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Planning Retirement Online

Now is the time to get your act together!

“I just deleted all the German names off my phone. Now it’s Hans free!” Darren Walsh won the Dave funniest joke of the Edinburgh Fringe this year with this one liner.

But there were so many others that could equally have been declared a winner…we liked Masai Graham’s : “What’s the difference between a hippo and a zippo? One is really heavy, the other is a little lighter”

This year at the show, which ended last week, the jokes, and the acts, the music and the performers just kept coming and coming. All in all there were thousands of shows across hundreds of venues in the three weeks of chaos and fun and huge talent that made up the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

And it is not all about youngsters. Certain it is a fabulous opportunity for young artists and performers to test their acts and perhaps get their first break of performing in public. But it can also be an amazing opportunity for older people too. This year the oldest performer was Gladys Bell who is in her 90th year.

For most of us, those teenage dreams of being a top comedian, a singer or other artist soon faded into the background as we immersed ourselves in work, homes, families and the nitty gritty of everyday life.

But now, in retirement or approaching retirement, suddenly a whole new world is opening up. A world where for the first time in your life you have time.

If you have always had a dream of testing your jokes, your musical talents, your dramatic voice or other skills, why not go another step and register for next year’s Fringe Festival? You have nearly a year to perfect your performance and organize your show.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, to give it its proper name, is the largest arts festival in the world and even if your performance falls flat, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the rest of the great and sometimes not so great performances that abound across the town.

It all began in 1947 when eight theatre companies turned up, uninvited, alongside the acts performing in the first Edinburgh International Festival.

Since then it has become an open access arts festival, where anyone who can find a venue to perform in can put on a show. There is no selection process and no official programme. There are no fees for performers. All the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society does is provide resources, support and exposure to help make a show a success.

The Show has certainly been the starting point for many artists who have gone on to make international reputations and even if you are not aiming that high, well it might be just a fabulous experience to perform in front of a live audience – and possibly some key members of the media as well who always attend the festival.

And if you don’t feel confident to put on a show, there is also the alternative of turning up as a street performer;, again all ages are welcome and in previous years have offered an amazing range of entertaining acts and performances. This video shows some good highlights of street performers at an earlier Edinburgh Fringe.

There is a huge amount of information and help on line about taking part, click here for one key site and there is a special participants telephone number at 0131 226 0026 although right now they are just clearing up after this year’s performance before they start looking at the 2016 festival, again taking place in August.

So – a year to go – maybe this finally is the time to get your act together!

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