Funny At The Fringe – INTERVIEW – Peter Marino – Show Up

Screen Shot 2018-06-20 at 11.56.12Name Of Show: Show Up

Time: 16:45

Date:   August 2-14th, 16-21st, 23-26th

Location:  Laughing Horse @ The Counting House – The Lounge  (Venue 170)


Hello Peter! Tell us about your show Show Up? 

Show Up is a semi-improvised, semi-scripted, totally unpredictable solo comedy about the good, bad and ugly life experiences of the audience who also lend a hand in the set, props, and sound design. It also delves into some mental health stuff like social anxiety. And there’s a party!


How did you come up with the name of your show that your taking to the Fringe?

The name actually came first. I just thought it was a great title for a show. It’s a command, really. I first worked on creating a show where I just showed up to a theatre and made a show happen. That didn’t work out so well. After a few weeks of workshops with my director Michole Biancosino, the idea of spoofing a traditional solo show via improv really hit home with me. I’ve been in the solo show world for over two decades, and I have been improvising forever, and Mark Twain said, “Write what you know”, so that’s sort of what I did.


Tell us a little bit about your style of improv?

I am very much a “yes, and…” guy. In this show, since it’s solo, I mostly have to “yes, and…” myself. Constantly. My brain comes up with some pretty crazy ideas and I have to accept those offers and roll with them. I’m also hyper-aware of the audience who plays a huge part in the show, so they really do have control of where each story is going. It’s a lot of saying “yes” …which is also the theme of the show.


What will your set be about?

I never know what at least half of the show will be about. And I like that! And since the audience also controls the music and set, they give me the tools to tell me where the hour is going. But overall, in the course of an hour, a fictional solo show with a beginning, middle, and end will be created and performed.

How do you rehearse for a soloprov show? Do you have any rituals?

Really? I stretch a little bit. Sometimes, I pick a word or phrase in my mind and go through the alphabet trying to create as many rhymes as I can with the word or phrase. I think this gets me ready for whatever may come my way. I also do a little exercise where I look around the room and imagine a wee story about the object I’m looking at.


You also have a partnership with Post It! Tell us about that and how you incorporate them into your show?

I gather these life experiences from the crowd from huge revelations, to love life disasters, to crazy jobs and I write them on over-sized Post-it Notes which I incorporate into the plot of the improvised show. As I use each one, I toss the suggestion to the side. The goal being to use all 7 or 8 real-life suggestions in the plot and then do a call back to all of the suggestions at the conclusion of the improvised story. I knew I would be using a LOT of Post-It notes during the run of the show both in the show and in the marketing. So, I wrote to them over a year ago, told them about the show and how I was using their products, and they signed on to provide all of the paper materials for the show.  


What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?

Great question! I am psyched to see how David Carl’s “Trump Lear” goes down in Edinburgh, as we share the same director; and two years ago, I co-produced their previous show “Gary Busey’s One-Man Hamlet” at Underbelly. I always look forward to seeing what Neal Portenza, Lucy Hopkins, and Harmon Leon are doing. And everything from producers Richard Jordan and Civil Disobedience. I tend to map out a few shows I know I definitely want to see and then go with the flow once I’m there.


Have you done the fringe before? What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?

This is my fifth EdFringe and I have happily worked with Laughing Horse/Free Festival every time. Hard for me to say which shows have been my favourites because I tend to see at least 50 shows each fringe. I think I like “performers” more than “shows” in a way. I am really trying to think of my faves, but I just can’t narrow it down!


Some acts have already tried it and done shows in the environment  but do you think virtual reality has a space to be used in improv and what other modern technologies do you think could alter the way we interact and watch improv? 

That’s a tough one. I like VR technology and I have enjoyed many VR experiences. But, that’s generally a solitary activity and I think theater and performance are truly about a shared experience. In a way, the player in a VR game is improvising because they are just making up what they want to do next. Major credit goes to the creators of these experiences because they have to think ahead and map out so many options of where the story or game can go. I think every VR company should hire a dozen improvisors to advise!


What have been some of the most unique and different improv sets you have seen this year and why?

I’ve seen some great improvised musicals in NYC which I always admire because the musicians AND the performer are working in tandem to create something from nothing.


If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?

On Twitter @blackoutpete and on Facebook at


And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?

To have fun.




The best thing about performing at the Fringe?

Being inspired by the other shows.


The most challenging thing about performing at the Fringe? 

So many people and so much energy.


What three items are essential for a successful Fringe?

Water, patience, sleep. Is patience even an item?


What’s the secret to successful flyering?

Making a personal connection and having a short conversation with the people you are flyering. Shoving a flyer in someone’s hand is a waste of trees and time.


What are the best venue’s at the Fringe?

The ones with a bar, seats, and air conditioning.


{ photo credit for the feature photo :Alicia Levy}

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