Edinburgh Eight Steps

Eight Steps To A Better Fringe: Q8

Published on Sunday 28 July 2019

This summer we are asking some of our favourite Fringe people to offer their advice – sometimes sensible, sometimes silly – for getting the most out of the Edinburgh Festival in eight steps, by answering out eight quick quiz questions. Here are the answers to question eight…

How would you recommend performers stay healthy during all the Fringe madness?

Al Samuels: This is a joke question, right?!

The Thinking Drinkers: We have a military daily moisturising routine to cope with the fluctuating weather conditions – and suggest you do too. Run around the Meadows, go to the lovely old swimming pool in Marchmont, eat fruit – the bendy yellow one is a favourite – and don’t be fooled by pastries, they look light and fluffy but they’re full of flipping butter. Take several forms of footwear as you will get trenchfoot if you only wear one pair of shows for the whole month. Apply chaffing cream to your botty if you’re going to be walking around all day. Always wash your hands after going to the loo – even if it’s just a wee wee. Brush your teeth. Don’t do drugs – drugs are for mugs. And, of course, follow the Thinking Drinkers’ mantra – “Drink Less, Drink Better”.

Ian Smith: My big thing is going to a steam room – I am a big fan of steam. Weirdly, I hate the genre of steam-punk. I join a gym in Edinburgh and use the pool and steam room to try and unwind (I’m putting this in brackets as I’m not confident it’s true – but steam rooms might help your voice too. Who knows – it sounds right though).

Chelsea McGuffin: Sleep. Party every other day. Remember why you are there and what you planned to achieve. Fringe has highs and lows. Try not to ride the general wave, just be clear on yours. And meet all the artists you can.

Sukh Ojla: Sleep, stay hydrated and give yourself permission to have some down time.

James McNicholas: There is a myth that you cannot get fruit and vegetables in Edinburgh. This is not true: there is an old man who lives under one of the bridges who says he can get you an orange if you’ll watch him show you his party trick.

Samantha Pressdee: Raid Holland & Barrett! Eat curry and drink lots of water. Go to a yoga class or take advantage of some of the free workshops Fringe Central has on offer such as massage, mindful Mondays and mental health first aid.

Scream Phone: When we debuted with our first show in 2015, we were all about partying and celebrating every evening during the Fringe! And while we will definitely still partake in the odd tipple, we’ve learnt to really pace ourselves through the four weeks. The Fringe really is like running a marathon and as performers you’ve got to take good care of yourselves. Get enough sleep and eat right… (cut to 5am we’re in Palmyra’s AGAIN, drunk and stuffing pizzas into our faces, am I right?)

Julia Croft: Magnesium! And lots of multi vitamins, and really try to get enough sleep and vegetables. Do not compare yourself or your work to those around you. Most of all make sure you are having fun.

Naomi McDonald: Sleep is genuinely the most important thing. Head home after your show and chill out occasionally, for god’s sake! Yes of course, there will be times when you’ll feel extreme FOMO as you stand waiting for your taxi to take you home and you see the person you really fancy looking proper hot, heading out to a cool bar to flirt with someone other than you. But you’ll be the one laughing the next day when you’re feeling fresh and good to go and they’re too hungover to do their show! Try it! It’s great!

Alex Gwyther: Try not drinking? Difficult, but remember you’re here to do a show, tell a story, perform for people. Don’t lose sight over why you’re here. Eat well and keep food on you – bananas, nuts, apples, rice cakes. Drink lots. And finally, try to get into a routine in the morning, the day and the evening.

Robyn Perkins: Of course I would say: exercise, sleep, eat healthy, tea and meditation. I haven’t ever worked out at the Fringe. Meditation is very helpful. Even if it is five minutes a day. As far as food, I try to cook a lot as it both relaxes me and is inherently healthier. If none of that happens, eat blueberries.

Tanya Agarwal: Eat a vegetable from time to time! Try not to drink everyday and get an early night every once in a while.

Ed Night: Being healthy is for nerds. Though being physically healthy isn’t actually that hard in Edinburgh. I think a lot of us just give into our vices by convincing ourselves that it’s so full-on that we can’t possibly live a normal lifestyle for the month. Or we just give ourselves a free pass to get drunk and eat shit the whole time. Much harder is staying mentally healthy IMO. You just need to remind yourself that your Fringe experience doesn’t dictate your value.

John-Luke Roberts: If you drink, make sure to take a good proportion of days off drinking. Join a swimming pool or a gym and get into a routine of going there – I find it’s great for my mental health as well.

Natano Fa’anana: Eat the greens, man. But also know, it’s the Edinburgh Fringe. So roll with the fun and elation and know that, at least twice you’ll wake up on Arthurs Seat at sunrise!

Susan Harrison: Switch off and have downtime as much as possible. Go for tea and cake with a friend, but don’t talk about your shows. Don’t read reviews – unless you have to! – and where possible get out of town: a little day or afternoon trip to Musselborough can do wonders for the soul. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d say!

Jordan & Skinner: VITAMINS! Go on a health kick and eat veggies and fruit. Seriously! Also, remember it’s only a show. Remember why you are doing it. Remember it’s about the quality of the experience you are having as an artist, not about how well your show is doing compared to others.

James Rowland: Ah, you don’t have to go to bed early or avoid chips or not drink, just make sure you’re not being a prick to yourself, and if you’re feeling low, talk to someone as soon as you can.

Andy Field: 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.

Joz Norris: Well I dunno if ‘healthy’ is the right word, but I lose half a stone every time I do the Fringe purely through stress. So just embrace how incredibly full-on everything is and, while I wouldn’t say it’s GOOD for you, it sort of has a tangible health benefit.

Just These Please: We’d recommend a healthy balanced diet of sweet potato fries, loaded fries and halloumi fries. If that doesn’t tickle your pickle, then probably make a packed lunch and try to drink at least a little bit of water.

Micky Overman: Don’t drink. Go to bed at a reasonable hour. Exercise. But yes, no, LOL, as if!

Eric Lampaert: Eat, exercise, wank, wash, sleep, repeat.

Oliver Forsyth: Absolutely no idea. If you find out, tell me!