As anyone who follows me will know I am brilliant at Twitter. I get the tone just right, am funny and concise and don’t get drawn in to rows or tweet about personal stuff. It’s an excellent promotional tool that I use to full potential in selling myself. And that was a joke for the people who do follow me, the ones reading this that do not will just take that at face value so no harm done.
Promotion is key up at the Fringe, (OH RAY YOUR BLOG IS SO INSIGHTFUL) but it’s a very hard thing to do with any originality. Today I went down to one of my posters on Nicolson Street and wrote “I’m an idiot” on my forehead, because that makes me very endearing and people will think some other jealous comedian wrote it so it’ll elevate me in standing or they will feel sorry for me. Either way it will translate into sales so that can only be a good thing, and don’t forget it was me that wrote it and I didn’t just find it that way this morning. If I had have just found it then it may have upset me a little bit but it was me that definitely wrote it so don’t worry. I also have absolutely no argument with the sentiment; I’d have had it printed on there in the first place if my head had been more sorted when it was being designed…
If you are normal you perhaps won’t know this but there is a great divide in opinion amongst the comedic community about retweeting, specifically retweeting praise. Amongst the cool kids, whoever they are, it is looked down on hugely – I’ve spoke to many an act who has waxed on about how they wouldn’t want to see loads of retweets about other acts and so would unfollow them, that it was just an ego wank, that it showed desperation or whatever, and to some degree with all of these points I concur.
What has always made me rather frowny though is when somebody follows somebody else on Twitter and then gets angry at what that person is writing or promoting on there. It’s a completely black and white argument, when we break it down to it’s bare bones it is stalking someone and then getting angry about what you see. I’ve had it loads of times, loads and loads, people announcing their departure with a dig, this bizarre feeling of entitlement and editorial control over somebody that they followed in the first place. It appears to bring out the very worst in people, it’s the judging mentality that has been so prevalent throughout the public since Simon Cowell brainwashed them into thinking that their opinion held some sway about how entertatiners should perform – if you don’t like it, you tell that fucker. You tell them how shit they are, go you! You know better than they do! In fact, ring this phone number and vote and make me a shitload of money so I can continue to subjugate and control you from a position of power you absolute fucking moron. Buy the cd afterwards too if you’re that thick. And shut down that musical, we can work it in our favour for tax purposes. In my opinion…
Seem to have got distracted. Back on topic now. You see, there is a difference between normal twitter and Edinburgh twitter, and I am primarily talking about Edinburgh twitter (although most of my points still stand for normal twitter really, just can’t be bothered differentiating). So, at this time of year there is a mental quandary going on in the mind of all straight thinking comedians over Twitter etiquette, we are mostly all trying to shift tickets, trying to get people through the door, and we are all mostly all getting tweeted at from the people who have been through our door already with (usually) kindness about our work. We are in a situation where we want to encourage and reassure people that our show is good, and we also have the testimonials to do that with, but this sticking point of the etiquette of embarrassment welded to the very notion of retweeting praise has us hogtied. We don’t want to be seen as that guy (I include “gal” in that, it’s just a quicker way of saying it, you definitely know there was nothing inherently sexist about me saying that so don’t start with it) who blows his own trumpet (or fanny).
Oh I’ve just been out for a few hours. Weird day. I’ll attempt to carry on.
So anyways, point is, we have the tools, we have the technology but we aren’t allowed to use it just in case one of the cooler kids says it’s not cool or unfollows us. And is that a good reason? Nope. Well not for me anyway. Like, it’s not. Couldn’t give a shit.
So you can call me vain or insecure or any of the easy things, but I’m retweeting praise for my show. I’m proud of my show, it’s mentally exhausting to do every single night talking about some of the stuff I talk about it, at the very least I should be allowed to share thanks or somebody saying they liked what I did? Such a crime? And then somebody else may see that and take a punt on me, and they may hate it and tweet that. Chances are I’ll retweet that as well, as anyone who has seen the @peacockgamble account on a morning after we’ve been on the telly will testify. One man said he was going to kill us. Still hopeful.
As far as I am concerned, my feed is my twitter. Mine. This is the exact same argument I have every time I’m advised not to tweet when in certain moods, when things are bleak or whatever, or when I just want to get something off my chest. There’s not one follower on my twitter who I made be there, I’m relatively certain I’ve never asked a soul to follow me. I’m totally certain that at most of my gigs when it comes up (certainly in this show where I have a story about having to leave Twitter) I actively discourage people from following me. It’s not a double bluff, I make it very clear. Don’t. Do not. You won’t like it. If people are going to unfollow me because I have retweeted praise or attempted promotion or had a bad night of demons on my feed then fuck’em. They were never going to buy a ticket to see me anyway. If it was a friend who unfollowed me then that tells me all I need to know of what regard they held me in. You either support someone in all weathers or you can go, I’m not going to look at something like Twitter and have the arrogance to dismiss a person because it takes two seconds out of my day to scroll through the stuff I don’t want to see. Is it such a big deal in real life?
So if you’re following a comedian who’s up at the fringe just now, please just deal with it. They’re really not doing any harm, they’re just trying to get people through a door to see what they’ve worked so hard on. And if you have to go, then go, you are very, very important and we totally understand that you simply haven’t got time to follow someone who you followed, but don’t be a dick and tell us that. Don’t decide that you’re opinion on what they should and shouldn’t tweet is of any relevance to them whatsoever. Bring a show to the fringe yourself, work your arse off on it, spend every penny you have putting it together and bringing it here, then try and persuade people to come see it. I give you three days before you start looking at your Twitter and thinking it’s worth a shot. That doesn’t make you an egomaniac or a dick or a show off, it’s basic common sense. Same as sticking a quote from a review on a poster, it’s a tiny bit of validation in a throbbing cesspool of competition.
(I am aware I have used “Twitter” and “twitter” in this blog. This is completely intentional and not just as a result of not going to the trouble of proof reading and correcting. As you were.)
RAY PEACOCK – HERE COMES TROUBLE – 9:25pm Underbelly, 30 July-24 August 2014. Tickets at underbellyedinburgh.co.uk or 0844 545 8252