In this guest post, award winning author Emily Dodd gives you a taste of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival’s seedy underbelly – the twilight world of stalking.
I first started stalking comedians in the Fringe by accident. I’d recognise them and greet them like one greets an old friend. I was so ridiculously friendly that they were polite; perhaps thinking I was someone they knew but didn’t recognise. You could see them racking their brains trying to work out who I was.
A real friend, Vicki once caught me mid-stalk with Simon Amstell. She edged away, embarrassed. I went to find her afterwards.
“What were you doing?!” she exclaimed.
“I don’t know” I confessed “I just forgot I don’t actually know him. It keeps happening..”
But one spectacular night, my friend Gareth and I perfected the art of comedian stalking.
Both fans of facts and retro gaming, we went to see The Geek Show. We weren’t disappointed. When the show was over, we ambled into the Pleasance Court yard and there was the comedian at the bar!
We got very excited and then, realising our enthusiasm may ruin our chances of hanging out with a comedian for real, we concocted a brilliant plan…
Here’s how it went. He recognised us at the bar as we casually strolled over, pretending not to even see him till the last minute. He laughed at our comments and asked us to join him for a drink with another comedian (YEY!!) Finally, when the moment was right we hit them with our fact-show-down.
The rules: one person says a fact, the other comes up with a better one, and the audience (the comedians on this occasion) vote, best out of three. My facts were science and nature. Gareth’s were dubious, like “a duck’s fart is the exact audible opposite of its quack so if they occur at the same time it is silent.” Hmmm.
Anyway the pressure was on, I needed to improvise. I borrowed a cigarette to demonstrate the tropical leech in all its glory, and dramatically described death by Super Volcano at various distances from the Yellow Stone eruption.
I won, but more importantly, we made the comedians laugh!
We arrived in funny land. Happy stalking.
You can see Emily in her debut fringe show with poetry, stories and songs, bananas, birds, badgers, meeting the Queen, energy saving light bulbs, horses and more:
- Live in Leith at 9pm on Thursday 4th, 11th & 18th August (with two other live music acts for just £5 – See facebook for details.)
- As part of a 2 day continuous poetry marathon at the Forest Cafe at 1.15am (in the early hours of the morning) on Friday 12th August.
- Or at a free Ragged Talk about her latest book on Sunday 28th August at 12.45pm.
Listen to Emily’s starling poem: