Musings arguments and gig reports from your favourite Goth lesbian transsexual vegan recovering alcoholic and drug addict sceptic rationalist atheist comedian chameleon and caricature.

Sunday 12 August 2007

Rules of Engagement

Ok, I'm at the Edinburgh festival now, and I've been writing a blog for another source for the last 8 months, so as it's already managed to form itself into a narrative structure and we're halfway through the story I thought I'd post all the blogs from the 31st July onwards.

My Name's Bethany Black and I'm a Stand-up comedian. if there's names you don't recognise, then google them, you'll find out who they are.

anyway what follows is a really, really, really long blog split into sections which is essentially my day to day life here at the festival.


Rules of Engagement

Last year at around this time I was unemployed and not making enough from comedy to live off and decided on a little plan. I was going to go to Edinburgh and see what happened, so with £20 in my pocket and a car full of fuel I set off north with Steve Hughes to see what would happen.

£20, my car and a dream.

I had no gigs booked in, I had no income, I had nowhere to stay and not enough fuel to get home again.

I survived, not only that I did really well for myself, I got work I earned enough to live quite comfortably off, I got passes for most of the venues and the coveted Library Bar Pass and had the best time of my life.

I did sound tech for Matt Kirshen's Show "Have you seen this boy?" I was the main flyerer for Paul Sinha's if.comeddie nominated show, I was interviewed by Paul Provenza for the film he was making and got to play Spank! and get filmed for it doing some of the most personal material I've ever written for the first time ever.

This year it's 24 hours away from me heading up there and I'm in a similar position. I was going to set myself some tasks, but I've already broken two of the rules.

But for the sake of it, here are the rules I set myself for the festival:

1. I'm allowed enough fuel to get to Edinburgh, but not enough to get home.

2. I'm not allowed to use my bank card, surviving only on the first £20 and from then on what ever I can earn.

3. I'm not allowed to ask anyone if I can sleep on their couch/floor, I must wait to be offered.

4. I'm not allowed to sort out any work before I get there. (this is the one that I've broken so far as I'm doing lights and sound for Duncan Oakley's show and I've been offered 3 gigs whilst I'm up there.)

5. I must try and get for free or in exchange for work passes for each of the main vanues, and a Library Bar Pass.

6. I must try and get as many gigs as I can whilst I'm up there.

7. I must try and get free internet access every day to keep you guys up to date with my progress at the festival.

8. I must do all of the above and have as much fun as possible, I can only rely on my wits and my newtowrking/blagging skills and come back in a stronger position careerwise than when I went.

And so there you have it, tomorrow I head on out with these tasks in mind and I need to do what I can to get this stuff and raise my profile as far as possible. As I'm typing this I'm playing with my cat necklace, it's become a good-luck charm, a symbol of how I always land on my feet. Let's hope it doesn't let me down this time.
Right, let's get packed and let's go to work...

I've been around and seen some things, I've slept in dumpsters and got high with kings

I bumped into someone today who said that they check to see how long my blog's going to be before they commit to reading it, if it's ov er a certain length they don't bother. I'll try and keep this short.
Well I got into town at 8:15pm yesterday, so far so good.

After driving around for about half an hour to try and find somewhere to park eventually managed to get somewhere, on a quiet street in a posh part of town wtih a CCTV camera pointing in the general direction of me. The safest place to park in Edinburgh. I hope. I'm just thinking that if this were a sitcom there would be a whip pan to where my car is and it'll be on fire with a gang of kids smacking it with sticks. This is reality though, so hopefully it's fine. I bet if we whip panned to Kris Akabusi right now he'd be laughing. He always is (inside my head there's a whip pan to Kris akabusi finding out a loved one has a terminal illness. I hope that's not the case.)
I started to walk down to the Pleasance, as Chris Stokes, who was in the Revels Chortle Student Comedian of the Year competition with me was down there and he'd sent me a text saying that I could stop with him for a few days once I got here (as per "The Rules", though I got a text from him within minutes of posting the last blog stating I wasn't allowed to ask for somewhere to stay.)
It's that moment of arriving here just before the festival's about to start and you know that the festival's truely started once you meet someone you've gigged with who's stressing about their show. In this case it was Mickey D who I bumped into just outside the Gilded Balloon, five minutes before the start of his show, after also being offered a flyer from Dr Coca-cola-McDonald's I headed over to the pleasance and waited for some friends. So far I'd not got any free stuff, nothing. Not even got a clue how I managed it last year. anyway eventually My Friend's Katie and Jason turned up, Jason was muttering something about an ill advised gag at some pre-show thing he was doing at the Stand where he'd said "I hope to see you all there, but to be honest if Htiler came in giving Myra Hindley a piggy back I'd give them 2-for-1." Only the comics at the back had laughed.
it was a slow evening for our first, I bumped into the lovely Lucy Porter briefly and said I'd text her at some point, but we were heading off into the bar for a drink away from the cold. So far wandering round wtih my rucksack with a sleeping bag hanging off it I'd managed to take the legs out from underneath three people with an ill timed turn in the road, I was keen not to repeat this.
We ended up heading off down to the Stand eventually, but arrived just after the last show had finished, so I ended up out the back having a cigarette on the steps and talking to people I've not seen for ages, and I think I may have blagged myself a free haircut and dye job, so far so good!
the walk back to the flat, which is about a mile and a half from the Udderbelly and Gilded Balloon, and about 2 miles from my car seemed to fly by though the sore throat and cold I seem to be developing was starting to really show. I eventually crashed out early for me at 1:30, it was a tiring drive and today was going to be the day where I had to make it count if I was going to get anywhere.

I realised jsut after washing my hair that I'd forgotten my hairdrier (I also forgot my phone charger, but hopefully that should reach me by tomorrow) so I spent a good 45 minutes after washing my hair hanging backwards offthe corner of the bed in order to try and get my hair to dry sticking up before I went anywhere near it with the wax, the Passport Photos I was going to get need me to look ok on them otherwise it's just embarrassing, last years made me look like I had a touch of Downs, not only that they were the only ones I could find when I was getting my driving licence updated, every time I have to show them I see the person checking them try to stifle a chuckle, and look at me twice, fighting the temptation to say "you scrub up well".

Anyway, with crazy lesbian hair in place I set off and I've not stopped walking for most of today, most of the photo-booths in the city are broken and I had to walk all the way to Waverley Station (which always makes me think of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode "the Waverley ring affair" and I can't think why.

The Photos look hot, well, and this is a little Silence of the Lambs I'll grant you, I'd do me.
armed wtih these it was simply a case of heading down to the reception of the Underbelly and Pleasance and letting them know which shows I was working for. Herein lies the problem, as of yet I'm not working for any shows...
so I made use of what battery is left on my phone and made some calls, Christian Reilly said he'd try and sort out my Pleasance pass if I was stuck, but fortunately it's not going to come to that and so far I'm "PR for Toby Hadoke's Moths Ate My Dr Who Scarf" and "Doing something for Lucy Porter's show" as of yet I'm not sure what the something is, though I'm fully aware that Toby's show will be lots of fun to work for. on top of that I met a guy called Dean Haclund earlier today, who I was trying to place for most of the conversation until he mentioned "I used to work on the X Files for about ten years..." Then I was able to place him, anyway he's looking for someone to film his show so he can put it on a DVD to sell, I offered and if I can source a camera for it then it's another job. so if anyone knows where I can get one in Edinburgh for this show then please get in touch.

In between this I got on to Duncan Oakley about whether we'd be doibng a tech run through before the show starts tomorrow. He wanted to but as of yet we'd no chance as apparently the venue's not been built yet. Oh well, show starts tomorrow, and I'm sure it'll work, it'll all be fine.
I'm starting to realise that the lots and lots of walking without eating has been a bad idea, I'm not sure if any of this makes any sense or if it's as I imagine: an oversized shaved chimp mashing her fat hands onto a keyboard and hoping it's witty errudite and funny whilst actually being a collection of vowels abnd consonants that make no sense whatsoever. So I think I'll go and get myself a deep fried haggis and chips, that'll get my blood sugar levels up whilst I think about how I'm going to get my grubby little paws on a loft and library bar pass in the next few days.

I'm sure I'll work something out, but if anyone has any suggestions then please get in touch with me.
until tomorrow I love you all
BB xXx

As they pulled you out of the Oxygen tent, you asked for the latest party, with your silicone hump and your ten inch stump...

Well immediately after leaving here yesterday I set off to find one of the elusive Loft bar passes, only to be told that they're like trying to get hold of rocking horse shit, but a short Haggis supper later I was sat outside teh Gilded Balloon when I met up wtih Tony Carter, who said that they had press packs with gilded balloon passes right outside the launch venue.

That's the sort of free stuff I like to get my hands on so I set off in there and couldn't find it and found myself accidentally sat in the Press launch, alongside Gordon Southern. I asked the usual question "so how's the show going?" "awesome!" came the reply. "really Awesome!... sorry I forgot you're not with the press, yeah it's been great." As the lights darkened I thought this would be a great press launch, the Gilded Balloon tend to have some of the best shows on during the festival from some of the big names, though this was totally missing from this launch. Karen Dunbar was hosting it and was fantastic, As was Hannah Gadsby, who I saw last year and thought was phenomenal, aside from that only Mickey D and Sista She really hit the mark for me. It made me feel a lot more confident about my own abilities as a performer.

For me the most entertaining part of the Press Launch other than that was the point when someone was trying to pass a tray of glasses of red wine along the row in front of me and managed to knock them over all over a guy in a white suit. To be honest that was the most I laughed yesterday. no matter how much effort you put in to writing really intelligent and sharp material that's original or honest, nothing is as funny as a guy in a white suit getting wine spilt on him, except maybe a child in teh park either licking an ice cream cone for the ice cream to fall out and hit the ground followed by tears, or a small child injuring themself via the medium of gravel.

Outside I bumped into Duncan Oakley and we had a chat and then headed over to our venue for a tech run. It's still not built yet, but so far it's looking good, the sound quality in there is brilliant, and though the set up and take down is going to be a bit tricky it should be fantastic. We got through the tech run in record time and as we were leaving got talking to Darrell Martin who's running it. Apparently the marquee was going to be empty for an hour a day until the 14th when Paul Karensa turns up.

What I'm trying to say is, I blagged a venue for an hour a day. I know!
So now I've got a venue between 13:40 and 14:40 for 9 days and so I've decided to host a show there, sort of a showcase for the acts who are performing, thrree of them doing short sets and me hosting it. I think I'll call it "Beth in the Afternoon. Plus special guests". This so far is the best free thing I've manged to blag and now all I need to do is get some PR for it and some advertising, even if I have to drag people in off the streets. So if anyone knows of anyone who's interested in looking at this as a news sotry for their publication or something like that whilch could get me some advertising then get in touch.

Still High on this it was time for another press launch. The Stand this time. I love the stand, it's like a second home to me and it was great to get downt here again and see the staff who I'd not spoken to for ages. After the pyro and the flashy hollowness of the Gilded Balloon Press launch this was an entirely different affair. With Barbara Nice Hosting the first section and crowd surfing fromt he stage to the bar we were off to a good start.

The quality was brilliant, with highpoints being Phil Nichol, Andy Zaltzman, and Jason Cook (please if you're around go and see his show it's excellent, it's on at 3:30 at the Stand 2). By 11pm the free bar had ended and I think a whole bunch of people fucked off in search of more frree booze at the list party. But I held on until the bitter end, catching up with people I'd not seen for too long, and some people who I'd seen too recently. Eventually at three I headed back over to Jason Cook's in a Taxi. Fortunately this taxi driver didn't give us all a synchronised intake of breath by suddenly chipping in to our conversation with "Right there's an American bird, a French bird and an African Bird on a plane..." So that was a blesséd relief. After a brief jazz woodbine we ended up stood trying to open the door of the flat for ten minutes wondering why the keys weren't working. then it became apparent, we were one floor down from where we should have been.

Lying ont he couch there I remembered why it is that I don't get on with Marijuana as I drifted off to sleep through a panic attack and by brain dragging up all of my insecurities and memories of how I've let down the people I love. That's why I always have said that it's the worst drug in the world.

So far today I've managed to go meet up wtih my friend Tat and go and see Breaker Morant starring Adam Hills, Brendon Burns, Alister Barrie and others. It was really good, better than they seemed to think it was. Though for half an hour before I wsaw Phil Nichol, the nicest man in teh world, wandering round looking angry. as for now I've got 45 minutes to get some food and got tech this show for Duncan whilst trying to figure out how to get people in to this free showcase on the site of the old gilded balloon tomorrow at 1:40pm.
Any suggestions as to what to do would be gratefully received.
Tonight I'm going to go and watch Brendon I think, I'll report back when I can.
until then I love you all
BB xXx

Keep your city ways or throw them out the window

Well after I left here it went a bit mad for the day, I got myself a Haggis supper, again. I'm going to have to stop eating deep fried food soon, I can barely walk around as it is, and it's just getting worse, especially today with the heat.

Anyway I headed off to try and get This gig sorted that I'm supposed to be booking, I've decided on a change of name to "the Black Parade" anyway I met up with Duncan at the venue and started prepping for his show, it's quite a set-up, we've got 10 minutes from the end of the show before his to set up a drum kit, keyboards, a guitar, a spare and try and get the levels right.

Duncan was optimistic, He'd handed out 40 free tickets for the show on the royal mile earlier in the day so our new venue, which is three times the size of the one we thought we'd have at 150 seats, would be buzzing for the first day of the show.

Unfortunately only 7 turned up. Having said that they really enjoyed it, it's hard not to, it's such a fun, silly show, definately leave your brain at the door for it. It's like a children's show for adults.

It was also good for us to have a full run through for the fist time, and the show works, there's a few kinks that need to be ironed out, and the fact that yesterday it was still a building site whilst we were doing the show didn't help. People were outside with drills and hammers working away at getting the place ready, which was distracting. But it's the first venue back on the site of the old gilded Balloon so there must be something in that we can grab onto for the promotion.

After the show we headed on up to the pleasance courtyard to debrief and chill out whilst being lied to by flyerers. It's always fun when you know the acts and you get someone who neither knows them nor has seen the show trying to flyer you for it "Andrew Maxwell, he's great you've probably never heard of him but he's this really successful Northern Irish comic..." that was the pick of them yesterday On my way here down the Royal mile a few minutes ago I got offered a flyer for a show touted as "The only disabled performer at the fringe with their own show!" I wonder how Francesca Martinez, Steve Day or Liz Carr feel about that?

Whilst we were sat there Dan Atkinson came over just before his show, I really want to go and see this and I'll try to in the next few days, I couldn't last night as I was off to see Brendon Burns show "I suppose THIS is offensive now?" and it was brilliant, just fantastic, I hope that in 13 years when I've been going as long as Brendon I can manage to create a show that gets such a visceral response. Kate Copstick was going mad about it, in a good way she loved it too. I'd love to tell you about it but it'd spoil it, so all I can say is if you're in Edinburgh before the end of the festival get down to the Pleasance King Dome for 8:30 and watch it.

After this it was a slow walk back across to the main Pleasance courtyard, where I met up with Chris, my current flatmate, he wanted to go to Old Rope as Lucy Porter and Simon Munnery were on, though it'd sold out. As luck would have it at that minute I got a call off Tiffany Stephenson who's running it, I'd not managed to catch up with her for a few weeks and I'd promised I'd go down there when I could, she told me to get my arse round there now so I could hang back stage. I dragged Chris over there. It was a great show, some of Lucy's new stuff went down a storm, Tiff and Phil Nichol compereing together work really well. whilst I remember, before the show started Phil was saying that he'd not got many people in to his show at the Stand. Go see it, he deservedly won the Iffy award last year for best show and this one's more fantastic comedy from Phil. I may well end up flyering for him.

The night really kicked into gear when Paul Foot did his Mime of the day, it was brilliant, Paul's one of those acts that at first I didn't quite get and he confused me, but over time I've grown to see what it is that he does and how fantastic it is. Harriet Bowden followed and Somon Munnery closed with a brilliant set.

As it finished Tiff, Chris, Paul and I all headed down to Maxwell's Fullmooners at the Baby Belly. When we got there, Reg D Hunter was about to go on, I've not seen Reg since I did Rawhide in Liverpool about 4 months ago so it was great to catch up with him, and Abi who was with him who I've not seen since this time last year. After a blistering set from Reg we set off to the Pleasance for him to do his last set of the day, talking about all sorts of stuff. I like hanging out with them as they're so easy to talk to. Eventually they headed home and I met up with Chris and Paul and ended up down in the Library bar chatting with Mitch Benn, Nick Doody and Kirsty Newton. Apparently Mitch's music club was great fun. So I'll try and get down there tonight.
anyway I'm getting ased to get off this computer now and if one more person asks me that I'm going to go for a full on autistic spaz out which no one wants, least of all me.
So until tomorrow, I love you all, except the two pricks who've alternately asked me to get off this PC every 30 seconds for the last 10 minutes.
BB xXx

Shivers down your back bone...

Worst Edinburgh Day Ever!
Ok, some of this will be me being a whinging shitbag. I make no apologies for that. Sorry. It's self indulgent I know, but so is thinking that anyone's actually interested in the minutae of my daily life.

Right, first off, yesterday was weird. and that was just the audiences! OK I'll admit as a pull back and reveal joke that isn't funny, but it's more true than anything, yesterday I met Alan, a labourer who had to do a Northern Soul dance every time Mike Wilkinson said Wigan in his show. that was odd, and I thought that was going to be the weirdest moment of the day. It wasn't, weird audience member number two wasn't that weird, just a drama student who was tired (probably from poncing around on the royal mile in character trying to hand out flyers for his show, bless!) anyway he fell asleep in the front row of Duncan's show during a quiet bit. Duncan noticed and got the audience to look at him before shouting the end of a line from his song down the microphone, waking the student from his slumbers and probably neccessitating a new pair of pants.

Weird Audience member number three was the worst of the lot for the day. After I'd walked around for hours to find my friend Charlie to borrow her phone charger I ended up at the Pleasance with Tiff and some other friends waiting for Old Rope to start, it'd been a sell out on the previous two nights and they were hoping for a third. anyway the line up was brilliant, Dan atkinson was on first anad did some brilliant old stuff followed by some new stuff, most of which worked, and then he went to explain how you can make a joke about stuff without condoning the thing that it's about and started to do the set up to a joke about gang-rape, then in the pause before the punchline a woman in the audience heckled with "I really don't think that this is a suitable topic for comedy!" and Dan dealt with it and said he wouldn't do the joke, but it somehow ended up in a heckle battle, which of course he won, and received rapturous applause from the audience, at one point saying the word "cunt" and in an attempt to latch on to anything to be offended about the friend of the girl who heckled told him that no one should use that word as it's offensive to women. Now this I don't get, I never have, although that's probably due to the fact it's mine and my sister's favourite swearword.

Anyway the mood had changed in the Baby Grand and every subsequent act had to make reference to it, oh by the way everyone except the three girls who got upset by this where on Dan's side. My favourite response to this was Hills Barker with her opeening gambit "Oh wow, this means I can't use tonight to exorcise my story about when I was gang-raped... In my cunt." Later Nick Doody did his material about how you can do jokes about serious subjects as long as it's in context and as long as there isn't a victim of the joke, I'm not explaining it well, go and see him, he'll tell you about it, but it's fantastic and was very apt for the moment. Also talking to Nick afterwards was a pleasure, nick's a great friend and the guy who this time last year helped my come up with a surname which I'd been missing since I started comedy. Anyway after helping me with that he offered his and Matt Kirshen's services with looking at my show for next year and helping me script doctor it a bit.

After this we all headed down to Spank! where Tom Stade was on, as we arrived he was taking a heckler apart, and Leon was about to throw him out when Brendon Burns walked in and started shouting at the Stage "Tom! Tom! Make sure he says mate, I want to rip him a new one!"

It seemed like the sun had brought out all the lunatics. Outside I got chatting to Tom and Nick WIlty, I've still not seen his show I really must it looks ace, then Reg turned up and I spoke briefly to him. I love this festival for that, all these people who I don't get to see that often I get to chat to on a nightly basis, and if you get as star struck with comics as I do then there's nothing like it, I finally managed to catch up with Adam Bloom yesterday and just as I was walking away from him I saw Marcus Brigstocke and Phill Jupitus go wantering past with André vincent a few feet behind them (when you can see them both at once they don't actually look that alike), as I turned round Sean lock was dissapearing into the distance.
So as the night drew to a close (the heckler had disappeared so Brendon left a message on his answering machine.) I headed home, My phone had been given to Charlie to charge over night and I'd agreed to get it off her at noon at the underbelly.


My name's Bethany Black and this is the longest day in my life... (imagine the beeps here)

Ok so I wake up at 11, have a shower and quickly do my hair and make-up and ask Chris what time it is, I'm knackered we only got in at 4:30 and we've no tea in the house so I've yet to have a cup "12!" he shouts. FUCK! so I run out of the house and catch the first site of the days weather. Pissing down. I run all the way to the underbelly, about 2 miles, takes me about 20 minutes as I'm so very unhealthy. eventually i get there and Charlie's not there, I've missed her, so I head off trying to find her but first I stop off at my venue to let Darrell Know I've got a fantastic line-up for the gig and I'll get on to promoting it straight away, today's line up is Paul Sinha, Ginger and Black, Daliso Chaponda, Tiffany Stephenson and Jason Cook.

Darrell tells me I need to email him, and I can't put the show on today. Shit. It's half an hour to show time and I've got a bunch of people coming down and a whole bunch of acts booked and no phone.
I head over to the pleasance and manage to get the phone from Chalie, the first bit of luck today! then I get all my texts from the last 48 hours, loads of them, whilst I try and get in touch with all the people I've booked, eventually after getting 4 answer machines I send texts and hope for the best, though I still don't have Ginger or Black's number, I get Black's (or Daniel Taylor if we're being accurate and a hell of a lot less racist about it) number and call him. gig's cancelled I'm still however piss wet through.

Down at the press office I try and write this blog four times, getting chucked off the computers down there unceremoniously on three occasions, this winds me up something rotten and by the third time I end up with my stutter coming back and I leave seeing the way this day's going.
it's too late to do anything, but too early to get to Mike's show so I head down to Pearshaped and manage to get on there first, I die on my hoop, never mind there's about 8 people there who seem unaware of what the hell's going on anyway. I get down to Mike's show and help set up, then three people turn up, it's already not looking the best. so as soon as we finish I head out to try and get 2 miles accross town to the Mercat for The Hellfire club. There's some sort of parade going on so taxis are thin on the ground, so again I run, I rtun and run and run, and get there out of breath just in time to go on when...

I walk into the performance space and find out they pulled the show and tried to call me. Bugger. I've now got to get across town to do Duncan's show. I set off heavy hearted beaten at every turn by the day, by the weather, and by everything I try to do turning to shit before my eyes.
I stop off on the way, after walking about a mile and a half, to treat myself to deep fried food and a can of Irn Bru. as I'm walking down to the C Venues SoCo in the urban garden I see the Marching band who thwarted my attempts to get to the Mercat earlier, tghey've in my way again and I can feel the temper rising within me both my hadns are full and I've a face like thunder when some girl steps out to flyer me and I snap.
"You utter fucking idot wanking fuck-knuckle spastic! can't you see, both my fucking hands are full! you moron, how the fuck am I supposed to take a flyer off you you mouth breathing, knuckle-scraping fuckstick!"

I think she cried.

I've let off steam but now feel horrible with myself. after doing Duncan's show I walk back to my car and then back into town, I estimate I've walked at least 12 miles today, at least 7 of them in the rain, and most of it spent with really bad stomach pains. I'm going to find some flowers I think and give them to the flyerer I screamed at. Anyway no rest for the wicked, I've got things to do, Dug's heading up into town at the moment and I'm going to try and get him a gig before his So you Think You're Funny gig tomorrow night.

By the way thank you to you all for making this blog the most read blog on Chortle yesterday.

Until tomorrow I love you all
BB xXx

And it all boils down to not enough hours in the day

Ok, So I lied. I tried to keep this blog up to date and post every day but yetserday I didn't manage it. It wasn't anything really, I was trying to have an easy day yesxterday but it all got a little out of hand and before I knew it it was 5am and I was walking back to the flat remembering that I'd forgotten something.

After I left Brooke's Bar the other night I went to Old rope and watched Robin Ince, who is always fantastic, do some new stuff about the internet which I really enjoyed, though he did say he'd been reading the blog, and then called me a "Dirty Haggis eater", bloody smiths loving vegetarians! Shortly after that I headed off to meet up with Dug and Dolan who had arrived in town and managed to get lost. I'd already run for mile and miles and then they told me where they'd managed to stop and I arranged to meet up wtih them, I checked my sat nav (I've started using it for walking round the city now) and figured it'd be about 2 miles away after running half the way there I realised that I was about to collapse through not being healthy enough to run anywhere, so I got a cab.

When I met up with them it became clear they'd both got cabin fever from being stuck in the car for 6 hours (on what should have been a 3 hour journey). Turns out they'd turned right at gretna and driven along the border for a couple of hours and then managed to get more lost along the way. After we drove over to where my car had been parked and parked up theirs we walked the 2 miles back to the guilded balloon. 18 miles of walking in one day! If I'd not been such a lardy bloater and eaten loads of fried food this last week I'd probably have lost some weight by now.

We ended up down at the Underbelly with Nick Doody, Barry Dodds and Jason Cook, shortly after that Paul Sinha turned up and it was really great fun, Lee and Katie Mulgrew were there too so it kind of felt like a reunion of my friends from back home. Dug and Dolan hit the bar and managed to drink their way through their petrol home money, I tried to keep an eye on them but kept losing them, occasionally hearing dug's voice travelling across the bar "You take that back my mother's a saint!" By this point the Berocca had worn off and I was just feeling ill and couldn't deal with this so I started to get short tempered.
As we left the Underbelly Dug was still making friends, one of the hot staff members came over to us, she was drunk too, but she had one of those paper things we used to make when we were kids where you pick a colour, then a number and then she asks a question. she asked Dug first, "Say something beautiful!" so he replied "When you speak it fills my head with rainbows, and you make every day feel like Christmas." Suave bastard. when she asked me the question was "Can you make someone love you?" The answer is of course, "no" though not for the want of trying. The last thing I needed at this point was to be forced to think back over failed relationships, mainly destroyed by my own co-dependancy issues, but also partly destroyed by my inability to find someone who likes me who doesn't think that it's perfectly acceptable to cheat on me.
Tired and slightly ill after the longest day I've had, trying to deal with a taxi full of pissed people made me bitter about my not drinking, though as I drifted off to sleep later that evening it was with optimism that I faced the next day, It can't be any worse can it?

Yesterday I woke up feeling like shit, this cold is just slowly getting worse over time. Dug had left his bag in the underbelly, so after a quick shower I was going to head over there. Dug's bag had his socks and pants and a t shirt in it, as well as his phone charger, his book, and his diary.

A special mention must be made to Dug's diary, it's fantastic, he's kept a diary since he was a kid and it's hilarious, full of entries like "Today I couldn't stop thinking about her, the pain of trying to carry on is incredible, I can't see the point of going on any more. Watched Rocky Balboa today, it's fucking ace!"

Anyway the bag hadn't been handed in, so it looks lost, if anyone does find it please get in touch with me, it's no use to anyone other than Dug, and it's sad his diary's gone.

I had a quieter day yesterday, I went over to do Mike's show at 3:30 he had the Guardian in, and the projector decided that it wasn't going to work. but the nubmers were up on the previous day and everyone seemed to be having fun. after this I headed off to flyer for Duncan's show, he'd given me a bunch of comps to go with it as the Scotsman were in to review it. I managed to hand out a bunch of tickets to people and got them to promise they'd turn up. Most of them did, but I had to have a word with Chris who I'm stopping with because he decided it'd be a good idea to put a flyer in the hand of one of the living statues on the Royal Mile, when she said to him "Do you mind I'm doing my show" his response was "It's not really a show though is it." I won't stand for that sort of thing, as a comic the performance we do is very delicate and in a club environment there's a million little things that can go wrong and that you have to try and address in order to maintain control of a situation and get the laughs, it's a hard job, and hecklers always seem to think that they're helping when they're not they're destroying the show. Doing waht he did to that Living statue was like going up to someone on stage getting right in their face and heckling them. I think he got the point.

Duncan's show was brilliant, and Brooke who works at the venue with us offered to help tech my show over the weekend. I like Brooke, though so far I've not had too much time to chat to her, I think I might try and rectify that today. Duncan's show was going well but we kept having to turn the sound down, it turns out that if we'd been in the caves everything would have been fine, where we are people can hear everything in the room next door where Steven Carlin is performing. So as of today the sound has to be turned down to the minimum, which I'm not happy about, but Darrell says he's getting a soundproof board betweent eh tents before the end of the week.
As that show finished I headed over to Film Dean Haglund's X files Improv show, it was fun and entertaining, though I'm nto a big fan of improv, it makes me feel slightly embarrassed for some reason, though I did really enjoy watching Dean's show.

As soon as that was over I headed back up to the Gilded Balloon and the Library bar to meet up with Dug and Dolan and Dug's dad David, David's up working on Frank and Dolly which sound's like a brilliant show which I must see before the end of the festival.

Dug was up here for So you think you're funny, and I managed to get Julia to get me in to see it. The standard of the competition was excellent, better than I've seen in any heats or semi finals of any competition normally. Stand out acts for me were Dug, a girl called Brooke (what is it, I've never known anyone called Brooke before and now two in one day) and the guy who opened the show whose name I can't remember.

Special mention has to go to Sarah Ruff, who I think has flashes of utter genius, her stuff's irreverent and off the wall and just plain silly and weird, taking to the stage barefoot, then doing a set that in 8 minutes contained spitting, flashing her knickers to the crowd, demonstrating the thought process of a spider then a fly doing interpretive dance of the spider's thought process whilst climbing over audience members. I was howling with laughter. If you get chance then do go to one of the heats and the final of this, it's well worth it.

Later, in the bar with Jonathan and the rest of the guys we were all having fun and chatting when I saw the funniest thing of the whole festival. nothing will beat this no matter how well written or thought out. I was talking to Dug and he went to lean against a wall and missed falling to the floor. For years I've always thought the general public were mugs for thinking that the Del Boy Bar Fall is the funniest thing ever shown on TV. I take it all back, it is pretty funny when you see it in reality.

Slowly people disappeared heading home, I told Dug that even though he didn't get through to the final he'd made me proud that night, I was glad I'd taken him to every gig I did in my first year, I was glad I'd persuaded him to get into stand-up and I was proud to call him my Brother.
Eventually It was myself Jonathan, Brooke and her friend Cloe left standing, after a quick chat with Phil Kay, and Jonathan Introducing me to Stephen K Amos we tried to find somewhere else to drink, everywhere was closed but we ended up at C venues, which was like a youth club for the ultra middle class. After a short drink there I headed back over to The gilded balloon to wait for Chris before we headed home. Whilst I was there my Friend Barbara turned up, I've not seen her since last year but I kept in touch via email. She was looking great. And we talked about what we'd been up to over the last year, she told me I've to get down to talk of the fest an Reggie Watts show at the Green Room, which I might well try to do tonight.
Anyway after a long walk home I fell off to sleep pretty much straight away.
Ok so yesterday was more of a list of things I did, but it was good fun, so today I've got to try and get some more stuff together, my gig's starting on Friday and I need to get acts booked.
Until tomorrow I love you all
BB xXx

Boys and girls are on the game, all the houses look the same

I can't remember what I got up to, all I remember was that it was fairly late in the day when I started posting.

Well I'll try and get back later and do a full blog as I've got to get from here (Brookes bar, where I must remember to Log off this time, I was still logged in from a few days ago when I finally got on this PC)

Yesterday was a haze of tiredness, confusion and irritability.

Firstly Apologies to Jason Cook's dad who read this blog and told Jason off, I found this quite funny, as Jase is in his thirties and I always find it funny when grown ups get told off by their parents.

Secondly, I'm a bit worried. Firstly I've managed to embarrass a flyerer every day this week when he's approached me to give me a flyer with the words "Excuse me sir..." only to then get really embarrassed as I turn round. You'd think after the third time he'd not only remember me, but also change his speil to use a non gender specific form of address with everyone like, ooh, I don't know "Hi there", perhaps you know until you've seen their face, though I've hung around in Lesbian bars enough to know that sometimeseven that's not enough, these days I try and stay away from gender specific words entirely, as sometimes you can know someone for over a year without ever figuring out whether they're male or female. and to be fair, the way I see it unless I want to sleep with them it's none of my business, and it's only my business if I do want to sleep with them so that I know what to expect.

Then Last night in the Library bar I went to go to the toilets and had a security guard try and stop me from using the women's toilets. I turned around and looked him in the eye and watched him go red, so I cupped my breasts and jiggled them a bit, pushing them up and together and mock going to lick them, and said "Is this giving you any clues?" He said "I just saw that you had short hair." Like that's any excuse, I knew I couldn't quite place his accent but I thought that it was because he was from spain or somewhere like that, turns out he's from the 19th century.
anyway that's a short and sweet one, I'll try and get back on later tonight and tell you all about Glenn Wool and the fun I had last night and today.
Go see Glenn, Go see Duncan Oakley (who I think the Scotsman described as "Creative") [wink] and have fun, come and find me around you'll recognise me I'm the not very manly looking but tall lesbian wandering aobut the streets in the 1950's leather jacket and the vegan lesbian shoes with the red and black back-pack on.
Until later I love you all
BB xXx

I'm not the one you want babe, I'm not the one you need.

Oddly enough when I look at the refering searches to see what is the most common thing put into google to find my blog it's this question "Is Matt Kirshen Gay?" To save any further confusion, no he's not, he does things with ladies, though I'd rather not think about that.

Well yesterday I kept drifting in and out of being able to do anything, I think after a full week here I finally hit the wall and couldn't carry on, though my cold's getting better, I met up with Jonathan Mayor and Ross (whose surname I can't remember, but I've gigged with him.) and his wife and we went for a drink, apparently Ross had been got by evangelical Christians earlier in the day who'd taken it upon themselves to give him an hour long lecture about the evils of homosexuality. It always strikes me that these people obsess about it, they just seem so caught up on it, like it's never far away from their mind. What's strange is that my straight friends who are comfortable with their sexuality never really even consider thinking about their sexuality, it's just there and happens, and they certainly don't think too much about homosexuality. My gay friends talk about it a fair bit. Well the ones who are out and ok with who they are do, those who are out and don't like the fact that they're gay and so surround themselves with straight friends (except for their partner) talk about how much they hate talking about being gay and that it doesn't matter. In fact the only people I know who talk constantly about homosexuality being wrong and displaying a high level of homophobia are gay people who've not come out yet, Evangelical Christians and big groups of blokey blokes. Maybe there's a correlation there?

right well I don't know what that was about, I just sort of went off on one. I've been here a week now and all the days are starting to blur into one, I left my medication in my car when I first arrived and then forgot it when I went back there to get it the other day, so I've now been without it a week and I realised today how bad an idea that was when I woke up sat on my bed scratching my fresh bed-bug bites and thinking "I hate it here, I've no friends, I can't find anyone to hang out with, I just feel so lonely, none of the people I know are really my friends, and now my phone's died again and my charger's still not turned up, and God I miss Sarah, maybe when I've got my phone charged I should call her, though that means finding out about what her girlfriend's been up to, Maybe I should just go home, I miss mum and dad, I should have spent more time hangingout with them before I came here, they've gone back to France and they're not getting any younger, I'm useless, I'll not bget my passport sorted out in time and I'll never end up going to see them, and then they'll die soon and I'll have not seen them and I don't want that to happen. I love my mum and dad."

Ten seconds of my inner monologue this morning, then I realised I'd not had my medication for a week and I know it's just my brain trying to fuck me up again.

I went to watch Reg D Hunter last night, I loved his show, it was the first one I've seen, I missed last year's Pride and Prejudice and Niggas as it was always sold out and clashed with Matt's show so on my nights off I never got to see it. I really enjoyed it, I can watch Reg talk for hours and hours on end, he's just fascinating, and such a sound guy.

As my phone has died again I couldn't manage to find Jonathan and Ross after the gig, though they said they were going down to Phatcaves later on, so I went to go down there, on the way I bumped into Paul Byrne and Kelly, a promoter from Ireland and we headed up to Brookes bar to wait for Sir Tim and G-Horn, G arrived along with a bunch of the pleasance staff and I headed out onto the patio for a smoke where I saw the guys from God's Pottery who I've not bumped into since last year, they said their show was going well, and that they'd been to see Glenn Wool's show earlier in the evening. I saw that the other night and it was fantastic, about the funniest show I've ever seen, I was in pain from laughing all the way through, and after that watching "Drunk Glenn" at Old Rope was fantastic.
As I was heading back into the bar I bumped into Barry Dodds who was saying he'd had a great gig though everyone else thought theirs had been shite, though he repeated what he'd said a number of times earlier in the week this time it was with a smile on his face "It's alright, I'm going to kill myself in September when the bill comes through."

Phat caves was great, though I only stayed for the first half, Kelly Had to go and get a bus back to the flat she's staying at, where she's charing with a couple who live there who appear to be suffering from empty nest syndrome, as their daughter's gone off travelling and they worry if Kelly's back late.
I saw Gambojarat who blew me away, one of the best things about the festival is that you see stuff you'd normally go "well that's going to be shit, Physical comedy from Japan? nah, load of old fanny, not interested." and then you see it and are just completely taken aback. On the way back in from a Smoke I bumped into Reg who was on his way out and needed to borrow some Rizla's we stopped for a brief chat and he asked if I wanted to head off and join them, but I was still trying to find my friends so I headed into the library bar, I was fully expecting that they'd be there or they wouldn't and I'd head out and meet up with Reg, as I got down stairs I bumped into Paul Foot and Kev from the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre, I apparrently managed to ruin their "Non-edinburgh conversation" they were having by opening with the two standard opening questions "How'd the show go tonight, and how's you're show going?"

I got chatting to Kev for hours, I've never met him before but we had loads to talk about, over the course of the night people started coming in from Phatcaves and Late and Live, Men with Bananas turned up as did a bunch of people I kind of vaguely recognised I think through Chortle, and the night just continued even though I'd meant to have an early night.
Towards the end of the evening Paul Provenza wandered in looking a little the worse for wear and trying to hold a conversation with him proved difficult, I was going to thank him for some of the stuff that happened last year as he was responsible for me taking a slightly different path that's led to me being happier and in a place where I know what I'm doing.

As a side note, and I should have mentioned this earlier, as it happened when I was sat outside the Udderbelly earlier in the evening, there's a girl who works there with blonde/pink hair who I find really rather attractive, I keep smiling at her every time I see her and she's always smiled back. Seeing her every day cheers me up even though I know that I'm trying to be proactive, I know I won't go over and say hi to her becasue I'm a massive hypocrite.

For the first time this year I'm really missing the booze.

Right that was a bit disjointed but I'll update you with stuff tomorrow, it's the first day of my show tomorrow so any of you who are reading this then please head over to C SoCo on Cowgate at 1:40 for My show, which I should hopefully have managed to get fully booked by then, Let's see if comedians can still be funny when I've had to drag them hung-over out of bed!

Until then I love you all,
BB xXx

She'll be dead soon, then she'll sleep.

I think my flatmate has gone mad. It happens, over the last two days things have happened that make me doubt his judgement. But more of that in a bit, it's been three days since I got on here and posted, which shows what point in the festival we're at. The nights are getting later, as are the starts, first thing in the morning has moved from 10am to 2-3pm, with bedtime being ususally around 6:30-7:30. on top of that I've realised that we're halfway through and I've yet to see most of the shows I want to, so I've been trying to catch up on them with varying success.

Anyway the day before yesterday is really where the story of the last 48 hours starts and I'd just finished watching Duncan's show, it's changing and evolving every day, and today had a section of childish jokes all about how Fiona Shepperd had called the show "Childish" in the Scotsman. The show's Called "the '68 Bumcrack special" it's hardly going to be incisive political satire is it? I be Andy Zaltzman's shitting himself!
so, yeah, the show finishes and I decided to head over to The Stand, I really want to see Daniel Kitson, I've not seen him for about 9 years when he used to host a comedy night at the university I used to go to. I didn't realise it was Friday and therefore the gig wasn't on but I stuck around anyway and watched the late show, they really do have the best line-ups in the country, Friday's had Tom Stade compeering (after Susan Morrison had done best of Scottish and was concerned as for the first time ever she'd compeered an entire show without using the word "Cunt") and Sarah Kendall Opened, with Tom Wrigglesworth and David O'Docherty in the middle section and Reg D Hunter headlining. My friend Ben Schofield turned up and I hung out with him watching the show, it was the first time I'd seen David O'Docherty and he was fantastically good.
As the show finished I knew I had to get back over to the underbelly/gilded balloon. Reg was going in a taxi to do the late show so I managed to grab a lift with him whilst Ben called me a "Notorious starfucker".

Ah, who cares, I Met up with Katie Mulgrew and Gareth from the Manchester Store, last time I'd seen him was two nights earlier staggering round trying to hold onto two brightly coloured drinks in martini glasses, spilling both and looking confused as to why this was. It would appear that he'd sobered up by now, and we sat chatting until we decided to head down to the Library bar where hung out for a while whilst I was trying to figure out what I was doing with my life. I'd got my medication back so I'm starting to get back into my groove, but the festival tiredness is still getting to me, plus my feet are now blistered and my limp has been exacerbated by this. But whilst I was there I managed to get talking to Stephen K Amos and Kelly from Just for Laughs, I like Kelly, she's great fun to talk to, plus she's hot asnd has great tattoos which is a bonus. I'd meant to have an early night and it just wasn't happeneing, I got into a great conversation with Nick Doody about diversity and striving for equality and how that should be achieved through education right up until he had to go, and I wandered around for a bit before eventually heading off home myself. Earlier than usual, I made it back to the flat for 5am. On the previous day I'd had to knock for half an hour to wake up Chris, so I was prepared for a bit of effort to get in.

What I wasn't prepared for was that he'd not be there. After half an hour of knocking I tried calling his phone. Straight through to answering machine. I text him, and I text everyone I knew who might have Helen the girl he's been spending a lot of time with's number. No one got back to me. I was kneeling on the door mat looking through the letterbox into my room and thinking "If I was only 8 feet that way I'd be in bed now and fine." My super hero abilities are not what they once were and managing to stretch through the letterbox like that guy in X files is not one of my strengths so I decided to sleep on the doorstep. I started to drift off and then about an hour later loads of people from the surrounding flats started to get up and go off to work. It wasn't going to work so I left and headed up the street grabbing a taxi over to my car where I slept until 2pm. my sleep was broken, not by it being uncomfortable or by people going by but by the cold. The one day this last week that it's been freezing in the morning and pissing down and I happen to be sleeping in my car.

I got woken by a phone call from Eddie Hoo asking if I was running my gig today. I've pulled it due to lack of numbers. I lay there for a bit. a 2004 3 door Ford Fiesta is not the easiest car to get out of if you've been sleeping in the back with the seats down so it took a while to compose myself. then I got a call from Busty Beats from Sista She asking if I wanted to meet up with them and have a chat about stuff, I'm supposed to be doing the Phat Mama gig on Thursday at Phatcaves, plus they were looking at how to market themselves towards a queer audience. "Erm, yeah, I've just woken up in the back of my car." was about all I could manage to say. So that was one thing I was going to be seeing today, their show "The House of Holy Bootay". I should probably go and grab a shower at some point before then, so far both times they've seen me I've ended up leaving the house having not had time for a shower so I've done a quick run over the collar and cuffs with a J-cloth and some detol in an attempt to make myself barely human. Plus I think Sheila MC is hot and the last thing I need is to turn up there looking like... well like I've slept in the back of a car.

Heading down to flyer for Duncan's show I manage to get there just in time and head out onto the royal mile, fortunately I manage to get most of the tickets taken, though the last 8 that I gave away to one party would come back to haunt me.

I should have known it was going to be tricky when the guy asked if it was suitable for older kids, I said not really, and then he said they were advanced for their age (14-15 he said) and then said if I wanted some drugs to get in touch with his son.

Anyway I gave them the tickets and headed back to the venue for the set-up. The numbers were good and the show started, then about 10 minutes in this family of 8 turned up including two kids, of about 8 and 9, one of them in a wheelchair and the disruption started.

Then the dad of the kids started getting gobby and shouting out, Duncan dealt with him but he carried on, getting more and more incomprehensible. I was getting wound up and went over to have a word with him. He said he'd shut up, he was just too pissed to know what was going on. He started up again, he and his whole family had put a bad mood in the venue and were making everyone feel uneasy. After the third interruption I started looking round for heavy things I could punch him in the base of the skull with. the only thing I could find was a heavy padlock, but without a chain to attach it to there was too much of a risk that it wouldn't fell him immediately. In the end I got Rich Wilson to come and throw him out. after this, one by one his family left until by the 45th minute they'd gone and the last 15 minutes of the gig were a dream. Wankers.

So I headed off to watch the House of the Holy Bootay. Unshowered, smelling and tired. This always happens. On the way I met up with Emily, a promoter from Ireland who Paul Byrne introduced me to, she's ace too, I was thinking I'd not make any friends this time round but I've been pleasantly surprised and hope that this surprise continues. The show was fantastic, really good, and then I headed out for a cigarette before I chatted to them. Whilst I was out there Mitch Benn cornered me and we chatted, Mitch is another one of those people who I rarely gig with and think it's such a shame because we get on so well, we exchanged stories of the worst rooms int eh country for comedy, I said Accrington Town Hall, a big cavernous room with a really high roof and a 1,500 capacity, which had 14 people in when I played it. He said one in Bournemouth.
I headed back in and we chatted with the girls for a while, I really hope that we manage to make some headway with breaking the queer market for their show, it's fantastic, for me they've been the find of the festival and they're just a pleasure to watch. For me it's hip hop I can listen to without feeling guilty about the sexism and homophobia, not that that stops me listening to it, but it makes me feel bad about it.

after this we head off to the Green room to watch "Songs about Vaginas" by Jessica Delfino, which is a nice contrast to Sista She, more electro clash-y sort of Peaches meets Le Tigra via Aimee Mann with that New York arts scene vibe about the show. Plus any show with a title like that already has my money, before you introduce an interactive talking Vagina sat in a chair on stage. This is Edinburgh for me!
So flitting back and forth between the Green Room and the cowbarn for Mitch (of which I only catch a small bit before I head on down to Old Rope to see if I can find Chris to make sure that I'm not going to be ending up in the back of my car again tonight, especially as we've to move out of the flat tomorrow, but he's not there so I head on back over to the Phatcaves.

It's Tracksuit night with hip-hop Karaoke, Sista She and Micky D do a spectacular show stopping opening section ending with Micky's rendition of Jump Around which gets the night off to a fantastic start, whilst this is going on, Glenn Wool turns up and comes over to sit with me telling me how he had an audience int he other night that weren't going with some of his stuff, but he referenced me and my response to it and a joke we made when we were talking about it afterwards and apparently they got even more uptight until he said "Hey, there's nothing wrong with that, that was a joke I had with my friend and if she didn't like it she'd stop being my friend."

Ok, I understand that doesn't make much sense. Go see his show and it will do.

Anyway the night was great, Glenn ended up doing his strip tease, and there was drinking and dancing and a soupçon of debauchery. I ended up sexy dancing with Janice Phayre who told me I was a good dancer. She's the first person who's ever said that, normally people either laugh or say "Yep, you see that that you're doing? Yep, don't do that."

As I walked back to the flat in the early morning sun I thought. You really should have been home earlier. Especially as in 3 hours you are supposed to have left the flat.

As I climbed into bed I repeated over and over "Every minute you sleep will feel like two" until I drifted off.

I wake up and I'm aware I need to be out of here, there's a sense of unease. Chris has gone and as I get up and look at my phone it says the time's 11:15 and I've got a text. I read it.

Chris Stokes
Hey Beth, the Land lord says he's coming round to have a look at the flat at 11 so you'd probably be best being out of there.

How is that of any use to me in a text? If you're going to tell me I need to be out of somewhere within a time frame then a phone call's probably for the best. I call him to tell him this then head to the bathroom realising that everything's gone so I don't brush my teeth and shower using value bubble bath to wash my hair. I pack everything up and leave carrying my whole world on my back, I stop to pick up some toothpaste and some tweezers and head to the venue. the early part of the day's usually boring, and this is were my day really starts. Right now. As I'm writing this.

I'm doing Spank tonight. Tim Minchin's on. So no pressure.
Anyway time to go and eat somthing and prepare. Aside from dying on my arse at pearshaped last week I've not had a gig since I've been up here. need to try and remember my stuff.
Until tomorrow. I love you all
BB xXx

Cool, Now we're all up to date I'll speak to y'all soon.

I Love you all

BB xXx

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Bethany,

I don't know where to send this short bit of fan mail, so I'll just shove it here, feel free to delete it if it's against your blog's policy.

I absolutely love your stand up, first heard about you from the Guardian article, and looked up some clips on YouTube, adore your wit, and intend to read through your blog like the creeper I am.

Keep up the good work.