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Hills are Alive With the Sound of Tourists

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I’ve folded. I’m officially on the energy drinks. I held out for eleven days. I try to find the healthy ones but sleep would be a better alternative. Meanwhile at the venue we are playing who can get the official Fringe cold fastest. It will be the most viral my marketing campaign gets. The Royal Mile is shining with sunshine and a newly arrived tourist moans, ‘Edinburgh is all hills’ and she is right. We’re all climbing small mountains with our ‘one flyer at a time’ strategy.

An interesting stand off emerges when the ‘Titus Andronicus’ stunt of playing dead on the Royal Mile lies in the way of the marching route for the pink costumed cast of ‘My Big Gay Italian Wedding’. I am a party of one and cannot play dead or march much. I muster a bit of walking wounded like a giddy goose whilst everything is ramping up a gear and new groups full of energy and sleep arrive and claim the day.

The worst piece of advice I get is from a buddy who after seeing my show bemoans the number of shows I have not seen. With flattery laid on like a trowel he tells me I should enjoy things more because, ‘you’re at the Fringe!’ These are terrifying words leading to the unspoken truth that what happens at the Fringe stays at the Fringe. I have noted this line of argument tends to spiral into a path of your own undoing. Remember snogfest in togas breaks out with a bold abandon on the Royal Mile. It’s all very well to go swinging on chandeliers here if you’re doing a stand up show. But if you’re trying to sell a moving drama whilst the world is still in their pyjamas, having your own bones ache from sleep deprivation clashes bang on with the nerves of the situation in hand namely facing an audience. I get mad at him, then channel it into my show and unearth a new perspective. So I take his point.

The best piece of advice I hear is when I start moaning about things and he rings off with the line ‘well all you can do is keep going.’ To which I reply ‘Yep’ into the dial tone. I think he is right. As shiny groups on the Royal Mile swamp the smaller ones, like a lost piece of plankton in an ocean I keep going. Tourists have started taking leaflets off me in spite of my cough sweets. Note to self, things are finally beginning to get viral.


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