Open letter to Lucy Flournoy

I had an email sent to me. I replied but the email bounced back. wrong address i guess. So i thought i would post the email and my reply here in case she gets it.


Subject: Tips for Folkwang UdK Students about Fringe Festival

Message: Hey Trygve,

First off, I'm very impressed by your "socmexit" (...hmm not quite as catchy as "brexit") and also believe that that's the direction we all ought to head, though it's hard, especially at the very beginning of a career as a performing artist, to find the courage to take that step. What lead you to the decision and have the pros outweighed the cons for you so far?

I'm actually writing to ask you if you'd be so kind as to share a few tips (they can be short and sweet if you haven't much time) with the Physical Theatre students at the Folkwang about taking a show to the Edinburgh Fringe. I attended the Festival this past summer (just to watch not perform) and will be presenting about it tomorrow in class with Didi Sascher (who interviewed you at the Full Spin Festival in Essen, Germany last year). It's a bit last minute to be asking, but perhaps you have a spare moment to shoot me back an email. Would be very helpful to have your veteran insight into performing at EdFringe! 
Thanks! Hope all is well and to see you on stage again soon. 
Maybe at the Fringe next year? ;-)

All the best,
for the Physical Theatre Department at Folkwang University of the Arts

And here’s my answer:

Hi Lucy!

Yes, i've been very happy with my socmedexit. but it does make me feel a little like i've turned into a conspiracy theorist. there's something about rolling news coverage which makes me feel uneasy. but maybe i'm from a generation who protested things by staying away, even when they were corporate monsters to whom my lack of custom would mean very little to them (mcdonalds, and starbucks as i was growing up, later nestle and coke, now facebook, airbnb, uber.. one day i'll try to leave google too haha). anyway, it's fine and works for me. it's actually quite good in a way trying to find other ways to communicate to people that i have shows coming up and a presence without it. i guess it's word-of-mouth... but the old fashioned way. anyway, all those people have social media so if i want to spread the word i can do it the old fashioned way and they might talk about it on social media... who knows? ha

Anyway, tips on going to edinburgh fringe?

1) you will have heard this a lot people saying "make sure you know why you're going", and that doesn't make a lot of sense to me but, the same result is if you ask yourself that question in a different way, and that is: "I'm at edinburgh doing my show, no-one is coming, i have a cold, i think i'm still hungover, i'm not making any money and spent all my savings to get here BUT AT LEAST I'M....." and if you can finish that sentence in a way that satisfies you then you will know why you're going. ;)

2) there is so much average stuff on offer there. the best thing you can do for a show is put your heart and soul into it, make something no one has ever seen before and make it great by your own rules. 

3) let the show adapt. there are lots of shows where you feel like the artist made it before coming to edinburgh and that is what they will present, they are not listening to the audience. listen to the audience.

4) make something no one has ever seen before. i said that already but i've just decided that is the most important thing which will make a show great. answering but-at-least-i'm is the most important thing for your mental health and getting through it.

5) this rule applies to me, but maybe not everyone. make sure you are match fit, get in shape months before edinburgh, train, do yoga, meditate. continue this practice during edinburgh. I usually have to let it go by the end of the second week because i'm too exhausted by the festival and just need recovery time over training time. one day i'll be able to train for the whole month.

Hope that makes some sense to you and is fun and useful. lots of love to all the class.