Adelaide Fringe Festival Tour Diary: The Nicest Bad Review Ever

Tonight's sold out show.

So tonight I went from the glorious high of my second sold-out show to the low of discovering a two and a half star review on Adelaide Now.

Boo-freaking-hoo.

No really, I was quite gutted.

I hate myself for even letting something as trivial as “public validation by a stranger by way of a star chart” get to me, but there it is. I’m here blogging my entire festival experience for better and for worse and so would be a liar if I left it out. This is a crapola moment in the journey which just happens to feature me licking my quite sizeable ego’s wounds.

When I spotted it tonight online I actually gasped in horror. They hated my show?! But then as I read it I was surprised to see that it was actually quite a nice review. Indeed, there are even some quotable bits. The reviewer’s main call to action was that I should put down the music and focus on the funny. Interesting bit of trivia: I’ve been told before to put down the funny and focus on the music. (True story!)

The nicest bad review ever.

My darling hubby said this morning that it’s like she’s reviewed it as a comedy show (which it is not), rather than a cabaret (which it is).

I am perplexed.

And really disappointed.

And then I am annoyed at myself for being perplexed and really disappointed.

I mean, who really cares what one stranger thinks in star terms? The show is not for everybody, is it? Obviously it just didn’t hit her. That’s fine. Not everybody has to dig it hugely. Why can’t I just focus on the people who are loving it? I guess the key factor is that this particular stranger’s opinion – or rather, her stars – are rather public and possibly influential. I’m not worried about people reading the review, I’m worried about the people who DON’T read it and just look at those two and a half stars – which in my book, means “conceded pass” – and opt out of coming to the show. THAT is disappointing.

All I hope is that word of mouth from audience members who are into it – and these are the people I’m trying desperately to focus on – is going to be stronger than two and a half little stars in the public domain.

Found this last night on my Facebook page from an audience member. This is the stuff that warms my innards and keeps me going!

The world really doesn’t have to love me. No. Really. It doesn’t.

But given the amount of freaking blood, sweat, tears and money just to make it here…I’ll be damned if I’m not giving myself – and more importantly, my hubby and kidlets – six freaking stars for effort.

P.S. I got the most beautiful email this morning from somebody who’s already come to see the show twice this Fringe season (what a massive compliment). She wrote about the review:

“…it’s impossible to not take it personally when you put EVERY fibre of your being into it. Yes, you can’t please everyone and yes, it’s just her opinion that she’s entitled to. But of course it hurts and I think you’re incredibly brave to put yourself out there to risk that, just so that you can share it with the rest of the people who’d give it 200.5 stars. Like me. And many, many more audience members that have been healed by your show…

Thank you for putting yourself on the line to do what you do.”

Thank YOU! I can’t tell you how much I need that kind of encouragement right now! xx

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