Thursday, August 18, 2005
I told myself that I will never do this again. That I will give up this work. I said this as I slapped my face with the spare hand that wasn't stopping the show and putting on the emergency lights. I said this to the tune of the alarm ringing just before the penultimate moment of the show. “We. Are. Sunk. And I will never take a gig like this again in my life.” ring ring ring ring.
But I'm over that now.
Yes, we had another f*@#$ing fire alarm. Using half the fog that we had last week, it went off again. People tell me it's because we are having “a hotter, more humid” week, and therefore the fog behaves differently , and rises easily (it's very environmentally sensitive – like the Arctic). I have noticed that I'm sweating more in the theatre lately, but dammit I can't quite feel the subtle gradations of Scottish heat and humidity so well as the natives.
When the alarm went off again, I thought we were done for.
But we weren't. And that was yesterday. Today the stress of maybe triggering the alarm was a bit intense at first, then our minimalist aesthetic took over and things mellowed out fairly well.
There are still a few scraps of paper floating across the Meadows (the park we cross to get to the Trav), and a few spots where the grass yellowed from being covered for 5 days, but otherwise there's really no sign that the area was awash in people last weekend for “Fringe Sunday”. The weekend was a high water point for drowning in flyers. The trash bins along the Royal Mile were overflowing, and the Meadows were buried under the nuclear fallout of cast-away paper.
It's a heartbreaking sight: there is a little personal post-apocalyptic winter setting in for some people here. The first great mass of reviews are out and some shows are finding success and others are languishing. Most of the pocket change for beer is gone, yet we drink as much, or more, than last week. With two-thirds of the Fringe done already, these fields of waste paper are a partial physical count of the aspirations and dreams of whole groups of unknown people. Each flyer represents so much hope and work and artistry. Each one in the bin seems to say 'bollocks.'
And they'll all want to come back and do it again. Do it right next time.