Written by ANGUS HODGE
I have an excuse, honest. It’s mainly because for the last two weeks I’ve been couch hopping. Sleeping where I can, showering when I can, and doing laundry less than I’d like.
There’s a lot more that goes into a Fringe comedy show than people know. You need to register, find a venue, get flyers made, entice a crowd… Then you find yourself having to write it. And if you don’t live nearby, you find yourself trying to live locally for an entire month. With dirty underpants on.
The process starts months before the Fringe. In fact, it usually begins straight after the last one. Tired of the same material, most comics go from a performing binge to a writing binge (usually without stopping their drinking binge) to create jokes they’re not totally sick of.
A venue is needed next, why bother going to all that effort to write a show when you don’t have anywhere to perform it? How many shows do you want to perform? Which end of Adelaide’s CBD? Where can give you a good deal?
Registration time arrives, and you sign up to be a part of the Fringe. There’s no backing out now, but why would you? The Fringe is still five months away, surely you can write a show by then, right?
Christmas comes and goes quicker than you realize and all of a sudden it’s almost here. In a panic, you realize you need flyers and posters to promote your show. In excitement, you give a flyer to everyone you know and then have none left.
Fringe is a week away. You double check everything is fine (in between locking yourself in a room to write that damn show) and get ready for what is sure to be a long month.
Fringe arrives! You promise all your other performing friends you’ll go to their show and you mean it. By the end of the first week, you’re weighing those friendships up against each other because you know there’s no way you can fit everyone’s show.
Opening night! You get ready by locking yourself backstage, reading and re-reading your material and hoping by some sweet miracle there’s someone out there to watch it.
You step out onto the stage, start telling your jokes and get a wave of relief as the audience laughs. Ha, you wonder. What was I worried about? But they’re not all like that. Sometimes the crowd doesn’t like you and trust me, it can send the most confident person in the world into a spiral of self loathing.
After the Fringe is over and you’ve finished your gigs (some good, some bad) you can’t wait to go home and put some clean underpants on. Then you start writing for Fringe 2012.
I’m wearing dirty underpants and as much as I hate to say it, I love it.