The Diary of an Edinburgh Fringe Comedian : Matthew Kin Yip Fong (Part Three)
I am waking up, there are no alarms going off on my phone to wake me up… Some thing has gone wrong! Last night after my show I had forgotten to turn my phone on to loud again so my 8:30 wake up call and come and gone!
I am instantly put into panic mode! The early show has been really hard to fill and needs as many leaflets out as possible. The time is 9:30 am and I’m usually well on the way to town if not already handing out flyers. I checked the price of a taxi on uber and to go the 1.8 miles from my flat to the venue came to £18 I was like, go and F*&k themselves so I walk to the bus stop and get the bus. Tomorrow is Sunday and that means free parking so I am 100% taking my car into the town and saving my legs!
I decide to go and grab my guitar on the way to the counting-house because I’m walking past the city cafe where my guitar had been living for the last few days. Mixing up what I am doing is going to help me keep sane. The show was really quite busy much more than double we break double figures and get about 20 people into the early morning show. The night before I booked an act to do the show and they hadn’t turned up yet turns out they weren’t going to come, so I had to find a replacement ASAP, fortunately, Sid Singh came to my rescue. He got in touch with a quality act that was staying just around the corner from my venue. All the acts on the morning show did really well and they got flyers out to a lot of people (one audience member went to see both sid and my solo show later that day)
Now the 3rd of August is the meet the media day at the Fringe central so after my show I go across and pick up my Fringe pass that had finally arrived and head over to join a queue for the meet the media event. It was very much like being at disney land queueing for hours and when you finally get to the ride its not as long as you thought.
I find that artists are usually there own worst enemies, I was so close to not going to the media meet. Do I really want a review? Do I need one? I spoke to people from the List, Fringe Fest, The Skinny and others and as i went on the elevator pitch was getting better and better.
This improved my flyering skills because it really did make me think about my show in a different way. I have had some success from the fringe and going to meet the media was a lot of help. Yes it is a lot of waiting around and yes they are professional industry people but no it really isn’t as scary or as boring as you might think. I got chatting to some people in the queue, we were all in the same boat all waiting for our chance for 2-5mins with and Industry folk. After the first face to face with a media womani got onto my second face to face. The first meeting was to a small online magazing get the neres out in this show and will smash the next one and thats pretty much what happened.
I do another four more flash interviews and its now 5 pm no nap for me today. I head up to the loft bar and I see a comedy agent who I know, he is talking to a tv exec. I hover around for a while and say hello to the agent and he introduced me to the exec. She was lovely and introduced me to more people. The agent and exec go off to see a show and venture outside to the smoking area, I see Stephen K Amos and go and say hello, he invites me to sit and chat with him and he introduces me to his producer and a couple of other comics who have shows on at the fringe. The conversation is the usual whats your show? How’s it going and all that jazz, after the introductions were made and many laughs were had. The time flew by spending time with such talented people was really inspiring and truely showed how far I still had left to travel in the comedy journey.
19:00 and there is certainly no point going home now so I thought I would head up to the royal mile and get some more flyers out. Stood outside my venue was a reviewer and we got talking being fresh from the meet the media event I was on form and after she had promised to come to my show I introduced her to the comedian who was on next at the city cafe venue.while they were chatting I took some of his flyers and started handing them out.
His show is very unique, so it was an easy sell. I did a good job of flyering for him as he offered me a job one hour a day to help get people into his show. I have told him I would do it but I won’t promise that I can do it all Fringe. I will help out just till he gets a buzz about his show which I am sure won’t take very long. So I helped him out till 9pm and that’s when I start leafleting for my show. The previous nights gig was a total sell out so expectations had been lowered to not expect a full house every night and to give people who hadn’t heard of me or the show a little sample to prove I am funny.
10:45 and i have been told a queue for my show had already started forming and that I should tell people to join the queue for a seat. 11pm I am told to stop flyering and to come and sort my queue out. This was again an unexpected turn of events the queue went from the door of my room round the bar down the hall and to the bottom of the steps. Not all these guys were going to fit.
This time I turn away 20 which really breaks my heart I have put a lot in my show and I really want the people who want to see it be able to. I apologize and say that I am on again tomorrow and if they would be so kind as to come back and that I REALY REALLY appreciate that they have just queued for half an hour for no reason at all.
I do the show to a packed house and love every second of the gig. I do my bucket speech and tell them about my merch and I actually sold 5 T-shirts. Maybe having merch isn’t a waste of time. Having gotten home so late the day before I wanted to be in bed by 2am so got a taxi home. £10 of my hard earned cash to get home but not after a little trip up to the VIP bar. Where I sat outside drinking coke and reviewing in my mind the high and low points of the show. After 15 mins off self assessment, I was ready for home. So I get the above taxi and go home. Now sleep.