28 September 2010

Reporting Edinburgh: Critics, Comics & Bloggers

I wrote an article for the European Journalism Centre on my Edinburgh Fringe experience, and more generally, the relationship between performers and critics.

“Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.” E.B. White

This summer I – like thousands of other brave extroverts – put myself at the mercy of the critics at the Edinburgh Fringe. My hour-long show, Roman Around: A Guided Tour of the Eternal City, was my first foray into the world of solo comedy.

The good news is that my audience grew progressively throughout my week-long run. As happy as I was with the experience as a whole, I was forced to hear not just the post-show comments (which are usually positive) but also read criticism (which can frequently be more, as the name suggests, critical).

There’s a performer’s maxim that states ‘never read your reviews’. This is to shield the player from upsets to the equanimity; if the reviews are bad, your confidence can crumble and put the whole show in jeopardy.

But conversely, if they’re good, you can get a distorted sense of your own self-worth. This summer I read reviews of my show and fell victim to both the highs and lows that reading reviews can engender.

To read the rest of the article, go here.

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