I'm now back in the office on the outside of a can of luke-warm soup and a sandwich, and I feel ill. It's not the food that's made me feel ill. I've picked up some sort of lurghi while running round Edinburgh without a coat, talking to many people and, undoubtedly, picking up their germs.
Last week was pretty cool. Despite only making a brief appearance at this year's fringe, I've managed to perform 25 times, including a couple of gigs where I must have easily smashed my own personal record for the longest amount of time on stage. I should also add that I was still getting laughs towards the end of the set on these occasions, which is a good sign. Any idiot can stay on stage and do stuff, but to get the laughs throughout is harder. This year was my fourth consecutive visit to the Fringe and I'm still only just really starting to understand how naive I was when, in August 2002, I vowed to return the following year with my own hour-long one man show. To be entertaining for an hour takes a lot of doing. To be worth paying money to come and see for an hour takes a lot more. Sure, it's possible to do such a show for Free (as indeed, someone is doing) but it doesn't necessarily make it worth the time that your audience have spent watching you.
At some point, I should write up my show watching diary. I saw quite a few shows this year - I managed to see more per-day than last year (I think). Most of what I saw was pretty good. There were a couple of shows which were terrible and, of course, there was Mudfinger, which I consistently laughed at, though for all the wrong reasons. I got a text from a friend which read Saw mudfinger, a couple of the audience members spent 20 minutes with one wacking him with a cardboard tube, while the other shouted "kill him" - they were 4. Brilliant!
I'm glad to be back home in the arms of my girlfriend. I've had a variety of different forms of company over the fringe. There's been drinking with comedy chums, there's been teaching a Big Brother winner/pin-up to perform stand-up (I'd never heard of her... that's showbiz), there's been the solitude of show-watching alone, I met someone I fell out with under mysterious circumstances and had the chance to clear the air and forget about it, and I've had about 1000 random encounters with members of the public I was trying to issue with flyers. Quite a mix. It's hard to believe that it all fit into a handful of days.
Life at home is, in some ways, a lot better. I've had the chance to relax. I'm now sporting a new pair of well-fitting jeans, courtesy of my girlfriend and the larger-sizes available in America. Even returning to the office didn't seem too bad.
I've got to get rid of this hacking cough and general malady. I'm due in Manchester on Thursday to do a gig and I want it to go well. I've got some new stuff which came out during the Fringe and I would like to be considered as a better act as a result of the recent work I've put in. I'm not sure that I'm happy to continue indefinitely as a stand-up comedian if I do not get some taste of success. However, I shall have my opportunities in the next couple of months and it will be up to me to capitalise upon them. We'll see.