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  • ursulaburns2

Self-Censorship and Edinburgh Festival

In 2022 I decided at the last minute to brave it and go to Edinburgh Festival. 3 weeks before The Trucking Harpist Show opened, I began to write a show that embodied two of the most difficult years of my life.

We had all been subject to a psychological war - although not everyone knew it.

I had been down the rabbit hole from before the internet was invented. I was looking at big harma and the weather as warfare from the 90s when I first began to notice chemtrails.

When I started to write "The trucking harpist show" the material was just not funny. A series of personal losses and emotions needed to sing. That was ok.

I kept turning the dial on the subjects and seeing the same tactics.

I was criticising The Green New Deal and singing about depopulation, death and weather as warfare. Some funny songs came but mostly I wanted to process and talk about current issues.

Some of the subjects Like Covid had become clear to the masses but other subjects were untouchable. Edinburgh is the epicentre of the woke culture.

I wanted to talk about rapists in the women's prisons but I knew it would get me into trouble.

With a sinking heart on my first show, I censored myself.

The stress and pressure of performing new material. The pressure of parking, managing a harp,learning words and new songs, sound checking, setting up in 15mins and traveling in and out of a city that is too expensive for performers to afford accommodation.

My health and finances were screaming pressure at me. On stage, I burst a blood vessel. I was grieving. I could not cope with pushback or being cancelled on top of everything else.

I was dragging it up from my boots.

I always try to be authentic. I was disappointed in myself.

I look at "The Dangerous Harpist" written on the back of my truck and berate myself for not having the courage to challenge mainstream society.

I have never had a TV in my adult life I am blaming the TV for me being on the outside of popular thought. I am cursing myself all the way home from my first show, knowing that the rest of the run will pan out with me stopping before I get to my most challenging material.

Then I stop at my digs and draw in the beauty of a massive rose gold full moon. It seems to be taking up the whole sky. I am drawing strenght from the silvery light that falls on me with kindness. I try to find some self-love for even trying, but falling short.

I love the free fringe and I focused on the positive. I was in the old town for the first time with a cracking venue, a great location and a perfect time of day 6 pm. I enjoy flyering and on the Royal Mile it was easier with massive crowds. I was getting good houses and I loved the buzz of the streets and the gigantic stone scotishness of it all. The veggie haggis baked patties, bagpipes, castles tartan shops and sounds of the performers working the royal mile. The ohhhs and ahhhs of the audiences and even crowds and full moons were something to savour. I was glad I was there.....I had mussels and wine on my day off at the French cafe and busked the royal mile. I had moments of happiness.

.The next post will be one about how the Edinburgh festival has sold out to a cashless society.......

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