The Fringe is nearly upon us and I'm going through that classic 'why on earth did I agree to do this' phase of the preparation process. Unfortunately for me that phase has lasted for, well, lets see, it started in May... How is it July now? How?
I assume it's normal, in the lead up to the festival, to feel like your calendars, your clocks and time itself are part of some elaborate prank? Admittedly it's a prank with a surprisingly high budget, considering everyone else in the world seems to be playing along with it. But I see through their ploy. Or I've gone nuts.
Luckily I can fall back on my inner strength to see me through. After all, Joy is my middle name. If
I can't pull some felicity out of the bag in a time of stress, than what's the point of being named after one of life's more positive emotions? Well. We'll find out in my show, one way or the other.
And of course there's still one or two previews between me and showtime. So there's still plenty* of opportunity's to knock this beast into shape. That's the whole point of the previews. Test material, learn, re-write, repeat. TMLRWR (if that helps you remember it).
They say it's not failure, it's feedback. So for instance, when I knocked over my flimsy stand, holding some big pictures and sent my drink flying over my notes, I took that as feedback that maybe the flimsy stand was too flimsy. But they say you should test everything three times, so after two more instances of the exact same thing happening at other previews, I decided maybe I should rent a projector to display my pictures when I do the the real thing. That's TMLRWR © in action right there. I'm learning and correcting like some kind of winner.
But in a way I think 'joy' did help me through these difficult instances. I am the sort of person that delights in misfortune, even if it's of myself. I also laugh at inappropriate times, and laughing at yourself on stage in front of an audience who are supposed to be laughing, because your low quality props keep breaking, is a definite example of that.
I figured that was not so much laughing to mask the tears, as laughing because I'm too stupid to know that tears might have been the more appropriate reaction. But the upshot was that I still felt happy with my ridiculous circumstances.
But then I read that Molière, the French playwright said, "Life is a tragedy to those who feel and a comedy to those who think." And I thought, hey, maybe more than just being a coping strategy, or a result of a wrongly-wired brain, maybe laughing in a crises is a sign of genius. Or something.
So come on Edinburgh, let's find out the truth. Is Joy an ironic middle name for someone who only became a comedian because they worked out it was a slightly more legitimate way to get attention than faking a panic attack? Or is it a self-fulfilling prophecy and the apt moniker for a genius?
To be honest, either is fine.