My first fringe experience was at the Edinburgh festival in 2012 performing my one-man show Herve. It all started with my end-of-year cabaret performance when I was a student at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Between songs I was telling the extraordinary tale of my adoption by an unconventional white Belgian couple who travelled the world. After my performance the principal of the college came to me and said: “You have an amazing life story, it needs to be shared. Why don’t you do a one-man show about it?”
It took me a few years before I got enough confidence to start working on it but I kept my promise. I had been to the festival as a spectator but being there with your own show was a totally different experience. Not only you are on your own on stage but also the whole show rests on your shoulders. It was nevertheless a fantastic experience and the show was nominated for an Edinburgh Fringe First award.
As a performer, I got so many things out of the fringe. I learnt to bounce off different audiences, to read the crowd and work accordingly. I also learnt to perform in front of a full house or in front of a few people with the same amount of energy, passion and enjoyment. I built up my concentration and stamina. Most importantly, I realised that the best way to handle mistakes on a live show is to accept that mistakes can occur and are part of the performance. Taking a show to Edinburgh Fringe requires a huge amount of preparation. As you are competing against so many shows it is advisable to choose the size and the location of your venue very carefully.
CV: Herve Goffings
Playing age: 30-45
Trained: Royal Northern College of Music and Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama
Theatre credits: Herve, The Full Monty, Carmen Jones, Lost in the Stars, Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, All My Sons, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Yeti: An Abominable Musical
TV/film credits include: Silent Witness, Hope Towers.
Other credits: One Direction music video, Snowghost voice-over on Google Maps
Herve Goffings was talking to John Byrne