- One must create an entourage: Preferably older, richer people who are related to you and will feed you, flyer for you and pay for the majority of shows.
- One must celebrate: Never in your life will you beg and dream and hope to be seen, reviewed and revered. A compulsion to be judged will overcome you, body and soul. You want eyes and ears and stars. Oh how you want stars. It’s not dissimilar to being a primary school and lusting after the ‘well done’ sticker with the smiley face. An unnatural sense of achievement will come over you if you get four or more. And you’ll tell everyone. You’ll keep telling everyone you meet, over and over again ‘I got Four stars’ you’ll shout ‘Four fucking….FOOOUUUURRRR!!! Do you know what this means? And you’ll show people: ‘Do you know what this fucking meeeeeaaaannnsss???? Aaaaahhhhhh!!! Hysteria!!!! Aaaaaah, stick them on all my flyers….aaaaah. Please come and see me act and sing?
- One must not throw stones: Beware. Emotions run high. It’s a bit like living in Dawson’s Creek. Just imagine a world where everyone you meet has the temperament of a sensitive artist, a tired artist, a hungover artist, a criticised artist, an unloved artist. Now imagine that they are around you twenty four hours a day for a month. And it’s raining. Keep calm and carry on.
- One must bring an umbrella: And winter clothes. Do not kid yourself that this is ‘summer’ it is not ‘summer’ it is Britain. Dress accordingly.
- One must pull: Fringe central is absolutely the best place to pull. One has the flyer, the stars and the excuse to talk to hot men about one’s show. Sometimes the boundaries are blurred between networking and romance. Innuendo gets banded around willy nilly, stuff like: ‘I’ll see yours if you see mine’. ‘oooh, nice stars, wink wink, if you know what I mean’. One ends up wondering if it is one’s custom or one’s body the bloke wants. In the end it doesn’t really matter. Go and see his show and you’ll probably get a pint and a pash out of it.
- One must not get carried away: Do not end up going out with any of these people after the fringe. You are too similar. Far far too similar. It will end in disaster. Two writers, two actors, two singers should never attempt a relationship. A constant battle for limelight and adoration is not the foundation for marriage. (A note to self) what happens at Fringe, stays at Fringe until you embarrassingly bump into each other, next year and can’t quite remember each other’s names even though you were so in love during the festival. Should smile politely and discuss the weather and your stars.
- One must play it cool: Celebs are everywhere. It’s best to pretend you don’t notice them when you spot them. In fact look away and pretend they were staring at you. Then stand your flyer up on the table in their eye line and hope the title of your show seeps into their unconscious and they choose to see it and love it and tweet about it. It is absolutely acceptable after the celeb spotting to text all your friends to say you’ve seen them and exaggerate your meeting and make it into something more important than it was.
- One must have fun. You can get into the habit of thinking its all life and death. It’s not. Look up and away from one’s navel and one will see there’s a castle, a mountain and an ocean. Get some perspective. It’s only the Edinburgh Fringe and it’s fucking fantastic!!!
Sophie Walsh-Harrington, The Damsel in Shining Armour
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