So, having been to a few festivals how did 2013 compare to others?
It seemed to really get busier towards the end. During the final week I had great audiences. Its the reverse of previous fests where a slightly later August start has meant that the beginning is busy then it tails off.
DARKCHAT were up for the first this year and the audiences seemed smaller than previous years. Is there a pattern to when the biggest audiences arrive?
As per above, it was different this year.
Are reviews important or do you now have a reliable fan-base?
Well I do have people that come but of course you want to reach new people all the time and press coverage is one way of doing that. It was hard to get reviews this year. I did one single performance at Camden fringe just before coming up and that got 5 excellent reviews, mostly 4 stars, which was more coverage than my entire run in Edinburgh got.
Did your show change as the run progressed?
Yes it was a very new show which developed during the run and became tighter and slicker as the tech team and I got more and more in tune with one another. I'm still of the mindset that Edinburgh ought to be a place where you can develop your work but many shows now have already toured and are rehearsed to within an inch of their lives. But then where are performers supposed to develop work if not at fringe? Its chicken and egg. Because you can't book a tour until you've done Edinburgh or perhaps Camden / Brighton and got some kind of press.
Do you get nervous before a show?
When its as new as this one was, yes.
Does it take you long to relax after a show & do you analyse each performance?
I was usually doing other short guest spots later in the evening such as Magic Faraway cabaret which I did a few times and was a really fun stress-free gig to do.
Was performing at Assembly Hall as enjoyable as you hoped?
The tech team and venue staff were very organised so yes. Perhaps as its such a formal venue (one friend compared it to hogwarts) its almost too nice and polite and there's a slight edge lacking that helps a comedy show come to life. Maybe that's just the time of day too. Assembly also gave me a slot at 'best of the fest' which was great to do.
Being in a solo show do you mingle with other performers afterwards?
Yes I try to.
Is it tough being in Edinburgh for a month?
Certainly I miss London a great deal when I'm there. But that makes it really nice to come back. It was so hot in London, it felt like stepping off the plane in Greece / Spain when you've gone on holiday.
Money is always a talking point in Edinburgh . Without being rude, do you make any/much money from a critically and publicly acclaimed show?
What are your biggest expenses?
Nobody makes any money - except venues perhaps. I prided myself for a few years on pretty much breaking even - by negotiating well wherever there was room to do so and working hard on ticket sales. Its harder to do that now as accommodation prices have more than doubled within the last 3 years. Also you used to be able to put your own posters up and give your own flyers out in a more organic way. Now you have to pay people to do it to compete as everyone has a street team and every poster space has been bought up.
DARKCHAT saw 53 shows in a week and without a variety of 2 for 1 offers and the Free Fringe we couldn’t have afforded to see so many. What are your thoughts about the current pricing structure?
I made sure my ticket prices were accessible. I often had an allocation on the half price hut so, if you got those, you could see my show midweek for £3.50. Assembly were fairly good about letting artists set their own prices
We thought the standard of shows this year were higher than ever. What were your favourites?
I didn't see much this year, sadly although I thought Sara Pascoe had really found her comic voice. Really intelligent stuff.
And finally how have you relaxed since the festival?
I'm a huge tennis fan so was watching the US open for a couple of weeks while catching up on emails and admin and booking up the diary again for Autumn and Spring tours of my 2 new solo shows.