FRINGE PREVIEW – Jim Smallman: Tattooligan

Jim Smallman: Tattooligan

Jim Smallman: Tattooligan

With tattoos all over his body (including one with the name of his show on his stomach), Jim Smallman is often judged by people who don’t know him.

“They won’t sit next to me on the bus or the train,” he says. “But none of my tattoos are offensive. I’m a dad, trying to do my best for my daughter; trying to be a good family member and a good son.”

Jim’s show – Tattooligan – aims to show the man behind the ink.

“Yes, I’m a bit of an idiot,” he laughts, “but I’m a harmless one! I was hosting a tattoo convention, and I there was a company there called The Mighty Tattooligans. I liked that and thought I’d name my show after it.”

“Then I thought, ‘why not get it tattooed on my stomach – I bet no-one’s done that before’. So I got a friend to do it – a tattoo artist, and he did ask me if I was sure, as the stomach’s supposed to be the most painful place possible to get tattooed. I’d had loads done before, so I thought it wouldn’t be that bad.”

“It was the worst pain in the history of time. I struggle to watch that video now – but at least it shows I’ve suffered for the show!”

Jim was last at the Fringe in 2009 and this year is his first full run.

“I’ve gone through all the emotions,” he says. “Excitement, fear, waking up in terror in the middle of the night…but I’m resigned to it now! And I’m proud of the show and it’s previewing well.”

“Edinburgh’s insane! I’m in training for it at the moment – I don’t drink, but I know as soon as I get there and start walking past The Piemaker and Monster Mash…Just so long as I don’t get the flu like everyone else seems to!”

“And I’m the world’s most suggestible human being,” he says. “I’ve made a bet with fellow comic Martin Mor – he’s also got loads of tattoos – that whoever sells the least tickets in Edinburgh will get the other’s name tattooed on them. And other comics are already asking me to accompany them to get their own tattoos done.”

“I’m sure that after the month, I’ll probably have four or five more done myself.”

As the interview ends, we think we may have managed to get him to promise to get an ‘Edinburgh Spotlight’ tattoo added to the list…

Tattooligan runs from 3-28 Aug (not 17) at the Gilded Balloon at 17:45. More details are on the Fringe website.

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