Josh Howie - Festival virgin

Josh Howie remembers the first time and asks the probing questions


This article is from 2008.

Josh Howie

At various points over the last few weeks I have been referred to as an 'Edinburgh Virgin'. The more I think about it the more connections I see between my time here and my first sexual experience. Nervousness, sweat, the bad weather, the applause, the reviews, the constant self-doubt, not being able to walk properly afterwards, the fighting off of disease and of course the huge amount of money the whole thing is costing me. And just like the time a few months ago when I lost my virginity I have no doubt that the whole thing is worth it.

I've already learnt and grown so much as a human being and a comic. I've learnt you should only Google your name once an hour rather than every 20 minutes. I learned that the human body can survive on only one Angus burger a day. I learned where all of my posters are and the best route to the Pleasance from my flat that allows me to pass by them all. I've learnt that having good PR brings in more punters than good jokes (although I've got some of those too). I've learnt that it's really hard to have a conversation with anybody for longer than two minutes before bringing it back round to how your show is doing. I've learnt that if we could somehow harness the ego of the comic we would have a near limitless energy supply. I've learnt that the housing market is in decline.

And yet, there's still so much more to take in, more questions that need to be answered: Can I get the price of my gym membership back if I've only been in once and that was to use the toilet? (The muscliest Jew at the Fringe award goes to that damn Ian Stone again - one day Stone . . .) When a comic or promoter tells you how well a show is selling, can you believe them? If you want to know how many people were really in a show basically divide what anyone says by a third and then minus one: the comic does not count as an audience member no matter how funny the heckles were. Is it possible to reject a flyer by saying 'It's cool thanks I'm a comic' without sounding a total cock? Can you go and see a friend's show without ending up trapped in the first row where you then have to spend an hour avoiding direct eye with each other while fixing a huge grin to your face that makes you look like you've just inhaled some 'Joker gas' and makes your jaw ache for the next two days? Is it manslaughter or murder if you kill someone unconnected with the festival who tells you to just 'Enjoy it'?

Josh Howie - Chosen, Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 24 Aug, 9.45pm, £9.50-£10.50 (£8-£9).

This article is from 2008.


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