As the St Andrews Revue end their run at the Edinburgh Festival, a clutch of four star reviews in hand, Christy White-Spunner reflects on the travails of the actor at the Fringe.
Wake up. Cross myself. Touch door once on one side and twice on the other. Brush teeth in even amount of beats. Leave shower right foot first. Dry hair with eight beats backwards and forwards then four times in rotation. Put left shoe on before right shoe. Imagine show going badly. Cross myself.
Leave house, touch door once on one side and twice on the other. Avoid odd number of drain covers. Step on even number of drain covers. Say “Chi-ching” as loudly as embarrassment will allow on six covers. Imagine surrounding people judging me for it. Cross myself.
Snake through bike rack from the left. Listen to “Thou Shalt Always Kill” having reached the traffic lights. Finish cigarette with two lots of four puffs followed by one lot of three. Scrape foot over cigarette seven times. Play “Introdiction” followed by “Call it”. Remove headphones as soon as I see a Revue member. Imagine them judging me for being late. Cross myself.
Cross myself at two churches on the mile. Go to venue at 12.17pm. Ensure all even drain covers are stepped on on the way. Cross myself. Enter venue touching door once on one side and twice on the other. Imagine forgetting all my lines. Cross myself. Leave my water in a place where it is neither in nor out of the light. Hear “Door is open”. Imagine audience hating it. Cross myself.
Hear line I think I could deliver better. Feel arrogant. Cross myself. Assume audience are idiots when they don’t laugh at a certain line. Cross myself for doing so. Finish performance. Exit venue touching door once on one side and twice on the other. Hear congratulations. Assume it is because they feel they have to say it. Feel bad for being pessimistic. Cross myself.
Think it is because show is good. Feel arrogant. Cross myself. Bite my nail. Bite every nail for four beats. Scrape one nail against the other four times. Save this document after every sentence. Return to mile stepping on fewer even drain covers. Criticize myself for assuming I can step on fewer because show went well. Go back to step on all of them. Step twice on ones I had stepped on before to cancel the first out and then do a proper one. Cross myself at both churches on mile.
Judge everyone I think deserves it. Cross myself after each one to say sorry. Drop a flyer. Pick it up and then drop it again to cancel out mistake.
Return home. Ensure it is my right foot that lands on the last stair of each staircase. Touch door once on one side and twice on the other. Remove right shoe before left to mirror going back in time thus unmaking any mistakes I made today. Cross myself before turning lights off. Pray. Go to sleep.
Perhaps I should have mentioned that I suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.