“Trauma”. Lets look up the definition:
‘A deeply distressing or disturbing experience’
Mmm. Thats not quite enough. Lets look up “psychological trauma”:
‘Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a severely distressing event’
Mmm, thats better but still not there. A little closer, but not quite. How about “Agony”:
‘Extreme physical or mental suffering.’
Ah, thats better! Much more like it. Lets look up another one:
‘Intense feelings of suffering; acute mental or physical pain’
‘The agony of doubt’
‘The torments of the damned’
YES!!! YES!!! YES!!
PERFECT!!! Extreme mental suffering. Agony. Anguish. The AGONY of doubt. THE TORMENTS OF THE DAMNED. That’s exactly it. That’s precisely how I would describe what it’s like doing Edinburgh.
Sat Aug 9th
No.101 Cracker Jokes 4.15pm
Edinburgh, the capital city of Scottishland, city of literature and volcanos and the Firth of Forth, the city of phlegm. Home to the greatest Festival in the world, cradle of the arts, ground zero for broken dreams. The streets awash with the tears of failed comedians. The ghosts of those that came and flopped before, wailing in the darkest corners of those cobbled streets. Wailing: ‘GO! GO BACK!! GO BACK HOME AND LIVE YOUR LIVES!! DO NOT TRY TO CONQUER EDINBURGH!! FOR EDINBURGH SHALL CONQUER YOOOOOOOU!!!’ Many a man/woman/hermaphrodite has heard those cries, and failed to heed them.
THE TORMENTS OF THE DAMNED
(Hermaphrodite ghosts, theres a new one)
After arriving on day one, I dropped off my suitcase/haemorrhoid camera off at my B+B, freshened up a bit, and set back into Edinburgh city centre. Royal Mile. The epicentre of the Festival. It’s a bright sunny day, and there are tourists and performers everywhere. The place is alive and abundant with the spirit of Festival summer. But I don’t notice that. The first thing I see? The posters. Big massive fuck off posters. Of comedians. Everywhere. People I know. On big fuck off life sized shiny posters. Acts I knew and have gigged with had huge professional shiny posters on walls, windows and billboards. Billboards! Acts I’d gigged with in tiny grimy little clubs and cat litter bins back in the early days, were here, now, on massive billboards. And here I was, a Festival virgin, the life suddenly drained out of me like a used tea bag.
Oh, fuck. I think I’ve made a terrible mistake.
I do not respond well to the success of others.
‘GO! GO BACK!! GO BACK HOME AND LIVE YOUR LIVES!! DO NOT TRY TO CONQUER EDINBURGH!! FOR EDINBURGH SHALL CONQUER YOOOOOOOU!!!’
Sun Aug 10th
No.105 Cracker Jokes 4.15pm
No.106 Dada Comedy Ettrick Hogg + Woodward 6.15pm
No.107 Laughter on the Outskirts, Wee Pub, Woodward Ettrick Hogg 7.30pm
No.108 Ms Ettrick Hogg + Matt T Woodward Midnight Comedy, Espionage – The Kasbar Room
Mon Aug 11th
No.109 Cracker Jokes 4.15pm
Tue Aug 12th
No.111 Cracker Jokes 4.15pm
This is not good. I’m being bombarded with evidence, actual empirical real world evidence of my own relative failure, my own utter pathetic lack of career progress. These fucks are on billboards! Massive posters!! The only poster I’ve been on was for a college theatre piece about AIDs. Nearly 20 years ago. And that was just a photocopied A3 size of a drawing. Someone’s SHITTY little drawing. That was when I peaked. I peaked early in community college agit prop AIDs theatre. I was just 18. That’s an incredible achievement. Mark Zuckerburg started Facebook at 21. I beat that fuck by three years.
Wait a minute. Wait. It’s only day one. Day fucking one!! I have three weeks of this shit. I have a B+B booked, a venue booked, flyers printed and paid for, people to I’m responsible to. Stop walking back to the train station. Turn around. You must not let a few posters defeat you. Especially not those containing other comedians. Or, pertinently, people who are doing a fuck sight better than you. Let it go. Success is all relative. Half these fucks will probably have terrible Edinburghs. Hopefully.
Forget about them. Don’t worry about it. Go and check out your venue. Baby steps lad. Baby steps. I get my map out and begin the search for my venue. I try to block out the overwhelming knowledge of peer success. Which is nigh on impossible because people keep offering me their fucking flyers.
Wed Aug 13th
No.114 Cracker Jokes 4.15pm
Thur Aug 14th
Fri Aug 15th
No.116 Cracker Jokes 4.15pm
You’ve probably noticed something. Its the end of part two of my Edinburgh blog, and I still haven’t got past day one. There’s a reason for that. I’m procrastinating. I don’t want to dredge up the pain and memories of those three weeks. I’m not ready. It was like failure rehab. Being forced daily to confront who you are: A fuck up. But part three is next. I will have to deal with it. Next time, I’ll try my best to show you what happened. Just don’t be surprised if it comes in the form of incoherent screaming. So. Part three. Lets press ahead Joe. You have nothing to fear. Nothing to fear. Nothing to fear. Except maybe permanent psychological oblivion. And hermaphrodite ghosts.