This is sort of two questions; what inspired me to write this show and what on earth possessed me to perform a one-woman show in the first place. The first question is easier.
The show is called 'Primates', and it's loosely about my degree in Anthropology. It's about evolution and how we got here, and all these things about being human that I think are fascinating and I hope other people will too. It's got stuff about history, and weddings, and dating, and sex, and creation stories, and Disney villains, and there's a bit with a homophobic dolphin, so, you know, all the classics.
The stories about me in it are all true and the facts are all real, so I guess it's just everything I've ever thought was funny or interesting condescended down into an hour?
The second question is one I ask myself pretty much everyday. What am I doing? Have I lost my mind? What gave me the impression that I was so great that people should have to pay to hang out with me? I remind myself of several things when I have those sort of existential breakdowns and have to lie face down on the living room floor. That you have to do your 10,000 hours. That making things is the first step on the way to making good things. That fear and creativity walk hand in hand and if you want to work with one of them, you have to accept that the other is coming along for the ride.
But mostly I remind myself that the option was not doing it, and growing up to be the cranky old lady at the party going 'I could have done that'. How much better to say 'oh I did that, it was a DISASTER' and tell your grandchildren's favourite funny story about your 2017 Edinburgh show. That's the option for me please.
‘Tessa Coates: Primates’ is at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival from 2nd to 26th August.