Day 18. Week 37 of World Domination?
I am on a Thomas Cooke plane right now...not nearly as squished as on the way to Scotland.
And ALMOST no babies....almost.
Again, not that I hate babies...but THEY generally hate the air, it seems...and they are drawn to the seat beside me like magic....MAGIC.
I am a whole freaking bunch of feelings and states right now...not the least of which is exhaustion.
Oh my lord.
So, a 42 year-old-woman-who-worked-her-effing-ass-off-climbing-all-the-fuck-over-Edinburgh-all-day-and-night-and-yet-is-a-42-year-old-woman-who-never-met-a-scottish-pie-she-didn’t-like-so-didn’t-lose-a-fucking-ounce kinda tired.
Is that clearish?
The closing day was just fabulous...I went to the Half Price Hut (that moody she bitch of a place...she and mother nature would fucking love each other) and met Derrick and sold 16 tickets in an hour....SPLENDID.
I got myself an ice cream before I climbed the hill to go to do my final showcase.
Wayne and I appeared on the last Edinburgh Tonight.It takes a bit of time out of the day but Wayne said we should do it...and it is his time that is being taken up...so I thought “why not?”...we met the funniest dudes there....they are a speciality act called “Hot Gussets”...and they work at the Assembly Spiegeltent in a show called ‘Guilty Pleasures’ and are usually covered in body glitter. So much so that the last time they were on the Edinburgh Tonight Show the venue was fucking pissed off that there was glitter everywhere.So, this time they brought a drop cloth....
and found a cordless hoover...which they used everywhere they went...they were very cheeky....AHHHHHHHHH CHEEKY!!!
Here they are with the Hoover....
I LOVED THEM!!
We also met two women from Australia who use their breasts to make....things.
Like ‘Puppetry of the Penis’.
And they whipped of their shirts in front of a variety audience at 5:00pm.
There are no pictures of them here
And yet, I wasn’t allowed to swear.
Life is strange.
Thanks to Terry Finnegan and Joe Simmons for having me on!!!
I was too excited to nap before the show that night...I was just...all wound up.
We had a SOLD OUT audience for the show...with a number of repeaters... I LOVE THAT!
The show was a great deal of fun...but I was so concerned with being on time that I didn’t get a chance to thank Wayne and Derrick.
Wayne did every and any showcase, street performance and variety show that I asked him to do and a couple of times he volunteered...and even though he is OBSSESSED with recycling and wastefulness...actually, maybe a bit because of it...A BIT (He tried to make me eat a burger off the floor and also almost got kicked out of a grocery store for collecting fruits and vegetables in his own, non see-through bags)...I love him.
He is an amazing accompanist, arranger and friend.
He has also been to the bathroom one million times today because he ate everything in the fridge last night and this morning instead of letting it go to waste.
Oh, Wayne’s Mom...what a boy you raised.
Although, Wayne’s Mom, I would like to meet you one day, for many reasons, one of which is to tell you about the burger he tried to shame me into eating...after it fell on the floor.
And the young Derrick Chua...what is there to say?
While I was in the mad dash of fund raising, whilst doing ‘Love, Loss’, if there was an email or a task to be done concerning this tour he took it and did it without a word.
And when we got over to Scotland he didn’t hesitate to put his back into setting up the show (we had 5 minutes!), taking it down (again, 5 minutes) taking the tickets, making sure I came in on time...flirting with the ladies who worked out front.
And the last 4 days he came down to the Half Price Hut and flyered with me.They were great companions and we made a great team.
I thank them so much for jumping on this train with me....including the NY portion.THANK YOU WAYNE AND DERRICK!!!
After the show I felt excited...but it soon turned into a weird melancholy.
I felt a bit...at a loss.
I really missed Georgie.
He is such a huge part of all that I do that it felt weird not to have him their to celebrate.
Anyhow, the three of us ended up back home having to drink what was left of our booze....HOW THE EFF DID WE COLLECT SO MUCH BOOZE!?!
Derrick said “You have got to plan your day...what shows are you gonna see?”
He really helped me plan my last day.
I got out the programs and picked seven.
I hoped to see three.
The next morning we got up and after some messing around we made a plan to do a bus tour!
I have been all around Edinburgh (having spent a week a couple years ago) but there were still things the Wayne and Derrick had not seen...the bus tour was excellent...it is really the loveliest of cities.
Before the tour the three of us wandered to some of the venues we had not yet seen to have a good look at them...and while there I began to buy tickets and finalize my day’s shows ....I got three excellent choices.
I wanted to pick different kinds of storytellers...keeping score here...I had seen so far ‘Meow Meow’ (cabaret), ‘Alan Cumming’ (cabaret) ‘Me, Me, Me’ (cabaret), ‘West End Glee Club’ (musical), Hamlet the Musical (musical...which I FUCKING LOVED BY THE WAY!), Camille O’Sullivan (cabaret), Spring Awakening (musical..there were some young Canadians in it) ...so I chose some different kinds of acts.
‘Baby Wants Candy’ from Chicago...they are a company that does one hour improvised musicals from audience suggestions. Jack Brayer from ‘30 Rock’ has been a part of this company.
I met the some of the members as we trolled the Half Price Hut.
Intrigued I was.
They were pretty amazing...the title they got that day was “Pheasants Make Better Roadkill”.
God, they were fucking fast.
You didn’t see the thinking...they all just went for it...but with skill...I hesitate to say it was some of the best sketch I have ever seen. With singing, harmony and choreo...and a 4 piece band.
Then I walked out of the Assembly on the mound...which is on the mound...it looks over New Town right to the water...and the sun was low...and the day was gorgeous..the buildings were shining...and I did something I never do.
I had an hour to kill...so I grabbed a glass of wine from the Assembly bar and found a bench and drank it...on the street...I love Scotland.It was very peaceful...it was just lovely....I felt very calm and collected...for the first time in 8 months.
I made my way to the Assembly on George Street to see....are you ready for it...Jennifer Coolidge’s one woman...show.
You know Ms. Coolidge from American Pie and Legally Blonde...for those or you who are too high fallutin to know those things...how about ‘Best in Show’?
I thought, “When will I get a chance to see this again?”...she had not gotten great reviews but I was undeterred.
I have seen her a number of times wandering around Edinburgh alone in high heels and a down coat...Wayne actually stood beside her that very day, and I tried to take a picture of them both...she had her back turned...she turned around and I turned away...I was quite ashamed, actually red faced.
I was intrigued as to what her hour would be.
The theatre was surprisingly small...all the Assembly spaces that have stars in them are usually quite big...but her space was a bit bigger than mine with more seats shoved in....there was a mike and a table covered in a dodgie looking red table cloth.
I was intrigued even more.
She came onstage in 6 inch Jimmy Choos and there was no stool...that was her first mistake.
I spent the whole show watching her walk all over her mike chord...I was It was...interesting...she was quite rude...which I dig...but her show just was...it was....interesting.
She....it....well, I am glad it was half price.
But I wouldn’t have missed it...you have gotta love the variety of the fringe.
Then I marched across the city....up the stairs....down the hill...to the Underbelly Cowgate...it was my first time at this venue...to see Storm Large.
Now, anyone who has been following my blog or my show since olden times, you might remember my LOVE LOVE LOVE of the Rockstar show...featuring rockers from all over North America who were vying to be in either INXS (the first season) or Supernova (lame name...the second season)...there was a fabu rocker named Storm Large....well, here she was in a 100 seat room doing her show “Crazy Enough”...which she seems to be.
That lady can fucking sing...and she has got an edge...I am glad I saw her show.
It was a rock and roll one woman show...and you know how I love that....It is all “I was on heroine...and fucked a lot of guys...and my mom was crazy...but I sang Pat Benatar and it change my life.” I know that sounds trite but that was it in a nutshell....and it was pretty fierce.
It was just missing a bit of heart, I thought...but that was just me.
Everyone else was right there with her...I might have been over analysing...
And, again, as I walked to meet Derrick and Wayne I thanked the universe for this fucking gift.
And just like that...it was over.
We drank as much of the left over liquor as we could...and went to bed...while each of us yelled from room to room at each other how great it all had been.
It was singularly one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
I learned about my show and other shows.
I watched people work the stage and the half price line.
I heard artists talk about their work over drinks and over the footlights (lordy, I know.).
I had the gift of running my show for 13 performances...that was priceless....for an international audience.
At any given time there were Scots, Brits, Americans, Irish, Dutch, Aussies, Spanish (sold a ticket to a girl from Spain who barely spoke English but loved the show!) and Canadians in the audience...really.
The most important thing to me...I know you won’t believe it...was being at the Hut and at the Fringe Box Office line selling tickets...not everyone does it...but it was absolutely invaluable...to see what people wanted to see...to talk to them about my work...I used a lot of the pitch that I came up with in my show...I worked material at that Hut and used it that night...I loved establishing a relationship in the line...then later, greeting them at the door to the show....and then performing for them...shaking their hands after...and sharing a drink with them in the courtyard.
I ask you, what could be better...who could you learn more from...the audience are the people who are truly buying tickets...I would not have changed my selling methods for the world...and I sold the houses out that way!
NO doubt it was exhausting...
I met Kathryn and Colin in the rain one day as I walked away from the Fringe Box Office to go home and have a nap...they were under an umbrella looking at a very soggy fringe program...and I approached them and told them my story and gave them my card and they came to the show that night....I found this on my Facebook wall today.....
“Kathryn Penton: Sharron, you are a goddess of music and comedy!! We never made it back to see you a second time in Edinburgh and were devastated.. you were the first show that we saw, and the best that we saw! PLEASE let us know when you are next coming to the UK.. you have a voice to die for. Thanks for stopping us on the Royal Mile ...and selling your show to us... phenomenal! Love, Kathryn (and Colin, with the very loud laugh that you loved!!) :-) xx”
What could be better?
And concerning the scope and the effect of the whole tour...I was forwarded this excerpt online a couple days ago in a review for Emily Bergl’s cabaret show in New York this past weekend.....
“In this modern age of the musical "mashup," as delivered so brilliantly as of late by such champions of cabaret as Sharron Matthews ...” Andrew Martin, Nite Life Exchange
WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?
I cannot ever doubt that this tour, though it was absolutely one of the hardest things I have ever undertaken, I can’t ever doubt that it was, for myself, one of the most important things I have ever done.
I learned more about producing, performing and promoting in the last 8 months than I have in the last 8 years...and don’t get me wrong...with Sharron’s Party and the Broadway show I have learned a ton in the last few years ...but this...this was like going to university.
I think one of the things I was most saddened to learn was the outdatedness...word?...of our government arts funding system.
The horrible fact that we have no money to tour our work anymore is a crime...the promotion of the arts outside of Canada is now left to foundations, corporate sponsors and/or private citizens.
But we can get gov’t money...yes, we can...to go see other people perform and produce our work...we can get money for that.
And any money that can be scrounged from the government is even farther away if your work has any of the following gross, hideous and awful words attached to it....words like....don’t be offended people, you were warned....commercial, comedic, independent or....shiver...musical.
I sat outside the Assembly theatre, drinking my glass of wine, naming...in my head...a VERY long list of Canadian artists who would thrive/benefit/grow/learn/be discovered if they were supported to come to this festival...and I was sad...sad that these people might never get the chance...and I was mad, too.
That is fucked.
BUT thanks to some Canadian citizens, foundations and corporate sponsors I did get to go...and that is a truth that I hold so close to my chest that I almost can’t breathe...if the gov’t doesn’t believe, to my fabulous and grateful relief...the people do.
Here are a couple of shots that didn’t make other blogs...and for your perusal, one last time...a list of the donors to this venture...I thank them all from the bottom of my heart and haven’t forgotten that I owe some of you tshirts, some a ringtone, Michael Rubinoff a song...and all of you my undying gratitude.There is also a list of bullet points of my fave reviews!
I am in talks...love that, right...so L.A....in talks for what comes next...there are many options...and a future...again.I thank you for your support, love, words and spirit...I COULD not have done this alone.But if I can do it...so can others....yes, we can.World Domination continues.....Week 37!!!!
Adam!!! They stoled your Dad's idea!!
“Sharron is one of those rare performers that comes along once in a while and gets notices in a downtown club and builds a loyal following a la Bette Midler.”Magda Katz, Broadway After Dark
“not only was this show a complete and utter triumph on all counts, but serves as testament to the fact that a chanteuse as riveting and brilliant as Matthews proved on this night should wholeheartedly be welcomed to New York and elsewhere with unabashedly open arms.”Andrew Martin, Nite Life Exchange
“Comedic Songbird” Time Out New York
“Sharron Matthews covers Bohemian Rhapsody and somehow this was surprising in a set of great surprises” Joe’s Pub on Twitter
“How f**king good are you!?!” Kate Copstick, The Scotsman
“Matthews sings with attitude and humour in a show that has more musical surprises and mood swings than a foul-mouthed episode of 'Glee'. World Domination beckons.” Three Weeks Edinburgh
“Sharron is a born entertainer and this is obvious from the off, not only is she very funny but she has a cracking voice and you can’t help be mesmerized when she belts out hits from legends like Shirley Bassey to Radiohead. As a comedy show its very good but I refuse to review this just on comedy alone, this is cabaret and as that it’s excellent. Brace yourself world Sharron Matthews is taking over. *****5 Stars!”Comedy Reviewer
“This cabaret performer from Canada rocked theSpace at Surgeons Hall last night with her powerful performance and winning personality. Highly Recommended. ***** 5 STARS” Broadway Baby
“Without question a truly magnificent performer with a great deal of heart and a voice so controlled, sweet and powerful you will leave her show on a high. If your question is whether Sharron Matthews is a superstar, quite frankly yes! ***** 5 STARS” The New Current
“Sharron Matthews truly is a superstar and a performer as personable and instantly likeable is something rare both at The Fringe and beyond. ***** 5 STARS” Public Review
World Domination Tour 2010 Donors
General $2000.00 or more
BMO Financial Group
Lieutenant $500.00 to $1999.99
Dramac LTD-Charlotte and Tedde Moore
The John McKellar Charitable Foundation
Jerry and Kathy McRoberts
Ian Epstein and Kathy Kacer
Paul Butler and Chris Back
Army $50 to $499.99
Amber Mills and Michael Rode
Becky and Kathy Liddle
Buddies in Bad Times
Dan Thompson Beauty
The Elgin Winter Garden Theatres
Ian and Trudy McCabe
Just for You by Alex
Lorraine Kimsa Theatre For Young People
Mary Lu Zahalan
Michelle Hamilton Black and Darren Black
Sandy and Max Reimer
Susan and John Masswohl
The Shaw Festival
The Stratford Festival
Stephanie Martin, Andrew Sabiston and Lucie
Sharron’s Privates People who have donated $25.00 to $50.00 and/or supported, given their free time and/or skill,promoted and/or helped Sharron immeasureably on this World Domination Tour!
Buddies in Bad TimesTheatre
Louise Pitre and Joe Matheson
Patti and John Loach