Friday, August 12, 2011

Mr Sand's The Man

It's pretty easy to forget how good not being tired is until you've had a good night's sleep... when you wake up after a solid 9 hours and you've got out of bed before it's occurred to you to be angry about it. More than sleep I prefer not being tired any more but still being in bed - not in a gross, "I'm touching other people" kind of a way - but the sort of awake where you're marvelling at how soft a pillow case can feel against your cheek. I often lie there wondering whether it's down to the cotton, fabric softener or indeed, my cheek. If it is my cheek then I'm going to start hiring myself out to bedding manufacturers so that they can use me to showcase how soft a pillowcase can feel.

Today is a day that's largely going to feature handing damp pieces of paper to people in the streets and hoping they like it enough to come and see my shows over the 700 others that are available to them. Some would call this demoralising - these people have rough cheeks, I am excited. What better way to gauge the success of your flyer and premise than by listening to the apathy and/or snide remarks from people as they casually fold up your flyer and put it into a pocket. Or even worse, just drop it straight onto the floor. The first time you see one of your fliers lying face down in the rain is a pretty brutal moment for any young flyerer. It's like seeing someone sniff something you've given them to eat and then push the plate away whilst smiling at you and sighing.

People react very strangely to flyerers as though it's a pest to be given flyers... you sort of have to wonder why they're at the Fringe if they're not interested in finding out what shows are on. If you've that meticulously planned your day that no amount of flyering can affect your day, can I suggest you get the fuck off the Royal Mile and go and sit in the dark in case you hurt yourself with spontaneity?

If you've never been to the Fringe, the Royal Mile is like running a gauntlet of GCSE Drama students. There are a few stock features that are here every year as different theatre groups try their hand at attracting the masses:

1. Girls in corsets doing a raunchy/transgender version of a traditional play.
2. A lot of people in white face paint standing very still and glumly offering flyers without saying anything.
3. Some blonde people and a violin player trekking up and down playing something with a harmony.
4. Someone pretending to be dead but surrounded by, you've guessed it, flyers...
5. A puppet with a flyer in it's mouth who is now struggling to do anything except cock it's head to one side.

Please don't let yourself think that I'm disparaging in any way about these features; they're as constant and essential as the rain; you start to believe the city couldn't handle the pressure if any of them decided not to come. It's just that once you've seen them a few times it's a bit like watching the same F.R.I.E.N.D.S. episode for the 9th time that week; you're laughing like a Pavlovian dog every time Chandler opens his mouth, and similarly on the mile, you're kicking them in the shins before you've even stopped to consider that they're real people too. It's a vicious cycle; the sort of vicious cycle that's a total highlight to your day.

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