Sunday August 12th, 2012
Everything I mentioned yesterday was true. The part that might seem slightly deceptive is the fact that there were only 5 people in the audience. But in one regard, that makes it even more special that they yelled 'Bravo'. Here's the thing. This trip is a 30th anniversary gift that my husband Glenn and I are giving each other. He's fully aware that family and friends might be the only people reading this blog. He was worried that if I stressed the negative or dwelled on the difficult that it would seem too depressing. But a festival of this magnitude can be really overwhelming, difficult, exciting, depressing, thrilling, exasperating, and tasty. On a high note, I had a really marvelous yoga class today. (Free through Fringe Central, because my show is registered through the official Fringe). The lovely woman leading the class is an actor/yoga teacher, from Cyprus in Greece. She is very kind. 2 days ago I was handing out flyers/postcards before my show. She's doing a show called 'the Jhiva of Nietzsche' in the same venue, and we've met several times. She has a gentle and caring way about her, and she came over and said "I noticed your body language seems very sad, you don't seem to want to be handing out these cards."
I burst into tears.
When you're feeling fragile, and someone is particularly kind to you, it's nearly impossible not to fall apart. I explained about some arrangements we'd made for our daughter, that fell through. I mentioned the recent decline of my father... his ability to drive has disappeared in the last few months (he's got dementia). Generally I just felt VERY sorry for myself. Plus, the night before when I had checked my emails, I'd gotten a very angry missive from someone in Minneapolis. A detail had fallen through the cracks before we left Minnesota. Inadvertent on my part, but it was my mistake. Since I was going to have to do our show 'The Property Known As Garland' in a few minutes, I excused myself, and thanked the nice actor/yoga teacher, and headed to the bathroom to check makeup and collect myself.
2 days later I'm in the yoga class this nice lady is teaching and I'm hearing all sorts of comforting things. Like:
1. We need to relax and breathe, in order to 'let go' of these characters that we're living with.
2. Close the left nostril gently, and breathe in for the count of 6.... then close the right nostril and breathe out for the count of 6.
3. Forgive yourself for not being able to do everything and remember everything.
4. After your show, relax and visualize a bright light in the middle of your brain (she pronounced it 'meeedle'. This light is eradicating every bad thought or negative emotion, and leaving only the bright light.
There were a lot of other nice breathing and meditation techniques she mentioned. All of them worth trying. This month here, that I'm experiencing, is kind of a like a marathon for actors. Since we've not performed here before, it's a marathon on unfamiliar terrain. You can train for it, and I did, but you really don't have any idea what exactly lies ahead.
Anyway, that's me being philosophical......
I'm extremely gratified that I'm here. I am appreciating how amazing it is that we're even doing this. I absolutely love Edinburgh. People here are SO friendly. If you just stop in the street and look like you don't know where you're going, a local will approach you and ask if you need directions. Lots of young women walk here and there at night and the city does not feel threatening at all (unlike New York and many parts of Minneapolis or Chicago). The buildings are charming. There's cobblestones everywhere, and gorgeous vistas. But the nature of producing a play, is much like giving birth. You want everyone to admire your baby. NO ONE wants to be told they have an ugly baby. And in the Edinburgh Festival there are THOUSANDS of babies (plays). So the competition for audiences (admirers) is very fierce. Letting go of what you thought something might be, and appreciating something for what it is, may be the key.
Anyway..... on to other things.
Glenn and I had a wonderful breakfast at the nicest French cafe around. Le Cafe Gourmand. 126 Nicolson Street. We had the best Eggs Florentine we've ever had. Two gently poached eggs, on top of fresh wilted spinach that's sitting on an English muffin and topped with Hollandaise sauce. Delicious. That was Glenn's, but he let me take several bites. I shared some of my croissant with orange marmalade with him, and a drink or two from my hot chocolate. It was a leisurely breakfast and afterwards we took an amazing walk. We headed towards Arthur's Seat which is a huge huge hill/cliff that sits on one side of Edinburgh. A 10 minute walk away from the city and you're in a beautiful expanse of wilderness. Cliffs, wild flowers, trails and stone steps. Really gorgeous. The walk up the hill is strenuous, and I had to keep pretending to take photos just to catch my breath. It's good to sweat though, and the walk felt great. It's been sunny for days on end here, and the trail was actually dusty in parts. I don't think that the Scots are used to trail dust. : )
Oh, P.S. last night we stopped at a pub called 'The Auld Hoose', 23-25 St. Leonard's Street, and we had 1/2 pint each of a hand pulled ale called Hobgoblin. It's da bomb. Loved it. The music on their jukebox kind of sucked. It was all heavy metal/punk type head banging stuff. But the bartender with a hundred tattoos was really friendly and the ale was stellar.