In the last few days, my social media feeds seem to have been full of people complaining about the Edinburgh Festival. They have been there and done that. It is not what it was. It is too commercial. It is too big. It has lost whatever heart it once had.
Maybe I’m just sensitive to it, because, this year, I’m going as a performer for the first time. It’s a little disheartening. I won’t be performing as part of the official fringe. I’m on the fringe of the fringe. I’m worried. My piece is a micro-audience performance game. It only needs one audience member and it’s free to participate, but what if I don’t even get that one person? What if they don’t turn up? What if they turn up, but don’t want to sign the forms that are necessary because this isn’t just performance, it’s performance research?
This is a big thing for me. This is my own work. It means a lot to me that it works out.
And that’s exciting.
When I let go of that anxiety, I am amazed that I am doing this. The me of 10 years ago wouldn’t believe it. She thought she had missed this opportunity. To take my work to Edinburgh for the festival season is taking all the nerve I have. So I am going to enjoy it. I am going to ignore the negativity and embrace my own excitement.
At the end of nearly every working day, when I am struggling for inspiration I turn to The Good Lovelies 2015 album Burn The Plan. I remember the story that they tell at gigs about the decision that they made to quit their day jobs and put all their efforts into their music. They are incredibly talented singers, songwriters and musicians, but it still gives me a boost whenever I listen and remember that I had a plan and I started again too.
So whatever happens in Edinburgh – and I will publish this before I go so that I can’t deny this feeling later – I am going to remember that this is part of burning the plan. That when I got stuck, I tried something new. Lines And Ladders is all about a different way of doing family history and it’s a new direction for me. Maybe in a week I’ll feel jaded, but I’m going to enjoy it for as long as I can!
Thank you to friends and family for encouraging me and to the volunteers at The Forest Café for hosting the piece. I promise to make the most of this opportunity. If you want to play Lines And Ladders, with someone still brimming with enthusiasm, you can book tickets here:
And there’s loads of information about the research project here: