BP5: Edinburgh Fringe 2019 Preparation
Written by Jamie Henville
Hello you lovely lot! (But not you Gran. I don't care if you're old, it's completely unacceptable to hurl abusive nicknames like "the Fat Controller" or "Dale the Whale" at your overweight neighbour. It's also unacceptable to throw excrement at the Metropolitan police, get out your rolling pin and shout "Come on then, let's hav' it you pigs!". But that was a story for another day. The point is, Gran, your behaviour is unacceptable; old, saggy and wrinkly or not).
On behalf of my Gran, folks, I apologise. And not just because she wouldn't apologise (believe me, she wouldn't). But I'm guessing you hadn't clicked on the title of this entry to read unsavoury stories about my Gran. If you have, don't worry, my next entry has more unsavoury tales about her trailblazing, excrement throwing days, so stick around.
You've come to read about our Edinburgh Fringe Preparations! Well as I slave over my laptop, hard at work while I lay on a sunbed on the sunny Greek island of Rhodes, beer in hand by the pool, I hope you'll feel terribly sorry for me. Thanks guys, I appreciate it. The rather clever (and dare I say good-looking) lot of you will have noticed that this is my first entry as part of the Brightside Blog. Unfortunately, Max was trying his hand at some acrylic self-portrait painting with a mirror, but the brush slipped and now it won't come out one of his crevices for love nor money, so I'm fronting this one while he's in A&E. I'll let you guess which crevice.
Speaking of artwork (if you can call an acrylic painting of Max's bottom, artwork), we've just concluded our second draft of our A3 poster and A6 leaflets for the Fringe! So look around for these, whether you're heading to Edinburgh this August or not. We also filmed our trailer a few weeks ago, so maybe when you read this that might be circulating the internet like a political meme-crazed geek (of which I am one of them).
Edinburgh Fringe is an amazing, exciting, one of a kind adventure to be enjoyed and savoured. Least that's what some people tell you. Polished pros of Fringe may tell you. I and, we, are not polished pros... Yet! We'd love to think we are, but truth is this August will be our debut at any arts festival. What the fringe really is, is a scary, worrying and thought-provoking journey that requires, well, an awful lot of thought! But most people say that, too. So what's your biggest fear of taking a show to Edinburgh for the fringe? No one shows up to your show? Not breaking even on your venue fee? Not getting any good reviews to brag about? Well, truth is, all of these things can and, for the most part, probably will happen at some point. Thing is with debuting at a place like Edinburgh, starting a theatre company or just putting on a show anywhere with little to no prior experience is, you're starting at the bottom of the food chain; and I mean the very bottom. Lower down than a fly snacking on my Gran's launched excrement... Now there's a nasty thought! We've all ignored someone who was flyering in the street. That will be Brightside while up in Edinburgh!
Preparing for the Fringe, I'm not worried about only two people showing up at our show and you shouldn't be worried either. I'll be disappointed, naturally, but also excited. That's two extra people that know about my work. Thing is, the Fringe and subsequently any industry is all about perseverance. I've heard a lot of fringe experts talk about how their first run in Edinburgh, they experienced the same. Each year going back, more and more people knew who they were and what their work was about. So please, don't get bogged down in pre-fringe sales or your social media following. If you don't believe me, just ask anyone that has done fringe a number of times. David William Bryan always makes me feel better. Three people turned up at his first Edinburgh show in 2017, and now, two years later, he's doing TWO sold out one-man shows every single day for the full run. Seriously, how does he do it?
The most important thing people say in preparation is to network; make friends with other companies and other shows. It's others who will make you feel good about your successes and failures. Go see some shows of other first-timers. Tell them about it! I know for a fact we haven't said no to a single production company who've asked us to attend their show (except for JLS: The Musical. You guys suck and are just obnoxious).
If you are a first-timer heading to the Fringe, give us a DM or an email. We'd love to hear from you! And even if you're a polished pro get in touch. It would be great to chat over a beer, some haggis or a lean, bean, vegan sandwich made by Dean while we're all up in Edinburgh.
Except you, Gran. You can stay at the old folks home. Your poop-slinging kind aren't welcome here.
Thank you greatly for making it this far and reading it all (Mum), I appreciate it.
Until next time,