This has been a ride, so far, my people.
I don’t know what I expected...but I have learned...when I come to the Edinburgh Fringe...just to arrive with “An empty cup, girl” (Fabu Canadian Music Man -Yes, that is his official title- Orin Issacs, told me that this was the best way to start every week of Canada Sings...no expectations...but with preparation).
You can prepare as much as you want, but you really never know what this place is gonna throw at you.
A new venue...what comes with that? A lot of technical issues (mic broke on the third night...when an important VIP was present...did the first 20 minutes sans mic...and didn’t trust it for the rest of the night...mike stands are effed...bought our own) and the inevitable figuring out of how everyone’s show runs and how to get the audience in and out....on time. And 3 times in the Carlton Hotel, where the cabaret bar is...the fire alarm has gone off and we have had to evacuate...putting EVERYONE behind.
I have had a couple of really big challenges this year, as well...
Firstly, after running the show once in front of the fringe audience...the show didn’t seem right...it seemed ALMOST right...but not quite there...and I decided that instead of feeling that way for the whole run, I would work on it...change it...find the right way to tell my story...well, that took about 4 nights of performing (and days of rehearsing) to figure out...there is NOTHING like fixing your show in front of a paying international audience to give you hives.
But I REALLY wanted it to be right.
And when it was FINALLY right...boy, it was an awesome feeling! But the feelings getting there...very, very hard...it laid me low for a couple days...but I kept working and doing the personal apprearances and promo gigs...and....lordily...believing...what else are you gonna do?
But I got it...I figured it! I did...and fuck, it was worth the work to get there. (Still makes me a bit pukey to think of putting in a new section every night for 4 nights till I got it right...pukey, people)
Then, I woke up the 6th day...with a sinus infection.
I went straight to the Royal Infirmary...and they gave me some antibiotics...but I was still singing on a sick throat for a couple days...AND one night in the show I felt like I had been dunked in a pool of water. Fever...no fever...fever.
So, I have lived like a bit of a monk to make sure I can sing my shows and my PA gigs.
So, only A FEW challenges.
AND we waited for the ever important reviews.
And it was taking FOREVER.
People will not come unless they know about your reviews...they just won’t.
And all anyone wants is a good Scotsman review...it is the most important paper. I couldn’t even get them to come out to see my show last year...AT ALL!!
I told my producer not to tell me when or if they were coming.
And they came...one of my “I am putting in a new part” nights.
And he didn’t tell me....god bless his soul.
So, then next day, a bit bummed about the lack of reviews and about my sick body, I asked Cooch to come with me to look for a pair of high heels for the show...and after we found them....
Aren’t they gorgeous?
...we were sitting and eating Subway sandwiches....yes, a Subway sandwiches...and I get a call from my producer asking me if I can be at a photo shoot in full make up and costume...in one hour...for the Scotsman.
They won’t tell him what the review is going to say...but they ask for me to come to the photoshoot anyway.
I strapped on my high heels and hit the streets of Edinburgh.
Fun...but what the fuck was the review going to say?
I did my best to forget about it...impossible...and did the show.
The next morning I could hear my producer, Rob, pacing in front of my bedroom door...yes, we all share very clean and nice student accomidations, my friends...so he was just next door...and when I got up he was standing in front of my door holding this...
My legs could not hold me.
And it was a 4 Star review...from the Scotsman...my show was named one of the “Best of the Fest”...asked to perform at special afternoon show featuring other artists with given the same distinction...holy fuck .
My producer all but exploded with happiness...I was just amazed...and shocked.
Then things started to happen.
Other great reviews, promoters coming out, big audiences....a show that is hitting a joyous stride, for me, anyhow.
Yes, I am tired people....exhausted, even.
But I am feeling good...in my spirit and my heart.
And yesterday, I taped my show.
And for this occasion, all the people I knew who were coming to Scotland were actually present and in the audience...Mike Bickerton, John Austin, Chris Lorway, Rachel Neuberger, Anne Barnshaw, my cousins Deb and David...and a sold out audience...it was glorious. Lord, the time Cooch and I had. It was magic.
I cried like a baby after, alone, as I got changed.
I just felt like I had come over a mountain.
I love the challenge of coming here...but make no fucking mistake...it is a challenge.
And then we Canadians danced...meeting up with the young and talented Shawn Hitchens and the dishy, Clyde Wagner....and went to as many gay bars as we could.
One bar was called “CCBlooms”...after Bette Midler’s character in Beaches...Cooch didn’t know what it meant...lord...but WE DANCED!!!
I had such a great fucking time...and tonight...I sleep....and tomorrow...I start again.
6 more shows...who knows what they hold?
I do know one thing though...I am NEVER going anywhere without George again.
Never...I think our time apart rule will be three hours...until he gets really sick of me...and then it will be 6...but that is it!
Gods the GAY BARS were FUN!! SEE?!?!??
(Thanks to Cooch, John, Bicks and Clyde Wagner for the pics!!!)