Name of Edinburgh show: NORMALER THAN EVERYONE
Venue: GILDED BALLOON TEVIOT
Performance time: 12:05
Show length: 70 minutes
Ticket price: £11 (£10)
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
My first onstage appearance was at age five, as a very confused pirate in the school production of Peter Pan. After that I juggled, sang, acted, unicycled, played instruments in bands and orchestras and basically did anything I could to get on stage. One day I’d be playing a classic role in a Shakespeare play, the next I was a giant slice of pizza on tv. Ah, the glamorous life. After studying music and theatre at The California Institute of The Arts, I got signed to a recording contract and hit the road playing music and supporting my four records over the course of a decade. But this show is my very first ever attempt to combine my writing, music, acting, photography (yes I do that too) in one solo show!
Tell me about your new show, what it is all about?
Normaler Than Everyone is a memoir – it’s about my experience of my wife being recently diagnosed and treated for a rare, serious cancer. It’s a funny, haunting, angry and poignant look at not only health and illness, but love and mortality as well.
How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2019?
It’s been about 18 months from conception until opening. Which is also the gestation period of an elephant, which is completely unrelated. It’s relevant because there is nobody whose life hasn’t been touched by cancer! It’s a ubiquitous condition – being impacted by cancer – but it’s something that tends to be spoken of in hushed tones or shallow platitudes. Audiences have been telling me that it’s refreshing to have an honest look from a carer’s perspective.
Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
I wish! I’m a Fringe Virgin. I’m guessing that hydration is a good idea. And sleeping occasionally. And coming to my show.
What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
Hmm. Theatre people are very funny and embarrassing, so many stories… one that comes to mind is the production in which I was pranked by the rest of my cast. I had a series of false exits in which I left the stage and then returned, coming and going in several directions in rapid succession, one after another. My castmates waited for me in the wings each time. In the nude. Perhaps that’s why I’m doing a solo show… (to my stage crew: don’t get any ideas.)
Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
I’m currently celebrating the amazing success of an old acquaintance from my days on the road as a troubadour… Anais Mitchell (Hadestown)! I’m so proud and excited for her! Why? Because she’s brilliant, and has total integrity about her music and her process. And she’s really nice. And I love it when quality and kindness are rewarded with proper admiration.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Pushups. Tuning. Quiet singing.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
Oh my gosh, so many! I’m most looking forward to discovering new things that I didn’t know anything about before heading across the globe…
Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
If you enjoy laughing through tears or crying through laughter, you should give this show a try. It’s a chance to have a proper hard look at deep things, while still getting a chuckle and tapping your toes. Also, I’ll buy you a drink. And I’ll do your laundry for you. And give you a nice foot massage. I’m super good at it.
Thanks for having Tea With Wilma
Thank you! It’s been fun!
FOLLOW WEST END WILMA