Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Closing Time and Tarty Toes Redux

This blog post also appeared in what'sonstage.com (Edinburgh)

I'm holding an Edinburgh Festival Fringe retrospective. No PR, no invites, no celebrities, no press night. Audience of one. Just me. Sitting at my computer, in my soon to be vacated Edinburgh digs, reminiscing.

Actually vacated is a good word for it. Edinburgh has been vacated! The Royal Mile has reopened to traffic, no signs of posters or rogue flyers anywhere. No more colour coded lineards around the necks of improbably dressed and rather large ladies. No more street performers - good or bad. It's all gone. Down the sink hole or back where it all came from.Most of it to London I'm afraid.

I purposefully stayed in Edinburgh an extra few days so that I could experience it post Fringe. I wanted to breathe in this city in its return to normalcy. Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival is a bit like catching the Queen in fancy dress. It's novel and fascinating at first, but then one longs for the return of tradition and decorum.

So what have I done? With no more one woman show to prepare for (that's a 2 hour warm up and run through every day plus a 50 minute show and some three hours of flyering - every day)I've done what I always do when I have too much time on my hands and no particular focus. I've gone a bit over the top and OCD. I lounged on my couch and watched bad telly. I've done more yoga than is necessary. I've bought a mini kilt in purple tartan (more on that later), and I had a luxury pedicure that lasted two and a half hours and has left me with feather soft feat and the most delightful tarty fushia toenails. Cheap tarty. Perfect!!! To go with my new kilt which looks fabulous beyond words! "Oh, my word!" exclaimed the shop girl admiringly when I showed her.

And this brings me to the single most meaningful gift this wonderful city and its Fringe Festival have bestowed on me. An appreciation of myself as a feminine and girly entity. Not the celebration of the intellectual, or the actress, but a celebration of the woman I've always wanted to be: the girl who is happy to wear tarty nail polish and a mini kilt in purple tartan. More Cyndi Lauper "Girls Wanna Have Fun" than Madonna's "Vogue" but hey - I'm happy.

I'm happy! It's rainy and cold here. But never mind, I'm so grateful to Edinburgh for the lovely welcome, and for looking after me so well.

I've cleaned out the flat. Packed my bags. Ready to go.

Now, it's off to yoga. If nothing else, to show off my tarty toes!

Monday, 25 August 2008

The mini kilt, in purple tartan

No show today. And the Festival is definitely winding down. Tents being dismantled, posters taken down. Only a trickle of people on the Royal Mile, well anywhere really! I'm glad we finished yesterday on the warmest day of the Festival, on a high...

My Festival guardian angels picked up my props and costumes from the Underbelly and will drive them back down to London for me tonight. The Underbelly... it was like seeing someone you know well when they're dead. It was being dismantled, piece by piece and the spirit had gone out of it already. I wish I hadn't seen it like that. But I got to say goodbye to a few more people.


It always amazes me how some tourists suffer from tunnel vision. Overheard in the Cashmere House shop (I know, I know...) on the Royal Mile: "Is it always this crowded in Edinburgh?" They were Belgian (Flemish) and Dutch tourists (I know, I don't see the difference either, but that's because I'm French and can indulge in certain regional European stereotypes... you're just being racist.) All the shop girl could muster was "Aye, always busy in August, but it's very quiet the rest of the year." She didn't even mention the Festival (Fringe or otherwise)!

Anyway, I went into this wee shop (I'm going native, can you hear it?) and tried on this lovely mini kilt, in purple tartan. I tried it on in pink too but wrong colour. £55. It could be a nice end of festival treat (I'm already getting the luxury pedicure tomorrow but work with me). It looked amazing: "oh... my word!" was the spontaneous exclamation from the shop girl when I pulled back the curtain of the changing room. She really liked it!

I didn't buy it. Even though I tried it on in 2 separate branches of the same shop. I went a bit OCD, a small defect here, another one there. Sabotage. I think I'll go back in and get it tomorrow.

Because, oh my word! - it don't look half good!

Me and Madonna

All done!

It was a great last show: great giggly audience (this one little wizzened old lady laughed through the whole lot, even the dark bits like the addict speech!), good turnout, some mates, and I had a good energy flowing throughout. It was bittersweet and delicious: like candied orange rind dipped in dark chocolate.

Oh my god! I'm no longer on a voice diet. Oooooh, cheese and ice cream and chocolate in all of its forms and maybe even a skinny decaf Capuccino (could never spell it) from Starbucks!

I made some new friends in the last few moments. It's often that way. Including the lovely Evelyne who is a Madonna impersonator and who is very very hot (hotter than the genuine article actually) as well as very talented. :) We'll hook up in London. And Otto, from "A thousand years of German Humour" and the marvellous Sam Bloom who's one woman show is something to behold. Although she might have thought I was a stalker in the making... she's so terribly British and reserved.

I'm as unreserved as they come, an exhibitionist, and a bit louche under all the Frenchness.

Now decompresssing. Did yoga. Now quiet evening of telly (I think the Olympics are over) and reading and then final get out tomorrow and more lazying about and then a luxury pedicure on Wednesday.

So when I get back to London you can all come over and kiss my toes!

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Just hit me baby one more time...

23 shows done and 1 to go.

And so it comes to this. Inevitable I guess but a month ago it seems like the Festival would go on for ever!
Had a lady come up to me after the show today. Very emotional, very moved. She lives in London. I think I may have made a new friend.

I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has shown support and come to see the show in preview in London or during the run here in Edinburgh. And some of you have even come to see it twice.

You know who you are, you lovely generous souls. And I know who you are too. I also know who didn't come, and it's been duly noted.

So this is the night before the last performance. Well, the last performance at the Ed Fringe 08, at any rate.

How do I feel? Bittersweet, tired, excited, sad, lonely, glad to have the 2 sofas to myself so I can sprawl around in my underwear, and fart to my heart's content. But mostly very grateful for the journey.

Notes from the Fridge will wind up when I leave Edinburgh on Wednesday. But I will replace it with a new daily blog. Which I haven't named yet. I had 3 blogs published in the media during my time here, so I think I'll definitely keep up with this modern form of diary writing. Like sex and the city but without underwear in the sex scenes.

Good night, sleep tight (what ever you're wearing or not wearing as the case may be.)

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Can I interview you?

19 shows done. 5 to go!

It was raining a bit yesterday. Well, we had a sunny post lunchtime spell and then it started coming down. And I was wearing trainers because... well because I thought that would keep the rain at bay. In a gri-gri sort of way. (For the Francophiles you'll have spotted the unintentional pun: gri is phonetically the same as the word "grey" in French.)

So I got a bit wet. But not too much.

I was flyering this lady who had a big smile and friendly way about her. I was maybe 5 seconds in when she interrupted me: "You sound so interesting! I'm a reported for Radio Suid Afrika. I'm waiting to do an interview but the person is running late... can I do a quick interview with you now? Do you mind?" Now, I may be new at this game, but I know an opportunity when I see one! "Not at all!" So she whipped out her recording equipment and I told her all about the show and about me. It will have featured in her nightly broadcast... Cool! (I'm going global... as in both hemispheres!!) Thanks Lida.

I also had another proof that the people from Edinburgh are really really friendly. I forgot my gym card (due to having to tip contents of bagback out earlier in the day to try and dry it out - and the card slipping out) and only discovered it on my way to yoga. I almost hopped off the bus. Ran all manners of scenarios in my head. But you know what? When I got there and told my story the nice brunette on reception said "Oh, I know you, you come in all the time, don't worry, in you go!" And it was that easy. See, working out a lot is a good thing... right?

Thank you also to the nice old lady on bus 23 yesterday afternoon. We had a lovely chat about the weather, Edinburgh, how Princes' street is no longer the shopping experience it once was, and having a cup of coffee in MacDonald's in Germany. You reminded me of my gran.

Monday, 18 August 2008

"Hi, I'm Josephine Baker’s great-grandaughter."

(This Blog post appeared in What's On Stage (Edinburgh).)
Posted Date: Aug 18 - 3:44 PM

It's not everyday that fiction meets reality. Or rather that legend intersects with real life. But it happened to me this weekend.

For some three weeks now, I've been walking around the streets of Edinburgh with the show's t-shirt (don't worry, it's not the same t-shirt day in day out, I've got two.). Now, the t-shirt sports the show's title "There's Something in the Fridge that Wants to Kill Me!" as well as the banana girl created for me by the immensely talented Oscar Grillo. As well as being the show's icon, the banana girl is a reference to the Josephine Baker tribute that I perform half way through the show, wearing a belt of bananas "and very little else.

Now, most people don't remember Josephine Baker or even know of her by name, although a surprising number are aware of her banana dance. So we were a bit taken aback when this very proper home counties middle aged lady who'd been staring at the producer's chest (it turns out she was staring at the image of the t-shirt) volunteered: "the banana dance… like Josephine Baker's." "Yes, that's right!" we said. She carried on "Well, I'm her great grand daughter." It turns out she's called Lynn, and her sister is called Josephine (presumably in honour of her great grandmother). And her maiden name was Baker.

I'm starting to think that Josephine Baker's spirit is looking over me and my show. I've been feeling really looked after. And I'm finding a lot of connections to her… one degree of separation at a time. For example, one of my ex-classmates from Drama School has a great uncle who was Josephine's first husband. And I spoke to a couple on Sunday who had just returned from NYC where they'd dined at Josephine's which is a French restaurant run by one of her sons. (It's south of Times Square apparently).

So Josephine is my guardian angel! I wonder what she makes of my bananas. I bet hers weren't polystyrene. I hope she doesn't mind the song. I'm sure she doesn't! When I look at old footage of her on YouTube she looks like she had a real sense of humour, a love of life, and was quite partial to a bit of clowning.

And I wonder if she comes in and watches every show, or guides my flyers into the right hands. Or simply keeps me feeling blessed and grateful for my first Edinburgh Festival Fringe experience.

Dear Josephine, wherever you are, from one little Parisienne to another: merci, merci, mille fois merci!

The Last Week

17 performances done, 7 to go!

It's the final stretch. It's going to be so much fun! I can't wait to get to the end of the week!

Things are going well. But everyone says the last week is a bit anti-climatic, smaller audiences, people have left already or the fatigue is setting in. For performers as well as audiences.

I don't mind. I'll happily perform to just one person if only one person shows up! That's what my show is all about this year.

Still getting good feedback from people. Including directors. They know where to look for flaws but they're still saying: "good job!"

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Hitting the Wall Redux

Not sure what happened.

Wrote a blog this morning about being really tired but pushing through - but it's gone missing.

Ah well!

Said I had 9 shows left to do and it might use up all my lives but that's what Acting is all about.


Well, now it's 8 shows to go and this morning was a cracker

See you tomorrow!!!

Giving Tongue

16 shows done and 8 to go!

Two thirds of the way through.

I must refrain from wishing the last week away. Of course I'm feeling a bit tired (really exhausted) and it'll be nice to head home and do nothing for a few days. Especially no flyering!! But I know that I will soon miss performing this show.

So unlike my usual style, I'm trying to savour what's yet to come rather than enjoy it in hindsight which is always bittersweet.

I've been running into some interesting people: an ex-colleague from my advertising days, ex-classmates of mine from Drama School (especially those whose shows I've been to see but who - inexplicably - won't return the favour. You know who you are!!), people who've seen the show and who say really nice things, relatives of Josephine Baker, and The Hamiltons!!! Now, unlike some of my ex-classmates, the Hamiltons really wanted to come and check out my show but can't because we clash timewise.

I thought they were really nice and warm people. Like all people who've had trauma in their lives they've shed pretense and self-defensive B.S. and work on a more intense level. I really liked them. As much as you can after chatting with someone for 10 minutes. I hope we meet up again.

One of the unexpected bonuses of the Festival (and of flyering) is the people you end up talking to. I've discovered some wonderful things! So I'm going to have to take back the bit about being glad when my flyering duties stop. I've got to enjoy that bit just as much because I'll miss it - oh yes! - I'll miss it come next Sunday.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Hey I know you!

14 shows done, 10 to go!

Flyering has its many pitfalls. Sometimes you end up trying to flyer people twice in a day (or over a few days). Sometimes you try and sell your show to people who've been to see it already! And sometimes you end up flyering people you know, or people with one degree of separation from the people you know.

This has been happening to me quite a bit at the Festival. I've met people who still work for one of the advertising agencies I worked with. Or whose kids have gone to the same schools as me. I even had someone in to see the show who was actually in my year at Yale University and who recognised me on stage - and then contacted me on Facebook!

And yesterday I met one of my old colleagues who'd just come up to the Festival the night before with his charming wife. That was a bit of a shock (for him). Last time we spoke, I was auditioning for drama schools! I didn't have the heart to tell them about the banana dance. Is that wrong?

I hope they come and see the show. All of them! They can catch up on what I've been up to (plus learn a couple more things about my past along the way) just by being there.

Really looking forward to what the day has in store for me. As always, it's in the hands of the greater Universe.

Have a lovely day everyone - and take good care.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Our friend here is a therapist...

This blog entry appeared in What's On Stage (Edinburgh)

We had another good show yesterday, buoyed by some lovely reviews. It's really nice when people appreciate the work you've put into a performance: whether they're theatre goers, just visiting the festival, or professional journalists. Actually, it's really nice when people are just nice to each other. Isn't it? ..

Now that I've got that off my chest... (which is still spectacular - come and check it out at the show - it's on display!)

…at lunchtime yesterday we went to this lovely vegetarian restaurant and ran into a party of 5 or 6 who'd just been to see the show. They asked me all sorts of questions and said some really sweet things: "Did all the stuff in the play really happen to you?" (Yes) "You poor little thing! Hope your mother now appreciates how talented you are?" (She does. She's very proud. She hasn't seen the show but I sent her some photos. Although like all mums, she probably wishes I'd stuck with the global planning director job.) "You have yourself and nice lunch... and eat whatever you want!" (I was planning on lentil soup and hummus - which is what I wanted and what I always have at that place.)

By the way, that place has some lovely puddings. Never mind about the puddings – we're on a voice diet. Oy! I'm the one writing this blog, get out of my head

Then, with a bit of a flourish, they introduced me to this lady in their party: "Our friend here is a therapist…" She squeezed my hand warmly but shook her head as she peered into my eyes, looking as though she might be just a little too concerned about me. Then in a soft gentle voice: "What difficult things you have been through…" I almost felt myself look round for a couch to lie on – or the straightjacket! - but through her professional curiosity and concern shone a deep humanity. I bet she's a really good therapist!

The thing is, I've had therapy and I'm much better now. No, really! My being here in Edinburgh at the Fringe with my debut one woman show is a celebration: proof that if you can find a way of disarming your personal demons, you can free yourself and achieve things you never dreamt of. That's why the show is a comedy. It's got some dark bits but you can laugh at the jokes! Actually, please laugh at the jokes: I can't tell you how rewarding it to hear you all giggle and titter or even laugh out loud when I'm up there in my belt of bananas!


British Theatre Guide Fringe 2008 Reviews
There's Something in the Fridge That Wants to Kill Me!****
Dinner For One

There are seven women in this play and they are all Isabelle Gregson, for this is a one-woman show. There's the British Isabelle, the French Isabelle (who speaks fluent French), the Spanish Isabelle (who speaks fluent Spanish), the American Isabelle, the anorexic Isabelle, the sex-addicted Isabelle and the food-addicted Isabelle.

Although this is a play - and a very amusing and interesting one - it is also, as she says, "the dramatisation of my colourful life". What a life - and what a character! All of these Isabelles are part of her - the prim French woman, the earthy Spaniard, the peep-show performer - every one represents what she has gone through at one stage or another. In a way it would seem that, by performing this show, she is exorcising personal demons.

In doing so, she entertains the audience mightily. A very enjoyable and illuminating fifty minutes.

Peter Lathan
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Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Rain and Involuntary Flirting

12 shows done. 12 to go.

It's raining. A lot. So much so that locals have started apologising for it. I find that incredibly sweet. Thank you to the young guy who was sitting next to me on the double decker bus number 16 at ten to six going in the direction of Leith Walk!

I know my show has an element of tit-illation... (get it? get it?) but I'm the first to admit that I'm an irresistible flirt. I don't do it on purpose. I don't even realise I'm doing it sometimes. It's just me trying to be nice friendly and approachable! Then I see how people re-act and realise that it's coming across a bit strong. And I don't even go into the history of my sexual orientation!

And it's not just limited to flyering for my show. I flirt on facebook. With suppliers. With friends. With people I don't even like. With people I've never met! Is that normal. Or healthy?

Wishing everyone a lovely day. Question for today: whose flirting took them a little too close to the edge last night?
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Monday, 11 August 2008

I'm polymorphously perverse

Today will be show number 12! The half way point.

Polymorphously perverse - as far as I remember - is one of the first Freudian stages of human development in terms of focus/pleasure centres. This stage comes first, in babies, before they move on to the anal, oral stages and genital stages. Then they grow up and become normal well adjusted people. Unless they get stuck and then become artists or worse!

I'm stuck on the polymorphously perverse level. Which means that there aren't many parts of the body I don't find either pleasurable or really fascinating. It sounds like quite a neat trick but it's rather exhausting. (Even if you leave out the sex).

Back to the Fringe. Today is the first performance after my little one day hiatus (spread over two days... see yesterday's blog) so not sure what to expect. Will I still be on a roll? Or will I have to build up the energy all over again? Best not to worry about it. I'm leaving it in the hands of the Greater Universe.

The Stage Review

There's Something In The Fridge That Wants to Kill Me
Dinner For One
to Sunday August 24, 2008

Self-hatred is rarely the most diverting of subjects, but in this one-woman show, Isabelle Gregson manages to win us over to her dark side. A multi-linguist, Gregson peoples the stage with the various aspects of her personality, who become distinct characters. She has within her, she claims, civilised French mademoiselle, a sexual Spaniard, a diplomatic Brit, a vicious body critic and a monstrous glutton. These multiple personalities have been gathered along the way, the result of growing up as a plump child in France with a highly critical Spanish mother, of living in the States for university, and residing in Britain for years. The issue of fat permeates the piece, as Gregson battles with perceived food addictions and identity crises.

It does sound unprepossessing – eating disorders, self-analysis, multiple personalities – but the script and performance make it surprisingly funny and Gregson's witty tone proves charismatic. The set is well designed, with black and white cartoon cut-outs depicting the mirror and fridge, while the staging is elegant with clean lines. A former peep-show dancer, Gregson is graceful with a clear singing voice. This, combined with Simon Bass' original music, makes the title song the stand-out piece of the production. There is also a bold banana dance, which is not as vocally strong but is very amusing.
Gregson's slim figure illustrates how much of women's obsession with their bodies is truly mad, but in this instance the madness is entertaining to behold

Maria Hodson
Published online on Monday 11 August 2008 http://ed.thestage.co.uk/reviews/245

Straddling a day off

11 shows done, 12 to go!

Nearing the half-way point. Today is my day off. Not quite: today I don't have a performance... which means I had yesterday off from flyering, and this morning off from preparing for the show and flyering. But back on flyering duty this afternoon.

Are you still with me? My day off has straddled 2 days - so it's not a day off at all. It's more of a "haaaaaaaaaaa... welcome the hiatus."

Though I think climbing Arthur's Seat will have to wait until the 26th!

The Scotsman honored me with a "must see at noon" mention in the Festival Magazine. They even had a picture of me!!! I'm very chuffed about that. Some people recognise me on the streets. It makes me grin from ear to ear on the inside.

Question for today: who had a really late and hairy night because today is their day off? And what did you get up to? The confessional is open and ready for business

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Tits up, it’s a full house!

10 shows and 14 to go!

I'm writing this the night before as I'm not sure I'll get a chance to write it in the morning. I have a breakfast meeting. Which is not the ideal when food is a scary concept. I mean: muffins? Coffee?

Must keep a clear head and a flat stomach for my 11th performance at NOON.

Yes, it's still on at the Underbelly and it's FUN! So come and check it out if you haven't already. Actually come and check it out again if you already have. Go on, you know you want to: one for each breast!!

We had a full house today. And they were gigglers. It was a fun show to do and I'm very grateful to the universe for getting all those people in together and making it a really memorable experience.

Big love everyone. Group hug.

Question for today: I wonder how many of you are wearing blue underwear today?

Silence or Giggles?

9 showsdone - 15 to go!

So other than the big news that the Scotsman picked up my "show us your tits" blog and published it yesterday....

I've discovered that I have two types of audiences: gigglers and quiet ones. With the gigglers, it's great. We all know it's a comedy - really - and that it's ok to laugh at some of the darker bits and whenever there's a punch line really! With the quiet ones... the show takes on a different eerie quality. It becomes very Brechtian.

So the play changes and evolves depending on the audience. It's emotionally irridescent. I like it best cherry pink but if you want to indulge in silvers and ebony black... be my guest

Have to dash off and warm up now. See you all at the Underbelly at noon!

Thursday, 7 August 2008

You're fucking gorgeous!

8 shows down and 16 to go!

(That's a third of the way through...)

It's rained for 2 days solid but today seems to be clear and sunny. Edinburgh at its best.

Believe it or not, I've been getting asked for autographs by people who've come to see the show! It's very sweet. I now have an international fan base (a couple were from Norway).

And then, I've also been asked on a date. It was very flattering if a bit surprising. I've never been asked out on a date. I've always made the first move. Stun'em and drag them back to your cave before they come round. That's always been my approach (for more details, see the House of Pancakes scene).

To be fair, I guess I have the best chat up line at the Festival: "Hi, can I tell you about my show? It's about my rather colourful life to date... I was raised in Paris but then became a peep show dancer in California...."

The lesson here is that if you make contact with people in an open, warm and friendly way, many will respond in the same manner. At least in a Festival environment. I don't recommend testing this theory out on the Tube at rush hour (or indeed at any other time).

So thank you to the kind and generous people who have given me lovely feedback on the show and on what they can see of me as a person. I'm very grateful.

And an even bigger thank you to those of you who know me pretty well and still show support and give me love and affection.

Now for today's question. Something a bit hard to balance out today's rather soppy blog. I wonder how many people had same day sex yesterday? (sex with people you've just met that day).

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Weegees and Luvvies

7 shows done and 17 to go!

I heard a local man talking about weegees and luvvies yesterday. I wasn't quite sure what weegees were... I thought maybe those things that window cleaners and carwash attendants use to wipe glass surfaces dry. Or that board that people use to channel the devil. And luvvies, well: they're older folk who've been in the Theatre Industry for a long time aren't they? A bit wooly but really quite sweet if a bit tiresome.

Well, I was wrong on both counts.

A weegee is someone from Glasgow. And apparently there's a bit of sibbling rivalry between the two. With Edinburgh coming out on top (if you're in Edinburgh). The luvvies are all the folks who perform or are somehow involved in the Festival and who flood this town every August. Block up their roads. Slow everything down. Drown the city and its citizens in mostly badly designed flyers. We're the bad cholesterol... that comes from overprocessed transfatty acids. We're the junk food of Culture. Yikes!!!

Well, I'm not a Weegee! And I don't think I'm a luvvie either. I don't clog anyones arteries (my diet is too healthy for that). I don't litter (I'm too OCD for that). I don't take up too much space (see diet).

Actually, he was quite a sweet man and he even offered me a lift home (it sounds seedy but it wasn't... we'd been introduced and all that and it was late and very cold.)

Question for today: who remembers the fridge scene from 9 1/2 weeks with Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke... and who's ever tried to replicate it?

Review in Three Weeks for Something in the Fridge!!!

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2008
Three Weeks Review Aug 6, 2007
Show: There's Something In The Fridge That Wants To Kill Me
Company: Dinner For One

This isn't really a one-woman show, because Isabelle Gregson wrestles onstage with multiple personalities. Initially this was irksome, as she began by frantically overacting each persona. However, she soon found her stride, telling the story of a young woman's struggle with self-image, from a childhood of over-eating and over-demanding parents, to her constant battle with weight as an adult. This well-written monologue has a light and comic touch, while conveying an inner conflict that's easy to empathise with. Gregson is a supremely confident performer, switching roles and costumes with ease (even pulling off a topless dance in a banana skirt), but she really shines in the production's darker moments. An entertaining take on a serious theme.

Underbelly, 31 Jul - 24 Aug (not 11 Aug), 12.00pm (12.50pm), prices vary, fpp 236

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Beware of bunnies!

6 shows done, 18 to go: QUARTER OF THE WAY THROUGH!!

In my experience, it's never the big things that fuck you up. The big crises, the times when you need to pull together all your inner resources and gird your loins: bereavement, serious accidents, redundancies, divorce... dealing with that seems to be instinctive. Everyone does it.We all manage. It's a tribute to Nature and Evolution, and the Human Spirit.

It's the bunnies that get you.

Bunnies are (when they are not floppy eared with fluffy tails) the little fuck-ups of life. The below the radar stuff and the wars of attrition.You know? Someone doesn't return your smile in the street, someone ate your last soya yoghurt and didn't tell you, you saying the wrong thing by mistake. Those are the bunnies that will get you without you realising it. And drag you down. Down down down....

I believe the Playboy Bunny is making a comeback. I think it's sweet and probably very safe. A little too safe for me. A little too domestic. Give me a beautiful Russian girl in a PVC leopard print gimpsuit and I'm your girl!

It's raining today so hopefully the bunnies will stay safe in their burrows.Where they belong.

And the beautiful Russian girls will come and see my show and start a fan club.... and have "Tea with Isabelle" everyday. Russian girls and cup cakes. With pink icing. And a beautifully crafted silver Samovar. Ooooooooh....

Question for today: Cup cakes or Russian Girls? (or the choice for the deliciously wicked: BOTH!)

Monday, 4 August 2008

Reverse perving

5 shows done, 19 to go!

"hi, can I tell you about my show?" That's my opening gambit. Then I thrust out my chest (I'm wearing a t-shirt with the name of the show and the cute banana girl that Oscar Grillo drew for me) and I tell them "It's called There's Something in the Fridge that Wants to Kill Me!" And there they are all staring intently at my chest as they read the words on the t-shirt. I really enjoy it. It's like reverse perving.

Actually I think it's called exhibitionism. Isn't it?

I'd never throught of myself as a human billboard, but this year, at the Fringe Festival, I am! One step away from walking around naked, with full body paint advertising the show. (You have to leave the soles of the feet paint free though, otherwise you die. Like that girl in GoldFinger.) Maybe next year...

Actually, I haven't seen that many naked people about.

Seinfeld dedicated a whole episode to nudity. He argued that nudity was great as a still, but in movement could result in some really ugly poses (he had a girlfriend who cleaned the house in the nude. At first he though he was the luckiest man alive but then he found he really didn't like the squatting.) I would tend to agree. That's why nudist beaches are not arousing places (except for young teenage boys). Dance is the exception. That's why lapdancing clubs can be arousing places (for all sexes and ages).

Question for today: I wonder how many people have taken their clothes off in public this past week? (orgies included)

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Show us Yer Tits!

This blog post appeared in the Scotsman. (and also the San Francisco Chronicle)

4 shows done, 20 to go!

Yesterday was a good day. I had a good show, with a warm and generous audience. I love the weekend audiences! And I spent the afternoon flyering and waiting for the bus (mostly waiting for the bus but that's another story).

I was in full swing in the courtyard, handing out my flyers, telling my story, engaging with people and hopefully making them curious and happy enough to want to come and see my show. I'm honing my flyering antennae and getting a pretty good instinct for who might be receptive and who simply won't want to hear about my show or anything else.

So I approached these three rather formidable looking ladies. Short hair (like me), quite a few piercings. They looked tough but they had a twinkle in their eye. So I did my spiel and handed them my flyer.

Now, on the back of my flyer, there's a quote from one of the characters in the show : "Can I show you my breasts? They're quite spectacular." It's at a point in the show where I don't even reveal them - although there's plenty of that throughout what with the banana dance and five costume changes on stage.

All of sudden, the toughest of the three - all spikey blond hair and sharp features says: "Show us your tits then..." I know a challenge when I hear one. And I'd just been telling them about how I'd worked as a peep show dancer in San Francisco... So without a moment's hesitation, and with a smile, I lifted my top, lifted my bra and showed them what nature had given me in the boobies department. They approved! They laughed and gave me the thumbs up and said "your spiel wins tits down... well, tits up really, in your case!! We'll definitely come and check it out!"

Then out of the corner of my eye, as I was thanking them and reorganising my clothes, I saw this poor little thing, who was waiting to tell them about her show... and you could just tell she didn't think she'd be able to match what had just come before. Even though she was very well endowed and would have beaten me hands down in the size department!

The thing is, mine are pert and round and perfectly formed, and I don't mind taking them out in public for the right kind of audience. Don't believe me? Come check 'em out for yourself. There's Something in the Fridge that Wants to Kill Me! We're on everyday at NOON at the Underbelly (Venue 61) at 56 Cowgate under George IV Bridge.

Tits up everybody! Have a great Festival.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

The voice of reason

3 shows done, 21 to go!

The things is, when you perform a 50 minute one woman show with songs, you really need to look after your voice. I went into the depressing details of the voice diet in yesterday's entry... but there's more to it than that. Even too much talking can strain your voice.

So I've got to talk less, which is like asking me not to breathe!

What did I get up to yesterday? I left it really late to have my lunch (and after my show, I'm ravenous) so I almost bit off the head of the poor guy at Cafe Nero off of Chambers St who was taking a bit too long with my sarnie... and asking me if I wanted it toasted (it was a panini). I said "NO I'LL HAVE IT LIKE THAT" (had 5 minutes to spare before the next show I was off to see). And I said in a tone that did not invite argument or even suggestions. He looked a bit bewildered. Sorry!

Question for today: I wonder how many people yelled or shouted out at someone yesterday (if it was during sex it doesn't count)?

It's raining men

Day 3 of the Festival: 2 shows down, 22 to go!

The rain's been threatening but so far no sign of a wash out! Hope I'm not speaking too soon. Touch wood.

Speaking of which, there are quiet a few men at the festival. And I've got the best (unintentional) chat up line "half way through the show I do a tribute to the great Josephine Baker wearing a belt of bananas and very little else..." I'm not trying to lure them into bed, just to my show. Which is probably far more intimate. And at least they'd know my name.

So the question for today: how many people flirted (with intent) with someone they shouldn't have last night? And how many converted that flirting into something more... meaty

Confess your sin on the Blog Confessional! Your conscience will come out of it clean as a whistle. Promise!