Edinburgh – Day 2

This’ll be a real quick one as the lids are feeling rather ponderous and still have more work to do on VRE. I was literally falling asleep as I finished last night’s missive so I left out the fact that I didn’t get to the end of the story in yesterday’s performance. Time has been my bane since I first started doing this piece. The first show clocked in at 1:53, the second at 1:41, the third at 1:18, and the fourth at 1:15. I thought (hoped) I’d gotten it down to about 65 minutes, and figured that a slight increase in delivery speed would bring me under the Fringe-mandated 60 minute mark.

But I was very wrong, and yesterday’s audience got all the build up but none of the release, which I truly felt terrible about. So today I made some fairly brutal cuts. It was hard for me to gauge if they worked, because while today’s audience was lovely, they were also quite small (9) and probably as a result, rather subdued. Whereas yesterday I got laughs at absolutely every line I consider funny (and a few I don’t – or didn’t before yesterday), there were only a few quiet chuckles today.

It’s increasingly clear to me that this show should ideally be around 90 minutes, and anything under 80 entails some heavy trade-offs. I think I can put on a good 60 minute show – in fact I feel I did that today – but it simply won’t be as good as the longer version. Needless to say my perfectionism doesn’t take kindly to this. At the same time, I relish the challenge of cutting this down, and I know at some level the exercise itself will prove invaluable and inform my writing in ways I can’t quite know yet, even if the product itself suffers a bit.

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