As Edinburgh trudges inevitably towards the get-out I find myself ill in bed. Proper snotty, chicken soup, hot/cold ill. Yuk! I almost collapsed during the show yesterday. Since then I’ve spent the time re-cooperating; listening to This American Life and steaming my head. I’m getting there. I’m dreading the show today but I’ve only got two more to do and it’s a Saturday so we’ll probably have quit a big crowd. I can’t afford (literally, financially afford) to not do the show. I should be ok. Taxi there and back and plenty of water.
The Fringe is too long. This time last year I wasn’t out of bed till 3pm everyday. No illness – just soul-crushing ennui and hopelessness. And we had a good year. I’ve had good year this year as well, and I’m still feeling the ennui. I doubt even the winner of tonight’s Edinburgh Comedy Award would want to go on for any longer. The worst of it is that I know I’m not at my best (even before the tissues and throat-spray) and anyone seeing my now for the first time would probably not want to come back for more.
So what’s the solution? With the festival so much more busy on the first two weekends than the last two, and all the reviews (or most of them) coming out in the first 20 days or so, the obvious solution would be to just do the first two weeks. But then that wouldn’t cost any less money, except you’d be doing seven less shows. That’s about £1000-£2000 in income, depending on how well the show is doing. So we have to just keep on plugging away, with small audiences, worn-out performers and increasingly grubby, dank venues. Which given my current state are clearing breeding grounds for disease.
Ho-hum. Still it is almost over and in a week no doubt I’ll be missing it and chomping at the bit for next year. Except there ain’t going to be a next year. I’m having a year off. I’m going to see if I can get by without this ridiculously expensive (and yet incredibly magical) trade fair. I know I know, it’s more than just a trade fair, and I’ve no doubt I’ll be back, but for now I’m going to follow the advice to give myself in the show and let a little of Saint Monday into my life.