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The Diary of an​ Edinburgh Fringe Comedian ​: Matthew Kin Yip Fong (Part One)

Fringe diary day minus one, comedian log 31st of August 2019. 

The day before the first shows.

I set off to Edinburgh from my home town of Leeds with a mixture of feelings. I’m not going to the fringe under the delusion that my wildest dreams are going to come true, I’m going thinking that it’s going to be 25 long days of hard work and lots and lots and lots of rejection.

The drive was long and the car was full to bursting, boxes of flyers, a sandwich board, a suitcase or two, my trusty guitar, my merchandise and what I think will be the most important thing… my card reader. 

I arrived in the centre of the city for 15:30 and paid £16 to park on Chambers Street which was almost right between my two venues, city cafe (23:15 90’s room) and the counting house (11:45 the counting house loft).

Now my mission for the day was simple. Take the leaflets to the appropriate venues, put posters up, soundcheck both rooms, get a VIP pass if I can and hang out with my mate for a night because I didn’t book the correct dates for my accommodation.

It doesn’t sound like a tough task but the boxes of leaflets weighed a ton, so basically, I had my own version of city centre CrossFit. Up and down steps and carrying these boxes, I have read in other comics posts about the fringe and they recommend joining a gym for a month well I can say bollocks to that. Maybe if you have a PR team of 20 people and you don’t actually do any leafleting yourself and you spend your time just doing shows and relaxing, then yeah join a gym. What I’m trying to say is the first item of the list is done.

Task two, putting posters up, it is a mass free for all, by the time I got there most prominent places were gone. There were so many posters already up that I honestly thought it would be an impossible task. Fortunately, I’m actually quite tall and got some pretty sweet spots. Thinking outside the box was the only way to get posters in any kind of eye level.. (backs of toilet doors in the stalls) Another two hours later and I’m still putting up posters and finding places to drop of my leaflets. It’s very hot this year and most of the venues don’t have great air-conditioning, they do however have big spot lights which get hot!!! I’m drenched with sweat and look and feel like something out of the walking dead but posters are finally up.

Sound check… who needs to sound check I got this. (Dumb move)

The final bit, go get a VIP pass (side note I am by no means a VIP but that’s where all the cool kids hang out and I want to hang with the cool kids) but did I get one??? I will let you believe what you want about getting a pass or not. Whatever you make up will be more exciting than the truth.

So I get to see my mate and we go for a bite to eat and a catch-up, before I know it it’s gone 2am and I need to be getting my head down because I have to be up for a show in a few hours. His sofa which was surprisingly comfortable.