Fringe comedy debut: Ian Smith
The comedian performs debut solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013
This article is from 2013.
What do you think might work out as the best piece of advice you receive ahead of your Fringe debut?
‘If you’re not teetering on the brink of self-destruction, then there’s barely any point.’ A comedian wrote that in an email to me and I put it up on my wall. I think it’s important to care. But probably the best advice is to have fun with it.
What do you expect will be the least useful piece of advice?
‘Don’t worry about it.’
Imagine this is September: looking back at August, what would constitute a successful Fringe?
To have played to good numbers and to have got some nice reviews, I think. I’d like to be in a good position for being able to go up again next year.
In krugerrands, how much do you expect to lose during the Fringe?
I had to Google ‘krugerrands’, which probably means I’m not qualified to answer this.
Back in the old days, there used to be a thing called ‘the festival shag’. Is this ancient tradition likely to play any part in your thinking during August?
No: I’ve been in a relationship for eight years.
Back in the old days, comedians would drink alcohol solidly for a whole month and still manage to get out and do their show every day: how much are you likely to imbibe per day?
I will probably drink a fair bit, but I’m also good at getting up early. I won’t be drinking before performing my show, but any gigs post-show will get slowly declining levels of professionalism.
What qualities do you expect from a Fringe venue?
Comfy chairs, electricity and for people to be able to see you.
Will you read your reviews before your run is over and if so, how do you think they will affect you as a comedian and as a human being?
I’m going to try not to. You can’t really change things when you’re at the Fringe so it’s a bit pointless. It’s very difficult to avoid though!
Do you undertake any superstitious rituals before going on stage?
Sacrifice a pig. Go to the toilet.
If you were about to perform at the Fringe for your tenth year, where would you expect your career to be at that point?
I’d want to be ten times a better as a comedian by then and be doing funny stuff that me ten years ago would have seen and wanted to do. I just want to keep getting better at what I do.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 3–25 Aug (not 12), 5.45pm, £7.50–£10 (£6.50–£9). Previews 31 Jul–2 Aug, £6.