Fringe 2011 comedy blogs - Steve Pretty
He of the Perfect Mixtape discusses music vs comedy and proper Fringe preparation
This article is from 2011.
By 30th July, any sensible Fringe performer would either already be in Edinburgh getting some early promo done, or locked away in a rehearsal room, honing their show, perfecting that topical gag or getting that new set piece extra zingy.
So why, last Saturday, did I find myself sitting in my camper van in a lay-by just outside Slough, rehearsing a song about the reef fish of the Indian Ocean for my show in between playing Bollywood music at a Punjabi-style wedding and playing hip-hop brass music at another wedding?
Here’s the problem: as both a comedian and musician, I often finding myself needing to decide; do I pass up lucrative music work in order to concentrate more fully on my comedy show, thereby losing a sizeable chunk of my (already meagre) annual income? Or do I take the well-paid music gigs in June and July in an attempt to mitigate the potential (OK, let’s be realistic: very real and actual) loss of doing a Fringe run, only then to find myself under-prepared for the comedy show?
Well, the answer is both. Or maybe neither. Which is why I found myself in that lay-by outside Slough, bleary-eyed after rehearsing the show until 2.30am, before getting up at 6am to pick up some props that I left at a preview in Chelsea on the way to those wedding gigs, then driving home in the small hours before getting up again the next day to drive to WOMAD to play more Bollywood music, then driving back home to pack the van in the small hours (again), then driving up to Edinburgh rehearsing my show the whole way whilst my girlfriend simultaneously tears her hair out and sticks labels on the 1700 kazoos that I’m using during the run, then getting up early to drive to the Underbelly, doing my tech rehearsal and get-in, checking my print is OK, and pestering every living soul to come to my show.
Speaking of which, presuming this blog is read by living souls: come to my show! It’s going to be fun.
And don’t forget: I do weddings, bar mitzphas, funerals, wakes... (no, really; I genuinely once performed at my own wake, but if you want to hear more about that, you'll have to come to the show).