Eight Steps Q&A

Eight Steps Q&A: Andy Field

Published on Sunday 11 August 2019

Comedian Andy Field offers some tips on how to get the most from the Edinburgh Festival, in eight steps…

1: Beyond posters and reviews, how do you suggest people pick shows to see at this year’s Fringe?
One of the great things about the Fringe is how many bad shows there are and I love a bad show! A few years ago I found a Shakespearean-style tragedy based on the trial of Oscar Pistorious. They gave out stickers that said Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, PISTORIOUS. You just don’t get to see people taking such bold, ill-advised creative punts that often in life, so you have to grab these opportunities with both hands. Someone flyers you for a show that sounds objectively terrible? Go to it. It only takes an hour and you might see something that stays with you forever.

2: What tips have you got for people trying to see as many shows as possible in one day – how can you power through?
If you start drinking early you’re going to end up in a position where you need to pee more than once an hour and that’s going to be an issue if you’re in an audience. I wouldn’t say don’t drink of course, but it is worth investing in some sort of catheter/piss bag! That way, you never have to disrupt a show with your drunken bladder and you’ll be all set to have a great day.

3: When people are reaching peak Fringe, what tips do you have for chilling out during the Festival?
I tend to go lie down in the Meadows and smoke a joint, but I realise that might not be for everyone. Still, if you’d like a bit of second hand high, feel free to come find me and I’ll blow smoke in your face until you get sleepy. My show this year is at 2.10pm so I’ll most likely be available for this service everyday between 3.30pm and midnight.

4: What things do you think should be on every Fringe-goers Edinburgh Festival bucket list?
Everyone visiting the Fringe should enthusiastically take part in one of the silent disco walking tours and also find time to watch other people take part and furiously resent them. Only then can we truly understand the duality of human nature and, ultimately, the meaning of life.

5: Beyond the flyer, what tips have you got for performers trying to get people into their shows?
It really helps if the show is good. Like, if people leave your show and they say “that was great, let’s tell all of our friends”, that’s a very good sign. I once heard someone leave a show of mine and say “yknow what, I think I prefer just watching stand-up on TV”. Naturally, attracting audience for that one was an uphill battle.

6: The Fringe can be great for finding a new audience. What tips would you have for staying connected with that new audience beyond Edinburgh?
Get everyone to write their email addresses down so you can add them to your mailing list. After that all you need is their passwords and you’ll have access to all of their online accounts, which you can scour for intimate secrets that can be used to control them in the future. An audience member that’s only attending your show because you’re blackmailing them is still an audience member.

7: Performing at the Fringe is partly about building a network. What tips have you got for people looking to make connections in the industry?
Every big venue has a private bar for performers and industry. If you don’t have a pass, just try and blag it. Once inside, find the most influential person you can and simultaneously take a sample of their DNA (hair, saliva, that sort of thing) and poison them. Take the DNA and make a clone. Then you just need to stalk the famous person until they die from the poison, dispose of the corpse, swap in the clone and boom: you have total control over one of the biggest names in comedy. The world is your oyster.

8: How would you recommend performers stay healthy during all the Fringe madness?
I wouldn’t know, I nearly die every time. It’s probably quite important that you eat regularly and don’t constantly drink and smoke. As I say, I wouldn’t know for sure if that helps but I reckon it’s a good place to start.

‘Andy Field’s Funeral’ was performed at Just the Tonic at Edinburgh Festival 2019.

Photo: Mark Dawson