Rory O'Keeffe is a Fussy Eater 15:15

Rory O'Keeffe is a Fussy Eater 15:15

Postby Rory OKeeffe » 29 Dec 2014, 00:10

The venue – Southsider was a great venue - well located near a lot of other main Fringe venues, if a bit of a walk down from the Royal Mile. It's a great pub with reasonable prices and good food - it will often be full of punters as well as those coming in to see the shows.

- The performance area – The performance area is well separated from the rest of the pub, being a curtained off room at the back. With my time slot there was never an issue with noise bleed apart from when football was on which only happened twice. Plus if a goal is scored, you can pretend the cheers are for you, so that was an ego boost.

There is no raised stage and the performance area is only about a metre deep but this was great for an intimate atmosphere. One drawback was slightly dim lighting. Some acts chipped in to get a desk lamp to put on the floor, but I think we could have done with a few more and perhaps a portable spot light.

The room could also get very hot. One day I thought a woman had fainted on the front row so I stopped the show. It turned out she just had narcolepsy and was asleep (a great review if ever there was one.) A few days in we bought a big fan which seemed to help cool the room down a bit. If expecting a big crowd, it was good not to let the audience enter too early so as to air the room out a little.

- The team of staff at the venue – The staff were lovely and very helpful. My show involved a few food-based props and, on the one occasion that I forgot a piece of toast, they happily gave me some from the kitchen. They quickly became used to my set-up routine and were very accommodating at getting everything in place, and even started recommending my show to people which was very kind.

Advertising I did the usual combination of flyering and word-of-mouth. I didn't find flyering outside the venue very useful but preferred to entry and exit-flyer as well as targeting the Royal Mile. A few of my posters managed to not be covered up, but again I found flyering way more fruitful.

I used Kickstarter to get an ad in the main brochure as a sort of publicity stunt, but, predictably and depressingly, this actually accounted for only about 4 people per day in my audience. A lot seemed to have returned having seen me in previous shows, which was good, and I think having a broad title that was about something a lot of people have direct or indirect experience of (fussy eating) really helped draw people in.

- How your shows went in terms of audience numbers – Numbers were good - the pews of seats make the Southsider very easy to fill up, and it feels full even when numbers are low. The lowest I had was around 10 I think, which was on the last Wednesday. Most days the seats were full and on the busiest weekend people sat in the aisle and to the front of the stage.

- Your show itself – I was happy with it, and I learned a lot through doing my first show on my own and not part of a sketch group.

- Buckets – Buckets were very good again and helped cover a lot of costs - as always, I tried to devise a funny way of asking to avoid awkwardness. See-through buckets help as well so people can't just drop in random shrapnel.

- Technical set-up at the venue – There were two mics you could use and both worked very well. i used my own portable speakers and there was enough room to plug them in, as well as a handy cupboard for any props shows might have.

- Admin & Communication process (between Free Fringe, Captains, Venues and you) – The communication was good between shows, and any issues - such as lighting and heat - were dealt with well, if quite informally (just between acts chatting before or after respective shows). The venue Captain was good and flagged up an issue with people's flyers littering the room early on.

Overall, it was a great month again that went surprisingly smoothly.
Rory OKeeffe
Posts: 6
Joined: March 2011

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