2014 Gig One Hundred and Eleven: Edinburgh Fringe and Gig One Hundred and Twelve: Best of the Fest

Yesterday was the type of summer's day that we would describe back in Australia as "winter".  Grey skies and continuous rain didn't inspire me to leave the house until a little later in the day.  Funnily enough I found flyering to be the easier than any of the previous days and I wonder if it was because the punters felt sorry for us as we traipsed around in the drizzle attempting to sell our shows?  It was inspiring to see my fellow comedians working their arses off in the rain and while I can't speak for them I felt we'd earned our audiences last night.  

This gives you a little idea of the weather from yesterday.

 

I approached my show with a new idea that I think paid off.  I've been attempting to find ways to give the audience more of an idea of who I am earlier in the show without ruining the basic integrity and structure of the story.  For those of you who have read the previous blogs you will know that I have moved material from late in the show right up the front and I've also introduced material into the show that hasn't been there before. Last night I used an old skill that I hadn't used in over a decade.  The set list was:

 

Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994

 

Back in 2001 I had seen Meshel Laurie's show "The Whore Whisperer" and had marvelled at how she would stand on the stage and greet the audience when they entered the room. It was a great way of introducing herself before launching into her fantastic show. I had cribbed this idea back in 2002 for "Justin Sane" (see what I did there? Yeah, you all did) and I thought it would be a good idea to return to this for my Edinburgh run.  Since I hadn't done this for a while I didn't know how it would play out but how can you know unless you give something a go?  Before the show began I greeted the audience at the door and once everybody was in I had a chat with them about a few aspects of the show.

 

One:  How did they find out about the show?

Two:  Did they know what the show was about?

Three:  I explained the structure of the show.

 

This appeared to work a treat as it built a rapport before the story began. I then walked backstage and after the Assembly Room's safety announcement my intro music began and we were into the show.  I think in hindsight though we may have to change my intro music because we now have such a different energy to begin the show.  I'm going to be thinking about this for most of the day but as the show evolves everything is up for grabs. I'm loving the work that is going into every performance so far.  It feels like my show has become a Rubik's Cube that needs to be sorted every day.

After the show I had the highest percentage of punters waiting for me to have a chat and congratulate me on the show.  That would seem to me that the exercise was a success. It was at the very least a success last night.  I'll give it another go tonight and build on it from there.  I also met these guys, Jo and J.T. who not only came to the show but hung around to buy me a drink.

 

These kids were delightful and hilarious.

 

After having a drink I was off to perform at the "Best of the Fest" down at Assembly Hall. It was a beautiful room where (and if anyone knows otherwise feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) the Scottish Parliament used to sit.  I was on with a line up that included James Acaster, Marcel Lucont, Marlon Davis, Holly Walsh and Jimeoin. It was a big show that started at midnight and I was pretty pumped to be a part of the line up.

 

Partying During the Week

I'm 40

Invite to Parties

Hairy Baby

Glitter In Invitations

People Wearing Your Glasses

Spooning

 

I really enjoyed the opportunity to get out in front of 600 people and belt out a ten minute set.  It was an interesting line up with Jim opening the night as he'd just flown into the country.  I enjoyed watching one of the legends from back home working the stage in another country and being reminded that no matter where he's dropped he's a cracking comedian.

I had a moment with one of my routines where I realised that one of the references might not work. I had my suspicions just before I walked onstage so I made a decision to change it and see what would happen.  It was for my "Hairy Baby" routine where I suddenly wondered if they would have any idea what "eucalyptus oil" was?  Instead I changed it to "honey" which then necessitated me to change "koala bear" to "grizzly bear".  I know these seem like small changes but they do change the rhythm of the performance but it did mean I stayed focused for the whole set knowing it was looming just around the corner.

Overall I was pretty happy with my set and as I said earlier I was just chuffed to be a part of the line up.  It was a real opportunity to get out and work some different muscles. It was also a great way to knock off what had been a fun Saturday night.

 

Justin Hamilton

2nd of August, 2014

Edinburgh