Room 2 - 2:55 - End of Daze

Room 2 - 2:55 - End of Daze

Postby LolsyByrne » 05 Jan 2018, 17:39

The venue:
I was in Black Market – a new addition to PBH this year. What initially started out as a plain office building turned into the most colourful venue with help from everyone who worked there, painting some incredible murals and covering every inch of bare wall in show posters.
My show was on in Room 2, which was situated on the ground floor. This was great because it made it very easy to find, and meant the room was easily accessible and on a few occasions I had wheelchair users in the audience – part of my show had a section about growing up with a disabled parent, so I was glad I could share my story with them.
The room did get quite hot but this was easily rectified by opening the windows. The only sound bleed I had was from the passing trains at Waverly station (you could see the tracks from the window) and in the last week the heavy fire door separating Rooms 1 and 2 from the bar area kept slamming and no amount of padding seemed to stop this.

The performance area:
The performance area was the perfect size for me to move about in. It was at floor level with no riser, which was grand because the room was really intimate – it would have been strange if I had been towering over the audience. I settled into the space very quickly and became very comfortable in my little set up.

Technical Set-up:
We had the basic PA system with mic and stand and aux with suited my show perfectly. I found that the microphone was a bit dodgy towards the end of the run, cutting out if it was held at a certain angle. There was a spotlight at the back and two desk lamps on the floor which were surprisingly effective. There were no covers for the windows however, so I bought thick sheets of black paper from a nearby craft shop to blutack onto the windows and that worked a treat.

The staff in Black Market were brilliant, and I knew most of them by name by the end of the run. The bar staff were always friendly and helpful (even going so far as to help me hide a surprise birthday cake in their fridge!) and both acts and audience were served promptly. Black market acts were given a discount at the bar which was a nice perk. Special mention must be given to the Kosovan man running the hot food counter – he never stopped smiling OR dancing! The staff were always happy to change coin from my takings in the bucket, and I always made sure to leave a portion of my takings in their tip jar.

Advertisement / Marketing:
I had 5000 flyers and 20 posters printed for my show. The image I used for them (and in the WBB as well) was very striking and eye-catching and many audience members said they came as a result of this.
I made a Facebook event for the show, and frequently advertised it on twitter and instagram too.
I exit flyered multiple shows whose audiences I thought would appreciate my show, as well as exit flyering comp shows I performed at.
I generally flyered for 90 minutes before my show at the top of Cockburn Street where it meets the Royal Mile, with the main grab being in the 20-30 minutes before the show just outside and inside Black Market itself.

Audience / Bucket:
My room held about 35 people, and my smallest crowd of the run was 15 (this was on my “day off” but when I found the room was going to be idle I decided to put the show on anyway!)
Of 22 shows, 13 were full with people having to be turned away. I frequently had people willing to sit on the floor, and would give them my jumper to sit on.
One negative I found about audiences is that though the weekends were always full, the audience weren’t always the most interested. It seemed to be a case of “it’s raining outside, lets walk into the first room we see in this free venue” – and this meant people sitting at the back on their phones and chatting and disturbing the rest of the audience (and making me engage in some awkward confrontations!) It was unfortunate because some of those who turned up and had to be turned away actually wanted to see the show. Mid-week audiences were always a treat though.
I was very happy with my overall takings in the bucket. Initially I hated the idea of asking for money because thought I am a comedian, I’m painfully shy! But I was given a few tips from others to encourage the audience – the best being “The price of a pint is a fair amount”.

I think overall communication was good between acts in Black Market. Many of us knew the building inside-out so could direct audience members looking for their show, or recommend a show to see. There was great camaraderie between the shows that were on in and around the same time as mine – 2:55. Though we were all vying for audiences we never stepped on each others’ toes and if it turned out someone you were talking to had their mind set on seeing someone else’s show, you would never try to redirect them to your show – rather you’d tell them to enjoy themselves and invite them to come see your show another day.

Overall I loved the Black Market family and I sincerely hope PBH can hang onto it for another fringe. This was my first time bringing my own show to the Ed Fringe and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
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