I know it has been quite some time since my last post – and I would like to say with good cause. I have just spent the past month having the best time working in my life – even if I was completely run down by the end of it.
Basically, our goal in coming to Edinburgh was to find some temporary work. It just so happened that the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was on and therefore there was PLENTY of temporary work. Convenient. I think randomly coming to Edinburgh and ending up meeting the people I did, immersing myself in so much art and culture and gaining some UK work experience that may actually help towards my career was the best random run-of-the-mill decision I had made thus far. Everything just fell into place perfectly. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
After learning that the Edinburgh Fringe was on I had a look at Festival work – and noticed that there was a lot of positions for PR/Marketing people, Stage managers etc. and I got super excited and applied for heaps…only to realise that most of the applications closed a few days/a week before I got to them. Which was really disappointing because I just missed out on some jobs. So alas, I had to get whatever work I could.
I ended up finding employment working in a box office for a traveling show, ‘The Ladyboys of Bangkok’. Which was fine. It paid, and it was work so whatever. But the fun began when one of the stage managing jobs I had applied for contacted me and through them I ended up working on no less that 5 shows assistant producing/stage managing/Stage teching and it was amazing fun, and a lot of hard work. I would start my box office job at 9:30am every morning and work through until 4:30pm where I had a couple hours off until my next show at 7:30pm, but then work again up until midnight. And quite often in that break, I would meet up with the associate producer and work some more. Although in saying that there was a lot more play than work. Then 9/10 times, after shows finished at midnight we would stick around for a pint or 2 (or 10) and I would end up home every night at 3-4am only to get up a couple hours later and do it again. At the time, It was the most tiring experience of my life. Now…I loved every single minute of it.
The Edinburgh Fringe is unlike any art festival I have been too. The sheer cultivation of talent and artists mixed with producers/journalists/agents and the rest literally make this the olympics of art. All the work that goes into it is phenomenal for one month of shows, which happen every single day…oh and there is well over 4000 of said shows. The ENTIRE city lives/breathes and transforms into this Ed Fringe haven where the population doubles from festival workers to festival goers. Pop up shops/bars/restaurants come just for the month, every pub/bar/restaurant ends up being some sort of venue and the most spectacular thing of all is that the entire thing is run mostly by students, or at the very least under 30’s. If you are any sort of artist – even from another field – then this has got to be up there with one of the most intense experiences. The whole concept of it is actually nuts – trying to sell tickets for 4000 shows every single day for a month, plus trying to promote those shows so you can sit above the rest of those contending 3999, plus networking as much as possible…not to mention shows are usually given an average of 10 minutes either side get in/get out. No time for a sound check…like ever but the show must go on so oh well. Got a massive set…better have 20 people putting it up and dismantling because you WILL get charged for every minute over time that you run. Its absolute craziness. But in a brilliant brilliant way.
I wish I could say more, but the way it works is honestly one of the most intense things I have seen.