Tomorrow, I’m putting on my first self-produced show and this is how I am feeling about it.
Tomorrow will include a surprisingly influential point in my life and work. On the surface, it is just a sketch show that I decided to do for my open project module. However, as much as I try to deny it, whatever response this receives will decipher the direction I take next. Essentially, this is my prototype tester for what show I aspire to potentially do at the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2018. Ambitious, I know. I know that I would either do a sketch show or a clowning show. This is the decider.
Undoubtedly, even if I did go down the route of sketch show, a lot of what we do tomorrow will not get that far. I believe that what we have done is indeed funny; I cannot deny my belief there, as foolish as it may be. However, the Fringe is the dream of my entire adolescence and, inevitably, that comes with the baggage of reckless perfectionism. This is my first attempt and, once you have done that, you get an immediate sense of what to do with yourself next. However, what I can confidently say is that I am satisfied that I, amongst a group of thoroughly collaborative and engaged people, have created a cohesive show that we can realistically perform.
This is not to say that I have perfectly executed every aspect of professionally putting on a show. Just last week, it became clear that I had not enquired deep enough into the technical side of things. In fairness, I was not well-informed in the first place. However, when that happens, you should really push further until you find what you need. I did not do this and I shook up a few people in the process: I still shiver at the thought of what people must have said. Fortunately, I was met with enough friendly faces to sort this out and it has all been resolved.
However, I have (almost) learnt to forgive myself for this error and every other I have made throughout this process. Creatively, I made mistakes. Casting process, I made mistakes. Professionally, I made mistakes. I have never put on my own show before and am certainly no professional. Youth and naivety are still traits that haunt me and, at this stage of my career, I cannot hide from them. The financial charge on the show also proved this. At £1.50, the cost is there to both fill in the costs of the show as well as a starting point for this future show that I will spend the next year of my life developing. However, whilst I believe these reasons are just and fair-game, my mind never considered what the university would make of a show on their campus asking for money. Fortunately, I was pardoned here too, but it just goes to show what must be thought about when you’re on a less friendly playing-field. Honestly, this was something I had kept in mind for public venues, yet I completely overlooked these rules for my own university.
Before we have even performed, I have already learnt so much. Now, it’s time for the big questions. Will people show up? Will they laugh? How much will they laugh? Will they say this is something I should stick to? Will they say I should move behind a desk? Will they I should leave the writing to someone else? As typical as you’d expect, terror and excitement hold hands in how tomorrow will affect me. This is probably the most exposing thing I have ever done. After this show, I do not feel I have much left to hide. The question is – will that be worthwhile?
I would like to thank Tom, Phoebe, Jess, Daryl, Alex and, very importantly, Kim for their input and support throughout this entire project. I could not have done this alone.
‘The Biscuit Barrel – A Sketch Show’ will be performed tomorrow (Sun 19th) at The University of Winchester in PAS 2 at 7.30pm (entry from 7pm, £1.50)