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Eight Steps Q&A: Joz Norris

By | Published on Tuesday 6 August 2019

Comedian Joz Norris offers some tips on how to get the most from the Edinburgh Festival, in eight steps…

1: Beyond posters and reviews, how do you suggest people pick shows to see at this year’s Fringe?
Oh boy, oh boy, talk to people. Sometimes the most incredible shows aren’t even the ones with all the great reviews or the most eye-catching posters. See what people are really excited to tell you about, it might be something that’s flying completely under the radar.

2: What tips have you got for people trying to see as many shows as possible in one day – how can you power through?
Red bull and cranberry juice keeps me going during the Fringe. I think it rots my insides, but it sure keeps me awake.

3: When people are reaching peak Fringe, what tips do you have for chilling out during the Festival?
Last year I went swimming every morning and that helped a lot. I also love climbing a big hill, either Arthur’s Seat or Calton Hill. And there’s a particular cafe I love to go to because nobody knows about it. I’m not telling you where it is.

4: What things do you think should be on every Fringe-goers Edinburgh Festival bucket list?
Make sure you have a total nervous breakdown at some point. You’re really not doing it right if that doesn’t happen. Also try to wake up in a toilet about halfway through the month, that’s happened with an alarming regularity to me.

5: Beyond the flyer, what tips have you got for performers trying to get people into their shows?
I honestly think the most important thing is to have an amazing show you love and care about every day. Also, invest in your flyerers. Give them your time and energy and care and support, because their enthusiasm for your show will count for a lot.

6: The Fringe can be great for finding a new audience. What tips would you have for staying connected with that new audience beyond Edinburgh?
Social media is obviously great for that, but if you meet audience members from cities you don’t often perform, ask them to hook you up with local venues or promoters so you can give those new audiences opportunities to see you live and follow the development of your work.

7: Performing at the Fringe is partly about building a network. What tips have you got for people looking to make connections in the industry?
I think try not to reach too hard for that sort of thing. Invite people you’d like to work with, and stay in touch with them, and if you’re the right sort of thing then they may well try to work with you. But don’t come off too needy or desperate. Those things come to you at the right time if you work hard enough on making something good, and grasping too much for them I think makes them harder to reach.

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

‘Joz Norris Is Dead. Long Live Mr Fruit Salad’ was performed at Heroes @ The Hive at Edinburgh Festival 2019.

Photo: Steve Ullathorne