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Auntie Keara’s TOP FIVE TIPS for New Acts Performing at The Edinburgh Fringe for the Very First Time…
1. Tell me how many gigs you’ve done. Yaaaaaaaaaaaawn!!!! I don’t care. Just do them. Record yourself. Listen back to it. Be hard on yourself. And get advice from someone who knows. Discard the tape and do it again. And Again. And again. And again. And again. Forever. And ever. And E-V-E-R! Again.
If you MUST count something, make it the LPMs (If you don’t know what that is, find the fuck out).
2. Selfie-Pap yourself with a celeb comic – especially in a VIP bar – it makes you look amateur and performers come to those bars to get away from that stuff. Crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrringe!!! Why don’t you ask them for some tips instead? Old hands love to pass down their experience. And it’s a far better use of their time. And you might actually learn something. :-)
3. Stop saying it’s the “Fringe-Festival” – it’s not. – Unless you are doing ‘The Free Edinburgh Fringe Festival’ it’s actually called The Edinburgh Festival Fringe – or The Fringe – ie; on the Fringe of the Festival – yes, we know we’ve taken over! Result!! But know your history: Edinburgh Festival Fringe
4. Don’t perform drunk. You’re slurring your words and we cannot hear what you are saying. That’s why the joke didn’t work. Well, that’s one reason, anyway. Drink strangles your performance, it does not enhance it. Do some yoga for your nerves and maybe some affirmations. Or just ten long slow deep breaths. Meditation. Hug a bear. Drink water. And more water. No ice. Eat vegetables and fish and bananas. These things produce far better results than the demon drink. Get shitfaced after the show if you must (bearing in mind you have to do it all again tomorrow and are making it harder for yourself every day by the endless, compounded hangovers – still, it’s your funeral).
But, NEVER drink before a gig! Okay?
5. A Fringe audience is an International audience. Don’t blame them for not knowing your colloquialism. Adapt. If you cannot adapt your act to a wider audience, give up. Go join a band or something. Or take up hill-walking. The mountain people don’t listen to you anyway.
If you can perform to an EdFringe audience (of any size) and make them laugh, you can perform anywhere. I know, because I have done it. I have made all of these mistakes myself. I have performed, ran shows and hosted stand up all over the world for over 15 years. I have done ten one-women shows at The Edinburgh Fringe and a range of other festivals. I have done two compilation shows over and above that, ran multiple-act bills for professionals and some for new acts, and have done many, many other guest spots all over the shop – no, I NEVER counted how many!!! But let me count the shows: 12 Fringes in a billed show – 15 as a performer.
I am not in a show this year because I am writing my first character-based sketch show for for BBC Radio Scotland, Mistress MacKenzie and Friends, which will be on the airwaves later this year. These characters all started their lives in makeshift rooms at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe. I would not now be doing my own radio show without first having done those tough shows at The Fringe.
So remember, when the going gets tough, think of the wider picture. Present pain for future gain, etc.
And if you need a wee cheerie up – which you WILL need – please come and say hello to Mistress MacKenzie before she is too famous to respond. You can ask her anything, using the hashtag #AskMistress
- She’s THE ONE: Meet Mistress MacKenzie
See you amid the madness, children, and you can ask ME anything in person. And I will even let you have a wee pic with me (As long as the light is low and I have reapplied my lippy and there is nice furniture involved). What do you mean you don’t want your picture with me?!!! The cheek!!!
His Smileyness, The Dalai Lama, says, “There is a disparity between the way things appear and the way things actually are.”
Today’s lesson: Don’t believe everything you see on facebook.
Let’s face it, if people put the whole truth up, the stories would be far more interesting:
“Oh, look at me in a cocktail bar with a lovely French Martini smiling in a nice frock.
I just spent the last five minutes crying in the toilet because my date never turned up.
This is my fourteenth French Martini!
That barman looks hot! I’m so going to try and… whoah, some big hot hunk has just swept me off my feet…. Wooohoooo… he’s got muscles…
Oh, hang on it’s the bounce…r…aaaaaaaarh…
“Oh, look at us! Off we go on holiday with the family.
It’s going to be utter, utter hell!
I’ve packed my Prozac.
And my taser!”
“Wow! Look at me! On top of the Himalayas!
Alone. Because I have no friends.
That kinda Sucks
I’m jumping off now.
Does anyone care?
“Here’s a picture of my delicious dinner!
Because no-one in this damn house appreciates the hours I put into it.
So, I need some ‘like’s to stop me from opening another bottle of gin.
“Aw, look at me! Here I am still in the garden after our big party, drinking Prosecco by the Chiminea.
Because I’ve just had a blazing row with my husband – which started over a burnt sausage and ended in threats of divorce…
This truly is the happiest I have felt all day.” :-)
I close the lesson today with a quote from my favourite philosopher,
“Not everything with a pretty face is a nice person.”
Judge Judy Sheindlin
If you want to find peace and happiness in your life, you will definitely find it here Edinburgh’s Secret Vaudeville
Originally posted on KEARA MURPHY:
Ah, I have so many wonderful memories of V.D. down the years…
My favourite Valentine’s Day was in Hungary, where I lived with my lovely fiancé, who was a very romantic man, but afraid of heights. He took me out to this wonderful place on the Great Hungarian Plains then standing in a field of weeds, pointed to a row of couples leading up to a large wicker basket and said, “You are going up in a hot air balloon for your Valentine’s!”
– Yes, he did say YOU and not WE!
As I floated up into the sky, a singleton in a cloud of couples, my darling fiancé waved at me from the ground like my Granddad. I remember thinking, One day! – One. Fine. Day! - this romance thing will kick-in like it does in the movies…
View original 358 more words
Love Sonnet: XVII
I Don’t Love You As If You Were A Rose
I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
Or arrow of carnations that propagate the fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
Secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
The light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
And thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
From the earth lives dimly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems, or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way
Except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
So close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
So close that your eyes close with my dreams.
Your whole body holds
A wineglass of gentle sweetness destined for me.
When I let my hand climb,
In each place I find a dove
That was looking for me, as if,
My love, they had made you our of clay
For my very own potters hands.
Your knees, your breasts,
Are missing in me like in the hollow
Of a thirsting earth
Where they relinquished
We are complete like one single river,
Like one single grain of sand.
So, what is love?
It was either Aphrodite or Oprah Winfrey – or possibly Jessica Fletcher – who said, ‘Love is giving someone permission to break your heart but trusting them not to.”
Well, it’s fair to say that I have loved. I have sent my heart out there into battle and trusted in another person not to break it and I have been lucky.
I have been loved.
And love is nice. And when you love someone and they love you too and you involve an episode of your favourite TV drama – let’s say, anything by Jimmy McGovern or a repeat of Murder She Wrote – and a box of Maltesers, love is very nice indeed.
I sat upon a rock on a beach in Oban after a comedy gig as my new love stood a few inches away with his back against the harbour wall.
Looking out to sea, I said, “I think… I’m… falling… in love with you.”
Then I glanced down at the rock clenched hard in my hand.
In a moment he said, “Yes, same… well, actually, I’m already there, so… yeah… “ He stumbled on, shuffling from foot to foot as his face burned red with awkwardness. Then my hives started playing up. So we went to the pub and got absolutely hammered.
I really, really thought our love would change the world.
Well, it did change mine.
I have waltzed down the brown Danube laughing with my love drinking premium Hungarian beer from large plastic tankers on a warm summer’s night and it was very good.
I have sung Karaoke with Air Force One in a bar in Bratislava whilst downing gut-busting cocktails as my love laughingly looked on. And it was really, really good. – The pilot sang Up Where We Belong to me and I took that flight of fancy with him – as my love encouraged me in some harmless flirting.
I have slumped in pyjamas for hours on a Sunday afternoon with the blinds tightly shut watching marathon runs of Come Dine With Me whilst sharing a carry-out-curry with my love and feeling in a perfect state of bliss and peace and saturated fats.
So, I know that love is good.
Romance is overrated. When you eventually get to the big romantic things in life oftentimes the experience does not live up to your long-held expectations.
I have eaten ice cream at The Trevi Fountain on a warm night in July with my love wondering how much longer we should linger and thinking that I’d eaten too much at dinner and needed sleep and a cardigan. – Of course I appreciated the spectacular fountain and the ice cream and the night sky but I did not feel the love.
I have dined spectacularly at The Four Seasons, smiling down at the beautiful cornflower blue sapphire and the nineteen pin-head diamonds on the double-white Gold band newly placed there on the third finger of my left hand, feeling like it would have been nice if my love had actually proposed.
The words, “D’ya wanna shove this on now or what?” were still resounding round my head and I ruined that experience with my destructive thoughts.
I have sipped cocktails on the coast of Croatia and watched the sun disappear behind the horizon, sitting silently with my love but feeling lonely.
It took a few Pina Colladas, several rounds of Rakija and a bowl of Strukli to ease the passage of loneliness into oblivion.
It is the simple moments in life that I have found love to be at its most pure.
I have been enveloped in my love, as one with him, entwined in peace and I have rolled to sleep in his arms in deep pleasurable happiness and love.
-And then he has farted – which definitely tests true love.
Sex is not love. But you can bring the love to it, if you want.
I have made love in the freezing waters of a Scottish Loch with a man I was in love with which was funny but rubbish.
I have made love in a locker at a spa resort in Central Europe, which was funny and good. My boyfriend knocked on my cubicle door asking for talc, then forced his way in and demanded sex.
- It was thrilling!
I have made love on a warm beach on Gran Canaria under the stars with a guy called Top Banana who looked after The Dolphin Experience. – We saw the stars, but no dolphins.
I have made love on a cold mattress in a multi-storey flat somewhere in Thornliebank with a guy I really fancied because he looked like Lionel Ritchie in The Commodore years – NOT the Hello years! – which allowed me to overlook the putrid state of his flat.
- And his kit on the floor next to his signing-on book.
“Sing Nightshift to me!” I demanded, excitedly. But he just slumped into a drug-induced coma and I had to negotiate my way home from Armageddon, alone.
I have made love in a warm condo in Kowloon with a sexy German barman called Goswin who had the largest…em…‘personality’…I have ever seen. As the catamarans rolled into the harbour, we listened to Kris Kristopherson on his wee mini-disc player and the buzz of the nightlife click-clickety-clacked beneath our window and the air filled with exotic quixotic romance.
- I never saw him again.
I have made love with someone whom I loved deeply and who loved me too. I have made love with someone I didn’t even know. I have made love with a person I hated.
I have loved a dead man.
I have danced and sang with joy in love, alone. I have swam in the open sea with the deepest sense of happiness and love that I felt like I could fly and tried but couldn’t.
I have snuggled up in bed alone feeling the presence of love with me; beside me; inside me. And, as I closed my eyes I dreamed of him, of me, of love and of our pure happiness so much I could cry.
So I cried.
I have sobbed and sobbed long and hard into my pillow then turned it over and I have gone to sleep on the dry side so as not to get a wet-face-rash.
- Always consider your complexion when crying on pillows.
I have awoken wondering if what I dreamed was real. I could feel his hot breath on my neck and his eyes on my face and his chest hairs tickling into my back but I turned around to find only some snotty tissues and an empty box of Milk Tray.
- That Milk Tray Ghost-Man is my constant companion.
I have awoken with a start wondering if what was real I dreamed only to feel his warm arms fold around me as I stroked the soft hairs on his skin and whispered to myself, ‘He is here! He is really here’ then jerked myself into the moment as I knew it couldn’t last.
- He had mail to deliver.
- It was milk.
- Still joking!
- It was a kitchen.
- Or was it?
I have cried for my love, for the loss of him, for my fear for him, for his pain, for his breaking heart, for his smiling face, for his cheeky grin, for his trusting eyes. – And for his vulnerability and for mine.
I have gone mad with love and blamed it on my menstrual cycle.
Yes, it is fair to say that I have loved. I have given another person permission to break my heart and I have not been disappointed. I have wept with the remnants of my world broken across my carpet and my anger at his discarded stinking sock.
I have sobbed with snot running down my face, tears in my ears, howling foetally and silently screaming like a really bad actress in a Greek Tragedy.
- It is always good practice for an actress to stand back from herself during these moments and try to embed the feelings in the emotional memory bank for later use in a Lysistrata audition.
I have quietly wept as I swatted a wasp over the cooker setting alight to the napkin whilst my love sat coldly eating sausages. Then asked for another egg.
- Another egg?!
I snivelled some more as the bacon sparked a further fire under the grill and as I dampened the cloth to extinguish it, an alarm bell bellowed in the hall. But not in my head.
- Why not in my head? Why NOT in my head!!!
Then, as I brandished a tea-towel under the screaming siren, he walked past me, smiling, and left me to manage the burnt bacon and the smouldering fire and my bleeding heart all alone.
I have stood still on a busy street saying absolutely nothing to my friend on the other end of the phone for what seemed like hours just to feel him listen to my silence and the world as it rushed around me and the cracking of my heart as it quietly stopped.
- Amazingly, I still retain that friendship.
I have been in love alone and I have been heartbroken alone. I have been lonely with my love and I have been happy in love alone. So what is this love? Who is making us feel the love? And who is making us feel the pain? How can we be in love alone if it is the other person who is giving the love to us? When we decide to get up and get on, who is making us take that action? I don’t imagine it’s Jesus or Allah or, even, Oprah.
- Well, maybe Oprah.
Aren’t all of our physical and mental actions our own? Is it not us who is creating the pain and, therefore, creating the love? Is it not up to us to always, always choose to love? – To allow another’s love for us into our hearts and lives?
I believe it is. I believe that no-one can give you love and no-one can take your love away. I believe that you can bestow your love on the object of your affection: a chair, a cabbage or a particularly nice vintage tablecloth with butterfly motifs on – I really, really love that tablecloth. And you can believe that the great ball of fire in your belly and the pounding in your heart and the fever in your soul has been created by him or her or Rover. And that this feeling you have inside of you is their love for you and that they will think of you obsessively and expire without you. Which makes you happy.
But it isn’t. And they don’t. And they probably won’t!
It’s just Old Mother Nature there working away trying to ensure the survival of the species, silly.
Snuggles are good. I mean, what is finer than a snuggle? Nothing! That’s what.
I love that feeling when their knees fit neatly into the back of yours whilst ‘spooning’ and you mold yourselves into one united being until the sweat trickles between your bodies and you have to silkily slide yourself away and involve hankies.
Or that comforting sensation you get when his hot breath gently heats the back of your neck and he sometimes kisses it there and you fall a little deeper into paradise. And what could beat that loving feel of his arm curling warmly around your waistline, his hand resting gently on your stomach, your fingers entwined in his as you stroke the tiny hairs there, half-asleep.
- Man, I really miss that dog.
I read a book about love one time and the woman, I think it was either Pamela Stephenson or Tricia Goddard – or possibly Jeremy Vine – who said:
“When you love another person it is his love for himself and your
love for yourself flowing and mingling together between
two whole people who want to share their love.”
- Which is an ideal way to see things if you have evolved above the level of sentient being or have done a lot of Yoga or are Trudy Styler.
But, the truest love you will ever have is indeed the love you have for yourself. You can choose to love a stranger. But, believe me, that love never ends well. You will automatically love your children, hopefully, you’d think! And you can choose to love a dear friend or, indeed, a nice tree. – That last one might even get you into Pick-Me-Up magazine!
- And, possibly, Carstairs.
But, I do not believe it is possible to truly love another person unless you truly love yourself. And if you struggle with that, there is plenty of love available on the high street for a small fee.
- And, for the more adventurous, the Private Sauna at Roseburn has some special deals on a Tuesday.
Now, my final piece of lady wisdom is this: All relationships are your mirrors and all people are your precious teachers.
- Especially if they are actually your teacher and you are paying them to teach you stuff. If they are your teacher and they are not teaching you stuff you can report them to The High Commissioner of the Governor of Teachers Association or something. And if they suggest you run away with them to France and marry them when you turn sixteen, do it. But only if you really, really fancy them.
Each of my great big loves taught me something about myself, and each guided me, inadvertently, onto a new path in my journey through life.
I am the person I am because of love. – The love I have given and the love I have received.
The more destructive the relationship; the more I have learned. And I am a sucker for an education: The abusive ones taught me self-respect; the narcissistic ones taught me unconditional love; the one-night-stands taught me to always carry earplugs and a spare pair of pants.
So, what is love?
Well, who the hell knows!
But if you do find it – kiss the joy as if flies for it may pass your way only once. So, live for a while in the sunrise.
And invest in a dog.
And so this is Christmas…
Another year over, and what have I done?
Well, In January I hibernated with my new boyfriend and flirted with romance – which was nice. I also wrote a bunch of stuff which stood me in good stead for the rest of the year.
In February I wrote and performed a short play with actor and comedian, Garry Dobson, about Internet dating, Plenty More Fish, at The Scottish Storytelling Centre for the wonderful Jo Caulfield’s Speakeasy. Jo hosted the show beautifully and the play went down very, very well. I was delighted. I also wrote and performed a brand new Robert Burns-inspired one-woman show, Mice & Men, directed by John Paul McGroarty, which I previewed over two nights at a small theatre in Leith. The first show was ropey so I sat up all night long and rewrote it. The next night, I nailed it. Then got crazy drunk in The Port O’ Leith Pub with the audience. Then went to the Casino. Yes, it was one of those kinda nights.
Two days after Valentine’s Day I ditched my new boyfriend for not sending me a Valentine card. And also for being an arse! He agreed with me that he was an arse so we decided to stay friends. We are not friends!
At the end of the month I hosted shows for The Gilded Balloon at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness and The Gardyne Theatre, Dundee – and fell in love with the work of two young and very talented comics, Bec Hill and Ray Bradshaw. They made the 100 miles across the Drumochter Summit at 2am almost bearable by creating a string of Your Mum jokes on a loop for nearly two hours! That’s talent! That there is talent!!
In March, I debuted Mice & Men at The Glasgow Comedy Festival, and was also invited onto Janice Forsyth’s Culture Studio along with festival director, Tommy Sheppard, to talk about The Glasgow Comedy Festival, Glasgow banter, Glasgow audiences, The programme of events and, of course, my show.
I also hosted a large dance show at The Armadillo, my first time performing on that amazing stage – courtesy of the wonderful Sharon Quinn for Dance OK. It was an amazing night with so many wonderful dancers. Then back to Sharon’s for a brilliant all-night party for, Aiden, her son’s 18th birthday celebrations. Just magical.
Back at The Glasgow Comedy Festival I did my first ever pop-up comedy show in the foyer of The Citizen M Hotel which was chaotic and great fun. Then I spent a few days with my Glasgow family and friends. I revisited The Grand Ole Opry after a 25 year absence. I was once a waitress there and used to get up and do the charity song, occasionally. Everyone I knew was dead or nearly dead. But I did reacquaint with some lovely old friends. “If it ain’t country; it aint music” they say down there. Well… talking of music that isn’t country…
In April I was cast as the brash Barbara Sinatra in a new musical-drama, Sinatra: The Final Curtain. Barbara was a challenging role as she didn’t appear to be a very nice person – she was a social climber and gold-digger. Pretty much the antithesis of me so I went deep into research for her to try and find a human side, assisted by her 600 page tell-all autobiographical tomb boldly entitled, Mrs Blue Eyes. Fascinating stuff! Sinatra was an angry, controlling, hygiene-obsessed drunk man! Allegedly. And his last wife was a gold-digger.
The play went on to enjoy a full run at The Leith Festival in June, which was just lovely and I made some wonderful new friends.
In May I became a regular cast member on Lach’s Antihoot Radio Show, where I performed a wide range of characters including a radical feminist; a woman giving birth using only a Birthing Clown (played by Lach, who’s wife informs us that he did actually once be a Birthing Clown! He hasn’t denied it) for pain relief; an old woman with Victorian Torette’s who blurts out ‘ankles’ and ‘pantyhose’ instead of our modern swear words; a very drunk Jo Frost from off of Supernanny; a little girl guising on Halloween; and many regular guest spots as the favoured Mistress MacKenzie (see @MistressMacKenz) – my old radio show character. And many, many spots as myself in stand up mode as well as storytelling guise.
A little later on in May I was commissioned by BBC Radio Scotland for my first ever radio series, The Shark’s Mouth, which made me leap with joy and cry with fear in the toilet of a posh hotel. I got over 100 ‘likes’ on Facebook for the BIG BOAST announcement. Why that matters I have no idea.
I then wrote and recorded the four character monologues, produced by the very talented Gus Beattie for The Comedy Unit, which were then broadcast on The Janice Forsyth’s Culture Studio in November & December. I needn’t have feared. They were very well received. Listen again here and judge for yourself: The Shark’s Mouth
My summer was taken up with family parties including a four-year-old’s birthday party involving tree climbing, falling over and chocolate cake and a 40 year olds birthday party involving dancing to Grand Master Flash, falling over and chocolate cake.
The Fringe freaked me out and I took a panic attack in one of those artist’s VIP bars where everybody is talking about themselves loudly and waving flyers and cards in your face whilst spitting saliva on you and periodically looking over your shoulder. And no one is actually listening to anyone. I locked myself in my flat and refused to come out until the End of Festival parties. I went to all the parties.
Come September, I was drained, as always after the Fringe. And I have to add, I wasn’t even doing a show but still it destroyed my soul. However, we were back at Lach’s Antihoot Radio Show sharpish on the 4th September – like the true pro’s we are. The subject: Flyerers Anonymous and Fringe Fatigue. It was very cathartic.
More shenanigans down at Henry’s Cellar Bar, along with a range of other gigs and things throughout the months of October, November and December kept me on the edge of excitement.
In October I wrote and performed a brand new story about the vandalization of my face, which I presented first at Lach’s Antihoot and it went down a storm. I then did it again at The Speakeasy at Scottish Storytelling Centre to some laughter, a few raised eyebrows and a couple of walk-outs (although, I still maintain that was caused by the sweary performance poet who came on after me rather than my beautifully crafted but edgy story).
In November, I wrote and performed a live stand up benefit gig at The Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh’s for Children In Need, alongside some of Scotland’s finest comedians. This was hosted by Sanjeev Kohli and was broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland.
My routine about me giving short shrift to some Leith children coming guising to my door at Hallowee’n was dropped from the broadcast because the euphemisms still weren’t ‘family friendly’ enough. Still, it’s a story best experienced live. And away from small children.
Once my mini-series aired on BBC Radio Scotland In mid-November I went into annoying promoter mode, making sure everyone who should hear the show did hear the show. And even those who didn’t. Or refused. Or couldn’t. Or ignored me because they have a normal job. I. Made. Them. Listen! I have ways of making them… No I don’t. Sadly. No I don’t. All I can do is ask, politely, that you click on the link and enjoy: The Shark’s Mouth
In November, I launched my own cabaret club, Keara’s Comedy, Cocktail & Cabaret Club which was far, far more successful than I could ever have hoped for or imagined. But my hard graft and years of experience paid off and thus another long-held ambition was achieved. Get in!
We are shooting for a regular monthly gig from March. Check in: Keara’s Comedy, Cocktail and Cabaret Club
In December, I performed live at The Storytelling Centre once again, this time for Feeling Kind of Funny, produced by Richard Melvin’s Dabster Productions and beautifully hosted by the lovely Julia Sutherland, which was UTTERLY AMAZING! Followed by a radio interview to discuss the dark side of comedy. Which was UTTERLY HARROWING!
This show will be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland in January 2014. I shall listen to it myself quietly before sharing. I’m feeling kinda funny about it, to be honest.
I’m joking! I’m very excited about it. My bit will be going out on the 16th January. Don’t worry, I will remind you!
When I look back over any year it’s not my work achievements that immediately spring to mind – which is possibly why I feel the need to catalogue them here. It’s not the gym sessions I did, the days I did the housework, the days I stayed sober and turned down party invitations. It’s always, always, always the people who shared part of my journey through this life with me. Those who were kind to me. Those who made me laugh. Those who laughed at my stuff. And those I partied with.
I made loads of new friends in 2013! Like LOADS!!! I also reconnected with some really special old friends. Which is always nice.
I also fell in and out of love – which is never a good idea. I also fell in and out of lust – which is never a good idea. And, as is my pattern, I also dated a bunch of freaks – which is never a good idea. And in fine moments of strength, I blocked a few people from my life – which is always a good idea. And it’s all good for material.
I spent loads of lovely time with my family; became a Godmother for the second time but first time to a beautiful baby boy; tried positive affirmations to combat my recurring Black Dog, which worked. Sometimes.
And after almost beating a rubbish food intolerance thing I felt more well physically than I had done in ages. With my newly returned health I did an epic amount of socialising involving cocktails in the park, orchestral pyrotechnics in The Gardens, festival nudity in the street (not me), cross-dressing in a Dive bar (yes, me), and drinking in some classic quiet bars with some very classic people.
Okay, 2014, bring it on. I am ready for my close up!
My brand new character comedy monologue series
THE SHARK’S MOUTH
Written and performed by Keara Murphy
Produced by Gus Beattie for The Comedy Unit
Can be heard here on BBC Radio Scotland iPlayer
See below for links.
“These are absolutely fantastic”
Janice Forsyth, Culture Studio
Here are the clips:
LISTEN HERE: Mistress MacKenzie
Mistress is an elderly woman who lives in the remotest part of Scotland, Strathbungle. She runs a small dairy farm and a possibly haunted guest house, The Midgie View. In an attempt to somehow communicate with the outside world, she has set up an old Ham radio in her Garden Shed, where she broadcasts home school lessons to the children of the isolated communities. However, her knowledge on life is drawn from folklore, fairytales, the gossip in the village and the angry Old Testament.
Given this, her lessons are bordering on child abuse.
“I love Mistress MacKenzie“
For some more of her utter nonsense follow Mistress here on twitter:
LISTEN HERE: Katie
Katie is a smart, successful, funny woman with crockery to die for. A nice companion would make her life complete. She is tired of dating drunks and freaks, so in an desperate attempt at finding love she joins a dating website.
It does not go well.
LISTEN HERE: Donatella Pringle (with Eva Vaskova)
Donatella Pringle is a tour guide for 30+ singles holiday company, Last Chance. However, after a spot of romantic turbulance, Donatella finds herself once again single. Today, as she meets her new tour group, will she be able to separate the professional from the personal.
LISTEN HERE: Grainne O’Grady (and Mammy)
Grainne O’Grady is a Glaswegian-Irish nurse, she works in Accident and Emergency in The Glasgow Royal. She would absolutely love to find love but at 47 she has never even had a boyfriend. So, Mammy O’Grady encourages her daughter to make a video for YouTube so as to introduce her to the widest aray of single men.
Cue Cringe Comedy.
Review of 2007 Fringe Show: Little Love Affairs
Fresh Air (Archived) http://www.freshair.org.uk/news/2007/08/20/review_keara_murphy
“Keara Murphy’s show is a character-based comedy show dealing with four women and their perceptions of love and men. Poignantly funny in places, dark and sinister in others, Murphy moves skilfully from one character to another with ease and interweaves the story of an Irish woman looking for love, a repressed tennis club president, a Glaswegian harridan and a failed nightclub singer (who is humorously, constantly interrupted by the club announcer). The stories’ endings lead to a whole new set of questions and possibilities for the characters, and it is to Murphy’s credit as an actress and comedian that she makes us care about what happens to them after she leaves the stage. A very good piece from a wonderful performer.”
Kate Copstick for The Scotsman – Little Love Affairs – Fringe 2007
“Murphy is a great character actress whose comic creations go beyond the one-dimensional sketches; they live – and make you laugh and cry. I urge you to see this show.“
I’m not really surprised when people still ask me why I’m still single. Still? They ask me like I’m sad. Like there’s something wrong with me. Like I must be lonely. Or like I’m not enjoying my life.
I know they mean well – even mean it to be flattering! But the question always deflates me. Because, you see, I am enjoying my life! I’ve never been happier. In fact, I’m having a ball!
Being single has some wonderful benefits like having the bathroom indulgently to yourself; never having to clean up after another human being – ever; finding all your precious things exactly where you left your precious things; reading long and late into the night with the light on without someone calling you a ‘selfish bitch'; having just a massive bag of popcorn for Sunday dinner in your pajamas whilst watching repeats of old 80s cop dramas and simultaneously leading a heated debate on facebook as to what was the best Cop Drama of the 80s (Cagney & Lacey, by the way!) without anyone calling you ‘a weirdo'; taking off on wild adventures and knowing that the only person who knows what you just did is you – and the stranger you just did it with; never waking up freezing on the hard floor having been accidentally elbowed in the eye and kicked over the edge of the bed by your attacker/beloved who is now a snoring sweaty creature lying diagonally across the bed cocooned in all the covers, smiling; never having to say, “Why did you throw out my vintage tweed skirt? It was not moth-eaten! It was vintage! Vintage! And it was mine!”; never having to ‘check in’ with another person when you’re out enjoying yourself – or working! – only to hear such classic lines as “Remember I have to get up in the morning” or “Remember you have to see your accountant at half past nine” or “Remember I’m bolting and chaining the door from the inside at 2300 hrs precisely and I’m going to pretend I did it accidentally.”
All this, and getting to look around for a possible mate/companion/special friend/boyfriend/buddy/nutter/dog/goldfish/mercat/shag-pile-rug at your leisure without the feeling that life is all sewn up or that you’re living someone else’s life or that somehow you never get time to yourself.
“Time is running out” they say.
“Time is running out!” you think.
Time does not run out.
Time is timeless.
“Time makes lovers feel
that they got somethin’ real” (Boy George).
Time is on your side.
Especially when you’re single.
Being single means that you have all the time in the world to indulge in all your passions freely. You get time to build your career without having to consider another person. You can spend hours and hours raking through the racks in that lovely vintage boutique on Cockburn Street without your Significant Other saying, “Should you be wearing that?” or “Can we afford this?” Or “Never mind, I’ll throw it in the charity bag when you’re not looking.”
So, being single is incredibly exciting, at times. And, of course, at times, it is truly, truly shit.
The worst thing about being single – apart from always being asked “Why are you still single?” by men who think you’re ‘going to waste’ or couples who’d like to invite you to their dinner party without unbalancing their seating plan or your mother who wants more grandchildren (Mum, I’m fort… in my late thirties, that ship has sailed!) – is being on the dating scene (yes, it’s a bloody ‘scene’) with all its emotional ups and downs.
I wrote an article on my personal experience of ‘dating’ last year which was published in The Skinny in the run-up to my Glasgow Comedy Festival show, Flypaper For Freaks. Since I wrote that article I have dated a few more freaks, but not much else has changed. I’m just a little further down the less travelled road.
However, at this minute in my life, I have never been happier. Being single is my current lifestyle choice. I have so many wonderful friends; a large, loving, ever-expanding family; a healthy body and mind; an incredible social life; an amazing career doing what I’ve always dreamed of doing; and a beautiful home filled with astonishing crockery.
Not too shabby!
So, just in case you missed it: I’m fine, thanks. I’m really, really fine.
Here’s the article from last year – still as relevant now, if not more so: Flypaper For Freaks, by Keara Murphy
More tales of being single and being out on the ‘dating scene’ can be heard through my characters’ voices broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland.
All episodes can be heard here: The Shark’s Mouth