You can tell it's the third week of the Fringe. As I got ready to go out to do my podcast today I was sick in the back of my mouth. These are the signs that it's time to stop doing comedy.
The news came through that Bradley Manning is now called Chelsea Manning. Whilst I am a supporter of everything she does I am concerned that Chelsea risks getting teased by the other inmates in prison. At daybreak she will be greeted with a chorus of "Woke Up, it was a Chelsea Manning". There are a lot of Joni Mitchell fans in the clink. She should have chosen a different name. I would suggest "Owata Bootiful". Can't see any problems with that.
It was quite a laid back podcast with Paul "Curious Orange" Putner, who I know very well and Scroobius Pip, who I was meeting for the first time. I had been aware of his hit "Thou Shalt Always Kill", but caught up with some of his other work and was particularly impressed by the witty "Introdiction", not just because it's funny, but because the video is a very bold single take (at least for the first half) where he cuts off his beard and shaves his hair and sets fire to a hobby horse, which looks pretty dangerous. That was enough to make me a fan. I always like music with smart lyrics, but if you burn a hobby horse then that seals it. Other pop stars might want to take note of this if they covet my custom.
We had a replacement glaciator for tonight's show after the original one went kaput last night (taking down the electricity with it). This one was much more boisterous than its predecessor and filled the stage, without hanging low to the ground. I walked into the fog and was unable to see a thing. I could have got lost. Luckily we sorted it in time for the start, although it did hange around me for much longer than usual. Weirdly there was dense fog outside as well, making it feel like the weather had found its way inside. I had someone from Channel 4 in watching the show tonight, so it was quite an important one. Annoyingly I had the most unresponsive crowd I can remember having for a long time. I think they were mainly enjoying it, but were doing so quietly and it made it quite a slog for me, always on my mind that it was typical this was the one that the executive had come to see. Speaking to other acts afterwards I found out that everyone had had a flat audience tonight. Had the mist outside brought everyone down? It's hard to know how these things work, but time and time again I've noticed at the Fringe that most of the comics have similar experiences on the same night. I performed the show well, but when you're not getting much back it does affect things. Or maybe it's just if the audience it behind you it gees you on to being better. I made some slip-ups. This was the show I had chosen to record. Luckily my tech screwed that up, so I will have another go tomorrow.
I felt exhausted and starving afterwards and nearly went straight home, but had something to eat and then went and had some drinks with other comics which really cheered me up. If I come back next year (and I might take some time off from the Fringe and see what else I can achieve in the three or four months it takes out of my year) I don't think I will do the podcast again. Or not every day. I need a bit more time to myself and podcasting takes up a big proportion of my day and means I have to be up early enough to make it hard to have nights out.
But then I said I wouldn't do them this year either.
I got a nice review in the List, though it brings my star average down to a disappointing 4.2222 from nine reviews. I will learn to live with the pain.
This time next week I will be on holiday in Italy. It doesn't seem possible at this moment as the Edinburgh Fringe can never end whilst you're in it. But I will be very glad to have some time off and be in a place that is unlikely to have a fog of gloom descend on it and all its citizens.