Performer: Peter Michael Marino Photograph by: Alicia Levy Show: Show Up Venue: Laughing Horse @ The Counting House Lounge Promoter: Civil Disobedience Online: Box Office Facebook Website
Tell me about your Edinburgh show.
I’m returning to Edinburgh with my semi-improvised solo comedy “Show Up” which puts a twisted spin on the traditional solo show by making it about the good, bad, and ugly experiences of the audience. I ask the crowd for things from their disastrous jobs and love life stories to life-changing moments, childhood traumas, and addictions. Then I create a solo show on the spot, incorporating all of their suggestions while they control the set, prop, and sound design. I also delve into my own mental health challenges. Oh, and there’s a party.
Tell me about your first gig.
My very first gig was in Catholic school and I’ve erased all memories of those seven abusive years from my nun-battered mind. My first “real gig” in NYC was as a cast member of STOMP where I banged on bins and things for over five years. I still can’t hear very well, but that gig allowed me see the world and pay off my student loans.
Do you have any rituals before going on stage?
I tend to use the loo before every show. Not so much a choice, but it does seem pretty consistent. TMI?
Tell me about your best and worst review.
My worst reviews were for my West End musical flop “Desperately Seeking Susan.” Across the boards. All bad. I turned that experience into a solo comedy called “Desperately Seeking the Exit” which played EdFringe twice. That show got all raves – except from The Scotsman, who hated the show. I’m over it. I swear. Really. I’m fine. My best review was from a 12-year old kid who saw “Show Up” and said “If that guy with social anxiety can do a show, I can do anything.” Sadly, he wasn’t an actual reviewer, but it was truly the best review.
During this Edinburgh run, do you plan to read reviews of your show?
Of course I plan to read my reviews. Or have them read to me. I mean, if the good ones mean something, then the bad ones do, too. And I plan to read other shows’ reviews as well.
How do you feel about reviewers generally?
I see them as human beings doing their job, and I admire them for seeing so many shows and churning out dozens of reviews a day while sustaining themselves solely on flavoured crisps.
In April 2018, YouTube comedian, Markus Meechan (aka Count Dankula) was fined £800 for training his girlfriend’s pug dog to do a Nazi salute with its paw, in response to the phrase ‘Gas the Jews’. Do you believe Meechan committed a criminal offence, and why?
I don’t know much about laws, but he just seems like a bored wanker, so the fine is justified. Bored wankers don’t get fined often enough. Especially those who train their girlfriends’ pets.
Are there any subjects that are not suitable for comedy?
I don’t think any subject is off-limits if the comedian understands how comedy works…and it doesn’t offend me.
Have you ever gone too far?
I wish I had! I once created a public event in Edinburgh where performers threw rotten tomatoes at giant photos of all of the reviewers…and none of them seemed to care. What a waste of rotten food. Is it too late to start going too far? Because, I think I’m ready to get into some trouble.
Looking back over your time as a comedian, tell me about the best gig of your career.
The best gig of my career? What is this “career” you speak of?