What I could really do with at this stage of putting my Edinburgh show together is an editor.
I have so many little bits and pieces and ideas flying around that I can scarcely keep track of them, let alone decide what’s best 'in' and what’s best 'out'. This is partly thanks to my blog, which has been a fantastic source to call on, as I wouldn’t remember half of the things that crossed my mind over the past few years if it weren’t for it, but it can also be an overwhelming record to get to grips with; it can be luck of the draw as to whether I’ve picked the right entries, or whether there are some far better ideas that have been lost, under the weight of it.
Yesterday was a case in point: before I started a run, I noted down a couple of rough ‘new’ ideas – i.e. old blogs that I hadn’t yet looked at in a stand-up context that had popped into my mind – to have a quick look. In doing so, I stumbled across a piece I’d half-worked up for last year’s show, but dropped because it didn’t fit with the concept. I happened to have a couple of audio clips of me talking the idea through on Evernote (with an accompanying slide show) that made me laugh out loud on listening back, which would fit in perfectly with one of the central themes in this year’s show, which is ‘ignorance’. As a result, this piece of material has been reinstated after a year-long break, will feature in this weekend’s preview, and I suspect will end up in the final show; thank God for record-keeping software.
My original intention for the next three previews was as follows:
· To make Friday’s performance at The George purposely longer than the final running time of about fifty-five minutes, so I can road-test a few bits of pieces that might not make it into the show, and extend a few of the ideas so I can work out what are the best points in them, before I do a ruthless edit.
· To do a similar show on Saturday at The Water Poet as a tight running-time isn’t needed; essentially being the Last Chance Saloon for new ideas.
· Approach Monday at The Etcetera Theatre with a heavily shorn version of the show, that hopefully hits the best points. It will be a test to see how it works when stripped back to basics.
Whether these dates will turn out as I’d like remains to be seen. If I had this mythical editor, I could turn to them and ask them to be ruthless over what works and what doesn’t. As it stands, the only person I can truly turn to at the moment is myself – with the help of a few audio recordings of my runs – and trust in my own judgement. It’s hard though, when I’ve got so much admin to do for all of these dates - and for the Beast that is Edinburgh - that I spend less time working on the meat of the show and more time working the artwork for it.