When I was relatively new to stand-up I had a well-meaning promoter tell me "don't do anything naughty, keep it clean," at the exact moment I was introduced onstage in a West End comedy club. Utterly baffled - he'd seen my act and knew my tone, why had he booked me? - I was lost onstage as I flailed for vaguely PG observations from my honest, blunt and thus often crude material.
I would be tubing it to NW5, then east to Hackney; the following night I'd be at Dirty Dicks in EC2 trying some new ideas. The weekend would bring the odd 15 minute set. Yes, I heard heckles of "Don't give up your day-job, mate!". No, it didn't bother me. The joke was on them. I didn't have to give up my day-job. Stand-up got me fired from about three of them.
Of course my life since then hasn't been a disaster, and you can't sift out and keep the good bits. I enjoyed my university education, despite being a long way from home and abjectly failing to make any friends. I'm happily married now, and I can't separate that from all the other choices that I've made.
I'm here in Edinburgh again for the annual festival and as ever it's a marathon, so this time I'm heeding the words a fellow comedian gave me just last week: drink less, sleep more. The fact that I spotted that fellow comedian falling out of a pub yesterday just after midnight - completely arseholed of course - is neither here nor there.
I asked the organisers if they knew anything about the history of the place and it would appear that a local woman called Susan had simply decided one day that the derelict barn would make for an excellent arts space and had proceeded to bully the local community and council until her idea became a reality.