This is my blog covering what I did for my nine days at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016.
I’m Jonathan Sheehan a mediocre stand-up from Ireland chancing my arm along with 5.5 billion other comedians during the Festival and putting a show on.
Thursday 4th of August:
My real job is a health care assistant in a nursing home. I finished six 12 hour shifts in a row Wednesday night and got a flight at 5 am to go to Scotland. I was exhausted.
My first day was a blur of walking around, checking in, napping and going to my venue.
Our venue was the White Horse on Canongate. This is my fourth year doing the Edinburgh fringe festival. My previous two years had been a bit hit and miss with my time & venue. This year I had a plan.
I can only ever afford to do a week in Edinburgh. I came up with the idea of doing a compilation show of Irish acts that would run for the month under the Banner of “Irish Championship Comedy”. Each of us taking turns to run the show for a week.
By booking a show for a month it’s meant to help get a better time & venue.
Edinburgh can be a lottery for your time/venue so anything that can help is worth it.
To explain there are two “Free” fringe groups. Laughing Horse and PBH free fringe.
My past few years have been with PBH free fringe and my experiences have been mixed.
PBH stand for Peter Buckley Hill who’s a bit mad and when you sign with him he has a list of rules that makes Sheldon Cooper room-mate agreement look sensible.
I wanted to go with Laughing Horse but could never afford it. There is a 90-pound registration fee and you have to put your show in the official Edinburgh Fringe book which costs 300 pounds.
Throw in your costs for accommodation, printing, drugs, whores and you’re talking a lot of money. By going with a group we split the costs 6 ways. I could now afford to go with Laughing Horse.
Our room at the White Horse could hold 40-60 people easy. Our time was 6.45 which I was happy with. Your show is not going up against the bigger shows and you hope to get the post-work crowd and avoid people bringing their kids in. Which happened before at my earlier shows and it gets real awkward when you starting talking about your sex life.
I arrived one hour before the show to start flyering with my comedy partner for the week Pat McDonagh.
I honestly felt with our time, venue and show concept (People like compilation show’s and the Irish theme is always popular.) we would always get a decent crowd in. I was wrong. Our first show only had four people in the room.
I was a bit down but we went ahead anyway. It was great fun. I did about 20-30 minutes just chatting with the crowd and Pat finished the show. We made close to 15 pounds.
To explain our show is “free” to enter but at the end of the show you stand there with a bucket and ask the crowd to put in what they thought the show was worth.
It’s basically posh begging. To get 15 pounds off four people is pretty good going.
I left our first show happy and hoping our numbers would go up.
The dread of Edinburgh had not slipped in….yet.
Check back for part 2 where I go to other people’s shows & almost start a racist rally.
Find Jonathan on Twitter @.
A quick clip of me doing stand up: