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Fringe Q&As: Dane Baptiste

Dane Baptiste talks trips to Ikea and performing to the lovelorn at singles' nights.

Tell us about your Fringe show

Citizen Dane is a show about not fitting in with the rest of society and the world at large, and how I muddled through a confusing childhood and adolescence, and how I plan to fit in as a citizen of the world as an adult.

How does it feel to be playing the Fringe for the first time?

It's not my first time doing an entire run; but it is the first time I'll be doing my own show. It seems kind of daunting, but I'm mainly concerned with getting an audience that actually want to see me.

If I achieve that, and can perform this here 'life story' with confidence and consistency, we'll have a show on our hands!

Best live act seen at Fringe?

Can't say just one; shows have been good for different reasons.

If I have to narrow it down, I'd say Hannibal Burress, Daniel Simonsen and Bjorn Gustafsson.

Best thing about the Fringe?

Being in a place where you are fully immersed in your art form, and surround my others which can influence and inspire you, and having patrons that genuinely care about comedy being there to see you.

Worst thing about the Fringe?

That this hotbed of comedy means that egos become inflated from the overrated and sexually frustrated making up for the 11 months they're not dated, and nights when they bombed.

Also it's expensive, it's like fresher's week, except I care about what I'm there for.

If you were not a performer/comedian what would you be doing?

I would definitely be on a written warning wherever I was working; with a frustrated partner trying to get me to do commitment activities like go to ikea, with a broody mother wanting me to reproduce to 'correct her mistakes'. In short, there is no 'Plan B'.

What do your family think of your show?

They've not all watched it; I guess because I lived it, and also because they have a selective memory and refuse to deny/corroborate some of the events.

How do you combat pre-gig nerves?

I don't know, I tend to re-read my set, until it is burned onto my synapses, that and pacing and occasion chain smoking (not really mum, I was holding that 10 pack for a friend).

Also I go to unhappy place, (Sunday night, 11pm 4 years ago), and once I compare the 2, I am able to perform.

Worst on stage experience?

Most recently was booked to perform at a singles' night.

I don't want to say 'on stage' that would imply there was one, but no, just fisher price standard microphone and PA system, where I was expected to entertain these scattered masses of lovelorn, insecure, embittered and inebriated balls of pheromones.

How do you recover from a hefty heckle? Do you have a set of stock replies?

Heckles aren't that hard to deal with; most paying audiences have paid to see you do well, and support you dispatching hecklers.

Essentially I just like to remind them that you making comments in the anonymity of the dark surrounded my your friends makes you the opposite of brave. Also breaking down their comments.

What do you love about Scotland?

I love the Scottish proximity to England but your adherence to your own currency, and the fact that you accept Scottish tender from me without triggering the silent alarm as with most vendors.

What do you like about Edinburgh

It's the home of the fringe, and I like that during this time, most people respect you outside of an on-stage capacity, it's like the comedy Olympics.

What's the most Scottish thing you've done?

I'm 1/8th Scottish it actually turns out, although upon seeing me; most people would not see that as the 8th most likely on my person, but I stole whisky from an English man, and tossed a 'cabre' at him. It was a stick, but I still took that whisky- for FREEDOM!

Who's your favourite Scottish comedian?

I can't choose one! I'd say those who give man 'hoots' would be Susan Calman, Larry Dean and the man Frankie Boyle.

Dane Baptiste's debut stand up show 'Citizen Dane' will be at the Pleasance Courtyard from 30th July - 24th August for tickets go to www.edfringe.com

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