We've nearly just about completed the first week. We've been here a little while and starting to get bedded in. I can tell because although the comedians still look mainly healthy, they are beginning to look a tiny bit tired. Also my once freshly laundered bed sheets now have a minor food stain on them, and I am about to wash them.
But I'm still relatively fresh faced and enthusiastic. If not as fresh as a daisy exactly, then at least as fresh as the 'good luck' flowers that I got for my first show that have been in water for 6 days.
Relief (we know our shows!) has been met with a new panic (ticket sales are down!) across the board. On average. Some people are still selling out. Bloody sell outs. I'm keeping it real at 12.
How will I cope with this new crisis*? (*as discussed in previous blog, it's not a crises in the traditional, grand scheme of things, but unfortunate none the less). For a start, I am re-branding it as 'not a crisis' - as now that I am making a conscious effort to be more positive and live up to my Joyful middle name, we need a less loaded word. 'Issue' will suffice. Issues can be small.
So, how will I cope with this new issue? Innovatively I thought I could make like Rudyard Kipling and treat it as an imposter. I thought maybe I could rip of its mask like at the end of Scooby Doo. (Oh yeah, I'm not thrown by success or failure). It's just an illusion. Turns out audience numbers are more like empirical facts, and it's not so easy to react as if they don't exist when they are a tangible thing.
For the most part, we're all blaming it on the Olympics. I think, because it's easier to blame a mega quadrennial sporting event than face up to the idea that everyone has decided they collectively don't like you anymore. (A bit like how my neighbour used to blame 9 11 for the failure of his dog walking business).
Except the Olympics genuinely is in direct competition for the time and attention of the punters.
Fans of sport and comedy are being torn in half, like in a highly public, terrible divorce. Why did no one think this through? Why couldn't Relate or a judge step in and make the Olympics take place in July? Why? Why? Won't someone please think of the children? (Comedians. Same thing really).
Part of the trouble is, on the Fringe, comedians, actors and everyone are essentially telling stories. But REAL LIFE is currently way more exciting. More than it's ever been before. The Olympics has everything: drama; redemption; jeopardy; love; and very unusually for Britain, a bit of a Hollywood ending. We don't need stories now, we've got the real thing.
And when even twitter crashes because everyone's tweeting about Andy Murray - how are the comedians supposed to be able to use it as the PR tool that god intended? Exactly.
Two thousand insecure, inept, emotionally-vulnerable alcoholics just can't compete for the attention of the nation, against 14,000 of the worlds fittest individuals. It's not a competition. Not a close one anyway. It's like an American high school film, where the jocks are much better and more popular than the sensitive emo kids. It's the time of the mainstream, and no one needs an alternate fringe when the mainstream is this good.
While everyone in the nation is watching TV, rejoicing, hugging each other and crying tears of joy at the emotions of the supporting and loving winning families, the comedians are sitting in bars, far from home, thinking, 'I could have been good at jumping if I wanted, but I didn't want to.'
But really, it's not that bad. Most of the comedians are really enjoying the Olympics too. Even if it is partly responsible for some unfortunate issues.
And I am still able to use my new found positive thinking and look on the bright side. My audiences have been lovely so far and 12 people laughing is always better than 25 people staring at you in silence. Plus things could always be worse. (They might get worse). But they are not worse yet.
And maybe last Edinburgh spoilt me, with its bigger audiences, and its sell-out first Saturday. Maybe I'll never get that nice an Edinburgh again. But I'm still glad that I've had it once. I can be joyful about that. Joy is my middle name.