So, where have I been?

After the usual trip to Spain to visit the in-laws (which is always fun) we are now back in Edinburgh doing the magic thing. The Fringe, which some would say is my raison-d’être, started yesterday in its unofficial capacity, and tomorrow officially.

This year I’m doing only one show, on the 21st, and the rest of the time I’m doing street magic shows on the High Street. This means I get time to spend watching the world on this frighteningly crowded road instead of manically flyering as I’ve done for the last fifteen years and more. And it’s very interesting.

There are the usual groups of young actors lying in the middle of the road hoping that someone will take a flyer and come to the show. This doesn’t work. There are other young actors rushing up to people shouting the name of their show hoping that someone will take a flyer and come to the show. This doesn’t work, either. There are the obligatory men in nuns’ habits, scantily clad leggy actresses who wish there were not half naked in Scotland and people in bad makeup. There are the flyer teams for the big names who can’t be bothered to do the work themselves, with no ticket price on the flyers. And there are the jugglers.

I’m really enjoying being one of the Street Performers again. I started out doing shows on the Mound in 92, and once you have been there, you never become a real person again. It’s why my visits to Covent Garden were always so strange; for many years I was not one of the performers, but there was a strange history. To a certain extent this has been the situation for the last decade or so – since I spent so much time on the Mile flyering, I got to see my friends who only come to town once a year. But it wasn’t the same. This year, however, there’s the good feeling that I am once again one of the great unwashed (at least for a month) and it’s a good feeling…

It’s raining now, and I’m performing magic at a wedding in North Berwick this evening so in Street terms, it’s a day off. I need the sleep.

The Edinburgh Fringe magician. Step on up to the rope.