Well It Seems To Be Going Well (so far)

Well this is a bit odd. We’re properly into the Edinburgh Fringe now and everything seems to be going a’okay. Sure I realise by saying this it’ll all go tits up from here on in, but that’s to be expected. What I always find weird is how variable audience numbers are. A weekend of rain meant for houses not as full as I had hoped, but the sunshine today means we’re trying to find some extra chairs to put into my venue to keep up with demand.

I’ve been warding off a cold the last few days which has meant for a rather quiet festival. I’ve not seen a huge amount of shows, I have caught up with some friends and I have been getting early nights. My show has found its feet and people are saying lovely things about it, which is really splendid. However they are saying those things to my face, who knows what they’ll be saying behind my back. I’d love to give you a witty story about what I’ve been up to but the best it gets is that I nearly forgot my umbrella the other day. So yeh, I promise to try do something exciting to write about. I’ll quickly tell you about what I’ve seen and enjoyed though. I caught up with The Gentlemen Of Leisure at The Caves doing ‘The Death Of The Novel.’ An enjoyable and hugely entertaining slick hour of LOLZ about books. For magic once you’ve seen my show you should see Morgan & West at the Gilded Ballon, a truly charming family friendly magical experience and for the less family friendly magic show be sure to see Barry & Stuart with both The Show and The Tell, in the latter they give away all the secrets of The Show and it shows you quite how much work goes into making magic.

Right then I have to dash off, I’ve got a show to do and an apple to eat.

1 Down. 25 To Go

The Edinburgh Fringe is in full swing, flyers are being handed out, tourists are looking confused at student groups in all in one lycra bodysuits running down the Royal Mile and I am fretting about my show. All normal stuff then.

The first show is always a bit of an unknown. You’re getting used to the space, to the new crew, to the new lights, sounds and the quick turn around between your show and the one after you, there is way too much to think about, let alone the actual show you’re going to perform.The show went okay, wasn’t brilliant in my opinion, but certainly was an alright first show. After it everyone is always very nice about it, which is lovely, but you can’t take that as gospel. You have to just trust your instincts and mine are that the show needs work.

Today I plan to re-write sections and re-evaulate how I perform some of the bigger tricks of the show, to give them more of an impact and make them feel like miracles. Which they kind of are. It’s all these little things which make me think it’s not quite there yet… and I just have to work out how to get it there. How to perform it and come off the stage thinking, yes that’s the show I want it to be. It’s all trial and error, but fortunately I have two cheap previews left… so I better fix it by then.

And We’re Off

The rain has stopped, the sun has come out, and the Edinburgh Fringe is underway. Excitement ahoy. I arrived by the Hogwarts Express on Monday, went straight into my venue for a solid 5 hour tech run through. The lights look all fancy, the sound is nice, the set and stage looks pretty sexy, I think I have a show. I’ve done my big shop, the supermarket people have delivered it, I’ve written a list of things I don’t have in the flat for cooking (I like to cook, blame Australian Masterchef for that) and have asked the landlord if I can have them, oh and I’ve prepared a weeks worth of show props.

So now all I have to do is count down the hours to my first show, hope it’s okay, and hope people like it and tell their friends to. After the show I’ll be giving our badges as normal, I have 5000 this year in 12 different designs. I’m hoping people will collect them. They won’t. They’ll take one, put it in their pocket then bin it two days later. See. Told you I was a mind-reader.

Oh and in other news just before I stop typing and get some lunch. I’m not sure what to wear on my legs in Edinburgh this year. Should I go for a black jean, or a grey jean. Your thoughts would be kindly appreciated on how I can best hide my sparrow/skinny legs.

Chris x

Here We Go Again

Monday morning. 8am. I’m on the train out of Kings Cross. I resisted the urge to get on a platform 9 & 3/4 and instead took the normal train to Edinburgh rather than the Hogwarts Express. As I look out the window I can see London looming into life, I’ve just chugged past the closest station to my house, annoying me in the process and now for the next 4 hours or so I have my macbook pro to keep me company, a copy of a book I’ve been trying to finish for the last few months and the Fringe programme to continue to memorise. So it begins once more.

The last time I took a show to Edinburgh was two years ago, it was Mind Over Patter. The show was wonderfully received and it was a show I was really happy with and proud of. I got two years worth of tours out of it, took it to New Zealand and will still perform it now and again. The worry with returning to Edinburgh for this my fifth year is simple… am I still any good? Do people want to see me? Will people like my show. It’s the tough side of being a performer. One must hope that by continuing to do what I think audiences will like, they will continue to just that. Like them.

Edinburgh is a tough, hard, stressful month, but when everything goes right and people like the show it’s a joy, when the show is half full on a rainy Tuesday, it’s less fun. As usual I’ll be attempting to not read reviews, they do no good for your ego be they good or bad. I’ll get stuff fed back to me, and I’ll simply concentrate on making the show as good as it can be. Of course one of the biggest frustrations comes out of knowing that towards the end of the month the show will be on fine, sexy form, having been changed, bedded in and performed nightly. Reviewers come near the beginning of the run, when the show is taking it’s first childlike steps hoping it can stay up and trying it’s best not to fall down.

Flick, my lovely PR lady asked me if I wanted reviewers in during the previews. it’s a tough question. Part of you wants people to come in as early as possible, the quicker the review is out the more people know about your show, part of you only wants them when the show is good. With a magic show it takes a lot of changes in each venue to make sure it works perfectly.. so I’m holding back on letting reviewers in for a bit. The best reviews though are those based on word of mouth. So if I see a show I love I tell people about it, and I hope if the audience love my show, they’ll tell a few friends who’ll buy some tickets.

So all my props are already in Edinburgh, the lovely Giles took a van full of my stuff up on Friday, and now I look out across the countryside, marvelling and how quickly London vanishes into the smog and how the green and pleasant land we call home appears in it’s lush splendour. I sip on my complimentary cup of tea (gotta love first class, especially when it cost less than standard), I pull out my fringe programme and I continue to memorise. See you in Edinburgh friends.

Chris x