Halfway Day

Well I’m nearly at the end of the day that marks halfway through the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I wish I’d made more time to write about everything that’s happened over the last 2 weeks or so. It feels like a lifetime ago since I was sat in Beyond with 270 other crew and staff, listening to all the welcome speeches.

But that’s the thing about the Fringe, once the festival starts, the city enters its own little microcosmic bubble. You’re thrown headlong into crazy 15 hour days, not knowing what’s on from one day to the next, your body clock and circadian rhythms shift to accommodate your working day. You exist in your own tiny world, populated only by other venue staff and customers/punters. You meet famous people everywhere, in the shop/deli, in the courtyard, in Tesco… It’s such a surreal experience, I’ve met Reginald D Hunter, Nicholas Parsons, Eddie Izzard, not to mention the names in my own venue! I’ve met the most amazing, fantastic, unbelievable people, on stage, off stage, behind the scenes, I don’t really have time to take it all in.

We’ve got the halfway party tonight, so I’m looking forward to unwinding and enjoying a night with all the new friends I’ve made at the Pleasance. The clue really is in the title, I have yet to meet anyone horrible who works at the Pleasance, and I doubt I ever will. Without exception, everyone on site is friendly, compassionate and eminently professional, I’ve made so many new friends, it’s hard to keep track!

When I went to my interview at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington, they said it was going to be hard work. I’ve done long days before, I’ve done lots of long days on the trot before, I thought I could take this on with no problems, but I have never worked like this before. One of my bosses, Matt said to me once ‘it’s a long hard festival’ and he definitely wasn’t lying. I’ve been tested to the limit in all of my abilities as a technician. I’ve learned a new lighting desk, a new sound desk, I’ve learned stage management, and so many new lighting tricks, I can’t wait to try them out elsewhere. Matt was right, it is a long hard festival, but what it’s taking from me, it’s giving back abundantly. I already feel I will be leaving the festival a better, more seasoned and mature technician than the bloke who wandered onto the courtyard 3 weeks ago.

Show’s about to go down, I’d better go, just thought I’d let you all know I’m still alive and well, and definitely still smiling :)