Edinburgh…New York’s got nothing on you…

August 15, 2010

Don’t get me wrong, I love New York through and through.  But this Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a whole ‘nother animal.

There are over 2,400 shoes happening on a given day and some have A-list stars or fire breathing with burlesque acrobats.  What makes you so special?

I’ve done one week of performing, of selling myself, of going out and physically getting audiences to come to my show.  I’ve gotten over my fear of self promotion.  Of acting physically silly in order to get people’s attention.  I don’t have an email blast to send to friends and family.  I am performing in front of strangers from all over the world and this is exactly what I wanted.

My senses have become sharper.  We’re always thinking about the next time we can promote ourselves.  I need to take care of myself so I don’t get fatigued, wonky or sick.  I’m performing for two weeks straight and it’s the closest thing I’ve done to a Broadway-type run…something over a longer duration and consistently.

This is an actor initiation for me.  This separates the weak and the strong.  On any given day I fall into either category.

I admire ALL people who have come to this Fringe.  The young, the old, the professionals, the students.  Most importantly, I’ve learned how to appreciate to perform for the very sake of performing, no matter what the circumstances.  I’ve been learning a lot from students who are performing for the sheer love of it.  Yes, they might care about reviews on some level, but more importantly, they are filled with joy.  They have smiles on their faces and they bounce about with excited energy.  After being in a city surrounded by everyone “TRYING TO MAKE IT” this joy and energy is quite wonderful to be around.

I met a student from Oxford who decided to pursue his love of acting.  He had the opportunity to get a full post doc degree in Icelandic Studies.  He decided to forget about that and go for his acting career.  He admitted it was completely mad…but he wouldn’t have it any other way.

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