If you’re off to the Fringe then it’s quite likely you’re about to go into a flatshare situation. It’s also quite likely that the sharing of living quarters is not the highest priority thing on your mind. People go to Edinburgh for various reasons, and it’s very few who claim that their main motivation for going is to bolster the bank balances of the many property owners who cunningly charge about 25% of their annual property income in a single month to unsuspecting festival-goers.
Here’s a question: if you are going to the Fringe, what’s the reason? This may be relevant for what may be about to unfold in your temporary domestic life. I can imagine a few motivations for going to the Fringe:
- I want to see loads of shows
- I want to work hard on my show, promoting myself and developing myself
- I want to hang out with a load of my mates and have fun
- It’s a break from real life
- I aaaammm gooonnnnaaa paaaaaarrrrrtyyyyy
My imagination, apparently, stops at five motivations. I know of a sixth. I asked one performer, once, why he was doing the Fringe, and his answer was, quite simply, “Revenge”. This makes me wonder how many other people have dark purposes, and how sane the average Fringe performer is (see tomorrow’s post).
Anyway, for harmony in your flat, you might want to consider whether you have shared motivations with the people around you. If you want to party while they want to tighten up their jokes for tomorrow, it’s gonna get messy.
Ian, whose site this is, recommends that the Edinburgh flat is a safe haven away from the Fringe. Sure, you may end up talking about how it’s going “out there”, but it makes sense to use the flat as a place you take a break. Given how the stereotypically money hungry Scots are being quite money-grabbing with their tenancy agreements (it’s a sellers’ market to be honest), treating the flat with respect may be a good way to avoid a lot of deposit losing.
Looking at it another way, the Edinburgh Fringe is most definitely a comedy marathon (I know, this cliché probably doesn’t need trotting out), so you need to pace yourself. If you overdo it everywhere, you’ll soon lose your energy, voice and general mojo. Your flat can be a good place to recharge.
If there’s one good bit of advice which I can dole out, and which is too late to use, it would be to choose flatmates carefully. They should be chosen on the strength of whether they’re going to be easy to live with, rather than ANY OTHER criteria.
Now, I’m lucky to be part of a flatshare household which has been living together at the Fringe for a few years. We know what to expect of each other, and the most disruptive thing that anyone’s done was on the night I came home with a hospital tag on me… which wasn’t my fault…
By agreeing a few things up front, like who pays for the handwash, and whether it’s Kleenex or Izal, you can avoid descending into some real-world version of The Young Ones, as you try to remember what it’s like to live like a student again. Maybe you’re still a student, so maybe it’s all normal to you, but to most people out there, there’s adjusting to be done to the communal living, especially as sometimes you don’t get the privacy of a normal houseshare.
Ask people for their flatshare horror stories. My favourite is of a particular dripweed who was sharing the sofa in someone’s flat, which was sited near the kitchen. One of the other flatsharers had a habit of raiding the fridge in the middle of the night, naked. A man’s bits, illuminated by fridge-light while you’re trying to sleep, that’s probably more boundary-pushing than most of the Fringe shows that people think will change their world.
I’m personally counting down the days to re-joining my virtual Fringe domestic community. I hope other people are too.
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