In this series of brief interviews, cruise ship worker, wannabe performer and celebrity stalker Lance talks about fame with the boldest and brightest names at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Lance also hosts his un-famous chat show “Late with Lance!” every day at 2:30pm at the Counting House. Fame may cost, but the show and this blog are free. www.LanceShow.com
Hi everybody! My name’s Lance. What’s yours? I chatted with Erin Layton about her solo show Magdelan, which plays at Paradise in The Vault. And we talked about fame…
Lance: Erin Layton! This is exciting. First of all, is that your real name?
Erin Layton: It is!
How come you never thought about changing it?
It never occurred to me to change my first name. Erin means Ireland, ya know.
What does the Layton mean?
I’m not sure, but it’s Irish as well.
Keeping it in the family, then. So, you’re well known around the world for your work. When did you first realize you were famous?
(laughs) I guess I’ve never really thought of myself as famous before, but I guess it was probably in my third year …
Of the play. The third year of the life of the play. (laughs) I realized that I didn’t have to do as much work to get audiences to come see the show, which was great because people started to pay attention and then started to say, “Oh, I’ve heard of this project and I want to see it.
We in show business call that “word-of-mouth.”
So, yes. Word of mouth made me famous.
How much did it cost you to become famous?
Oh, lordy. Let’s see. If I have to add up the last four years where I’ve been producing this play by myself, I dunno, like $20,000? Not too bad. But, ya know, that’s a lot.
I can’t think of her name right now, but I think this other actress spent a lot more money to become famous. How much do you think Hugh Jackman spent to become famous?
Ballpark? Like, $500,000? I’m not really sure. Maybe for acting classes? Maybe he got some work done? He looks fantastic. I’m sure he hires different trainers for different parts of working out. I’m sure he does Pilates. And he must have a dietician.
Can you think of any people who let themselves go who remained famous?
I can’t think of anyone on screen. Maybe for stage, but I can’t think of any names.
Gary Busey and Kathleen Turner are the first ones I think of. What’s the worst thing about fame?
That you’re always in the public eye?
What’s wrong with that?!
You feel like you have to live up to a certain expectation all the time, so when youth fails, and it often does because we get older and that’s just the maturing of life, you have to keep up with certain images and expectations of what the world wants of you. I think that that corrupts.
That’s actually sad and beautiful at the same time. What’s the best thing about fame?
I think the best thing is becoming known and the thrill of knowing that people are watching you and paying attention to your work and praising what you do. That’s exciting, right?
I think the best thing about fame it that you have to do less work. You get more work by doing less work! Let’s hope that happens for both of us. With all the famous people at the Edinburger Fringe, how do you think someone becomes famous there?
My impression has been that they win some sort of award, like a Fringe First Award, or their shows sell out, or they have some sexy street strategy where people find out about them quickly or they already have a following before they come to the fringe, and that following is international in scope so it helps them to be on the map once they arrive. That’s my impression.
Do you have a sexy street strategy plan?
There’s no sexiness in my street strategy plan. I mean, my costume. It’s all buttoned up. I’ll be in my costume on the streets every day engaging people with my Irish dialect, so watch out.
People really like accents.
We’re trying to make Magdelan quiet to balance out the loudness and color of the street engagement – and trying to maintain the status of the piece, which is quite quiet and dramatic, so I might be doing a silent vigil through the streets.
I love this. You’re not pushing the river. You’re letting it carry you. For me, I can’t help but push everything! Hey, Erin, have you ever seen the movie Fame?
I have. Years ago.
Do you remember your favorite character?
I can see her face, but I can’t remember her name…
To quote the song Fame…“Remember my name, FAME!”
She’s the choreographer! She’s my favorite. Her charisma. Her assertiveness. Her talent. Her drive is really inspiring. I always wanted to be a dancer, but that never came to fruition in my life.
Some of us aren’t blessed with that gift. But, it’s never to late to be what you might have become. Or something like that. What advice would you give me about becoming famous?
I’d say, keep a level head and keep amusing yourself and keep being yourself. Keep asking these questions that are refreshing to chat about. They’re not pretentious. You’re not pretentious – so I’d say keep that up, Lance.
Oh, Erin! Talking to you has been a nice respite from all the loudness and color, so thank you and good luck with your success!
Thank you so much, Lance!
The little known stories of the women and girls who were sent to wash away their sins in commercial laundries run by orders of nuns in mid 20th Century Ireland are revealed in a singular, compelling, multi-character performance. Magdalen was the recipient of the Best Documentary Script at the United Solo Festival in 2013. https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/magdalen