2014 Gig One Hundred and Twenty Two: Edinburgh Fringe

As you may have read in the previous blog I was feeling a little flat toward the end of Friday night.  It was a weird feeling as I had just enjoyed performing my show but after it was over a sudden malaise set in which inspired me to return home early.  I think the lack of sleep due to the construction work taking place across the road from Monday to Saturday had finally done me in.  With that in mind I chose to go to bed much earlier than normal in the hope of grabbing some sleep. When I woke up I had been able to knock off 7 hours sleep and was feeling much better. I nailed the work I had to sort out in the morning and left the house for a wander around the city.  I had no idea where I was going to head but allowed myself the opportunity to just have some time to myself.  Also the day looked like this:

 

You have to embrace those blue skies when they arrive.

 

I spent the majority of the day just looking at the sights and found a bookstore that had a cafe with free Wi Fi.  I answered some personal messages and even did a little bit of work writing down ideas for what next year's show might be.  It was a calm and relaxing afternoon that was finished with me returning to the flat and cooking myself dinner.  I am a typical man when it comes to cooking as I have about two dishes in my repertoire but I find cooking to be quite relaxing.  Getting back to something as mundane as preparing your own meals helped add a touch of normalcy to the whole Edinburgh experience.

After dinner I caught up with the Fan Fiction Kids from New Zealand who were celebrating their 100th show.  They've been working hard over here and their shows have been hitting the mark with a lot of great word of mouth.  Up at their flat I shared a drink or two to celebrate their milestone and Heidi took a photo of me for their wall.

 

My ghostly presence takes up the top left corner.

 

From there it was time to head to my show.  With the weather in our favour there were plenty of people milling about to check out what shows were on.  I finished my flyering and left Taco and Geraldine Hickey to do the final hour.  Then it was off to prepare for my show.  The set list was:

 

Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994

 

This was the biggest crowd yet!  I was pretty pumped when they kept piling in and we managed to fill all the rows bar one.  It was a great mixture of old and young, men and women.  Since this was my biggest audience of the run I had to be careful not to perform too quickly.  When you have a discrepancy in sizes you can easily pitch your performance a little too quick or slow but after a couple of minutes I discovered the tempo and dug in for a fun night.

With the audience giving so much I could enjoy the changes in tempo that are built into the script.  The big laughs went down a treat and the little jokes that are placed in the story to move the narrative forward all received the proper responses.  You have to change the tempo within your humour if you're going to have serious moments in your show.  My show is about my trip to Afghanistan to perform for the Australian troops and since the story takes place in a war zone there are going to be some serious moments in the story.  To earn them you have to change gear with your jokes as you can't always go from a big laugh to a serious moment.  It won't ring true and some people might not pick up the shift in tone.  You need some smaller jokes that will slow you down for your serious moments and then you can build it back up for your big gags.  The audience last night was so great that I could enjoy the nuance of the show and the style of performance that allows me onstage.

 

Yep...this scared me just a little as I walked through the meadows.

 

At the end of the night I could hear some of the loveliest compliments about the show as the audience shuffled out.  After I left the venue I caught up with Taco and his mate for a bit before meeting up with my friends Claire and Gideon for a drink at the Underbelly. I also caught up with Sam Simmons and his wife and my old friend Jon Bennett.  At just after midnight I had enjoyed such a great day that I decided to call it quits.  I figured why stay out an extra hour when I could get home and score another decent sleep.  The best thing about Sundays?  No construction work in the morning.  I slept in all the way until 9am.  I'm surprised I haven't woken with bed sores as that is the longest sleep I've had in ages.  Now it is time to start the day and prepare for tonight's show.  It begins again.

 

Justin Hamilton

10th of August, 2014

Edinburgh