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The big finale…

And just like that, it’s over!

Three weeks, 22 shows, multiple guest spots and anyone’s guess as to how many pies I ate!!

So the big finale came on Saturday… the Royal Mile was packed! I didn’t even bother flyering outside as it was already super busy down by the venue. The room was full by 18.20 and people were once again turned away.

The show itself was a strange one. The audience seemed subdued, big jokes not landing… maybe it was because it was so bloody hot in there or maybe it was just Fringe-fatigue. Either way, it felt like my Fringe run just fizzled out…

The bucket collection didn’t reflect a quiet show though – the second best one of the run! I guess you just never know with an audience!

And so it’s over. Done. ‘Heroic Failure’ is no more. I’ve had an absolute blast! I’ve made so many new friends, people who I hope I’ll be able to keep in touch with and then catch up with again next year. But the curtain has now come down on the 2018 Fringe.

Huge thanks to the venue, not only a fabulous location but the people running the place were absolutely first class. Being the venue captain never once felt like a chore and Stuart was always there should I have any queries at any point. I hope they’re able to accommodate PBH again next year because I’d love to return here.

The end is nigh

Tonight marked the penultimate performance of ‘Heroic Failure’ at this year’s Fringe.

A downpour in the hour running up to the show really threatened to derail things! The Mile was quiet as a result, which meant flyering was particularly challenging. Not to be beaten, I enlisted to help of my partner, who did his best to ensure I had an audience to perform to.

It worked! The room was full (well, a couple of seats short but let’s not split hairs!). An eclectic audience but also the most international one I’ve had this year: Colombia, Mexico, Spain, Poland, Czechia, US, India, Scottish English but no Welsh (we all know they don’t exist!).

It was a bit of a mixed one really, some of the big jokes failed to land yet some of the minor ones garnered a much bigger reaction! Ahhh, the randomness of the Fringe!

A decent enough bucket collection and one that leaves me in a great position going into the final day of the run. Jeez, I can’t believe that the end is now clearly in sight…

The unpredictability of the Fringe

As a fellow comedian said to me, many years ago: “the best thing about the Fringe is that even if you have a shit day, you always know that tomorrow will bring you a brand new audience”.

So I started the day with a final appearance at ‘AComedyTapas’. This audience made last night’s one seem huge! Still, one person or 100 people, that’s an audience, so the show must go on!

I managed to make all five people in the audience laugh – that’s all that matters, right? This was the final guest spot that I have booked for this year – I’ve resisted the urge to book more things – as I’d like to enjoy the final two days of the run!

Flyering did feel like a bit of a chore again tonight but people were still heading down the Close (having the sign outside helps so much). I went down to set up around 18.20 and could see a lot of people there.

I was given a random one card tarot reading by a guy outside. I picked out a card that apparently meant that I would be “quids in” today. Well, I guess I can live in hope!

When I returned to my room at 18.30, the place was rammed! We had to drag in a couple of extra seats!

And the audience? Bloody fantastic! Laughed all the way through, at the right bits and most definitely at the “wrong” bits!

Nice to see a couple of familiar faces in the room too (especially when I could see them both laughing throughout).

It’s crazy to think that I now only have two shows left to perform. That’s means 20-down! These past three weeks have sailed by! I’m now both sad and happy that the end is nigh…

Weird Wednesday…

Well… that was a strange one!

The day job dictated me not getting to the venue until just after 17.30. This has been the perfect time to flyer recently but today felt a bit different.

Things weren’t helped by the sign for the venue having been removed from the entry of the close… this sign had been great in getting people to come down and check out the venue. A makeshift was made late on but it was too late and the damage had been done.

Today I managed my lowest ever audience for a solo show: seven. Yes, seven. (Edit: it was really eight but one woman [and her dog] left halfway through).

As audiences go, they were actually really good – they laughed in all the right places and all seemed to actually get me. Sadly they didn’t seem to get the importance of the bucket: grim.

I hung around at the venue after and wrote some stuff that I was going to perform at Trigger Warning at 22.15. This meant that finally I had the chance to see the ‘Church of Phil’ show. I found it to be wonderfully bonkers although most of the audience seemed to have watched this one sail right over their heads. Oh, don’t worry Polly, I know your gay-conversion joke was just that (some people need to lighten up!).

So on to Trigger Warning! I have to admit that I’ve been really looking forward to this! It was a bit of a throwback to the stand up I used to perform years ago… you know, smutty! The idea of the show is to perform 5-minutes of clean material, followed by 5-minutes of dirty material later on. As predicted, I found it trickier to find five minutes of clean, although at least I managed the whole set without swearing!

The second part was dirty (as in: proper dirty). A small but wonderfully warm audience totally got behind everyone who performed! This was the very essence of quality over quantity!

Two shows tomorrow, which starts with my final appearance on ‘AComedyTapas’ for this year.

Three solo shows left. I got this.

One step closer…

The end of this year’s run is drawing in as today marked the first of the last five shows.

Miraculously I made it to the Mile for just after half five, which considering it took me almost an hour to get home from the day job, is pretty impressive!

It felt like I’d get a good crowd today, albeit probably not the mix that I’d desire. The room was full, every seat taken (we had to add extras), but it did feel like half the audience would probably be better suited at a different show!

A strange one… the show itself was good, I didn’t feel it went badly… I ended up having to start slightly late due to latecomers but I made it there in the end.

Afterwards I had to make a quick trip up the Mile to open for Davy Mitchell’s ‘Irony?’ show at Riddler’s Court. Despite there being as many comedians there as audience members, like the pro I am, I went ahead and opened. Okay, it was more like an informal chat but enjoyable all the same.

I didn’t get to stay due to having a commitment elsewhere which actually ended up being cancelled at the last minute! The joys!

Final quartet of shows for this year’s Fringe start tomorrow! Let’s do this!

Closing in…

The end draws ever closer as I approach the final six shows of this year.

I spent the day at the day job feeling incredibly tired. I think The Fringe is finally catching up with me!

After being delayed due to the erratic Lothian Buses due times, I didn’t make it to the venue until 17.40. The Mile was still busy and I was able to grab a fair few people and direct them down towards my venue!

When I finally got down there, I spent ten minutes with Stuart (our bar manager) in trying to get the sound set up to work. I ended up having to perform the show out of just the one speaker!

It was a strange gig. The room was very nearly full but it did feel like half of the personnel were definitely not a crowd suited to my material – yes, that certainly includes you, foldy-armed man in the third row!!

A lot of the material didn’t land, so I rattled through the show in 55-minutes. The bucket collection reflected the crowd’s own performance.

The evening didn’t end there though, we still had to flyer for our 22.15 showcase show, featuring five of the other acts from the venue.

Myself, Jeroen and Deepu did a great job of flyering the crowds on the Mile and we ended up a room that was a few seats short of full! Not bad for a show that we only decided to do in the middle of last week!

The crowd seemed suitably entertained: Jeroen’s weird humour didn’t by-pass them; Bill’s cheeky Aussie charm was working wonders; they were totally onboard with Ian Crawford (Jimmy Frinton)’s hilarious cutlery H&S inspector; Church of Phil were wonderfully absurd; and Deepu made sure we ended the night on a high with a top set to close things! We made an okay bucket – all to be donated to PBH in the final count.

Last five starts tomorrow!

Into the home straight…

A wet Sunday here in the capital but surprisingly the streets were far from being empty.

I started the day with a third appearance at Chris O’Neill’s’ ‘AComedyTapas’. Chris seems to have this wonderful ability to get an audience in, so it’s always fun to play here. I think some in the crowd must have been suffering from the effects of the night before because it took them a while to react to each of the comics they were faced with!

My set seemed to go down well – one woman declared that she “loved it!” as I was exit-flyering.

I headed over to the venue to collect a pile of Wee Blue Books, which were duly handed out on the Mile (each adorned with one of my own flyers).

Flyering for my show went well today – the excessive amounts of coffee that I had consumed was definitely helping.

I was presented with a room that fell four seats short of being full – for a Sunday, I’ll take that! And what a lovely crowd they were! They all laughed at the right bits and made the hour fly by!

It was also nice to see some familiar faces in the room, all of which seemed to be really enjoying the show!

I’m already starting to feel sad that there are just six shows left to go… this show has been such a huge part of my life for the past six months that when it finally finishes it will feel strange for it not to be there… I guess that’s just a reason to get on with writing the next one!

On we go to day 17 tomorrow!

Super Saturday strikes again!

Day 15 of my Fringe run and the busy day that was anticipated certainly came true!

Having not managed to get to sleep until after 04.00, I managed just over five hours of rest before consciousness took over me once again!

The city certainly looked busy as I headed up to the venue just before 17.00. Jeroen’s show before me was so busy that he started the performance ahead of schedule!

I spent some time out on ‘the Mile flyering – Polly from ‘Church of Phil’ offering her assistance. We could see plenty of people wandering down the Close, so it was no surprise when I finally got down there to see a big crowd had already formed!

I set up the room around 17.10 and told people to start ushering themselves in (after all, I only have a mic to set up!).

The room was full around ten minutes later, standing room only. In fact, we ended up turning away more people that we actually had in the room! Absolutely crazy!!

The show itself was great fun! Lots of big laughers in the room. A few hecklers dealt with in my usual manner – the straight guy at the front went pretty quiet once I threatened to sit on his face!!

Despite the room being super hot, the crowd persisted and stayed with me right up to the end – the laughter that consumed to room had made my brain forget all about my lack of sleep! Laughter really is the best medicine!

It was lovely to see some familiar faces in the room, including the wonderfully talented Michaela Hunter – watch her, she’s going places.

A couple of celebratory beers with ‘the boss’ (as in, the partner, not Bruce Springsteen) after the show was just what I needed!

I’m pretty sure I should be feeling this a lot more – some call this a “slog” but I am genuinely enjoying every single performance. Just seven to go now and that might be the last we see of the ‘Heroic Failure’ show…

Day 14: busy, busy!

Ahhhh… day 14 and one of the busiest days of my Fringe.

Back to the day job again today albeit only until lunchtime when I would be free from the shackles of guaranteed paid work and into the clutches of the Free Fringe once again.

Having arrived at the venue sometime before 16.00, I spent some time handing out the Wee Blue Book (adorned with all acts at our venue’s flyers [that were available]) on the Royal Mile – 50 copies in under an 45-minutes!

Only as I was leaving there did I realise that I’d managed to miss out on an LGBT interview that I was supposed to attend at 16.00. I’m still not quite sure how I managed to forget to put this in my diary. The fact I also managed to miss a comedy coffee date at 15.00 too pretty much summed up where my head has been at right now!

I then headed down to Fireside for my second appearance at Matt Duwell’s ‘Stand Up: Edinburgh’. A quick ‘greatest hits’ set followed before heading back up ‘the Mile’ to flyer for my own show!

Not quite capacity but still a 24-strong crowd. Things weren’t helped by the microphone packing in during the opening 5-minutes of my show. So I was forced to perform unamplified! This may have helped the audience hear but definitely not my voice in the short & long-term.

Amongst the audience we had some really big laughs. The gentleman on the front row is welcome back whenever he wants!!!

Post-show I nipped back home to the kids for a while before heading out to Si├ón Davies’ fabulous ‘Comedy Queers’ show. I was given the task of closing the night and I did run over by five minutes but that was because I knew there wasn’t anything on at the back of this (I went on at 01.36 after all!).

A full room yet much less responsive audience to last time I played here two weeks ago. Pah, that’s just the joys of comedy.

Day 15 and my third Saturday tomorrow (well, by the time I’m writing this, TODAY!!).

Day 13… unlucky for some…

Day 13 of this year’s Fringe, which means I’m now into the final ten shows of the run!

Due to having to go to the day job and also Lothian Buses inability to run buses to a timetable (four minutes early – unheard of!!), I didn’t make it to the venue until just before 18.00.

A mad rush of flyering didn’t really offer a great deal as in the end I ended up with an audience of 13 (for show 13…).

Some big laughers in the room but also a couple of “WTF is this fat poof doing talking to me” Americans (one of which voted Trump – even his wife was appalled by him).

The bucket was pretty good for the crowd – which also included Reuben, who finished his run last Friday (a show I missed due to me believing it ran until 14th – DOH!).

Not content with my daily gigs, I will now be hosting a PBH Showcase on Monday night at the venue (with any bucket collections going to PBH).

I spent some time today after the show explaining to an audience member why I chose to do PBH (and not the paid venues that I was offered). They seemed to think that doing the Free Fringe was somehow lesser until I pointed out all the extra costs those paid venues entail. It’s also the community feel that the Free Fringe gives you – I’ve spent time flyering for other shows in our venue because I genuinely hope everyone has a big audience in the room.

I also encouraged her to try out more random acts, after all, I was a random act to her until she saw (and enjoyed!!) my show!

I really do hope it’s a manic Friday tomorrow!!