So - here are five pieces of advice to myself as I tackle the Edinburgh Fringe... and I thought they might be good to share.
Whatever Happens is the Only Thing That Could Have.
I am expecting to see between four and seven shows a day, leaving plenty of time for meetings and catching up with friends. But some of the big-boy press/ticket offices haven't got back yet so I may not get to see the shows I had planned to write about - no problem...I'll see some more. Shows may overrun...no problem I have two choices a) leave early and get to my next show, or b) stay to the end and miss the next show. The option I won't adopt is moaning to the hard pressed FOH staff who are trying to keep everyone happy and earning peanuts for the privilege.
Whoever Comes are the Right People.
I have all sorts of plans to meet x and y and catch up with z. I may manage that, but I may also bump into f, g, h and q. They will be the right people. I'm doing seven surgeries on Saturday 17 at Fringe Central where any creative /company can get an hour to explore their career/business path with me. I have no idea who will book the slots They can email me and get one - and I have no idea what we will talk about. That's glorious.
When it's Over it's Over.
And when I am reviewing a show I have to remember its not over until the fat fingers sing on a keyboard somewhere, and I press send to Whatsonstage or Musical Theatre Review or the Assessor panel at MTN. Not sure where I will find quick access to computers. Last decision to be made tonight is do I take my laptop.
When it Starts is the Right Time.
When the first person offers me a pint and I accept, it is the right time for a drink. I just have to remember that there are quite a lot of bars, and quite a lot of friends, but also quite a lot of shows to see.
And finally I will abide by the Law of Two Feet.
If I think I am in the wrong place and wasting my time then I will move. If I am giving off very negative vibes in a theatre where everyone else is loving the show then I will quietly slip away because I don't want to infect the space. If I am feeling shy about being at a reception, or in a crowded space (which is most definitely a Grady habit) then I will try and get my feet to do the walking and go straight into the middle of the space and talk to someone. Ten seconds later I know we will be having an interesting exploration of some show or aspect of the Fringe. There is no point in standing as an observer in Edinburgh...get stuck in and talk to everyone. [and if you are a company/artist, have a business card at hand to connect with your contact].
So that's my plan for the next ten days. Its the four principles of life and the one law which makes sure we use our "one precious life" to the best effect.
As every year comes around I am excited to experience the unexpected, to be delighted, to meet new friends, and to be in at the start of some extraordinary careers. More blogging and reviews from me later.
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