One of the best things about being on the fringe circuit is getting to rub shoulders with artists you admire and respect. When it comes to celebrities I like to keep the myth and the reality separate, often deciding not to say "hi" at that opportune moment. There's rarely much to be gained from it after all and unfortunately a lot to be lost. But one of the most important parts of a festival is getting down to the nitty gritty with other theatre makers. You can learn so much from these interactions with creatives from all different walks of life. Some of it is useful, some of it not so much; some is just entertaining to listen to for a while.
But every so often you have an expectation that just can't be fulfilled. These are disappointing and yet so valuable. When someone you respect surprises you with a hidden ego or judgemental quip it really slams things into perspective. Of course, it's not what you hoped for but now you can really analyse what they were saying. It's more than likely they are no more or less successful than you are and sometimes it's not always the worst thing to take people down off that pedestal. I find that in these situations I am more able to clearly see through the facade of what they say and what is the truth of the matter. This is so helpful when it comes to critiquing my own work. Not only does this show me that I'm actually doing just as well as many others but it also reminds me of the power of how you present information.
I'm a pessimist, everyone knows this. I'd rather promise less and deliver more. But am I doing myself a disservice? Should I invest more time in talking myself up and never mentioning the negatives. That's what everyone else does it seems. I don't want to sound arrogant though. Obviously when selling a show to a potential audience member I don't neg out all over the place, but maybe artists aren't as honest with each other as I want or expect them to be.
In this situation I can't help but think about all those people at drama school auditions who damage your vibe by smothering you in fake confidence before you go in. Is this the real world equivalent maybe? Unfortunately I feel like sometimes everyone is just out for themselves which I really dislike but i guess is the way of the world.
This is why we maybe make friends with so many stand up comedians at the fringe. They seem much more grounded and, well, negative... like me. There's no point in them talking it up. People either laughed or they didn't. And there's an honesty in that which I really like.