spring day comedian

I'm doing the Edinburgh Fringe and I've already Fucked it up: Entry 22 intracranial orgasm

I am up and out of the flat by noon and am pretty proud of myself. The Rose McGowan show is on the Mound a venue I always forget exists because it it huge and removed from the hubbub of the more pedestrian George Square. I suppose it is the place an act should aim to one day play but it always seems elusive and lonely to me as a building. 

I genuinely didn’t know what to expect and if I am completely honest, I still don’t know what I saw. It was a sort of high-tech listening party of an album McGowan had recorded that “used all of the sound tricks Hollywood used to manipulate us” for good and healing instead of evil. There is a slide show at the very beginning explaining her background and promoted her book “Brave”. Having just paid 22 pounds for a ticket, I didn’t like being advertised her book as soon as the show started and felt my arms cross. I was just about to say “ Fuck this.” And then she walked on stage in a sort of ethereal, angelic yogi and shapeless princess Leia dress pant. She can command an audience and just when you think she might be mentally checked out there she lets you know she is sharp as a tack and in on the joke. 

She asks the audience to close their eyes a lot and walks us through visualizations. There is a lot of artsy stuff going on on the screen behind her and I want to see it. She has a habit of telling people to close their eyes but not telling them when to open them. At one point, she asks us to keep our eyes closed for the duration of a particular song. I oblige but when the song ends she informs us that if we had opened our eyes, we would have seen the artwork she had made out of video of her that was put up on porn hub. I get her point but I would have liked to have seen that. 

After the show, she says she will be signing books after the show. I have a place to be but decide to pick up a book anyway. I ask a Chinese student waiting in line what she thought of the show and she said she had come because, “I like the show Charmed.”  and then said “ I think someone hurt her.”

One of the songs made the Chinese student think of a word she needed to look up in google translate “intracranial orgasm”. I think that pretty much sums up the show for me. Something I have never heard of,  expected to see and not the easiest to explain. I am glad I went, it did take me out of the Fringe bubble and I did leave feeling refreshed.  So that was nice.

That’s what she said.

That’s what she said.

My show went well and was a typical Sunday show in that everyone is lower energy than Friday and Saturday crowds but definitely have longer attention spans. A heavily-medicated person fell asleep in the show which is just as well. A fellow comedian and I talk after the show about how every female comedian she knows has a stalker and how blasé we all are about them. At least mine is too sleepy to do anything.

Boyfriend is in town tomorrow and these dogs are barking so early to bed for me.

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: Entry 19 Watersports world

I had so many grand plans for yesterday. I was going to go to a ballet at 1:00 and got there 3 minutes too late. They allowed late comers but you don’t get the full effect. So I go get breakfast at a cafe near the Meadows instead. 

A friend of mine that used to live in Japan and now lives in Glasgow, David,  gets in touch and wants to meet up after his meeting while he’s in Edinburgh. The meeting is 3 hours longer than he expected so  I wander around Edinburgh’s many many Harry Potter shops. There are about 6 or 7 of them in the center of town, there was only one or two of them last year. I am only surprised by how long it took this city to cash in on the Harry Potter train since JK Rowling lives and wrote a lot of it here.  I love the Harry Potter stuff. It’s a nice little world to escape to every now and again. They even sell the bottled butter beer that made my boyfriend and I instantly sick.  There are a few shops that sell totes and mugs with Harry Potter in Edinburgh inspired and very busy fan art that is fun to look at. After three hours of wandering, my friend and  finally meet and catch up quickly about an hour before my show. 

The show is full and the room is very warm. A lot of people in the audience do not know what they are in for and have “only come down for the comedy” There are three uni students and a teacher in the audience who’s ex-pupil was sitting in front of her. Thank god they weren’t on a date. We have a fun time getting the giggles. 

David has seen me do comedy  in Japan years ago and we talked about how the material has changed and how since it has been almost four years since leaving Japan, my Japanese material is less and less relevant. It always bothered me that my Japan stories made me sound middle class. It is hard to explain to audiences that teaching English in Japan is probably one of the only well-paying jobs for Liberal Arts degree graduates that makes paying back your American student loans a possibility. I managed to pay my loan off in a little over ten years by living in essentially a hostel for a large amount of that time but I have yet to meet any peers that stayed in America that were able to do the same.  I am a unicorn in that respect.  In any case, it is nice to have someone that has seen you at an earlier stage in your career see you grow. 

I do the Imaginary Porno Charades after and learn that waterports is a sex act. That is what I like about this show. I learn something new every time. It’s like if sex were a menu and there is this whole list of options I didn’t know were available because the pages were stuck together with jizz.

I have wine with a a very funny comedian and her mother. We talk a lot about the idea that some people have. “ You have to be poor to be an artist.” I disagree,  in my opinion, a lot of people think, “ In order to be an artist,  you have to be screwed over.” It is a more active approach with the same result. We also talked about the morality of recommending a bad show. I think it is great as long as  you are not recommending it to a reviewer. There are so many smart and brilliant shows at the fringe that a show that is accidentally brilliant is a real pearl that should be shared with those that can appreciate it’s brilliance. 

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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.

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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 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 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.

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