The dreaded third blog.
They say if you can get past this stage, you will probably succeed in clogging up the internet with every other blog...so here we go.
With one hundred and thirty four days to go before my first Edinburgh show, things are ticking over nicely...just nicely. Nicely. What a horrible word nicely. It's just a bit bland. And I think if I am going to take such a financial risk heading up to the festival...bland doesn't really cut it.
The good news is, I can speak for an hour. That is now in my skill set. I can do that. I can do it nicely enough that no one leaves or throws stuff. But I have also watched best man speeches that last nearly an hour...and no one walked out in those, even though they were rubbish.
So after stressing and worrying I decided to take a week off from writing my nice nice show.
I am lucky enough to be in Australia, so I decided to book a cheap flight to New Zealand to see one of my old pals, Lucy. We grew up together, and then when we were 13 her family buggered off to the land of lamb. Now Lucy is a delightful dope, she is crazy and fun and spontaneous...she is also an extremely focussed person when it comes to sport. She is a member of a Triathalon Club, done half Ironman events and she's just pretty damn awesome.
She took a week off work, and we road tripped down the North Island from Auckland to Wellington.
Now a week of can do wonders for the mind. I found myself being funny, like I used to be, when I was 13, and there was no pressure. Just showing off. It made me feel alive again...
Until one day. The last day. When Lucy had decided we were going to walk 26km up an active volcano. Part of me didn't want to do it. That part being most of me. But she was determined to get me up that hill, mountain, rock thing.
So we set off at 7.30am...too early for a comic...and 1km in it became very clear why she was making me do this. It was a metaphor...
Scaling this volcano was very much like putting together an Edinburgh show. Thousands of people at the beginning, some people racing ahead (TV credits), some people with walking poles (rich parents). THIS IS EDINBURGH, but with more of a gradient.
The first 4km were ok, a nice incline, lovely views. And then it got steep. Really steep. I was in a pair of vans trainers. Too steep for those shoes. And the fog started to come in. THIS IS EDINBURGH.
IT IS! Because some reason when you decide to do a debut show, you can see the top, you can see what you want to do, it looks like hard work, and it is scary...but the further you push, and climb and detour, the more fulfilling it is.
Halfway up, the fog came in, and we literally couldn't see anything, people turned back, people cried...but because of Lucy...we ploughed on through...
And I cannot explain the view. When we got to the top...2000m in the air, above the clouds...the view...the feeling...the joy was exceptional. I had done that, slowly but surely. And I know people have scaled Everest, but for me this was just as big.
But that is only half the battle. Once you are at the top, once you have created your creation...there is still further to go. You have to go down the mound, and that takes care and skill and patience to traverse down the dangerous cliff face.
I am babbling I know. It is hard to put into words what a sense of achievement I felt at the end.
Just like with this show, I could have gone halfway, I could have done the easy route, I could have just put it off till next year or I could have done a different thing all together that would have NICELY winded (wound? woond?) down my trip.
Deep down I wasn't sure I could make it...but with time, patience, belief and focus...I conquered Mount Doom...and it felt fantastic.