Of Deformities and Inaccurate Shorts
What massively fashionable things, I hear you ask in your minds even though you didn't know you were, are you wearing today, Léonie, oh Queen of all that is zeitgeisty?
Well, funny you should subconsciously ask! Today I am sporting some tiny pink shorts with the word FLIRT misleadingly scrawled across the bum, a pink t-shirt with stuff on it (don't look too closely at the stuff, please) and hair that is somewhere between a bird's nest and a pack of angry ferrets. As you might have guessed, I have not ventured outside yet.
Instead, I have been doing admin. This is today's admin outfit and it is serving me well so far.
Firstly, I have a contract to sign. A contract from Contact Theatre. A contract from Contact that says, "Hey, you know that solo show in November? That one we've been talking about? Are you def going to do it? Anyway, if you are then could you sign this and send it back? Cheers, loveyabye!". (I am slightly paraphrasing.)
I am doing a solo show. This year. With, like, music and stories and stuff. In a proper theatre that isn't just in my mind. I have dates for rehearsals and development and writing and stuff, all of which I have to remember everytime my face starts to cave in through sheer overwhelmedness. Actually, though, I am just really excited. My knees are tingling and my hair is tangling. Everything is happening. Breathe.
The other thing I have been doing is creating the word "Edmin". This is admin that you have to do before taking a show to the Edinburgh Festival. If someone else has thought of this word before I have then frankly I do not want to know. Edmin! I am so proud of myself.
I have been to the Fringe loads, but this is the first time in ten years (ten years!) that I have been there with a show. Five years ago I went for a few weeks, stayed there and got a job flyering. I decided that year that I was going to dress up in essentially evening wear everyday, but with big boots to keep out the Scottish summer (see: rain). It did make the whole thing considerably more fun, and I loved hanging about, talking to other flyerers, making friends and allegiances (and even the odd enemy). I bloody love the Fringe. I love all of it: the shows, the conversations, the music, the drinking, the packs of earnest students flyering for their production of Hamlet in the belly of a whale, suddenly looking at your watch and realizing it's four in the morning and the sun is about to rise when you thought it was probably about midnight. I wrote a blog post about it when I was there in 2007: you can read that here.
I went and read it just now, and remembered this phrase, which aptly sums up the Fringe for me - "at the Edinburgh Festival, every night is like a Saturday night and every day is like a Sunday."
This time, though, a SHOW! With Lowri Evans and Sophie Willan, on the Top Deck of the Comedy Bus at Three Sisters, from 2nd-12th August, 1.45-2.45pm. It's called Wrong Place, Right Time.
Yes, we are doing a show on the top deck of a bus. It is, we have been assured, a converted, stationary bus. I really hope so, as I wouldn't fancy performing to a mix of pensioners, school children and generally hacked-off-with-festival-idiots Edinburgh folk, just doing rounds of the ring road then stopping off for ten minutes outside a Lidl while the driver smokes a fag and everyone gets a bit hot.
Ben and Dan are also taking a show up, so the whole band will be there, and we will hopefully be doing some busking as well. That's another thing I have done this morning, filled in all the busking application forms, which, oddly, was when I felt a massive surge of EDINBURGH WAHOO YAY CALLOO CALLAY GOING TO THE FESTIVAL OMG !!!!1!!!!, etc. I think because I saw a photo of the Royal Mile and it zinged my brain a bit.
Loads has happened to me at the Edinburgh Fringe over the many, many years I have trotted up there. I have fallen in love, been dumped, been abused, argued, sneaked into celebrity parties, snogged comedians, slept on doorsteps, eaten more baked potatoes than it would take to build a baked potato version of Arthur's Seat, partied, wept, drank, sung, lay on the ground with bodypaint on, mocked wanky students, been a wanky student, lost phones, bankcards, wills to live and always been reduced to a happy husk of a human by the end of it all.
This year is more Serious because I have a show to perform and one to promote in Manchester in November. I am doing this for My Career, and I am going to give myself a stern talking to before I go. But hopefully I won't listen to myself too closely, as I still plan on being that happy husk by the time I come back.
So, last week I morphed into the Elephant Man. My face swelled up for no reason and I had to go to A&E because my throat started closing up. I still don't know why, but they did blood tests and stuff, couldn't find anything wrong so just gave me loads of medication. Weird, but I am better now. At the time I was convinced that I would definitely remain like that for the rest of my life, and had already decided that I would have to find a career that meant I would never have to leave the house, like an Internet Understander or something. I had just begun to plan my memoirs which were going to be called something like De-Faced: A Tale of Courage when it started getting better. It's OK now, so the memoir has been shelved for the time being.
Eggs Collective are performing at Islington Mill this Sunday! Sara, Lydia, Lowri and I have been working tirelessly, fueled only by coffee, a billion pastries and raucous laughter. I have loved hanging about Islington Mill (where our studio is as well), making stuff and taking breaks in the baking courtyard. Yesterday Eggs and CHERYL (the performance collective from New York) bonded over a YouTube clip of one of Jedward breaking a leg on stage. It was heartwarming. CHERYL are cool, we love them quite a lot.
If you are in Manchester this weekend you should definitely come to the Mill. It is going to be nuts.
Enough of my droning. I have to go and re-think my outfit before I have to leave the house. The shorts just aren't working for me, partly because the word "FLIRT" is inaccurate, partly because they are short to the point of unseemly, but mostly because they are just generally, all-round horrible.
What works for Edmin, remember, does not always work for the outside world.