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Tuesday, July 26

A Collection of Thoughts

What follows are some random musings. I don't mean they're totally random. A totally random musing would involve choosing two words from two books and seeing what happens:

"and McNally" - there: that's a random musing.

I mean that here are some disconnected unrelated thoughts that are sitting in my head.

If You've Got It Flaunt It
It's the time of year when we all try to write press releases to make ourselves look good to try to attract an audience for the Fringe. Despite outward appearances, I actually have a lot of trouble in saying good stuff about myself in press releases. I'm a generally honest person, and all the promotional stuff I write always feels like lying. It's not that I think I'm no good, it's just that I think it's not reasonable for me to be the judge of how good I am.

I've noticed a friend of mine, whom I helped with their Edinburgh show, has taken one of their principle difficulties and broadcast it across the media as a selling point. I mean that they've done it honestly. By highlighting what might be a weakness, they've made it a talking point and virtue. I think that's brilliant. Perhaps I should be looking for things about myself that I would rather not talk about and start whacking them into press releases.

If Not Now, When?
I made a few resolutions about a year ago when I had a health scare. One of those resolutions was to sort out my weight problem. I also decided I wanted to get married to my girlfriend. I have achieved one of the two of these. Given the impending wedding, if I don't sort out the other, then I'll be married in widescreen, and nobody wants that. I've run out of excuses. It's time to take weightloss seriously.

Be Careful How You Act
I'm principled and opinionated. I get in there and get involved. Sometimes this is appropriate and sometimes it's not. I hope I've the instincts to pull back if I've overstepped the mark, but we all make mistakes.

I'm afraid I wind some people up. It's not intentional. It's hard to act in a way that makes you totally inoffensive - I wouldn't know where to start with that; I also can't really be bland. It's all guns blazing or nothing with me.

That said, I don't like it when some people reflect my behaviour back to me through the fairground hall of mirrors that is a difference in personal perspective, and I see myself as being a bunch of things that I don't think I am. This is where you can say perception is reality. For someone to interpret me one way is almost as much my problem as it is theirs. Well, I say that... it very much depends on the person.

However, I must accept that I come across as know-it-all, overbearing and judgemental from time to time. Then I sometimes come across as cheerful, warm and supportive at others. The trick, I guess, is to watch my own behaviour a bit more carefully, since it's clear that others are watching it and sometimes seeing something in me that I don't want to be.

Searching For Identity
One's identity is very important. I don't mean bank details. I mean who you think you are - what you consider your life's purpose and work to be.

I try to be many things, and I think the thing which drives me to irritation most is when someone questions my right to assume those roles/identities, or in some way denigrates me in those roles. Call me a fatty bum bum, and I'm not bothered. Call me an unsuccessful comedian, and I'll have sleepless nights.

Funny, eh?

Being Bright
A while ago, I recorded a 15 minute comedy radio programme with a friend of mine. It was a project for her university course and has never been even considered for broadcast. It was purely something we knocked up in my, at that time, incomplete house. We called it "not too bright" and I still occasionally listen to it. I kind of wish we'd found a way to do something with the core idea, but perhaps it didn't have legs.

When I script comedy for myself in a double act, I frequently put myself in the role of the idiot. I guess I was the "non bright one" in "not too bright".

Last night, though, I was required to consider my brightness from a different angle, as I did The Bright Club in Cardiff. This small but perfectly formed gig was brilliant fun, very supportive, and a chance to see comedy of all sorts, mixed in with some rather over-thought-out-but-excellent powerpoint presentations.

I had a lot of fun with the crowd.

I also sweated quite a lot. I was so bright, I was positively glowing red!

Intermission
Yes. I know. Blog posts should probably be shorter and pithier than this. I'm just enjoying writing one, so please bear with me. It won't be much longer.

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You
With last night's try out of some last minute tweaks for my show, it's pretty much time to do the last two previews and then take it to Edinburgh. Friday night has me in Hexham and 1st August has me in London. On 3rd August, I'll do some excerpts from the show as part of a stand-up set in Nuneaton.

My show is The Seven Deadly Sings and my stand-up gig list is on www.ashleyfrieze.co.uk/gigs. Come if you can.

Making The Merchandise
It's almost a sort of witchcraft. You go onto some sort of website, upload a file from your computer and then T-Shirts, CDs, Mugs, postcards, flyers, posters and the like all suddenly get made, stuck into a van and sent somewhere.

I've been making pretty much all of the above for various reasons. The Vistaprint racket of claiming everything's free, except charging you whole bunches of extras (and not quoting VAT) is a simple fact of life. In general, though, I'm pleased to have the CDs to sell and give away (Vistaprint don't make CDs) and things like flyers and posters are a negative - i.e. if you DON'T have them, then it's BAD.

In a chance of strategy this year, I'm going to be paying for some flyering and postering services in Edinburgh. This is primarily to increase my exposure. I intend to make a success of this year's Fringe. The show's good enough - now I need to focus on the audience.

More...
I'll be blogging again shortly. For now, please take a rest from reading my outpourings.

And thanks.

Or sorry.

Choose which suits you best.

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