Liz McCreight, member of international sketch and improv troupe The Cleek, shares five things she’s learned during her first time performing at the Fringe..
1. “It is impossible not to flirt with flyerers.”
Flyer flirting (“fly-irting,” if you fancy) is excellent practice for introverts. Practise your small talk with a stranger who definitely wants to see you again! Granted, they just want your butt in a seat, but that doesn’t mean they don’t also think it’s quite a cute butt.
2. “Every venue is right next to every other venue… except somehow they’re all a 15 minute walk from wherever you are right now.”
Everything is a short walk away, yet every walk home seems a million Royal Miles long.
3. “The plastic cups they give you to put your drink in at a show are not big enough to fit all of an Old Mout Cider.”
So, if you buy one to pass the time before seeing a show by yourself, you may have to drink quite a bit of it beforehand and, because you may be a total lightweight, you may be tipsy by the time you take your seat, which may lead you to weep openly at The Bunker Trilogy: Agamemnon. And maybe that’s okay.
4. “How do you know you don’t like it if you haven’t even tried it?”
Mom’s admonition from childhood rings true about strange food AND about the Fringe. I saw a show where we listened to a taped recording of the dead playwright, then played Mafia on-stage. I saw a Maori tribal dance performance. I saw Brazilian Honeymoon Disasters. I never would have known I loved all those things if I hadn’t just gone with it. Try something. Try something weird. Try something weird and laugh about it later.
5. “There are no time turners at the Fringe.”
Harry Potter nerds know that Hermione’s helpful hourglass necklace would be a lifesaver here, allowing us to be at two places at once. While we might not use it for as noble reasons as Miss Granger, anyone here would gladly take the risks of time travel in order to not miss anything. But, that’s not how it works in the real world. You can’t be in a show at 2:20 and still make it to a show you’re dying to see at 2:00. I don’t like feeling like I’m missing out on anything, but there are many shows that have slipped by me that I had highlighted and dog-eared weeks ago. Yet I don’t regret a single minute of my time here. I’ve gotten to have an experience unlike any I’ve ever had before, and unlike anyone else’s here now. We create our own Fringe, create our own Fringe experience. Whether you see six shows a day or one, you are having a once in a lifetime experience that you can’t replace.
The Cleek: Until 24 Aug at Just the Tonic @ The Mash House (Venue 288), more info
Going to the Edinburgh Festival?
• Unsure what to see? Read all The Scotsman reviews
• What’s hot (or not): Browse the reviews by star rating
• Don’t miss a thing. Sign up to our daily email newsletter
• Join the conversation with #WOWFEST and follow it live