Spring Day Comedian

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.


I’m doing the Edinburgh Fringe this year and I’ve already fucked it up 2019: Entry 15 More Rain Please

It has been pissing rain since the morning. I am awake an hour earlier than I should be and know I will regret it. It turns out I am doing three spots  in addition to my show in at 9:05 pm.

It is a Sunday audience and my theory about them has developed over the many years I have been at the Fringe. Sunday people are tired as they slowly recover from whatever they did to themselves over the weekend. Their brains are in a state of light sleep and cannot be arsed to think. They are squeezing as much fun out of their last day on vacation as thy possibly can and this is never really very fun, like drinking a milkshake after it’s all gone. 

With these audiences you have to be the ones having fun and the tired audience is usually quite happy to live vicariously through you. One of the spots is in a venue with benches which I hate with a passion. Benches  are the worst. They are shitty for your back and nobody wants to sit on them after 10 minutes. People are sitting the booth type seats built into the wall all around the room, “lap dance seats “ as I call them as I first saw them in a documentary about exotic dancers years ago. Nobody used the benches to sit in.The audience use the benches as tables for their drinks and one guy takes out a tin, puts it on the bench and starts eating lentils while everyone watches. This is not the atmosphere of a comedy show. This feels like the waiting room for a backpacker’s vaccine clinic. Nobody is responding to set-up punchline jokes at all. All they responded to was crowd work so I did that for the rest of my time and got out of there. You are only as good as your last gig. Whatever that was, it was not a gig but I enjoyed insulting people that enjoyed being insulted.  

I have coffee with Yuriko Kotani in a super hip coffee shop that have very expensive uncomfortable benches. Her show is doing very well this Fringe and we talk about performing in hot rooms. I bitch to her about things only someone familiar with Japan would relate to and find out Richard Gadd had done a show in the room I am doing now and that was nice to know. I do love my room. I love that it is intimate, has chairs with backs on them and everyone is facing the right way. I just wish it wasn’t so damn hot.

Since it has been pissing rain nonstop from the morning, my room is a little cooler than usual.  I have a surprisingly full room of people who have responded well to my flyerer’s strategized technique. At the beginning of the show, I hand out fans and have hiking towels ready but the audience only uses the fans. A few audience members struggle with the heat but don’t keel over. The show and audience really came together and it felt and sounded like a proper night out. I was very proud of the show which was only marred by a clumsy bucket speech and a card reader that refused to work. 

I am very happy to be home by 10:37 and asleep by 12:30. Victory is mine.

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

Click here for more info about my Fringe 2019 show.

Word of mouth…

Word of mouth…

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.


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 7

Show day three and it is the first Saturday of the Fringe. The holiday makers have settled into their hotels and are walking around town bewildered with backpacks looking like freshman at their first day at uni.

Since I overdid my walking the day before, I do my best to stay in the flat as long as possible to give my legs a rest. I have very mild cerebral palsy that affects the right side of my body. Naked, I look like my dominant left side of my body has been beating up the comparatively  scrawny right side for its lunch money for a few decades. My left side has been working overtime and I don’t want to piss it of this early in the fringe. I don’t leave the flat till 2:00.

I go a do a spot at Funny Cluckers at the Three Sisters. It is Ian Fox’s compilation show of adult humor and Saturday’s audience was full but very sober. No boozy brunch for these people. They were nice and got onboard with the show eventually. 

Afterwards, I walk to the Meadows park listening to a podcast with my headphones on about how women shouldn’t walk around with headphones on because they could get attacked and raped. I took one headphone out of my ear mid-podcast. 

My temporary solution  to turn my nightly sauna into a comedy room before my more permanent solution arrives from Amazon is putting bags of ice throughout the room. Low and behold it works! Especially since someone put in a fan.  A bucket of ice in front of a fan did manage to bring the temperature in the room down from a boil to a simmer. 

We had a full house last night. So full that I had to stand on the sofa to be seen by everyone, even in that tiny room. 

The show is going well. I am tweaking bits here and there but generally the show is in good shape. I am rushing the show a bit still since the room is so hot. I am doing my best to give the audience no time to even think about how hot it is. I sound like an audiobook being read at 1.5x speed. 

I am still shit at the bucket speech but that should improve in time. I used to think I was a good salesman as a kids because I sold a lot of candy bars for school fundraisers. Looking back I realize a disabled little girl hawking chocolate bars door-to-door by herself  is hard to say not to.  A disabled adult that just made you sit in a sauna for an hour…well, didn’t they just prove in sweat how much they liked your show? Why should they give you a tenner? My solution which should arrive today or tomorrow will hopefully help.

Afterwards, I ran into Chris Betts, a very funny Canadian walking out of one of the Monkey Barrel extension rooms. He was on his way to see Glen Wool work on new material and I tagged along. Wool was amazing as usual.  I’ve seen Glen Wool live a few times and we did the same gig once last year. He is a nice guy whose leather vest and saunter  always makes me think of the Bounty Hunter in Raising Arizona,  especially now that he has a baby. During the show  I wonder if he will get a pair of bronzed baby shoes and attach it to his belt.

On my way home, I run into a friend that 8 years ago, at the fringe, introduced me to my now boyfriend and has said my favorite sentence of the Fringe ever. “I can’t flyer for you now Spring. I have to crochet a scarf.”

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

Click here for more info about my 2019 Edinburgh Show


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


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.