|And so it continues...|
|Written by Dave Fulton|
|Tuesday, 23 February 2010 16:46|
After much deliberation I've decided to wait one more year to do the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. In theory, the fringe festival is a great idea. It's a place where a performer has a chance to bring up an idea that hopefully last no more than an hour and they can flush it out for a month till they have something they're happy with and with any luck a bit original as well. Unfortunately this workshop attitude it seems has not been the case for a few years and as I've learned quite recently if you don't bring your best game up you'll be crucified and forgotten very quickly. And that can make for the longest month of your life! That's too bad but I guess I can understand some of that. Competition for crowds is even fiercer than ever and the idea that something new and never seen might be discovered during the fringe is now a myth thanks to the internet. Also, it seems because of the price of seeing as many shows as possible I've been told that the crowds would rather go see an Edinburgh regular rather than take a chance on an unknown. Stick with the safe bet. Generally. And when I say safe bet I'm not referring to something that might be classified as a safe show I'm referring to something that has been coming back to Edinburgh year after year. Should I have come up sooner after my last visit in 2005? Fuck yeah but what's done is done.
I got into doing stand-up because it was an act of rebellion to be able to make a living doing this. Hell it was a really great party. If you could make a living performing in comedy clubs you were on your way. Acting in a sit-com? It was never really an option. We were comics not actors. Being a regular on some panel show? It didn't exist. A national tour? Not unless your last name was Cosby. All that was 20 years ago. Now comedy has evolved into acts needing a game plan first and foremost and being funny and or slightly original is not as important as it used to be. Someone, not a comic, realized that this is a business and there was money to be made. Big money. And where there's big money integrity and originality sometimes takes a back seat. Those people writing the really big checks couldn't give a shit about where someone got their jokes or if they never really spent years in the comedy clubs working on their acts. They need you to be youngish, engaging, kinda clean and if they're lucky a minority. Thank Christ I've finally been able to laugh a bit at it all. It used to bother me but for some reason lately it doesn't. Maybe because I'm older, white, male, American and still just enjoy getting in front of a room full of strangers to see where it might go right at that moment. In the meantime over the next year or so I plan to flush out this idea I have that one day might be an Edinburgh show. Will it get me my own show? Not a chance. Will I lose money? Of course! Will I care? I sure as fuck hope not.