Many performers set themselves Edinburgh rules, like not drinking for the month. We asked performers at this year's Fringe if they had any. Cue many tips about exercise, sex, drinking and sleep...
The only rule I ever set myself in Edinburgh is to stay upright for the month. I do find it pretty ironic that a disabled comedian is playing one of the most inaccessible cities in the world. I do sometimes invite some of my friends who use wheelchairs to my shows for a laugh. None of the lazy bastards have ever turned up.
Lost Voice Guy: I'm Only in It for the Parking
Live as Johnny Depp would like us to: without limits.
Johnny Depp: A Retrospective On Late-stage Capitalism
Musical Comedy Guide Showcase (Answered by producer/director Dave Nattriss.)
I will end up drinking more regularly than normal, but that should help me keep a regular daily/nightly routine, which is helpful what with having the show at the same time every day.
Musical Comedy Guide Showcase
I try and stay off the booze for the first two weeks. I don't do drugs. It took me years to realise that if I'm not good with spicy food, I'm hardly going to be good with MDMA.
Fred Cooke: Fred Space
For the month of August, I'm planning on exercising daily, cooking all my meals, and not drinking at all. Except for my day off. That day, I'll be playing a game I like to call "Tipsy All Day," which is exactly what it sounds like: you can't be sober, you can't be drunk, you must be tipsy all day. Anyone reading this is welcome to join me.
Caitlin Cook: Death Wish
I try to walk everywhere. (It's for health reasons but also publicity, whenever someone says 'hey, are you the guy off...' I can happily yell 'yes I am, and fling a flyer in their face'.
I try to spend time with people who aren't industry obsessed. I'd like conversations about love lives, and bad books, and stupidity and sexual positions and religious contradictions, not just 'did you see that review' and 'how was your show'. This is not because I am above industry obsession, it's very much because I am trying to fight my own.
Try one new joke in every performance of the show. I probably don't follow the other two 100% but I definitely do this last one.
Daliso Chaponda: Blah Blah Blacklist
Yeah I have a rule. And that's there is no rules! Except for laws, which I don't intend to break, except for drugs. And murder. The murder of old ideas. Watch yourself. I have a metaphorical knife and I'm gonna slice your consciousness into little pieces. OK, one rule, take care of my mental health...
Borne of Chaos
Oh, I set myself all of those rules. No drinking, early nights, daily yoga, no junk food, no shellfish, no coveting of my neighbour's ox. All of those rules go right out of the window as soon as I get the chance to have a late night pint, prawn korma and go on that ox. You only live once.
Steve N Allen: Better Than
This year my plan is to run to the sea and go for a swim. It's also been my plan for the last three years and never happened but I think the idea of it has kept me healthy enough. (Although I have brought trunks for the first time, which helps!)
Harry Baker: I Am 10,000
I do two solo shows a day, and spend an hour at the gym each morning, so once I've factored that in - my one rule is to have chips n' cheese only every second day and cut down on cider from 12 pints a night to something more manageable, like 13.
John Robertson: The Dark Room
My rules are -
1) 1 night's drinking per Fringe (if I want to, I didn't in 2018).
2) Do not read reviews until after (if then).
3) I only want to be told when the Comedy Award judges are in. Not reviewers.
4) I remind myself daily I WILL miss out on something, but that's okay (although I find this one hard to stick to).
5) I take a day off a week and book only the people I want to go and see on them. All other days I jump around watching things and taking chances.
6) I won't go see acts I like until the final week of the Fringe because the last thing I need is to compare myself to acts I think are better than me day 1.
7) I pause my emails and don't check Facebook during the day.
8) I unfollow / mute acts who annoy me and for every act I do that for, I like/ follow a puppy on social media to replace them in my timeline.
Simon Caine: Every Room Becomes a Panic Room When You Overthink Enough
I try not to be a dick, I usually fail off the bat when some improv people badger me while I'm stressed... but I really try.
Ashley Storrie: Hysterical
Rules are for suckers and squares.
Don't get in any fights, don't offend someone that could make my career, don't slag off people I actually like, and try not to wallow in self-pity too much, it's indulgent.
Archie Maddocks: Big Dick Energy
I don't normally put rules in place during the Fringe as am aware that the likelihood of sticking to them is almost zero. Strangely a love a rule the rest of the year. At the time of writing I'm in a crazy July pre-Fringe detox where I'm living like a monk while finishing writing my show. I'm not having any alcohol, sugar or gluten (while already being a vegan) and am running every day. Needless to say, I'm loads of fun at the minute! My prediction is that I'll show up to Edinburgh in the best shape of my life and then on night one get absolutely arseholed and begin a 30-day bender.
Carl Donnelly: Shall We All Just Kill Ourselves?
Yes! Gym and meditation every day. Mediation is essential for me in Edinburgh to stop my mental hamster wheel coming off its hinges. Hard gym session is a nice thing to keep your mind in the present moment for an hour or so. I'm a rabid over thinker at the best of times.
Drink wise I try to have my cake and drink it. Gin and tonic, but one shot of gin in a pint glass filled with tonic with no ice. A drink and a drink. My mates HATE me being part of the round with that nonsense.
Troy Hawke: Tiles of the Unexpected!
Not drinking sounds like a great idea! Chris has made the super sensible decision of getting married 6 days after the festival and he's already brought his suit.
The Delightful Sausage: Ginster's Paradise
Our main rule will be to try and drink as much as we can... Not that we are promoting alcoholism but ideally this might make us drink less - sort of reverse psychology. This way we will be happy with what little money we have left and if we are indeed drunk we also won't remember what rules we had set. Win win?
I'm only allowed to cry in private. Not because it's not okay to cry publicly but because it's not okay to cry all the time.
Catherine Bohart: Lemon
Do not sleep with a comedian. And I'm contemplating applying the same rule to comedy-actors this year.
Naomi McDonald: Copycat
Don't go to more than three late night shows in a week. I got a bit hooked on the Alternative Comedy Memorial Society last year and too many 3 am finishes turned me into a Fringe zombie.
Tales of Whatever
I think this year I'm going to try to go to bed a bit earlier so I'm not permanently exhausted...of course, I know I won't end up doing that but it's a nice thought isn't it?
Not eating a vegetable for a month.
Drinking so little I don't need a pee for 7 hours.
Not crying before breakfast.
Cally Beaton: Invisible
I won't drink coffee for the month, because if I drink too much I might get really mad and hit an audience member. I don't want it to be that kind of Fringe Hit. Plus, I don't know the laws very well here.
Naomi Karavani: Dominant
I have created good coping mechanisms. For me, structure and routine is important. I like to try and get up and do the same sort of thing every day. My other rules are: Don't cry in public. Don't slag off comedians in public. Don't insult the general public.
Joe Jacobs: Grimefulness
Keep away from bright light, never be made wet and never, ever be fed after midnight.
This year I'm going to be away from home, having left my wife and children for the month, so I'm making sure I have as restful a month as possible. To achieve this I'm not doing any of the late night gigs where audiences are actively encouraged to heckle comedians! Partly, I'm not sure my morale can take it, and partly...why would I want to be shouted at by idiots not in control of their faculties, when I don't have the power to send them to bed without their supper?!?
Who's the Daddy Pig?
Last year I fully embraced the Scottish deep-fried culture during the Fringe. That month I didn't have a single normal bowel movement and I had more butter than blood flowing through my arteries. This year I will eat like a regular human being, and I will try to have a salad at some point.
Isa Bonachera: The Great Emptiness
Most of the cast are very good and don't drink and really pace themselves, as full on singing for an hour every day is a massive strain on the voice. This usually results in a catastrophic final night blow out, which usually ends with cast members so mind-blowingly battered, they are out of action for the following month. For example, last year one of our performers was returned to us by the lovely cast of Austenetatious, who had found her "lost and sad" in the toilets at Abattoir.
Seek out vegetables and fruit. Subway salads, clementines. Cider doesn't count. I'm far less funny when riddled with scurvy.
Stella Graham: Sneaky Little Bitch
My rules are never to drink for the month after Edinburgh to allow my liver to recover!
Njambi McGrath: Accidental Coconut
My Edinburgh rule is to stop pretending I understand Scottish people this year, because the last time I pretended to understand a Scottish person I ended up in a 4 year relationship with him.
Lucie Pohl's Immigrant Jam
My Edinburgh rules are as follows -
1. Remember to socialise, You are not a hermit. Sometimes other people are nice.
2. Walk up those hills - you do not need to get a bus. The Scottish air is good for your soul, and for your mental health.
3. Stop shouting - your voice is a precious commodity and needs to be saved for the whole fringe.
4. Put that cigarette DOWN (see above).
5. None of it really matters. Small audiences, reviewers who didn't 'get' it, the show before you keeps over running because it's always sold out, the rain, the awards, the accolades - in the grand scheme of things it's just another chapter in your book. Nothing is permanent - a great review lasts for a week at most and so does a poor one. You're healthy and loved - everything else will fade or can be sorted out.
Lucy Frederick: Famtastic
Put on the best show you can every day - audiences have chosen your show out of thousands so anything less is just really ungrateful. Oh, and eat something green at least once every two days.
Don't read reviews. You end up tailoring your whole show nervously to one person who might hate it anyway and ignoring the audience you're supposed to be performing to.
Kate Lucas: Is Selling Herself
Yes! No sleeping with comics. Unless they're really fit.
Lou Sanders: Say Hello To Your New Step-Mummy
Yes, I drink for a month. I'm rehearsing heavily now. Waiter!
Whose Line Is It Anyway? Live at the Fringe
My only Edinburgh rule is 'DON'T SPEND MONEY ON TOURISTY THINGS'. I went up to the castle once and had to sell my car when I got back to South Africa.
Schalk Bezuidenhout: South African White Boy
As much as we love our kids, it will be nice to have a bit of a break while we're in Edinburgh, and we want to enjoy it to the fullest. So we have agreed that for the whole month, neither of us is allowed to ask the other one for biscuits, or where their PE kit is, or to wipe their arse. Unless it's a real emergency.
It's important to have a varied diet. Sure Piemaker is great but mix it up a bit, go to Auld Jocks Pie Shoppe too. Seriously though, I am not going have a haggis pie for every other meal. I know it sounds like a pipe dream, but this year I mean it.
Action Figure Archive With Steve Mclean
I won't read reviews whilst the festival is still going on. I think a bad review or even a good review can be distracting and actually they can all wait to be read in September. By September the festival is over so it's all largely irrelevant anyway. You would know by that point yourself whether you had a good show or a bad one. And it's much easier to slash a journalist's tyres or whatever it is you do if they give you a bad review outside of fringe time without it being traced back to you. (I'm joking to be clear.)
Daisy Earl: Fairy Elephant
I've never drank in my life, or taken drugs, or killed anyone, so I don't have to worry too much about setting many rules.
Although one thing I always say to myself before the festival, is to stop asking other performers in the street "hows it going?" Cos 9/10 they'll just start crying. So now I always just say "hey, nice weather we're having, although looks like rain later, have a proper chat later, have a great festival." Then walk off.
Patrick Monahan: Started from the Bottom, Now l'm Here
This is our first Edinburgh Festival Fringe, so we expect to set some firm rules when we get there, then spend the month inevitably breaking all of them.
Last year my rule was 'get properly into Belle & Sebastian', so I guess I need to work my way through another Scottish band this time round. Let's just say Aztec Camera's Spotify streaming stats are about to get seriously skewed.
Daniel Nils Roberts: The History of the World in 1 Hour
No sex. Which shouldn't be hard because I am touring with my husband.
Lusty Mannequins: Uncommonwealth
#1: Walk PAST the food trucks now and again...
#2: Try and actually see some shows this time...
#3: Never trust a Scottish cast member who recommends you order a 'Munchie Box' for a late night snack...You'll regret it in the morning...
Whose Mind is it Anyway?
No sex until September. I become irrevocably OBSESSED with anyone who enters my lady garden. Form an orderly queue guys.
Samantha Pressdee: Covered
For me, it's kind of the opposite. I'm very bad at getting out and going to parties, so that's a rule in Edinburgh for me - to try to get out of the house as much as possible and stay out late with other comedians. I default to long walks and reading some sort of escapist fantasy or sci-fi novel when I'm stressed, so I need to remind myself to be sociable. I do love seeing other people's shows, so that's no burden.
Alice Fraser: Mythos
Limit how many times I'm allowed to go to the Edinburgh Fudge Kitchen. They are mostly food based. Yeah. They're all food based.
Richard Wright Is Just Happy To Be Involved
I've not read any press either of myself or other comedians for about 10 years. Which sometimes means I'm either the only comic in town who'll look someone in the eye the day after they've been absolutely savaged, or I'm the only one who doesn't text them when they've got a great review or landed a TV show.
Alun Cochrane: Brave New Alun
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, GO TO SLEEP BEFORE 5AM AT LEAST ONE NIGHT DURING THE FRINGE. And eat a vegetable. At least one. Please. As delicious as a pizza from Palmyra is, a carrot will make you feel better.
I haven't drank for the past 6 weeks in preparation for the show. Feeling quite dehydrated to be honest. I'm funnier than this usually.
Alan Shed's Music, Comedy And Everything Else Interactive Quiz Show
I had planned to go to the gym every day and not drink at all at the Fringe, but since arriving, I've reversed it. So I'm currently on the hunt for new rules. Top contenders include "Don't eat 1,000 calories of egg and tuna salad just before bed" and "Don't drink a cup of coffee at midnight and lay awake until 5 am contemplating the point of it all."
Zach Zimmerman: Clean Comedy
Hahahahahaha!!! How. The. Hell.... do you get through this festival without getting hammered? That's insane. You need leisure time at this festival or you'll go mad by the end of it. As long as my show's good and I'm doing enough to fill my room everyday, that's it. They're my rules; fill the room and make the full room laugh.
Adam Rowe: Pinnacle
We eat a lot of soup as the oil lines the throat and helps prevent voice loss, and it's full o'goodness. But be aware, eating liquidised foodstuff for breakfast is terribly upsetting for hungover flatmates and they will hate you.
Jekyll Vs Hyde
I'm renowned for being found face down in a wheelie bin after a night out, usually in Paradise Palms. I'll wake up and eat my weight in chips until the salt corrects any imbalance. Then I'll do that on a loop until I look as dehydrated as Keith Richards. Then after a week I'll fill a vase with Dioralyte and hope for the best. Ironically my 'Edinburgh rule' is always don't drink.
Diane Chorley: Down the Flick
I try to plan out my festivals as much as I can, so I have some semblance of a daily routine. There's so much to do, so many shows I want to see and of course my own show to work on, and I want to make the most of everything. I have a breakdown of each day in my notes on my phone, so get it done - delete it - move on to the next one. Other than that - GET SOME SLEEP - there is only so far one can run on coffee.
Justin Heyes - White Muslim
I've got into climbing this year and I'm going to try to go climbing twice a week. I don't know if I'd call that a rule - my show finishes at 1:20 pm every day and I'm mainly just looking for something to fill a few hours until it's a reasonable time to have a Carling.
David McIver: Teleport
Have dinner for breakfast, it's better for keeping your energy up.
Darren Walsh: Punimal Farm
Be friendly to flyerers. There's always point midway through though, where one jumps out enthusiastically and I don't even make eye-contact with them as my soul has shrivelled up.
Maddie Campion: Truly Maddie Deeply
I work from home nowadays and my employer expects me to keep putting the hours in whilst I'm up at the Fringe. So my Edinburgh rule is to log in to our system every day and send an email to a colleague or manager asking as many time-consuming questions as possible. Just keep sticking that work-ball back in their court for a month.
Nick Horseman: The Rhyme Scheme
I like to go up Arthur's Seat once a week during the Fringe. It's a great place to reconnect with the normal world and escape the Fringe bubble.
Jeremy Nicholas: What Are You Talking About?
I'm going to do my best not to drink this month, as my wife is 8 months pregnant and may go into labour at any given moment. That said, I've written a joke where I have to have a G&T on stage (yes, I know I could fake it but I am a slave to my art).
Robin Morgan: What a Man, What a Man, What a Man, What a Mighty Good Man (Say It Again Now)
We've got no rules of our own, but we do follow the golden rule of Fringe closely - haemorrhage money.
I am not allowing myself to commit any major crimes for the ENTIRE month, as a way of keeping focused on the show. I have a little app and it tells you how many days you've gone without committing treason, grand theft auto, jewellery heist etc. It really helps motivate you when you get a little alert that says 'it's been 27 days since you did any counterfeiting'.
Heidi Regan: Heidi Kills Time
Always be awesome. I'm a cunt most of the year. But during the fringe I'm just an awesome guy every single day. A funny, awesome guy.
Tony Law: Identifies
Sorry we stopped comprehending when you said "not drinking".
Don't bring home more flyers than you left the house with. Don't bring home more flyerers than you left the house with.
Rachel Creeger - Hinayni!
My only rule is no public breakdowns before the 11th August. It's an arbitrary date but I've managed to hit this target every year.
Jen Brister - Under Privilege
A sausage supper a day, keeps a psychotic episode at bay.
Jack Rooke: Love Letters
I'm going to buy a blender and make loads of cool smoothies to stay super #healthy and I'll post about it on social media loads.
Everyone is going to be super jealous of my health regime and come to my show to see how ripped I've got.
An Audience with Yasmine Day
I try to add and a handful of spinach to all my meals, hot or cold. That works until week three when you'll find me face-down in a box of Oink hog roast trying to persuade myself that crackling is a vegetable.
John Pendal: Monster
No talking about Trump for the month. DAMMIT. Did it again.
Baby Wants Candy: The Completely Improvised Full Band Musical