Tuesday, August 16, 2011

You can't please all the people all the time.

I hate science fiction movies. Whenever people talk about Star Wars or Star Trek I zone out faster then a woman zones out when a dude starts talking about... Star Wars or Star Trek. That doesn't mean they're bad movies, it just means that I don't like them. And that is perfectly ok. No where is this principle clearer than at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Due to the size and variety of what is going on here, chances are at some point you're going to find yourself in something you don't particularly like. There are so many shows, something for everybody, and if you are seeing a show and it's not your thing there's something else starting in a half hour that probably is.
For the first time in my career I've started applying this idea to my own work. This festival has taught me just to do what I do. For years I've been trapped by this need for everyone to like me, which is totally impossible. And if a show didn't go well or if a joke didn't work, I thought that there was something wrong with me. But maybe the problem isn't me or the joke, maybe for that group of people, I was their version of science fiction.
Obviously some jokes you write aren't going to be funny to anyone (my favorite joke I've ever written "I had an imaginary friend as a child. When I was seven he died in fiery plane crash" has never gotten a single laugh. Ever.) And sometimes your performance is going to be off, but as an artist I really think the main person you should be trying to please is yourself. You have to write what you think is funny, and perform it in the way you think is funny. If you stay true to that some people won't like you, but I believe what you might start to find instead are the people that love you.

1 comment:

Gerry from Glasgow said...

Caught your show yesterday afternoon. Just didn't know who to go and see when you gave us a flyer. I still wasn't convinced about climbing those stairs but I liked the old blues guy outside the pub and was gasping for a pint so we went in. When my girlfriend saw the Seinfeld reference on the flyer she said I would enjoy it because I loved him. I explained to her that I loved his show, not him as he was a shit stand up. Anyway as i said we caught your show, in between the stag party guys in yellow T shirts coming in and out the door. Did we enjoy it?
My girlfriend had to be talked into the fringe as her comedy tastes are shall we say traditional. She was fucking FUMING. What the fuck was funny about that she cried. ( one of the biggest laughs I had all day) AS for me I don't think I laughed once either. However I was fascinated and entertained throughout, I wanted to stay and learn more and I know you had more to say but I suspect if I get the chance again I will have to pay more than the 58 pence donation I gave. ( thats what you asked for right). Anyway thanks, and I will keep a lookout for you and happily pay a ticket price next time. Take care..... Gerry

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