Fringe veteran Carey Marx is a polite man, although sometimes a twisted darkness inspires his thoughts.
Hello. How are you today?
I’m very well, thank you.
Are you ready for another month of Edinburgh Fringe action?
I’ve never been ready for the Edinburgh Fringe and don’t intend to start now! I’m usually ready by the end. If the Fringe was in September it would be much better.
At this stage, how closely does your programme blurb match the content of your show?
One thing I’ve learnt over the last ten shows is to keep the blurb general as it’s written before the show is written in order to hit registration deadlines. Blurbs largely tell you what the performer thought they were going to be thinking about earlier in the year. To be honest, I still don’t know what the show’s about because I’m too busy writing it. I turned 50 this year, and a lot of the material seems to be about self-worth, which the blurb didn’t say it wouldn’t be about, at least.
What are your tips for getting people to see your show?
Word of mouth is still the best advert, though if you start with small audiences it’s hard to generate that word. I don’t spend on big poster or advertising campaigns. But a good flyerer can made a huge difference. Mostly, I just try and do the best show I can and accept whatever that leads to. One tip I would give performers is to flyer their own show at the beginning. You quickly realise the selling points you thought were fascinating have no interest to anyone and you learn how to describe the show and all the hard work you put into it in a way that captures the public’s interest, i.e: the room’s got air conditioning.
Who are you sharing a flat with this festival and how will you help each other survive the
I haven’t organised a flat yet and seeing as you’re asking this into July it might be a problem. Do you know of any going? But the festival doesn’t feel like something difficult to survive for me. I have done it enough to take it in my stride and just enjoy hanging out. The secret of doing that is to not put your pride on the line.
Any shows you’re particularly excited about seeing?
My show is at 5pm this year which is the earliest I have done. So, it will leave me free to see many shows. I have no show-seeing plan. I will mostly try and see shows by friends, others I’m recommended to, and the odd play to take my head out of comedy. Sometimes I just like to walk into a show I know nothing about and spend an hour seeing if that was a good idea.
Other than the great shows, what else are you looking forward to about your trip to Edinburgh this year?
My favourite thing about any festival is being in the same place for a month which is unusual in this business. And the Edinburgh Festival is a perfect time to catch up with friends in the business.
Salt and sauce on your chips?
No salt thank you, but I’ll take the strange brown watery stuff.
Here’s a space to write about anything you want. Go for it.
I’d say to people going to the festival to take a punt on some of the smaller shows. The heart of this festival is fringe theatre and the expensive productions can be seen at other times. See some of those, but please support the many shows that came up on a lower budget. The size of poster does not tell you the quality of the show. Last year, I was sitting in a coffee shop next to a family who were going through reviews looking for only five star shows to see. I expect they were disappointed. Not because those shows aren’t going to be good but because they need them to be. I wish you all a festival visit that’s fun and full of discovery.
Carey Marx: Hero of the People
6-28 August, 5pm