We don’t profess to be Fringe veterans by any means but Substance marks our fourth venture to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and over the years we’ve learnt a thing or two and we thought now that the Fringe is halfway done that we’d share a couple of top tips to make sure you get the most from your Fringe Experience!
1. See as many shows as you can: Edinburgh Fringe is unique due it’s sheer scale. There’s just so much on offer and you definitely need to make the most of it. Seeing other artist’s work can have such a huge impact on your own work and can really help you develop. Take every opportunity that you get to see a show and remember you’ll see a whole range of standards from things that blow your mind to things that make you want to curl up in your seat from second-hand embarrassment. The more you see the more you’ll get out of your Fringe experience. If you don’t know where to begin then why not check out this handy little list of things that we think are worth your while. You can read it here.
2. Eat properly: The temptation is always to skip a meal to squeeze in another show but come midnight when you’re at a late-night comedy show with a pint in hand you’ll really regret your decision to skip breakfast, lunch and dinner to catch some more shows.
3. Use your fellow artists: Don’t be afraid to look to your fellow artists for advice. They’ll no doubt have a wealth of information and they’ll always be happy to have a chat and share it with you. Remember they’re dealing with the same issues that you are and sometimes it’s nice to know that you’re not doing it all on your own. One of the best things about the Fringe is meeting so many other artists that you can learn from so don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to people. To get you started why not come say hi to us, we’ll be only too glad to have a chat about how things are going for you!
4. Work hard: Working hard might seem like an odd thing to make the Fringe easier for you but it actually works. If you put in a few hard hours every day flyering and selling your show out on the Mile you’ll definitely see an increase in your audience numbers and that’ll make things so much easier for you and you won’t have to spend nights up worrying about ticket sales. A few hours of hard work is much more beneficial than some less focused work for twice the length of time.
5. Play hard: Take time and relax every day. It’s hard to get away from the Fringe as it takes over the city but try and find some way to unwind; be that going up Arthur’s Seat or hitting the clubs hard. You need to find time to let your mind wander away from the show you’re working on to stave off being driven crazy by it. Relax and your show will benefit as a result.
6. Pace yourself: While you should obviously do as much as possible it’s always a good idea to pace yourself! You don’t want to burn out before the Festival is over. Flyering on the Mile when you’re hungover or just tired. Push yourself to your limits but don’t go too far beyond them or you’ll end up regretting it!
7. Sensible shoes: It might seem really mundane and boring but wearing sensible shoes will make your Fringe experience so much more pleasant. Edinburgh is a hilly city and you’ll be doing lots of walking on cobblestoned streets so comfortable shoes will make everything much more pleasant and will make darting between venues to catch shows so much easier.
8. Reviews: Don’t let a bad review ruin your day. Practically everyone gets a bad review from someone somewhere over the course of your career and if today is that day then so be it. Of course it’s worth learning from negative reviews but remember it’s just one person’s opinion. The same goes for amazing reviews, don’t let them go to your head (although do staple them like mad to everything that you can, you do want to sell tickets after all).
9. Plan: There’s so much happening at the Fringe that it’s critical that you plan your time. Sit down and pick the shows that you really want to see (obviously make sure that our show, Substance, is top of that list) and plan when you’ll fit them in. There’s nothing worse than finding out that the two shows you desperately wanted to see are both finishing that night and you have to decide which to see and which to miss.
10. Enjoy yourself: The Fringe only lasts a couple of weeks and then you have to wait an entire year to come back so really enjoy it and savour every moment. Leave with great memories and no regrets and then come back next year and do it all again.
If you have any top tips for surviving the Fringe and making the most of your time here then let us know via @SundaysCTheatre, we’d really appreciate it!