The Lost Art of Getting Lost

I opened my show tonight at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and this is the first moment I’ve had to organize my thoughts. Until now, my mind has just been unspooling into the streets of the city. I’ve spent the last two days either working my ass off at the theater or stumbling down cobblestone streets, which are crawling with actors and dancers and comedians and musicians and street performers- all of them pulling creative stunts to get you in to see their show.

The Fringe Fest is the largest arts festival in the world and there are over 2500 shows running throughout the month here. It’s wild. It’s mayhem in the streets. It’s kind of like Burning Man for theater geeks, but with slightly less nudity (only slightly, due to a proliferation of performance artists).

I got completely lost during my walk yesterday morning and wound up climbing Arthur’s Seat, which is a mountain nestled in the middle of the city. Purple and yellow flowers were bursting from every crevice. No pics of it, because I make a point of walking without a camera glued to my face, at least some of the time. From the top of the crag, I looked out over this gorgeous place and felt so grateful to have a morning to be lost in the world, to get turned around on tangled streets and wind up crossing a cast iron bridge and climbing to the top of a bluff. I never lose sight of the fact that this is an enormous privilege…

Even if my bedroom is right above a tent that’s blasting YMCA and the Macarena over and over right now. Really? YMCA? But it looks like this from the front window, so it ain’t all bad:

Tonight went beautifully, except for the fact that the house lights never went out, so I performed for a totally lit audience. But as far as technical mishaps go, it could have been worse. It almost was worse (our light board operator never showed up), but my director DJ Mendel was a hero and saved the day. Solo shows are never solo endeavors.

On the down side, Tariku had his first baseball practice and I wasn’t there. I’ll think I’m doing fine without him, and then I see a cool playground that he would like and I burst into tears. I told him that I was going away for a couple of weeks because we have to follow our dreams. He solemnly told me that he understands because he’s he’s following his dream too- with his band. I miss him like mad.

One show down, eleven more to go.

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