Friday, May 27, 2011

Twentieth-twenty fifth days of summer

The Orlando Theater Fringe Festival. One of the first times I have been remotely close to feeling at home down here. I wasn't expecting it to be so big (that's what she said). The details of the event and the genuine and honest passion for the art is overwhelming. I've never met so many humble people before..... who are actors, writers, and creators. I have been stunned numerous times this week seeing a show and expecting someone to come out "That's right! I'm talented! Like my shit, bitches!". But no, I finally have that sense of community that artists are looking to one another and saying, "let's help each other survive" because if we don't, we could disappear very soon.
I've been so proud of the cleverness, risk taking, and openness of the material I've seen. I saw three one man shows and each one I wanted to thank them for leaving themselves on the stage. They all did it for the work. I haven't witnessed one person who has acted that they're better than anyone else. Actually only once, and it's ironic, or maybe not, that they were the only annoying person I came across. It's been a celebration in so many ways and I haven't even been able to take in the majority of it. One person can only do so much.
The friendliness and acceptance all around has been so satisfying. I've been able to talk to absolutely anyone I wanted to and no one is rattling off their resume or asking what you can do for them. Did you just order some food and need a place to sit? Sit anywhere. There are no cool kids tables here. We're all in the same theater geek club here.
Congratulations to all the writers, directors, and actors for a wonderful week of theater. I was invited to see some shows I never would have picked in a million years and all left me with no ideas for my writing and performing. David Lee gave an unforgettable performance and worked his way through a false fire alarm without missing a beat. How good was it? The entire crowd didn't move a muscle when the alarm went off and all prayed silently that it was a false alarm. Once we found out it was false, we blocked out the flashing strobe light that was meant to save lives and listened and concentrated on where David would take us next. Supposedly for me, it was up on stage..... thanks David.
I worry about the future of our art form and know that the passion will always be there, but fear the money won't. It was so refreshing to walk into a community that seemed to leave all egos at the door and celebrate what we were born to do. Thank you.

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