In her one woman Fringe show, stand-up comic, writer, actor and model Ellyn Daniels takes us on an intoxicating ride from Orlando to Togo, from ballet to bulimia, from walking the runways of Paris to blacking out in Hollywood mansions, and from sitting on the precipice of suicide to finding salvation through stand-up comedy.
Daniels puts a hilarious spin on her most psychologically demoralizing moments in this unapologetic, soul-bearing tale of one girl’s journey from humiliation to liberation.
AAA caught up with Ellyn earlier this week for a chat.
How has your Fringe been so far?
So far it’s been very cool! The venue I am performing in (Just the Tonic @ The Caves) is incredible, the staff there are lovely people and I’m meeting amazing people whilst flyering around Edinburgh. And every once and a while, I look up and see the beauty of the city around me, and I am astounded.
Tell us a bit about the show you’re in?
I’m performing a one woman show called Emotional Terrorism. I started writing it as an attempt to understand the voices in my head and it covers my journey from starting off as a ballet dancer, being scouted by a modelling agent in Paris while I was in high school, developing an eating disorder while modelling as a teenager, contracting an STI from my first boyfriend who was more than twice my age, moving to Hollywood to become an actor, descending into alcoholism and ultimately finding salvation through comedy. It’s my life and it’s a dark comedy.
What’s the audience reaction been so far?
Audiences are really moved by the show. They find it much more poignant than I had ever intended it to be and I am really grateful for that. People have come up to me crying afterwards, other people have laughed raucously throughout the show, and many people have told me the show has inspired them to get back to creative endeavours they had left behind.
Do you read your reviews? Do negative ones bother you?
Yes, I read reviews. Yes, the negative ones bother me.
There’s thousands of shows on – why should Fringe-goers fork out to see yours?
They should see mine because it is unique, it is an emotional rollercoaster, and it will leave them feeling inspired to embrace themselves, their lives and their own story.
Are there any other shows on this year you’d recommend?
Lauren Pattison: Lady Muck.
What’s on your hit list to see?
Daniel Sloss: Now.
What would you like to do in Edinburgh on your day off?
I want to go to Leith and see the sea.
Do you agree with those who say the Fringe has become too big?
I’ve never been to the Fringe before so I have no idea what it was like when it was smaller.
Can you recommend a bar or restaurant in Edinburgh?
The Pakora Bar @ 96 Hanover Street.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen in Edinburgh this year?
I’ve not seen anything particularly strange yet, but I look forward to it.
Sell your show in no more than ten words
A hilarious, heart-breaking tale of one girl’s desperation to matter.
Ellyn Daniels: Emotional Terrorism, Just The Tonic @ The Caves (The Big Room), 9pm, until 26 August (not 14). www.edfringe.com