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Sunday, 11 August 2013

New Edinburgh Show - First Performance Tomorrow!

I started this blog with the intention of updating it fairly regularly. Sadly, this has not come to pass. The main reason for this, I must confess, is general laziness. A significant subsidiary reason, however, is that I have been working on my new children's poetry show, snappily titled 'Joshua Seigal Presents The Legend Of Ooshus Magooshus (And Lots Of Other Poems'. The title piece of the show is one of my most popular poems, and one of only a handful that seem to work well with children of all ages. (You can watch a video of it here should you so choose.) The show is basically what I consider to be a Best Of Joshua Seigal, as of August 2013.

I have performed each piece numerous times in schools. I tend nowadays not to get particularly nervous when performing in schools, apart from the standard excited butterflies and rush of adrenalin. Edinburgh, however, is different. One of the reasons for this is that it is a family show, and as such will have a number of grown ups in the audience. This means that I will need to cater to their needs as well (something which I was rebuked for not doing in a review last year). It also means that the children in the audience are not likely to know each other, which can make for a tougher show from a performer's perspective. In schools the kids are all familiar with each other, and are thus relaxed in each other's presence and can feed off each other's energy. There is a ready-made community spirit which a performer in a family show needs to build from scratch. I've often found that poems and jokes which get a big laugh in schools get a much more muted reception at family shows. I think I will need to learn to see this as part of the nature of the show, rather than as a failing on my part.

Another reason for heightened nerves in Edinburgh was alluded to in the previous paragraph: the presence of reviewers. Last year I sent out a large number of press releases prior to the run, and subsequently spent a great deal of time inordinately anxious, lest a reviewer come and scrutinize me. Partly as a result of this I have not done any press releases this year. I'm all about the audience; all about the art, baby. OK, the main reason for this is that I am fairly near the beginning of what I hope will become a decent career, and I don't want a poor review showing up in a Google search when teachers are considering booking me for their school. Not that I for one minute expect to receive a poor review, or think that I deserve to do so. The point, rather, is that I simply don't trust the reviewers. I have read an awful lot of nonsense on Edinburgh review websites, often by people with questionable experience or knowledge of the relevant artform.

Having said all that, I often come away from a good performance wishing there had been a reviewer in the audience. I hope the forthcoming fortnight is full of such performances. ONWARDS!

(PS see my show!)

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