On the Fringe: Jessica Sherr

Jessica Sherr. Picture: Moments by Alexandra
Jessica Sherr. Picture: Moments by Alexandra
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IT’S early in the evening of the 1939 Academy Awards, young Miss Bette Davis is nominated for Best Actress and the Los Angeles Times has leaked the Oscar winners early. Newspaper in hand, the bold and defiant Davis decides to leave.

This Fringe, join actress Jessica Sherr at the Assembly Rooms, as she takes you into the young starlet’s battle to win her freedom from the control of Hollywood in Bette Davis Ain’t for Sissies.

Describe yourself: I am a firecracker - sweet, petite, kooky and upbeat. I love to laugh and find humour in everyday life.

What do you do? I am an actress who loves to tell rich and meaningful stories using beautifully written dialogue, colourful characters, and imaginative costume.

Best thing about doing what you do: There is a universal truth within all of us and I love the feeling of the audience “getting it” and they are “with me”.

Worst moment ever (on stage): I was transitioning from one scene to the next and the sound technician skipped a cue, which in doing so, I skipped over an entire scene. I was in sheer dread trying to figure out how to get back on track without making it obvious what had happened.

Worst moment ever (off stage): When I was eight my grandmother Alice got mad at me and didn’t speak to me for five years.

When she finally began to talk to me again my silence was so strong that it hurt my throat to talk to her. Grandma Alice taught me to be a writer. We used to sit down at her typewriter and write stories together. Her choosing not to speak to me hurt more than harsh words themselves. It is true that silence can be deadly. I attribute all my writing talent to her.

Best Edinburgh memory: My Royal Mile Admirer. There was an older gentleman with ruddy face, big smile full of teeth and a laugh that made me giggle. He would come to see me every other day on the mile and in his heavy Scottish accent he would say, “Bette I jus luv’d ya, mi wife luv’d ya and mi daughter. You’re jus marvelous”.

Plane or Train? Plane. Skies the limit!

If you weren’t an entertainer, what would you be? I would study integrative medicine and energy healing, and travel the world helping people.

Who was the last text you received, from? My fiancé, telling me I am only able to pack one carry-on suitcase for our trip to Italy.

When was the last time you cried? Four days ago. I was having dinner with my fiancé in Florence, Italy and as we sat there it made me think about the last time I was in Italy. I was a student, early 20s and clueless and here I am now 12 years later living a life I could have never predicted. I began to tear up as I realised how lucky I am to be sitting across from a very wonderful person who only wants me to succeed.

Are you on Twitter? Yup, yup. @bettedavisaint @jessicasherr

Sell your show in five words: “Edfringe’s Sellout Show - 5 Stars!”

• Bette Davis Ain’t For Sissies, Assembly Rooms, George Street, until 24 August, 2.45pm, £10, 0131-226 0000