the road to edinburgh: first steps
Updated: Apr 13, 2022
I didn’t set out to take my show to the Edinburgh fringe. I was sitting on the train one day, coming back from a leg of tour (for a show I was in – it was actually my first job – a subject for another blog post perhaps?). I was feeling frustrated about work and the lack agency in this business. The choreographer on the project was listening very kindly to my ramble and she asked me if I wrote and if I had heard of the Camden Fringe. I had moved to London quite recently and, yes, I did have a show as it happened but, no, I had not heard of the Camden Fringe.
For my university honours project, I had written a one woman show. I felt very strongly about the concept but definitely had not felt satisfied with the final project. For many reasons. She mentioned the Camden Fringe and I felt a little switch inside of me. This was exciting. This was something I could do for myself. This was scary. This was new. There were two things in my way: I had no idea how to put on my own show and I kept telling myself I wasn’t a writer.
Putting on a show is really hard. It takes a lot of work. For me, the best thing I can do is just jump feet first without looking. This is definitely not the first approach but I find if I don’t, I never actually get anything done. So I wrote an application on the train and sent it in. I honestly don’t remember writing the application and I think that’s okay. This was my first show and it was important to just get it done. I had a venue, I had a time, I had a deadline. This was so crucial. Working towards a show can be so amorphous. Deadlines are everything.
Secondly, I kept telling myself I wasn’t a writer. Even now, I cringe when I say playwright. But, I write. I do it everyday. I have written plays. I write short stories. I sit down and write for myself. THAT IS ENOUGH. This wasn’t going to happen if I kept telling myself I wasn’t qualified. This thinking is so hard to undo but if this is something your brain also does to you – notice it. Someone had accepted my show so I was now putting one on whether I was a playwright or not.
Trying out the show in a smaller space before taking it any further turned out to be so important for a number of reasons (which I will go on to talk about in the next blog post!). These first steps were crucial. And – most importantly – I didn’t give myself the time to overthink, to talk myself out of it. I closed my eyes and jumped.
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