Yesterday I could definitely feel the fatigue. I have been doing pretty well physically even with a diet of mostly bad food and slightly more drinking than I'm used to these days. The great thing about checking shows out during the day and flyering is that you're still scoring quite a bit of exercise even if it is bordering on the Cliff Young shuffle variety. (If that reference flies over your head click on this.) I am starting to feel tired mentally though and have to really concentrate in the lead up to the show to make certain I'm in the moment when I hit the stage. There are many contributing factors to this. Sleeping in a foreign bed for extended periods of time can tire you out. The constant flyering is exhausting. There is so much concentrated energy in this festival that you can bounce from one encounter (where someone is having the best night ever) to another (where someone is having the worst night ever) and not realise the contradictory energies you're taking on board. I've had nights where I've talked people off the ledge after a particularly tough gig only to arrive home and not really know how I felt about my own. That can be a boon sometimes but it also can leave me feeling mildly disorientated.
I have had one flat night during the festival and came after my show on the second Friday. I still don't know why I felt so out of it after that particular gig as it had gone really well and I had a bumper audience. I just felt a mild malaise and retreated to my Edinburgh abode to sleep it out. After a restless night I was back on track the following day. I had a similar experience last night. I think I may be across why this one felt tougher though. My Saturday had been so good that it was natural to discover a drop off in energy on the Sunday. I was prepared for this and while the audience was a good one I found it difficult to find that extra gear. Here is the set list:
Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994
Once again the audience was excellent and really good numbers for a slow Sunday. It was all on me for this one as I just found it hard to find that extra bit of va va voom in my performance. I would notice at moments that I was slightly disconnected with my material and would make the effort to refocus mid routine to get myself back on track. Then somewhere within the next routine I would have lost focus again. Repeat, rinse, etc. I spoke to a friend who was in the show about how I was having difficulty in maintaining focus and gratefully she had not noticed this at all. Another good reason why you should never point out what is happening in your head to the audience: you might be the only person having that experience and therefore may derail your show with too much honesty.
After the gig I checked out Wil Anderson, Cal Wilson and Sam Simmons at "Best of the Fest" with all three proving why they're world class talent. I returned home a little later than normal and by the time I hit the pillow I was ready for sleep. Only a week to go and I have a feeling that come next Sunday night I will have timed my run well. I feel I definitely have seven shows left in me and then that will be it!
18th of August, 2014