I am mystified. My costume needs a new button yet I haven’t eaten through nerves for two days. All the suddenly essential things like cellotape, scissors and cotton seem to be hard to find whilst the surreal exciting things come free and on a plate. This mysterious magic makes the impossibility of opening a show on time possible. Along with half of Edinburgh I am experiencing total lack of sleep. The only way to kill opening night jitters is through continual line runs. So don’t mention laundry, it’s all in a drawer or a bag somewhere.
A sharp squirt of perfume from the beauty counter perks up the clean feeling of an old T-shirt for up to six hours. Which is just as well because all the flashy costumes on the Royal Mile would easily colour the socks of Scotland for a week. Outlandish togs that lodge in the mind include smooth moving black Ninja’s, fairies swirling in gossamer, a funeral cortege and ladies in corsets and shawls. Everyone does a double take when the police show up. For obvious reasons we have to assume they are real and not with a show. I decide leafleting in the torrential rain with my clothes on constitutes washing. Doing two things simultaneous is my cunning strategy. Although I am not sure how effective either plan is. Soggy leaflets are arguably not the best way to lure punters into the venue. The subtle font is now a blur.
During the build up to my opening show I am a bag of nerves. I am grateful for an audience to make this happen. My show along with two thousand others becomes a permanent dot on the broad mosaic that is the Edinburgh Fringe. It is a heady feeling propelled by a backlog of exhilaration and panic. Exhilarating panic I call it. In spite of my cold feet, endless fidgeting with props and random ideas about lighting gels, the crew keep calm and carry on. Three weeks of this? I can’t wait to carry on. I can’t guarantee to keep calm but fingers crossed we will do it all again tomorrow and folk will show up.
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