It’s common knowledge that being a stand up comedian is hard work. The travelling is arduous and lonely; there is often a loss to be made once all the costs are detracted from any money gained from ticket sales. The Edinburgh Festival is probably the most strenuous time of year for a working comic. Performers from across the globe travel up to Scotland for a month of entertaining, spectating and living out of suitcases.
Having worked on their new shows for the past however many months and performing them nearly every single day of the festival, there are plenty of comedians who live with a constant anxiety that nobody will even turn up to see them. Comedy is a volatile art form, and while this is what makes it so exciting, it is also what makes it a risky thing to dedicate your life, love and money to, as a performer. Comedy is a labour of love and those who pour the most into their art are sure to be the ones who can bask in the most future success or personal triumph. But, as you can see, it must take its toll, and a helping hand from a friend is sometimes the perfect way to lift the spirits, or, in this case, the ticket sales. This is where Michael Legge and his army of comedy folk come in.
Sell This Gig Out is Michael Legge’s initiative, which he has been utilising in recent years to allow groups of comics and comedy fans to promote shows through various social networking platforms. The idea is simple enough: Legge has summoned together a network of people who are willing to help each other, and, of course, who would be grateful for any help they may too receive. The group have been focussing on one comedian’s show per day so far but are also constantly recommending other shows to attend as well as attending them themselves, beginning as they mean to go on, by completely selling out Angela Barnes’ first show of the run.
— Nigel Metheringham (@nmeth) August 5, 2015
Here we have a prime example of the wonderful camaraderie shown by so many of our most loved stand up comedians, and I, for one, find it incredibly uplifting.