Edinburgh Fringe Fest - Eden Sher
Eden Sher spent nine seasons playing enthusiastic, socially awkward, braces-wearing teenager Sue Heck in hit ABC series, The Middle. When you've played a character on TV for a decade, what exactly does it mean to "be yourself?" In her stand-up debut, she shares a comic perspective on growing up behind the lens, and life after the canned laughter stops in I Was On A Sitcom.
Eden took some time out of her ridiculously busy schedule to tell us about making the move from TV to stage, being a Mom of twins and her chronic identity confusion.
Your show is about your relationship with Sue Heck (Eden’s character in hit sitcom, The Middle) do you think you’ll EVER be separate from her? Can you be? Do you want to be?
This concept of reality blending with fiction is actually a major theme in my show, so don't wanna give *too* much away, but I will say that the answer to "Can I be?" is a hard no. Whether I like it or not, there is absolutely no disentangling our entities at this point. I spent nine years growing and living life parallel to Sue, and I like to say the two beings "collaborated" with each other, making it hard for even me to distinguish what I brought to the character and what the character did to form me. If that makes sense? And the lines between reality and fiction REALLY started to blur when they started writing in ACTUAL events from my real life into the show. One year I made a birthday video for one of my castmates (Neil Flynn, who played my dad) and then the next year they wrote an episode where Sue did that for Mike. So if you'd like to come see me unpack nine years of identity confusion and also watch me re-enact the day I gave birth to my children (I swear they're actually related!), come on down folks!!!
What’s the best thing about doing a live show?
It sounds so cheesy, but honestly it's the thrill of not actually knowing what's going to happen. Obviously, I know the lines I've rehearsed and will 99% of the time say, but once you're on stage, it's no longer a performance you have control over. It's kind of an immersive, collective experience with the audience, and the whole show can differ based on the energy of the audience. And having the immediate feedback of real-life humans is such an adrenaline rush, even if a joke bombs, the singular experience of it just HAPPENING is such a rush.
How does live performance differ from TV?
There are pros and cons to both. TV obviously if you mess up, or if you don't like the way you said a line, you can just restart again, or do another take immediately. But when you film a TV show, you are saying the same lines for one specific scene in a vacuum over and over and over again, and you start to lost sight of if what you're saying is funny at all, or if even English. There is such a lack of control with live theatre and that can be kind of exhilarating. Also, there is something uniquely rewarding about performing in front of new people every night who are seeing the material for the first time.
How is twin Mom life treating you?
Soooooo much better now that my kids are older. It's still EXHAUSTING but exhausting in a way that is also super fun. Having twin newborns I'm pretty sure is legally considered torture in some places, but now they are no longer potato blobs who can't support their own necks, and we have inside jokes and do bits and I can talk to them without feeling like everything I'm saying is just going into potato blob void. And of course, they've provided me with TONS of material and this whole show would not exist without them, so I can't be too mad.
What are you most looking forward to about Fringe apart from performing?
Honestly doing daytime Fringe with my kids. I have never been to Edinburgh before (or Scotland at all!) and I didn't realize there was gonna be a ton of kid stuff to do during the day and I am absolutely pumped to do a ton of stuff with them. Also of course seeing other peoples' shows, but also just exploring the city! It looks so fucking cool. And hopefully, my kids come back with a very fun Scottish accent.
Eden Sher: I Was On A Sitcom will be performed at 8.20pm in Gilded Balloon Teviot (Turret) from 2nd – 28th August (Not 14th or 15th)