TGI Fridays? Either way, I need the money.

With the BBC or TGI Fridays? Either way, I need the money.

I fall over a man in a wheelchair near the Royal Mile. By far, this is the best fall I’ve ever had at the Fringe because it happened so slowly.  Slow falls, once you’ve hade enough of them are great because you become Neo in the Matrix and can maneuver your body in a way that makes it hurt less. The fall was my fault anyway, that’s what I get for trying to dodge a flyerer. 

 I had an audience of one and I wasn’t angry she wasn’t more people. I found out she was a Midwesterner from Chicago in the UK for the first time. We chatted a bit about travel and then I told her to go to someone else’s show. An educated black American lady did not fly across the pond to see me. She had just taken a flyer. I told her to go see Jessica Fostekew’s extra show at the Monkey Barrel or any other show there. I’m playing the long game at the festival.

My flyerer Is upset more people didn’t come and promises to work “extra hard” tomorrow. What a sweetheart. I knew I chose a good egg. He is probably the best flyerer I’ve ever had at the Fringe. 

Now that I don’t have a show, I have time to drop off my wet hiking towels at home before watching the best drag show I’ve seen at the Fringe this year, Divet. Yuriko Kotani and I are drag show buddies and we both agree it is the best drag show we’ve seen and we’ve gone to see Rupaul’s Drag Race Contestants. It was the perfect show for a Wednesday. Parodies of music divas and some of the best dancing you could hope for. I wanted to take pictures but was too captivated to pull out my camera. Do yourself a favor and follow Jero on Instagram who was also on the Finnish tour of Kinky Boots. 

Afterwards we get drinks at the industry bar and talk about our plans for September. Start writing next years show, natch.

I'm doing the Edinburgh Fringe and I've Already Fucked it up Entry 21:Disney Crap

I have tried and failed to watch three shows. One’s run is already finished, one was too far away to get to in time and the last one was sold out.  I made like I was playing baseball and took the bench at Starbucks. I have never been one to plan my fringe ahead of time. I always plan on reading the broscure when it comes in but is is a dull read-through,  a three-hundred plus page thesaurus of , “brilliant must-see show”. The boring photos in the programme are either due to the fact that they are famous in the UK or that they have no idea what they are doing at the Fringe and their image is giving you a pretty good clue as to what to expect.

I decide to buy tickets to the Rose McGowan show for the next day because I loved listening to her cut through the bullshit and rip Hollywood apart on a podcast that didn’t know quite how to handle someone so unwilling to play the game anymore. I don’t know anything about it and am prepared for anything. 

  The show is rammed tonight and everyone is game for the show although some have clearly had too much to drink and it gets a bit rowdy. I tend to attract hecklers probably because I don’t hate them and relish to opportunity to say something mean to someone that really deserves it. I can put someone in their place every now and it’s nice to exercise that muscle. A comedian friend wanted to come into my show but it was just too packed and I have no problems with making drunk punters sit in a sauna of a room but I would hate to do that to someone I would actually see again. 

The show goes well even though I know parts of  the show so well at points that I could almost be going too fast like a Southern  auctioneer in my race to finish the show before the heat finishes my audience. 

I go to the Disney Dance party. There is, sad to say, very little Disney in it. I was expecting to do sing-a-longs and instead tried to jump up and down to Green Day for an hour. The bright side is four of the people at my show earlier were also at this party and it was nice to drink and try to dance with them. 

I then braved the industy bar and ran into my new Fitbit buddy, Caroline Mabey.. I’d say we navigated the networking waters pretty well and I headed home at approximately 2:45 am. (I have realized that I hate everyone after 3:00am and it is best to just to go home before the less-likable me comes out.) On my way home,  I eat street-vendor  bratwurst and I know this is a sign I am drunk because it smells like heaven.

 Night night.Er.r uhh..good morning

This daily blog will not be checked for punctuation or spelling, just like Chortle.

I’m doing the Edinburgh Fringe this year and I’ve already fucked it up 2019: Entry 18 Horizontal Mambo No 5.

Sleep! How long has it been since the last time we’ve seen each other? Yes, it has been too long. I agree but I am so glad we caught up! I feel so much better now. 

Struggling to keep my head out of the Fringe bubble as the guilt of not seeing more shows is creeping up on me. I aim to see one show a  day and this year want to see more stuff not comedy related just to cleanse the palate.

I am slow leaving the house as I was waiting for the other people in the flat to leave before I stank up the toilet. The window is too hard for me to open and will just have to trust that an open door with dissipate the stench eventually. I discover I have a useless superpower. That power is the ability to stink up a bathroom so bad that I give people super human ability to open impossible windows, not unlike when you hear of adults lifting cars off children after an accident. I am mortified that I didn’t realize there were still people in the flat and upon them  entering the toilet a  mere five minutes later, I hear them yell, “Ugh, that is RANK!” followed by the sound of a stiff window opening.” Damn you, burrito!  I scurry to my spot at Funny Cluckers at the Three Sisters on Cowgate.

I was going to go to a show at 6:00 but it is sold out and that is fine. It’s a show my boyfriend will want to see when he is in town next week anyway. We’ll sort that when he gets here. 

I forget how dead Wednesdays can be. Big names often take the second Monday of the Fringe off. B-listers take the second Tuesday off and everybody else can do with taking off a Wednesday here and there. I am very lucky to have 4 lovely people. None of them know what they are in for and are game all the way through. The lovely thing about having a small audience in an oven like that is that everyone can still breathe and no-one looks like they might faint. I probably could have done a bit more crowd work but crowd work with an audience of four can give the impression that the show is a conversation and it’s not.  It was fun and intimate show . It felt like being in command of the lunch table in grammar school. We all got the giggles throughout.

There is a dropout at Imaginary Porno Charades and I happily fill in. I love this show but this time I get a really hard one and I am not talking about my dick. I cannot get my team to guess the song “Horizontal Mambo No.5”  To be fair, I don’t think Horizontal Mambo sounds that dirty. It sounds like a gymnastic dismount during a Cirque De Soleil show.  I get caught up trying to get them to guess “Horizontal” by miming a line graph and focusing on the y- and x- axis but time runs out. 

After the show I have a chat with John Robertson, my twin at the Fringe who has put on red lipstick while I wasn’t looking to do an impression of me. If only he’d put some on his chin, then it would have been spot on. I’ve learned that since I hold the microphone in the had I have less control over, I often hit my mouth with the mic, getting lipstick on it and then when I inevitably hit other parts of my face with the mic, I get  MAC lipstick swipes all over. At least MAC lipstick smells nice. I am reminded of a show title Ian Fox suggested for me, “Spring Day’s Finishing School and Other Places I’ve Demanded a Refund From. 

This daily blog will not be checked for punctuation or spelling, just like Chortle.

Click here for more info about my Fringe 2019 show.

Could be me, could be John Roberston of the Dark Room. Who knows?

Could be me, could be John Roberston of the Dark Room. Who knows?

I’m doing the Edinburgh Fringe this year and I’ve already fucked it up 2019: Entry 17 How Karaoke Saved My Tuesday

Wow. I did not get enough sleep last night and am cranky as hell.

I somehow fell asleep before 3:00am but my body forces me awake at 9:00am.  

Tuesday audiences are typically tired and say things like, “I’m looking for the comedy show?” when asked what they are looking for in  hallways hosting 5 comedy shows simultaneously. 

My spot and Funny Cluckers, an afternoon of adult comedy, doesn’t jell with the audience. I genuinely think they thought were in for an afternoon of chicken puns. I tell them I have a show at the Fringe they can avoid. That made me laugh but not them. Today is my day to hold the bucket and I try to convince musical comedian  Robin Das Boot to hold the bucket instead because they liked him better. He hands me a massive stack of flyers for his show to hand out and it is more than my one-hand can handle and drop a couple hundred on the floor. Robin and I laugh pretty hard as we switch back duties. 

The washing machine is broken at the flat so I need to sort out where to do laundry. I am very Japanese in that I like to get it done and out of the way first thing in the morning. It makes you feel accomplished and ready to take on the world because you’ve already done the “hard bit”.  I am not jazzed about the idea of  carrying laundry  down and up seven flights of stairs. 

I have a much needed nap before the show and it is the smartest thing I’ve done all day. I feel much sharper and feel I can handle my room which is intolerably hot again.  I have another full room but am racing through material at 1.5 speed. It is all good fun and I can’t help but feel like Bette Midler in her bathhouse days.  I am working on adding a few bits here and there to the show but I don’t want to add them until I am absolutely sure they will work. The room is too hot to experiment much. 

I decide to go to s show done by the nicest guy at the Underbelly Cowgate, Karaoke Saved My Life. I’ll be honest. It saved my Tuesday. I took the very funny comedian Niamh Marron with me and told her I wasn’t exactly sure what we were in for but I knew it would be fun. It was pure Fringe FUN and I am going to go again with more people. I don’t know where else I would get to see a show like this but it used story and pop songs to bring strangers together to have a really positive night out. The secret to karaoke is knowing that it is not about singing well, it’s about giving your all in the moment to the song and the other people in the room with their tambourines and triangles. Everyone was so lovely and warm at the show, I felt like I was being hugged all the way home.  Deffo going back again soon.

This daily blog will not be checked for punctuation or spelling, just like Chortle.

Click here for more info about my Fringe 2019 show.

E16D174C-E374-43C3-9E6B-B1C4C46E88B0.JPG

I’m doing the Edinburgh Fringe this year and I’ve already fucked it up 2019: Entry 16 Cool running

You know you are in Edinburgh when you decide to go to the gym to give your legs a break. I am walking about 8 miles a day everyday an had grand plans to go to the massive commonwealth pool for a swim but  decided not to as I was still drying out  from the all-day downpour from the day before. I will make it to the pool before the end of the festival.  I miss swimming so much and hear they have a diving board, awesome sauce. 

There seems to be a fresh batch of people at the Fringe today. I did a quick spot at Funny Cluckers and the audience  seemed happy rested and on their 3rd Corona around 3:00 in the afternoon. Ian Fox fixes my card reader which has refused to work throughout the festival. Grrrr but it’s fine now.

Ian and I have lunch at Mosque  Kitchen with Dave Turquoise, one of my favorite people to bump into on the comedy scene.  Within seconds we are roasting each other like children on a playground. Nothing at the Fringe has made me laugh as hard as him making fun of the way I eat curry. 

My show is full on a Monday night and I am pleasantly surprised at how much fun people were having. Mondays are usually notorious for being difficult during the Fringe.  Aside from having to stop the show for a second to give a woman in the front row a block of ice to eat like an ice cream sandwich to keep her from succumbing to the heat, it felt like a Friday night show. 

The room isn’t quite as hot as it has been. I know this because my hair is still curly at the end of the show. Last week my hair would go from little orphan Annie curly to ramrod straight after 20 minutes. ( I know this because that is what an audience member told me as she put money in my bucket) Then the barman at my venue told  me Scotland’s heatwave has finally ended. Of course! It all makes so much sense now. It never occurred to me that 25 degrees in August anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere would be considered a “heat wave”. If it continues to be as cool as it has been for the last two days, I think my room may just be tolerable. Yay! Happy dance!

Tonight is the first time my bucket speech doesn’t sound like an apology and I pat myself on the back for finally growing a pair.

With my backpack full of wet hiker towels and hand fans, I brave the industry bar with my day of good fortune. There was some sort of festival recruiting going on for a festival in Ireland. Thank god I’ve run into a friend that feels equally out of place at these things and we manage to hold our own. I get to say “ Hello” to people I wouldn’t have had the guts to do on my own and my friend knows how hard it was for me. There us a a brief moment when I am sure someone thinks my name is “Spree” ( Starbucks Baristas often write that on my cup) I then realize it was just his accent and in a noisy environment like that with so many accents going on I can’t code switch fast enough to catch everything people are saying. Me and my friend have a lovely time, high five each other for being fully functioning social people for one night and go home before comedians turn into pumpkins at 3:00am.

This daily blog will not be checked for punctuation or spelling, just like Chortle.

Click here for more info about my Fringe 2019 show.

My room with a view of Waverly Station. It’s always nice to be reminded you can always go home if you want to.

My room with a view of Waverly Station. It’s always nice to be reminded you can always go home if you want to.

I’m doing the Edinburgh Fringe this year and I’ve already fucked it up 2019: Entry 14 SPANK

I stay in the flat as long as I possibly can and get out the door at 2:15. My room smells musty as I have done the laundry and have hung clothes on every available surface that is not nice furniture, as the landlady requested. Not realizing this whole time there is a drying rack in the hallway closet. The ladylady suggests I use it as the musty smell has wafted into the hallway a bit. 

How was I supposed to know it was in the hall closet? I don’t go through people’s hallway closets, who knows what kind of weird shit I’d find in there. If I found bodies in there my first thought would be, “I don’t want to move mid-festival. I’ve got enough to worry about.” 

There are new people in the flat, a mother and daughter doing a children’s show. They are amazed I do a show every night at 9:05. When I tell them I am doing another show at one in the morning, their jaw drops. I really hope they don’t come to my show.

Being a Saturday night, the crowds  are just as I suspect, more tired than Friday as they are still recovering from Friday night shenanigans. The energy is more frazzled and attention spans are as short as can be. I warn my audience as it fills up that it is going to get hellishly hot as I pass around towels and fans. Three women stand at the door who want to be in the room simply because it is full. I ask them to leave, saying I am doing them a favor and they are slow on the uptake. It was a great show although 4 had to leave mid-show as they were just about to faint.  Them leaving gave everyone else a bit more breathing room and energy. A couple of the punters said they came to the show because they were told it was a claustrophobically dark comedy show. I think that is a great way to describe the experience. The show in that room is like someone made an escape room out of an Auschwitz oven. 

I do a spot at  SPANK for the first time tonight. It’s a late night comedy show that is just silly fun. In the middle, a comedian or anyone that wants to promote something will get a minute on stage to promote it if they get naked. Tonight,  I do not get naked but a rather sweet punter did on stage just to tell the audience how much he loved his partner. It was very sweet. There is also a lovely guy doing a show at the same venue space at an earlier time called “How Karaoke Changed My Life” and he gets a shoutout without having to  getting naked because everyone loves him so much. I want to go to this show because apparently he just  sings whatever song the audience wants to sing with them. It’s too bad the show isn’t called “Karaoke Without Cunts.” I hope he can get more people into his show. 

On my way back home, a very drunk man asks me if I sell weed because I happened to be hunched over trying to zip my messenger bag closed in the rain. I unfortunately do not sell weed and tell him so. I wish I did, then I could afford to do the festival properly. 

I call my boyfriend and in my drunk on three beers, two-octave higher than usual voice tell him I love him and stumble home at 2:30am. 

This daily blog will not be checked for punctuation or spelling, just like Chortle.

Click here for more info about my Fringe 2019 show.

IMG_0733.JPG

I’m doing the Edinburgh Fringe this year and I’ve already fucked it up 2019: Entry 13 The Bukkake Baby

I am up and out of the house by 9:30am in the summer rain rushing to get to the recording to “Anything but Coldplay” radio show at BBC’s Fringe Central. It is fun and reminds me of how little music I listen to anymore. Tina Turner Tea Lady is a guest and a festival staple, quintessential  British character comedy. I love acts like that. I know being a foreigner, I’ll never totally get all of the references but I enjoy reaching for them. It’s like mentally reaching for a cookie on the top shelf, once you get it, you feel like you’ve earned it. 

I’m guest spotting on a total of three shows today. The under twenty-fives seem to be out in full force, probably because school starts up next week. I do a spot  at a show where everyone is supposed to do their most offensive material. This is tricky as “offensive” is a broad term.  Am I supposed to do material with offensive language, have an offensive point of view or just offend everyone? I am not sure so I do all three. The weird thing about the set is I do a few jokes that are not offensive during my set just to cleanse the palate, like a sip of water between box wine tastings and I can sense people thinking, “Wait, that’s not offensive. She’s cheating.”  It is a fun but weird vibe to the show. 

I then go home for a much needed sumo nap. A sumo nap is when you take a nap after a meal. It’s part of a sumo’s training and helps them gain weight.  I feel like a million bucks when I wake up and decide I have enough energy to flyer. I genuinely enjoy it now. I think I am good at pitching the show now and don’t feel rejected when people don’t want a flyer or the show just isn’t for them. I ask a group of three women if they have a dark sense of humor. “Absolutely not.” They say.  “ You all must be very healthy then. Carry on..” I reply and we all have a good laugh.  If you play it right, even rejection is fun.

We have a full house and they are sort of excited by the idea of being in a completely inappropriate room for comedy or breathing. I chuck hiker’s towels at them as well as hand fans and ice throughout the show. I cut out anything that requires a second or more of concentration or is Edinburgh fringy  because this is a club crowd. A woman in the front is clearly on something other than alcohol but is a great sport and well-behaved. Having parents that did a lot of drugs in their day has taught me how to handle these sensitive souls. 

Afterwards, I guest spot on Imaginary Porno Charades and discover I am actually pretty good at the charming and getting better at staying in the moment for the guessing. Because I spent so much time in Japan, I get “bukkake” within seconds to the shocked delight of the audience but my team fails to guess “the Bukkake Kid “ and guesses “The Bukkake Baby “ instead which starts a fight as to which is more wrong, a baby or a kid. My team captain argues a baby is better because they cannot remember anything.  I say that is how  it starts but I am not an authority. Somebody should ask Epstein, he would know better. I mention to my boyfriend later on, “You know, bukkake just sort of rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?”

This daily blog will not be checked for punctuation or spelling, just like Chortle.

Click here for more info about my Fringe 2019 show.



I’m doing the Edinburgh Fringe this year and I’ve already fucked it up 2019: Entry 11 The Magic of Alcohol

I was up and out of the house by 10:45, the earliest I’ve been out and about for a few days. I’ve got me a dental appointment and I brace myself for a scolding. Nine years ago, I had quite a few problems with my teeth and once they were fixed, I vowed to myself that I would floss everyday and never let that happen again. It is a common problem for people born with good teeth they say. When I was a child, dentists complimented me for my good teeth when I hadn’t done anything other than brushing them not particularly well. I was given the impression that I had superhuman teeth that would take care of themselves forever. Flossing was particularly hard for me as a one-hander but as a teen I figured out I could tie one side of the string to my right thumb and maneuver with my left hand. I devised this method this out once dentists insisted I start finding a way to  floss or I was going to have a lot of problems in the future.

The dentist I see  is a lovely woman who laughed a lot and said a filling had come out and just needed to be replaced. The temporary filling she put in for me set me back 7 pounds and I scolded myself for waiting a whole week to  go to the dentist in the first place. It’s the American in me that is afraid a medical visit is going to cost me more money than I’ve ever made to fix something. I should know better than this but I find it a part of my process that is hard to shake. I’ve also thankfully  found out  sharing teeth problems is a bonding experience among performers, especially among street performers that breath fire. That shit will fuck up your teeth in no time. 

I brace myself for a slow day because it is Wednesday, not a day people typically go out to see a show unless they are full-on festival goers. I’ve mentally prepared for the possibility that no one is coming to show. That happens sometimes and it is no big deal if it does. It’s not like I am in a paid venue. I had the opportunity to be in a paid venue this year and I turned it down knowing that with Brexit looming, I needed to penny pinch a bit. Sure there are all sorts of rubber stamps I might have been able to get by being with a paid venue and spending two thousand pounds more than I would otherwise.  However,  the fact that I would be filling in for someone who dropped out at the last minute meant I would most likely get the rawest part of the deal as well. If I am going to gamble my money, it is going to be at the poker table, not the slot machines. 

We have an audience of 7! Good times! My good friend and fellow American comic Michael Noel comes with his Boston mates as well as a lovely Scottish guy on a mission to see 6-7 shows a day and saw my show on the Festival app. My flyerer comes so he can see what he is selling and we all have a grand ol’ time in that oven. We finish the show at 45 minutes just as the oven starts to blaze. I am relaxing into the material more as I scrap the bit  resembling an “Edinburgh show” and focus on crafting it into a bit I could do in a club if I wanted to. 

Michael, his friends and I go to the City Restaurant for dinner and when a group of teenage girls next to us are served a syrupy mudslide of cocktails. One screeches, “ That is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!” One of Michael’s friends and I make eye contact and then look over at the girl as we cackle at the teenage excitement over alcohol. You’d think she just got her letter from Hogwarts.

This daily blog will not be checked for punctuation or spelling, just like Chortle.

Click here for more info about my Fringe 2019 show.

61513803_10156559295524613_7108459058595627008_o.jpg

I’m doing the Edinburgh Fringe this year and I’ve already fucked it up 2019: Entry 9 Small Party in the Sauna tonight

 I wake up after dreaming of watching an British High school American football practice  to find  some sort of military training/sing-songy shouting from a group of men on the street outside  my flat that have obviously influenced my dreaming. I honestly don’t know why I woke up. American football is so boring. In school, I rather liked watching the faculty and teachers lose their shit watching a game than the actual game. They would get all red in the face and most of the time, scream like they were just given an unfair parking ticket while out puncturing other people’s tires. They cared so much and I never could understand why they would get so upset about it. There never seemed to be any real joy in watching the game for them, only stress.  I now realize it as Midwestern earnestness. The idea that you don’t truly love something unless it makes you miserable.

It is the Fringe’s first Monday and I expected a small crowd. This is usually the best Monday at the Fringe. Everyone is still on vacation and aren’t yet sick of the people they are on vacation with.

I do a few 12 minute spots at shows that have full houses and air-conditioning. Good times. I also think I see silent disco goer get pick-pocketed. Ah, poetic justice. I can’t be sure but what made me suspicious was the kid that came out from the silent disco crowd looking to see how much cash was in a pretty nice wallet. He then took some  cash out and stood in line at the burger stall. This I find highly suspicious because  I have never seen a  Millennial with such a nice wallet pay for anything in cash. 

I have a thankfully small audience of 6. There is ice in bags all over the room. I have handed out hiker towels and we’re off. 

It takes a minute to be your own warm-up act especially when your audience don’t know who you are or what exactly they are in for. The Fringe has everything and I mean everything. The other afternoon I was flyered for a show about a mother and daughter that do performance art involving Japanese erotic rope binding and suspension from ceilings, all based on a true story as well according to the flyer. I read the flyer and think, “I am glad I don’t have to emcee that show. “

The show goes well but towards the end a few people start to succumb to the heat so I cut a few jokes and the show short out of mercy. Bob Slayer told me I could build my own air conditioner with a Styrofoam box and a fan and that I can learn to make on the internet. I vaguely remember other comics doing something similar in years past and wonder why this isn’t on a “Welcome to the Fringe! Here are directions on how to build your own air conditioner!” given with your members card and lanyard. 

Early to bed tonight as we have a dental visit in the morning. Boo-yeah.

This daily blog will not be proofread or spelling or punctuation, just like Chortle.

Click here for more info about my Fringe 2019 show.

I’m doing the Edinburgh Fringe this year and I’ve already fucked it up 2019: Entry 8 Hell has got to be cooler than this.

Holy shit.  The room is still too hot. As it turns out changing the temperature from 40 degrees Celsius to 38 does  not a comfortable room make. 

The 20  multi-color cooling towels hikers use and the primary-color hand fans that I bought seemed to help a bit while also making the audience look like members of a Southern gay Pentecostal Church. It was Sunday after all. 

I asked the venue a day before  if I could have three buckets of ice to deposit throughout the room. They agree to let me do that. On the day, they give me one big bucket which is probably more than the three small buckets put together but is not what I need. I need to distribute ice throughout this small room for it to work. Because the bar is busy and I never know how many buckets will be available, I think I am going to have to go out and buy a bunch of buckets.  I place the big bucket in front of the fan.

The hiking towels need to be dunked in water, rung out and snapped for the fabric’s cooling to I activate so I am outside my venue dunking  and twisting towels in a water-filled champagne bucket. I look like a pioneer woman doing  laundry. 

I have 20 towels but only six or seven take the towels. “ What are these? Your panties?!” one punter says in the back just before the start of the show and when there is still air in the room. 5 minutes later, as breathable air becomes less and less available, people started requesting the towels. “Can you throw me one?” Yes. Yes I can. 

Two lovely people who had seen me do a short spot came after I specifically told them not to. I had done some of my best bits from my show in my short spot so why bother ? They are lovely locals and are among the few that seemed relatively impervious to the heat while everyone around them is melting like the Wicked Witch of the West. 

The room is full and the show starts out great. People are laughing and fanning, fanning and laughing but with each burst of laughter the room gets ever so slightly warmer than it was before. 

As the show goes on,  people are struggling with the heat and losing. At one point, there is so little room in the air, people are a little giddy like a sea diver that has come up to the surface a little too quickly or a masturbator about to die from erotic asphyxiation. It feels like a tough mudder for paraplegics and then three people about to faint, leave. God love ‘em. They did their best to make it to the end. 

My bucket speech is still shit but I have bigger fish to freeze. I have two choices. I can take my audience outside somewhere where I will bit the head of of any flyerer that would dare to poach them or I can limit my  audience to half its capacity while taking the same measures I have to keep it cool. Today, I am going to try  to let my flyerer do all the flyering for me (Though I am quite proud of the fact I am pretty good at getting people that would enjoy my show in. Several years of flyering wrong and reading Seth Godin’s books on marketing have taught me a lot.) 

Oh, and I have to go to the dentist. Good times!

This daily blog will not be proofread for spelling or punctuation, just like Chortle.

Click here for more info about my 2019 Edinburgh Show 

It’s not the Fringe until you’ve seen your flyer disintegrating on Cowgate pavement.

It’s not the Fringe until you’ve seen your flyer disintegrating on Cowgate pavement.


I’m doing the Edinburgh Fringe this year and I’ve already fucked it up 2019: Entry 6

I don’t know why I contemplated joining a steam room with some other performers when it turns out I am performing in a sauna every night. 

Every comedian complains about how chilly Scotland is in August and how roasting it is in the venues. It is often uncomfortably hot but my room is ridiculous this year. Everyone who went in to the show with curly hair came out with damp straight hair. The only ones not fazed by the heat were the Scottish punters that  could somehow pretend they were on a tropical island that smelled like a cave people dance in.

I am happy that everyone in the audience is facing in the right direction. I’ve learned you need punters not to be able to look at other punters faces when watching dark comedy or they will start to wonder what other people think of them. That said, my room is too hot to think in. I am rushing the show every so slightly in order to distract them from how hot it is. In a way I feel like a child in the back seat of the car desperately trying to entertain the family on the summer vacation drive across the US in a car with no air conditioning and the windows rolled up and oxygen becomes less and less available.  I thought one punter hated it but it turns out he was just trying not to faint. I am working on a solution.

A lovely couple from Nottingham that had seen me at the Glee Club few weeks ago came as well as a punter with a massive guitar who came a few minutes late. I did not let in a woman who asked to come in after a half hour had passed. I am considering not letting in any latecomers at all, it’s not like I am in an auditorium where punters can quietly sit in the back unnoticed. It feels more like someone asking if  they can join a dinner party in progress while the host is telling a story everyone is into. We all get pulled out of the story as we all move over to make room. It is not ideal. 

I go to an industry bar hoping to run into someone I know to spitball possible solutions. Everyone suggests getting a fan but there is zero cool air coming in that it will just exacerbate the situation and it just makes me think of Ebola.  I will try some ideas I have tonight as my big solution from Amazon is coming tomorrow. We will see how that goes.

I then lost my phone. I retraced my steps from the industry bar back to the venue and had no luck finding it there. I then remember googling “How  to cool a hot room” and getting the answer, “Sleep like an Egyptian” (Apparently, that is a thing) near the industry bar. It seems my phone had fallen out on the couch I was sitting on when I realized it was gone and was just behind me the whole time I was looking for it.  Someone turned it in at the bar. 

I go home having made my Fitbit very happy and crash into bed.

This daily blog will not be proofread for spelling or punctuation, just like Chortle.

Click here for details about my Edinburgh Fringe 2019 show

61513803_10156559295524613_7108459058595627008_o.jpg

I’m doing the Edinburgh Fringe this year and I’ve already fucked it up 2019: Entry 5

 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.

Click here for details about my Edinburgh Fringe 2019 show

I’m doing the Edinburgh Fringe this year and I’ve already fucked it up 2019: Entry 3

Hello from Edinburgh! 

After taking yet the wrong exit out of Edinburgh Waverley Station , I have found and settled into my digs for the month with my portable rice cooker. 

My host has requested that we not charge phones or chargers overnight as “these things are known to cause fires”. Fair enough. I am now worried that my portable rice cooker might start a fire because it is called  the “insta-shef” and anything that spells “chef” with an “sh” probably has a warning in the small print about it “catching phire easily” 

I had a preliminary walk around town. I love this time of the festival when everybody still has hope and hasn’t seen a flyer for their show in the gutter yet. The venues are still setting up  and building things, even the paid venues are, which always surprises me. 

I ran into the lovely Paul Currie about sea swimming and had a chat with my friend Lucy about possibly joining something that has a sauna or steam room for the month. We’ll see how that goes.

Oh the plans we make just before the fringe starts! Everyone I know is thinking about going to the gym while they are here but that is never going to happen.  I’ve been here less than a day and my Fitbit has already orgasmed 5 times.

Just before I went to bed, I bought tickets to a preview for  show for the next day that I knew I would not have time to see once the festival got started. Previews are the best.  They get loads of people because the tickets are half-price or cheaper and I love being around fellow frugals, they are smart, savy people eager to laugh.  When my boyfriend bought me an expensive gift for Christmas, it made me happy. It made me even happier when he told me he had searched for vouchers online and got it for 30% off.

I went to buy the ticket when I realized I couldn’t find my wallet. It was missing from my bag and I panicked. I first thought I must have left it at Tesco’s.  “Every Edinburgh there is a disaster and losing my wallet before the festival has even started is mine. Maybe one of my flatmates stole it while I was in the shower! I knew this room was too good to be true!” I called my boyfriend and he told me to relax. He loses his wallet all the time. It’s no big deal.” Which is fine for him. I am not the kind of person that loses their wallet. I’m he kind of person that gets hit by a bus triple checking in the middle of the street that she has her wallet in her bag. 15 minutes later, I find the wallet under my bed as it must have fallen out when I took out the shopping. This is going to be a long month.

This daily blog will not be proofread for spelling or punctuation mistakes just like Chortle.

Click here for details about my 2019 Edinburgh show.

I have been here for less than a day and my Fitbit has orgasmed 5 times already.

I have been here for less than a day and my Fitbit has orgasmed 5 times already.

I am doing the Edinburgh Fringe and I've already fucked it up 2019 Diary: Entry 1

It’s that time of the year again. The Edinburgh Fringe is starting in a few days and I’ve just renewed my Squarespace webpage subscription and am thinking “I should be getting more out of this website that I never look at or update. How can I get more people to look at it without updating it?! I know! I’ll just pretend it is 2004 and start a blog!” 

I’ve been doing the Edinburgh fringe since 2010 and the one thing it has taught me is that every year when I finish I think to myself, ” I have experienced every challenge  Edinburgh  can throw at someone doing a free show. You can’t surprise me anymore!” The next year, I am promptly surprised and baffled as soon as the flat keys are handed to me. 

This year I have already surprised myself by putting the wrong start date on the posters and flyers. The start date is supposed to be  1-25 of August but I have written 2-26th of August! So smart of me to get my first fuck-up out of the way even before I get on the train.  My spirit animal, Sarah Conner, would not be proud. 

Because this will be a daily blog and I am typing with one hand, I will not be proofreading for spelling or punctuation so forgive me like you do Chortle. And now I’m off to carry out my favorite financial mistake of the year…

It should read 1-25 August

It should read 1-25 August