Wednesday, August 12, 2009

for all the saints

Another drizzly day today, and pretty windy. Surprisingly, though, not that cold. Just a thickness of wet. So there's your weather report. We started the day with more street performing/contacting, and the group was as dynamic and interesting as they were the day before, just slightly more damp. We aren't the only group advertising on the Royal Mile, but I can guarantee you we are one of the most eye-catching. That's got to count for something! Today was our first performance, and we needed to get an audience.

And kind of did! We had an audience of four people, not counting the director, the writer, the producer, and the techies. Of course we had hoped for more, but considering the odds we were happy to get that. The show went fine. The audience (4) seemed to really enjoy it. One woman scribbled on a pad the entire time. A reviewer, I assumed. I tried to talk to her after the show but she stalked out pretty quickly. If she was, indeed, a reviewer, we felt that we had done a good show - despite a few technical glitches. Who knows? After the show Mette and I furiously spray painted some tables. We had run out of time before the show. And spray painting tables under drippy trees? Try it!

To clear our heads of Jumpers we headed up to the Edinburgh Castle. It's a steep climb, lots of steps, but you can't beat the views along the way:

The air was clear and the city looked amazing as we ascended. Finally we got there, and were able to skip the lines thanks to our Great British Heritage Passes (a must for any UK traveller.) Peter was our tour guide, and he was great. He thought Utah was somewhere in the great plains, but we forgave that. Peter had lots of funny jokes about the castle, which I'm sure he has to tell 26 times per day. I feel bad for that. I also feel for any man who wears a skirt in windy weather. Once we got to the top he turned us loose. We looked through the King James rooms and the War Memorial, and we found these really strange dungeons where people murdered each other if they saw severed bulls heads.

My favorite part of the castle is the lookout from St. Margaret's Chapel, and not just because it's a chapel dedicated to the world's cutest fat face, Margaret Valentine Clark. It's just a panoramic view of Edinburgh from almost 360 degrees.

Oh, look! There's St. Margaret now, with her impressive pig tails:

This completed we continued to splinter into groups, and Jason and I had a sandwich in the castle cafe and we pretended to fill out the comment cards in awkward and confusing ways. "How would you rate your response to the castle? DISAPPOINTED." "Will you be returning to the castle? ABSOLUTELY!" You had to be there. We also walked through an interactive prisoner exhibition that celebrated the heroism of my ancestor, John Paul Jones! I was very proud.

I had dinner tonight with an old friend, Cliff Phipps. Cliff is married to Melanee Phipps, a popular lass I used to toil with back at Barnes & Noble. So I've known Cliff a few years, and my fondest remembrance of him is when he showed up at our Halloween party dressed like the murdered body of Sid Vicious. He's in Edinburgh building missiles and rockets, and I'm not making that up. We had a good chat at the famous Edinburgh City Restaurant where I also bumped into Kekoa, continuing our tradition of randomly bumping into each other in international capitol cities.

While at the cafe I got a call from the Sweet Heart Box Office, where we perform Jumpers. They were calling with congratulations. Apparently the woman who came to the show today was indeed a reviewer, and she had given the show four stars! She was so excited about it that she walked directly to the box office and told the staff they needed to see it. What I had interpreted as annoyance was actually a determination to spread the word. This is fantastic news; it raises our profile in a festival with hundreds of offerings. We are one of the few shows to get 4 stars!

To celebrate I took the students to the Frankenstein Pub, and we all sat and had drinks together. And by drinks I mean lots of orange Juices, flavored waters, and Diet Cokes, so relax, max. I'm sure it was the strangest round of drinks the barrista had ever pulled together, but we were too happy to worry about that. I'm proud of them and their work. They deserve a little pub water!