Monthly Archives: August 2009

EDINBURGH FRINGE – DONE THAT

My high tech interview for Grace The Spot by Ally Maxwell

My high tech interview for Grace The Spot by Ally Maxwell

I am winding up my Edinburgh Fringe after 25 shows and dozens of guest sets here and there at secret underground cabarets including the Underbelly where I descended 5 flights of stairs from ground level,performing sometimes to people who don’t understand English are very drunk or just incapable of laughing or who may have been ghosts. I have been able to say just about anything to these audiences- being gay is no big deal here and there are a lot of atheists in Europe. It is impossible to shock an Edinburgh Fringe audience. But having an American accent puts me at a disadvantage. They look down on us even Obama doesn’t help the George Bush effect. This is payback for me since I never liked Benny Hill. I got some press 4stars in the list and Scotsgay, favorable mention in the Groggy Squirrel (everyone’s a critic here even rodents) and I spoke with the infamous blog Grace The Spot you can read that interview here

Before climbing Arthur's Seat

Before climbing Arthur's Seat

I have taken one solid day to be a tourist and wandered around Holyrood Park climbed all the way up to Arthur’s Seat for a 360 degree view of the city on the only warm day in this damp cold month where you could be out without a coat. I have eaten Black Pudding knowing it was blood and oatmeal but only could handle vegetarian haggis.

Making it to THE TOP!

Making it to THE TOP!

After I climbed back down

After I climbed back down

I got to see some great shows and am still blown away by London’s Chickenshed performance of “Crime Of The Century” about knife crime among youth in the UK. Some of the guys in the cast had been coming to my show and I was finally able to check them out yesterday. Really inspiring physical theater. I wish I did that sort of thing. Also got to finally see my twitter friend Ben Lerman’s funny show at Café Renroc. He storms the ukelele and makes me want to be a gay guy. He also has a great flat here with Wi Fi and the two of us created a very dark blog at two in the morning. Got to know a funny latina from NYC a little better. Blanca Dominguez had a good laugh at her show Blurrr. Then there’s my new pal in London Sian Hutchinson who had a smashing success here. She’s quite sassy and I have some incriminating videos of her taken at the Pear Tree. But I can’t find them so here’s a picture of another dazzling performer I dazzled, Micaela Leon from Kabarett Berlin

Scotsgay's Jean Genie, Micaela Leon, amazing chanteuse, and me

Scotsgay's Jean Genie, Micaela Leon, amazing chanteuse, and me

The biggest secret hit here is a show called Cabaret Whore starring Sarah Louise Young at the ‘free fringe.’ This is an offshoot of the EdFringe you don’t pay to get in but you have to pay to get out- whatever you can but some performers are more skilled at getting the big pounds out of you. Like the lady who plays Cabaret Whore as an Edith Piaf rival wielding a knife she says “Performers come to Edinburgh to die” that’s why all the performers love her. If I ever came back here-not to die- I would do the free fringe. But I don’t know if I can do this again for 3 weeks. It’s a money loser and there’s no internet really. You have to go sit places and buy crap you don’t want to drink or eat (with the money you’re not making) to use WiFi and the signal is weak. And there’s no affordable vegetables fresh fruit or TV. But it was a great experience all in all and I’ll be very happy to be back in the uncouth USA.

Ben Lerman and I having some giggles

Ben Lerman and I having some giggles

F it.

DEAR READERS- I HAVE TO BLOG IN THE INTERNET CAFE. I KNOW THERE ARE LOTS OF GRAMMAR ERRORS. SENTENCE FRAGMENTS. I HAVE TO RUN AND CAN”T FIX IT. F IT! ENJOY IF YOU CAN MAKE SENSE OF IT. xm

I really like the Scots. I really really like them. Especially the plumbers. Who are at my flat almost every other day. Because we have a haunted shower it was the only thing I liked about the flat. A digital control you just press high medium or low for the amount of flow and then move the dial for the temperature. But after a week it began to turn itself on. At least something in our flat is getting turned on. And it would spew cold water like that. And the plumbers would come and fix it for a day. The last plumber yesterday called it a nightarrrrrr and pulled the box out and hacked off the cabinet under the kitchen sink for no good reason. My GF is hot and the best and I want no other but sometimes my sex imagination turns itself on. You know the handyman fantasy- and I’m totally gay- but it’s the elephant in the room or the plumber in the shower. Anyway I forgot about it and went about my business as he made panicky calls to other plumbers about this nightmarrr and he kept running out for valves and I forgot about him until we both turned the corner at the same time and were nose to nose.

It was awkward for both of us because he knows I know he knows I know that fantasy. And he said he’s be be taking the digital box away and another plumber would show up on Monday. So I’ve been taking whore baths that’s what my  gay guy housemate calls it.  And this is how I’ve been going on stage this weekend. I also dropped my gold lame jacket and ‘matching’ boots– I’m wearing my new balance sneakers and a t shirt.  I don’t have a dressing room now I don’t have a shower.  .Parts of me are dirty.And tomorrow I might eat out of a pan

I am finally fringe.

Fish and Chips

I had fish and chips at 1 am last night then I watched two episodes of Ugly Betty on my lap top.
I have a thing for the fish and chips guy at Newington Fish and Chips. He was very nice to me when I left my flyers there and I decided should I ever succumb to fried food I’d go to him. He put brown sauce on my chips and malt vinegar. But if you want a ketchup or mayo packet there it’s an extra 25 p for each (approximately 47 cents)

Me and 80 women comics in Edinburgh. You can find me on top in the gold

Me and 80 women comics in Edinburgh. You can find me on top in the gold

I don’t know if this touring abroad thing is for me after all.  I like the cobblestones but they ruin my shoes. I don’t mind grey skies every day. Meeting people is nice. They’re so hospitable but it’s really hard to understand what they’re saying. And beer is fattening. Now that Obama is president there’s no reasaon to leave the US really. And it’s too late to tell the crowd pleasing George Bush jokes. I still am not able to get across the street without almost getting flattened by one of those demonic speeding double decker buses that look exactly the same in the front as they do in the back so I don’t know if they are coming or going like a two headed monster. I did shell out about $30 bucks for a weekly Lothian bus pass. Here they take your picture for the pass- like a drivers license. And if you don’t like the photo they retake it. I love my bus pass. Under my picture there’s my name and in big block letters ADULT. I showed it to Ben Lerman and he thought my picture looked like a cross between Ally Sheedy and Bob Saget. He should know he saw Ally Sheedy in the flesh. I’m going to try and see his show tonight.
The food is bad here and they don’t give you enough (except for fish and chips) but somehow I’m puffing out. And everything is expensive. But you can buy half cans of canada dry ginger ale at Tesco supermarket for 39 pence. That’s only about 75 cents. I’m becoming an expert converter of pounds to dollars. Just double the pounds and subtract a nickle. Walking to my gig every night- (Why didn’t I ask for a night off in my deal -one of my mistakes – which I am not at liberty to elaborate on) I pass the KFC. They are hiring. I think about applying for a job. I can print out flyers of me in my KFC uniform and make it a Fringe Venue.
Two more reviewers came to the show last night from Scotsgay and something else. I think I was pretty awesome last night but something went wrong with my hair during the show. When I got off stage and went to the disabled bathroom in the hall which I pretend is my dressing room I saw in the dim light -hair sticking out on both sides of my head like an antennae. Even if I don’t get the KFC job I am going to start wearing a hairnet.

BOLD FACE NAMES

Hagaris the Handsome was in the house last night . I met him in the afternoon at a bar at which my friend Sian Hutchinson was performing her funny solo show. I went to there with Brooklyn Ukelele man Ben Lerman and his mates. Ben and I went to the bar to get some coffee and this Viking impersonator cat Hagaris, was having a big glass of scotch and telling no one in particular about an american woman’s show he had seen.

So I took that as an opening to give him my flyer.
I tried to pretend I wasn’t Marga Gomez just her flyer girl but you can’t pull the angora over Hag’s eyes and then he asked if he could take a picture I said -really?- Then he leaned in got close to my mouth as I squirmed away. And he froze there and then I stared at him freezing there. No camera by the way. It was very lizard like the whole thing. He was in my front row that night. I wasn’t surprised.Well he bought a ticket so he tended to talk to me now and then during the show. Unfortunately his story was a sad one. He lives in Glasgow. He wants to go back with his ex wife. They got married in toronto and more stuff I didn’t want to hear.. That almost sucked all the funny out of the room but the audience and I worked together as a team to get the comedy back. Even the tech person told me it was the best show so far.

I like to say hi to everybody after shows and most people are great and respectful but there are a few grabby people here who may ruin this practice. In the lobby  Hagaris put his hat on my head- then took it back. I don’t like to have old man hats placed on my head. One woman ran her hand along my face. I literally flinched. But I thought to myself well maybe it’s the scottish culture then she starts talking and she’s like from OHIO!!  Not cool.  Not as bad as last weekend at a club when another woman grabbed my face with one hand and then poked her finger in the gap between my teeth with the other. WTF? I’ll be bobbing in weaving out of innapropriate touching for the next 2 weeks here in Edinburgh.

Last night I saw a shooting star on the way back to my flat about 1am. Part of the metor shower I think. Thanks to the universe for that.

Fringed

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My bedding issued at our cell block/student housing

King Arthur's Seat: I can see it on the way to my gig

King Arthur's Seat: I can see it on the way to my gig

Week one of the Edinburgh Fringe was spent searching for internet, trying to figure out sodium content on european labels, Learning to live with roommates; two gay solo performers and a 75 year old comedienne stripper who has become the toast of Edinburgh and wrote her name on her toilet paper so we don’t use it. I understand, that’s how I feel about my ambien and coffee filters. There is one more roommate who’s over 60 and she’s just starting out in comedy. So I’m the young chick. But we never see the two senior ladies who stay out till 3 am every night.

the hip hop bagpipe shop

the hip hop bagpipe shop

Oh yes I also opened my show at the Zoo Southside on Nicolson st and got 4 stars from “The List” an important publication in these parts. They called me “Absurdly Brilliant.” They also said my Gold Lame jacket and matching boots were ridiculous. But that is so not true- my boots don’t match the jacket at all.

Edinburgh is a lose money deal usually and I’m in the usually category. Last time I played this festival was 1994. I had a rich producer, full court press, my own one bedroom flat and spending money. Now I’m broke as a joke having to put up my own posters. My producer this time is a clown. At first I was in denial. I thought his act was juggling and magic. When anybody asked me about my clown producer I snapped “Where’s his fucking red nose then?”But at his show last night he made balloon animals. And he is never without his little red brimmed pork pie hat. Pretty sure my producer is a clown. They don’t always have red noses.

In the queue to pitch their shows to the Edinburgh press.

In the queue to pitch their shows to the Edinburgh press.

I went to a very hip party for lesbians and friends last week called Velvet. They invited me to perform a few minutes and afterwards I gave out flyers, accepted a beer, made some new friends and invited myself over to their house for Sunday Roast. As I left the club I said to some other girls- I’ll see you here next Saturday but one lass sadly told me “This party is only once a year” (you imagine the scottish brogue)

So that leaves CC Blooms for semi lesbian night life. It’s got a reputation as grim -like one of those dives we come out in to make sure we’re serious about being gay. Anyone can come out in a pretty bar.I tried handing flyers outside of this place but gave up after a table of dykes (and two pit bulls) thought that I was performing at an actual zoo.

Scotty tries on my Tartan at the Velvet paty

Scotty tries on my Tartan at the Velvet paty