Tales from the Fringe 5

After the show yesterday a man threw 10p in coppers into my bucket. Followed by his friend who threw in 36p, and a third friend who threw in a £1. Now, maths wise that adds up to… dick all and it left me feeling pretty down (and hungry), especially after a particularly emotional show. It hurt.

I wanted to say to him:

I know it’s a free show on the free fringe, but I feel there is a silent contract in place between performer and audience member. A gentleman’s agreement if you will. It says free but you need to be prepared to throw some money into the bucket. It’s the polite thing to do. The British thing to do goddamit. If you have been entertained, moved, did a laugh, even once, then you give a donation and make it more than 10p in coppers. Make it a fiver. Even if you didn’t think it was the best thing in the world, it’s still cheaper than some of the other shows (not as cheap as a Wetherspoons breakfast I grant you) and some people have stickers to hand out to those who donate, so there is still a reward system in place. I turn my tricks for you, and you put money in my little plastic bucket (that’s what I call my vagina!) and it should be more than 10p in coppers. It should be more than a £1. My average audience is about 8, so when 3 of them give me £1.36 between them, it really makes a difference.

But I didn’t. And afterwards, I had to turn to Jade and say “looks like it’s smart price beans for dinner again tonight.” And she did a sad face and said “I thought we were getting spaghetti hoops. The good kind.” And I showed her the bucket, languishing in coppers, and a single tear rolled down her cheek and she said “beans it is then.”

But seriously, I put my tiny little heart, soul, bile, spleen and emotions into the show, and I am really grateful for all the donations that come my way, but I think, even if I hated a show, I would still give me more than 10p in coppers. Even if they personally offended me and everything I believed in, even if they were a Star Wars fan and had misunderstood what the show was about, even if they held Jean-Luc Picard personally responsible for the collapse of their marriage, empire and dinner flan I would still give them more. (I keep fantasizing about a man with a moustache and a jaunty hat, he is in the audience, and at the end he reveals himself to be a rich philanthropist who wants to support the arts, and he slips a blank cheque into my bucket. And a really nice bottle of Prosecco. And the keys to his private jet so I can go on a lovely sunny holiday. But it’s not a weird sex thing. He doesn’t want anything in return. Maybe a quick blow job, but that’s all. And I don’t have to touch him, because he wants me to just blow on his penis, turns out that is his thing.)

The only thing I can conclude is that they were annoyed about the part of the show where Jean-Luc slipped off his mic stand, and seemed to have his back turned to the audience. He was all like “I don’t want to perform today.” I’ll be honest, since we got up here he has a developed a pretty serious drinking problem. He sleeps all day, drinks 4 bottles of Chateau Picard five minutes before the show and then spends the rest of the evening crying and screaming “why BEVERLY WHY.”

But all in all, that was a bit of a bummer after the show. And there are lots of generous people who do donate, and I am grateful for that, but it made me feel a little deflated.

I had to look at this picture of Will Riker for hours to cheer myself up.

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Anyhow THERE ARE 5 more shows to go. These are our five more days to go faces.

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Also if you come to the last show on the Sunday you get to see me destroy the head! I don’t know what happens when it gets destroyed, whether Patrick Stewart would sense it or not. We shall see. I do know I am having a cocktail afterwards.

Ellen x


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