The Edinburgh Fringe is almost upon us and for performers it's essentially a month long Glastonbury. Four weeks of drinking, shouting over music, standing in the rain, crying over reviews oh and performing your show, does take it's toll. I asked some Edinburgh Fringe performers for their top tips for the month ahead. Here is your Edinburgh Fringe survival guide so don't panic.
1. No toiletries - Angela Barnes
"I always lug toiletries with me on the train, and then remember Edinburgh is a city. With shops. So I try to remember to buy toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel etc when I get there."
Excellent point Angela. Hurrah, back pain be gone!
2. Write a journal - Sofie Hagen
"Last year I kept a little journal. Each day I'd write down how the show went, how many audience members, which shows I saw, what my mood was etc. That is really useful to look through now, as I'm preparing for the next one. Either as a "Oh it wasn't too bad" or "Oh yeah, I lose my voice half-way through, gotta be prepared for that!" or just "Aw, I'll remember to go see her show again this year."
This is very useful advice as alcohol kills brain cells so after seven fringes I can hardly remember my own name, let alone what happened last year.
3. Pack spares and spices - Athena Kugblenu
"I pack spices. I can't be bothered to buy salt, pepper, garam masala etc in Edinburgh. Also extra pillow cases and a bed sheet, because when you wash your sheets you need spares for when they are drying and apartments don't always have spares. I never regret having an extra towel too."
If you are flying to Edinburgh you may have to explain these tiny packets of suspicious looking powders away to airport security, so just make sure you give them the chilli powder to sniff first!
4. Don't watch shows - Steve Bugeja
"Don't go see any other shows until you're completely happy with your own, it will only worry you. Also remember that vegetables exist."
It's just like being on an airplane, put on your own oxygen mask before helping others and then eat a courgette.
5. Look after your hair - Sooz Kempner
"Take/buy really good shampoo. The water in Edinburgh is super-soft and can make hair a bit lifeless and meh. And when your hair is gross you feel gross. I take a clarifying shampoo (Neutrogena do one that isn't bank-breaking) and also Jersey Bounce from Lush (about £12 for a tub that lasts 15 washes if you have a lot of hair) and alternate them during the fringe. Also a really light conditioner to combat how soft the water is (Lush's vegan conditioner is excellent). IT'S JUST NICE TO HAVE NICE HAIR WHILE YOU CRY".
Top tips that will provide excellent teary Instagrams during the festival. Nice hair makes up for everything.
6. Use verruca socks - Jess Fostekew
"It rains, a lot. Be prepared for fish in the sky-level rain. Don't want to spend the whole month in wellies? Swap your normal socks for verruca socks."
Yes, let's reclaim these socks of misery from our youth!
7. Enemies and hugs - Will Duggan
"Ignore all reviews, except the bad reviews of your enemies. Revel in those. If you are feeling down get hugs from strangers."
Reviews can be hard to ignore when they are plastered over everyone's posters or sent direct to your inbox but as a performer you should be wearing "I'm a little bit famous in Edinburgh" sunglasses all the time anyway so these should help to give you bad vision for ignoring reviews.
And Finally ...
Most performers also agree that ordering a supermarket shop for the day you arrive is a good idea and never start a conversation with "so how is your show going?", you may not make it through the whole month if you do.
Don't forget to support live comedy by clicking on the performer's names above to find out more about their shows! And my survival tip is go and see all these shows and the laughter generated will get you through all the rain the Scottish heavens can send. Also, you should probably come and see my show #justsaying
Samantha Baines performs throughout the Edinburgh Fringe 2017:
3.30pm, 2nd - 28th August, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh