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Mission Impossiburgh

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Below are guidelines to help you accomplish your mission. Your mission, should you choose to accept it (although you have no choice really), is to pick up a mound of flyers heavier than a sack of potatoes, and stand in the rain along with an army of other people also holding flyers, assaulting anyone who walks past by making sure they take a flyer from you.

The success of the your Edinburgh production depends upon the success of your mission, but there's no point in feeling the pressure now because you signed up for this ages ago and should have seen it coming. If, however, you fail in your mission you will be shunned, ignored and generally mocked by the rest of the company.

Please familiarise yourself with the mission guidelines, and then eat them as a snack for lunch whilst you're on the Royal Mile. To begin with, you must take a wad of flyers from the bottomless and ever overflowing box of flyers owned by the company. Don't worry, this box of flyers will never finish. Ever. In the event of a nuclear world war and the end of mankind, all that will be left on earth will be cockroaches and this box of flyers.

Once you've picked up your allotted 200 million flyers quota for the day, you must then walk to the Royal Mile where you will be confronted by the entire London population of actors who have moved to Edinburgh to do the exact same thing as you: flyer on the Royal Mile. You must not engage with them. Do not look at their banners, their songs, their gimmicky shows. You don't have time for that. You need to get rid of your stash of flyers or else there will be hell to pay in the dressing room tonight.

You must be aware that the ratio of tourists to performers on the Royal Mile is roughly seventeen zillion to one. Should any of those poor saps visiting Edinburgh as tourists during the festival happen to step onto the Royal Mile, something not dissimilar to a stampede will occur as, like wildebeest, every weirdly dressed and wild-haired performer will rush towards them waving their flyers manically. You must join them. Of course you will never actually reach the idiot that managed to make himself or herself the object of all this attention. By the time you reach the place where they were standing, they would long have since been trampled into the ground. All that might remain will be a mountain of flyers and hand sticking out from under them clutching a rather tattered Fringe Guide. That shouldn't stop you from shouting your catch line.

Your catch line is something you would have thought up prior to your approach to the Royal Mile. It should be something zany and wacky (but of course it will be neither - nothing created to be wacky or zany has ever been either). In essence it is a line that you will say to everyone who takes your flyer. It should be quick, memorable and make them want to come and see the show. It will also drive you slightly insane. You will say it so many times, that you will begin to say it in your sleep. Months from now, you will wake up in the middle of the night screaming it. On the Mile, you will hear the other performers shouting theirs. You need to drown them out. To get attention, make sure your line is truly the most memorable. "Catchier than syphilis," is one example.

Don't stand around looking lost. Be pro-active. Look around you. Does anyone seem to be enjoying themselves? If so, they need a flyer now. Go up to them and give them one. Some will take the bait. Others might hesitate. If they do, repeat the catch line and wave the flyer vigorously two inches from their nose. Some will look at you like they would when examining a particularly disgusting specimen of squished slug on their doorstep. These will refuse to take a flyer. If people they refuse, they're only being coy. In reality, they really want to take it. You must do everything possible to get them to take it. Shout your catch line at them. Push the flyer into their hand. Finally, if they still resist, wrestle them to the ground and shove the flyer down their pants.

Give a flyer to everyone, even the same person twice. It doesn't matter if you already gave them a flyer two minutes ago when they were walking down the street in the opposite direction. They will appreciate having two identical flyers. If you see a couple walking together, give them one each. For families with young kids, you should give them each one flyer (small children included). If they happen to be pushing a pram or push-chair, you should sprinkle a large amount of flyers into it, covering whatever is inside.

If it rains, you should hold your ground. Edinburgh is better when seen through the eyes of a starving, wet actor with a heavy cold. Sickness will only make you act better. You are not allowed to stop for lunch, toilet break or to receive CPR should you collapse. If other actors come in your vicinity, kick them.

Finally, it's perfectly fine to dump any flyer you're given into a dustbin, preferably whilst the person that gave it to you is still talking to you.

Good luck with your mission. This message will self-destruct in thirty seconds (but only when you've got rid of every single one of your flyers).


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