Next up in our annual series of Fringe preview Q & A’s it’s the turn of Paula Varjack on Show Me The Money
In one sentence tell us about your show.
A playful exploration of what its like to make a living as an artist in the U.K, based on 44 interviews with artists of different ages and art forms across the country.
What made you decide to bring a show this year?
I feel we are in a darker time than we have been in recent years regarding the role of arts funding, and now more than ever I feel its important to have discussions about the value art has in our society, and why it should be supported. This is a question at the heart of the show for sure. This will be my sixth time at the Fringe, and while it is a fantastic and rich festival of arts I deeply love, it is also a place that puts many artists and companies at great financial risk each year. Many leave with debt. It has become something that has just become accepted for many as being part of it. But I find that really problematic, particularly as the artists are so financially vulnerable in general. What the show does is show the human cost behind the art we consume, and I think there is a value in Edinburgh Fringe audience members being made more aware of that, not to feel guilty about it, but maybe to value it even more.
Any advice you’ve heard or can give to anyone coming to the Fringe for the first time?
To someone who is coming as an audience member, I would say make an effort to take risks and see work that you wouldn’t normally. I think it’s important to see some shows just because you like the look of a flyer, or the sound of the person who invited you to come to their shows. The best part about Fringe is that it is a place to discover new work and challenge yourself. But I would also say be careful of not seeing too much in a day, particularly in week three.
To someone coming as a performer for the first time, I would say first and foremost be clear of why you are here and prioritise. You may only succeed in one objective, but if you focus on it, it will make it all worthwhile. Are you here to develop the show, or your work? To build a profile through connecting to audiences? To get press? Critical acclaim? To network? Focus on one thing and put your heart into it. Find ways to have down time. Have down time. Be aware it can be really overwhelming. Remember it’s only a few weeks, and it’s only a festival.
What makes your show stand out from all the others on offer? (Don’t say that it’s because you’re in it!)
It’s the only show that will tell you the stories behind all the art you will see at the festival. It will change the way you feel about how art is valued. It has a really dynamic format, somewhere between performance art, spoken word, documentary and ted talk, that will keep you constantly engaged.
What show, other than your own, do you not want to miss?
I am really excited to finally be seeing Louise Orwin’s A Girl and A Gun. I think she has a really interesting practice and have heard great things about this show. I will also most likely be seeing Rachel Marr’s Our Carnal Hearts a second time because its so, so good.
Finally, the boring but essential bit…
Name of the show: Show Me The Money
Venue: Bedlam Theatre, Venue 49
Dates: 2 August – 13 August (not 5, 6)
Time: 15.30 (55 mins)