This weekend, our audience numbers picked up again after Black Wednesday. Which was a relief, as I was beginning to panic a bit. Having said this, a defining feature of our audiences seems to be their awkwardness. I wouldn’t say I’m a particularly awkward, antisocial or unfriendly human, particularly not on stage, but even after Dan had warmed the crowd up and introduced me (of which he does an absolutely superb job every time) I had to work stupidly hard to even get one laugh out of them – and what’s more they didn’t build, like they usually do, so every single laugh was as hard work as the last one. Which is annoying if you’ve got any subtle jokes or are trying to build to something. After ten or fifteen minutes of this it really starts to tire you out, and though it’s nice when you get a laugh, you don’t feel you got it for the reasons you feel you should have.
And so it was actually beautiful to have the best audience yet tonight. This was, in large part, due to the fact that Carole and Dave from Plymouth Hohoho turned up to see our show as part of their crazy Edinburgh marathon of shows (seriously, they’re seeing over 150 in the next couple of weeks – WOW!). They, unlike most of the groups in our preceding audiences, were just not afraid to laugh if they found something funny. Which acted as a catalyst for the rest of the audience and the laughs finally emerged! As a result, we felt more confident, which in its turn led us to be better and so get more laughs. Laughter is infectious and today just proved it. And it reminded us that we are not as terrible as we’d come to feel we were. It’s nice to feel funny again.
It’s our final show tomorrow, and I’m actually pretty excited about it. If there’s one thing that performing on the Fringe does, it concentrates the experience of being a comedian – what you would normally experience in a few months you experience in a few days, or sometimes even within a few hours. It is a bubble of ups and downs and everyone is in the same boat in that respect. Its horrible moments are balanced out by the brilliant ones and despite the tiring whirl of craziness it is a happy one, the kind you get after throwing a successful party and everyone’s gone and you’re crashed out amongst the wreckage of bottles, cans and vomit in the afterglow of a job well done.
Yours not thinking about the mess that needs cleaning up,
PS: Tonight we went to see Richard Herring playing himself at snooker. It was simultaneously weird and incredible. This sort of thing is also what the Fringe is all about. 🙂