Tuesday, August 21, 2012

When the Opposite of Everything is True



Will Kerner and Mary Coy on The Royal Mile

When the opposite of everything is true, you know you're at the Fringe.
It was pouring down rain a minute ago, and now it is very clear and sunny.  Every time I start to think one thing, I think the total opposite is true.  The kind of polar feelings that could send you looking for fresh meds.  Advice is contradictory here....extremely...and yet, everyone is right.  The pace is unlivable and yet the sense of good living, big living, loud living is everywhere.  We are surely a nuisance to the locals and yet, they seem to enjoy us so much.  Here are some other examples of the extremes I've encountered...

1.  Everyone says be disciplined, keep to your routine, take care of yourself.  Everyone says go out to bars until 2 am, everyone says go with the flow.

2.  You can't help falling in love with other people's shows.  You have to stay in love with your own show. 

Yesterday, I fell in love with a show called FORMBY. 



3.  Stars mean nothing.  Stars mean everything.
I went to a workshop where an actor/producer said, "Stars are rubbish."  "We want to get rid of them.  Nobody reads the reviews.  They just look at the stars.  That's insane."  His posters are covered with stars.  Don't hate the playa.  Hate the reviewa.  Or love them.  In this world of over 2600 shows, the stars can guide you to what is great, maybe what you shouldn't miss.  The stars are coming from one person, though.  One gal, one bloke.  Maybe they're overexcited.  Maybe they don't know shit.  Maybe they know exactly what they're talking about.  Maybe you will use their quote to open many doors for you.  We've gotten three four-star reviews.  Hot damn.  Wait a second.  If you get excited and you feel like you're "buying in".  If you don't maximize that press, well, you're a lazy idiot.  Most recently, Ciara Knowles from THREE WEEKS said of my show "this is that rare play that many people can connect with, regardless of sex, or nationality."  Thanks, Ciara.  You just made the top of my little stick-on flyer update.  I have to say, I've been going to shows according to word of mouth.  That's why I went to FORMBY.  That's why I'm going to REMOR tonight. 

4.  Women are the best.  Men are the secret.
talking with a lady about the show, probably about Barbies
I have loved talking to women here about Barbie or Cindy (they are quite divided here on that subject...more on this later).  Or talking to them about Edinburgh or the Festival or storytelling or where they've been in the south (once they here my accent) or where I can get tape.  But, it's the men who always break the ice during the show and give people permission to laugh.  It's always a man.  I am grateful for them.  Seriously.

5.  There is never time to drink enough water.  There is always time for beer.

6.  Dirty Barbie actually likes to be clean. 
A surprising development.  I've been tidying.  Tidying at night.  This must be a universal balancing response to the number of messy artists with whom I am sharing a small square mileage of the universe right now.  I don't know if it will stick, but my underwear looks nice in the drawer.

7.  Today is my day off.  There are no days off. 
I did sleep in.  I am going to go to lunch with a friend and I will drink wine.  I can't wait to see REMOR tonight.  But, in the middle of all that, there will be postering and getting stickers on more flyers and checking in with the PR firm and writing back somebody.  I'll take a day off when I get home.

8.  I miss home.  This can't end.
It's true.  I miss my husband.  I miss my friends.  I miss my pets.  I miss getting to use my iphone where ever, when ever.  But just when you start to long for home for all of it to end, you find you are walking towards your venue and your makeup is in your bag, and there are 45 minutes to go before you load-in your show, and you think, oh shit...I'm in Edinburgh...doing my show.  It's incredible here, the people are incredible here.  I've done 18 shows, and there are only 6 shows left.  I haven't been inside any castles yet.  I gotta get on it.

I'll keep looking for opposites.  I'll probably keep believing both are true.  Like this:  I've never been more humbled by the work others are doing, but I've never felt more authority to keep creating.