I am back from Winnipeg. I had a great time and met some fantastic people. These are my lessons, or takeaways if you’re in marketing. Or a Chinese restaurant in England.
- Tape dispenser guns are evil, sabre-toothed demons and the sellers of them have blood on their hands. Mostly my husband Erik’s, whose finger shred when postering on day 1 left bloody prints in multiple unexpected places.
- I am able to be bubbly and outgoing for about as long as it takes Erik to recognize and be impressed that I am being bubbly and outgoing. After which I am called out by a snake and have to eat an apple and put some clothes on.*
- I can really get into food truck vegetarian samosas – like OMG they’ve totally captured all my attention and focus and nothing else around me matters but the intense experience of eating this samosa – if I’m on my own in the beer tent and I don’t know anyone else there.
- I am not brave, at least not for doing this show. And I told the woman so. But if she had meant my having a short haircut? (and not asking my husband if he’s ok with it). Then hell yes, I am one brave MF.
- Seeing your show name on the ‘Sold Out Shows’ board at Fringe Central is amazing.
I would imagine.
- If I cannot make coffee first thing in the morning without having to put real clothes on and risk having a conversation then I need to stay somewhere else. Don’t all college dorm rooms come with a Keurig these days?
- It’s not important what other people believe about you. It’s only important where you believe your show stacks up against everyone elses. Especially performers who’ve been doing this for years. Yep, those are the best ones to compare yourself to.
- I should never be given access to ticket pre-sales numbers. I wonder if the festival organizers can see how many times a performer accessed their personal presale page. Could I put the award for maximum refresh hits as a laurel on next year’s poster?
- Was it a standing ovation or did they all have another show to be at right after. Hard to tell with 30 people in the dark. I just kept bowing and outstretching my arm in the general direction of the tech booth.
- I totally understand how nice it must be for the Queen to hear the national anthem when she comes into a room. Nothing better for me waiting in the wings to hear Roger’s drumroll and then those first notes on Brian May’s red special. Sets the tone of superiority before I even say a word.
- Carrying a leather briefcase on the bus to my venue felt pretty much as it did when I was 11. But the Canadians were too polite to ask about my expandable gusset.
- Flyering other people’s line-ups (the queue for a more popular performer’s show) felt about as rude and non-British as I imagined it would. I tried but kept getting flashbacks to FronteraFest in Austin when my nemesis tried to nab my audience members on the way out of seeing my solo show by telling them ‘that show had 6 characters, but mine has 11’. She knows who she is.
- I ordered way too many postcards and had 500 left on my last show day. But it’s hard to look into the big bug eyes of an 18 month-year-old baby in a beret and then rip her face in two (repeat x 500). So if anyone wants a souvenir or 20…?
- Comedy clubs do not have plushy velour seats. My venue did. A whopping 180 of them in fact. It was perfect for the napping section of the show, which the audience would kindly take in turns to enjoy. Hahaha.
*Credit: St Mary’s Church Sunday School, circa 1974.
See you next year, Winnipeg. Maybe. Possibly. If I win the lottery. The Fringe one. Not the real one. If that happens I’ll just buy the Fringe. Or Winnipeg.