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Sunday 10th August 2008

Nine hours sleep and I feel a whole lot better! Which was lucky as it was another pretty full day. I was out at lunchtime to tell some stories at Andrew J Lederer's Anthology. It was up in a tiny room in a pub near the Gilded Balloon and there were seven or eight people in to watch. It's what the Fringe is all about. I arrived late and so missed most of Andrew's story about how he messed up and missed out on the chance to write on a cartoon series, mainly due to his own self-imposed work ethic and shyness. Even the bit I heard was very interesting. He is another blogging addict and writes with great honesty and vulnerability. It can be an uncomfortable read at times, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I introduced him to my friend as "the mentallist Andrew J Lederer" which he took in good spirit. But he's not a mentallist - just a bit neurotic perhaps. He tells a great story and his life is tinged with minor tragedy, which is even more heightened when only 7 people are there to hear him talk about it. But he isn't perturbed by that and gives his all and that is what the Fringe is all about. Go and give it a go. It's free and it's real, though don't all go at once or you'll spoil the tragic element of his comedy.
He reminds me a lot of myself, though the nagging voice of despair and self criticism is slightly louder in his head than it is in mine. But he might just be creating great art out of "failure". Go and see him and if you're a pretty girl kiss him on the top of his bald head and see if that cheers him up. But then get out of there quick or you'll never shake him off!
He is what the Fringe is about. If the Perrier people (as I will always call them) had any sense and integrity it would be someone like him who would win the spirit of the Fringe. Not someone who does a massive high profile project. Someone performing his heart out to between 1 and 7 people. He has also taken on a slot of another show that has dropped out, but has retained the title of their show as it's in the programme and is trying to create something to fit it. He didn't tell me the show name. But how cool is that? How spirit of the Fringe is that?
Of course his work will go unnoticed. Even though if his blog is anything to go by, he could really do with the money.
Ah fuck it. The real spirit of the Fringe would be against an award celebrating the spirit of the Fringe in any case, especially when the money comes from baby killers or financial institutions. If anyone really noticed that a show like this was the spirit of the Fringe it would immediately stop being that. Observing the spirit of the Fringe is what kills the spirit of the Fringe.
I think I just killed it.
But like a Phoenix it will rise again elsewhere.
I was full of energy before my show, dancing around and singing to "A Town Called Malice" and "Come on Eileen". The crowd were not quite as energetic as me, but I got something out of them and I think we had a jolly time.
Later I went to see
Mark Olver who walked from Bristol to Edinburgh for his show. There is surprisingly little about the walk in the script, or at least he goes off at tangents and is selective about what he tells us about his five week Odyssey, but it doesn't really matter anyway. He's a very funny, affable and quick witted man and his audience banter is excellent (he does the warm up for "Deal or No Deal", where I suspect he has to talk to the audience rather a lot). And it's impressive that this chubby, lazy, west country man did such a long ramble and rather charming that he is so matter of fact and modest about this, preferring to see friends and lovers as a greater achievement than climbing mountains. I loved his story about the man who claimed that there was some factual basis in all fairy tales, thus proving that pigs could build houses out of straw. Ah go see him. You'll have a lovely time.
I did a late night gig at the BBC presents comedy show, where I have never managed to shine and tonight was no exception. It was fine. But only just.
But much less paranoid and happy today and enjoyed chatting with friends in Brook's Bar, without getting drunk. I am appearing in We Need Answers tomorrow night (against Kristen Schall is a horse, who is amazing) and on Tuesday am taking on Josie Long at Comedian's Countdown, but I don't know where that will be. Edinburgh is becoming a really good fun place to be, at last. I am joining in, rather than skulking in the shadows and I rather like it this way. And now I am half way through. Two weeks in, two weeks to go. It's zooming by, but languidly. As is the nature of this weird capsule adrift in time.

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