Friday, May 25, 2012

The Fringe Week

Since the unbelievable news I received last night (chosen as a top ten show at the Fringe by the Orlando Sentinel) I have received some amazing emails, texts, postings, etc and instead of making it a facebook status, I thought I'd make a Nettle list.

1) The Fringe Festival is a two week event that 82 different shows from all over the country and world perform. Each show has 4-7 performances and there are shows going on non stop all evening and all day on the weekends. Shows can range from one man comedies, one man dramas, burlesque, dance shows, scripted comedies, improv groups, science fiction, zombies, families, cities, strippers, gay themed, straight themed, drag shows, and anything else you could imagine. Most of them are written by the performer or someone involved and makes its world premiere at the festival. Some are already published scripts and some are completely improvised on the spot. Some shows that are known to all of you started as a simple fringe show somewhere in America.

2) The artists- Some are full time performers, some are part time, and some are first time. What's most important, which you don't really get anywhere else, is the support you get from each one. No one there thinks they're better than anyone else. A success is not scoffed at but praised. A failure is consoled and usually met with more people at your next show to show support. The words thank you, congratulations, and I'm proud of you are staples at this festival. If jealousy arises, it's pushed back because we're here to celebrate the art form, theater, and community. You can sit down with anyone at anytime and start up a conversation and its welcomed, and if it isn't, they really shouldn't be there. They're in it for the wrong reason. The shows and people at this festival are the future. The talent is beyond comprehension. I am lucky to be part of this Festival.

3) Ive seen 12 shows so far and have 8 more on my to do list before it's all over on Monday.

4) It's been said to me that 20,000 people will walk through the doors by the time the Fringe is over. My marketing, advertising, and promoting duties is walking around and introducing myself to everyone, convincing them that my show isn't tragic, setting postcards on the tables every single day before the shows start, making sure my signs aren't being ruined from the weather, having my face seen, networking, and having fun all in the meantime.

5) Making the top ten is one of the biggest honors I've ever received in my life. This is my first fully produced and written play. It started as an idea and it has consumed my time for two years. It is proof that hard work pays off. It had everything going against it at the Fringe. I was a first time producer so no one has heard of me, the show is about 9/11 and OMG wouldn't you rather go see a comedy about the 80's and drag queens? and it's a drama and OMG wouldn't you rather go see naked men and women strip? This achievement can now follow the show wherever it goes in the future.

6) I've already had 3 people ask to produce my show and 4 people ask to be a collaboration writing team in the future.

7) Unfortunately, I received a message today that said "I wished you good luck before the opening and you never thanked me". Ok, first off, I received about 300-400 emails, texts, and facebook messages before and during this run. And EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM has meant something to my heart and soul. I'm sorry I haven't gotten back to every one but they haven't gone unnoticed, and if you're sending me praise and good vibes because you want me to turn around and make it about you, I'm not in that frame of mind right now. Katie and Trevin have had to talk me down from the ledge about 50 times in the past 3 weeks. Between finishing school, dealing with my current apartment, my future apartment, my future job, my thesis journals, my family coming into town, Katie's family coming into town, making sure everyone knows when the shows are and holding the hands of some to make sure they get there, being sick, being the sole producer of the show, having a "team" who have worked their ass off promoting my show around the Fringe and organizing their whereabouts, and breaking down every single night and having to put a face on to go out and see the crowd after, and DEALING WITH 9/11 has made me take more of my anti anxiety medicine than I ever have before. I lose sleep at night, I zone off in the middle of conversations.. all the time saying "what else could I be doing?" "Why isn't anyone coming to the show" "Why aren't more people coming to the show " "What more could I be doing" "Why did I write this show" "Who would want to come see this"..... Believe me, every single one of you is important to me and I could NEVER have done it without you.

8) Vandy is a goddess.

Two more shows and then I start deathtrap. Why am I excited about that? Because all I'm going to have to do with that is memorize lines, find my tactics, do my blocking, and live in the moment. After what I've been through, that sounds easy.