THE BLOG

Stars, Stats, Smiles and Squeezes

18/08/2013 20:14 BST | Updated 17/10/2013 10:12 BST

Reviewers have a tough job.

A job giving you free tickets for stuff sounds great.

Getting free tickets to endure a bunch of shows you're not necessarily interested in - not so much.

Having to endure and hour long show which is so bad you consider doing your pelvic floor exercises as a more entertaining option - ugh.

And, then, you have to write up a zero star review, to a show which you got into for free, without sounding like you are an arrogant, ungrateful, eejit - well, that's not easy.

So, stars. Do they matter? An Actual Comedian advised me of this - whether you get none at all, only a solitary one, or, a whole constellation - reviews are only a snapshot and should be taken with a pinch of salt whether good or bad.

Sounds like sage advice - yet, I have found myself scouring the google for, erm, myself.

It's a bit like being a really, really good stalker - I always know where I am and what I am wearing, so it's ever so easy. Ok, it's more like being a really, really lazy stalker.

I put in my name to the search engine, hoping for a review - nothing. Self-Pep-Talk #1: "Well, it's a show about pelvic floors, who's going to review that?" Still nothing. Self-Pep-Talk #2: "Well, there are eleventy-billion shows on this week. Give it time" Still nothing. Self-Pep-Talk #3 "what did you expect? It was a stupid idea, this is a pure self-indulgence. You, and your needy need for neediness revolt me"

And, then, 3 reviewers came along at once. All giving my show 3 stars. Some got my name wrong, some confused the jokes and the science, some were written by lovely people who were too young and perky to really "get it"...but, still, 3 stars! That's ok! Phew.

Of course, my Properly Funny Friend says it doesn't matter. No one reads the reviews. It's irrelevant, really, reviews are just a tool to be used for next year's poster...och, wheeshit, whilst I google myself again..."hing oan, whit's this?"

"My most favourite thing about this show was the compere, whose voice was like pouring cream"

Four stars! The excellent, and well judged reviewer said was "fab". Clearly, this reviewer is an astute and clever person.

Technically speaking, I was only a small part of a four star show (the Bright Club, PhD students doing comedy about their research - here: https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/bright-club-scotland-s-fringe) - but, I was MCing it and they said that my voice was "like pouring cream".

Happily, before my ego could puff up, it was pointed out to me "as in, if you hear too much of it - you feel sick".

Stats aren't funny, a fact universally acknowledged, but a fact which cost me a star, according to one review.

Well, facts like "a third of people who have continence issues are also depressed" simply aren't very entertaining. It's just not funny to live with a wearing condition which won't kill you but will interfere with every single thing you want to do. A wearing condition which is probably curable if you were only given the education you need. Sigh.

Happily, this means that if there's a bit of my show you don't like, it's probably a sciencey bit. If it makes you chuckle, it's comedy. Simples.

The best feedback I can have are smiles - and I have learned that standing on the upper stage on the Royal Mile and yelling about incontinence at the people passing by makes them smile. Though, some of them may have been grimacing.

Keep smiling. And squeezing.