Welcome. This is your dispatch from Fringeland. I am going to be writing about my Fringe-periences this year in more of an essay form instead of churning out reviews, because lo and behold: I’m a performer again. I haven’t played this side of the fence since 2010, when I stage managed and puppeteered for a lovely lady, Alison Louder, in her one-woman show, Hot Pink. It was pretty rad. This year, I’ll be being professionally creepy in the Clavis Argentum, an HP Lovecraft themed burlesque. As such, I can’t really be reviewing shows. I mean, I’m sure I could. But I would have to clone myself. And as all performers in the Fringe will tell you in the beginning of May, there is simply no time to get that done. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be around all over the place, seeing tons and most likely hitting the volunteer and press thing-mes, but TECHNICALLY, I am a performer this year. So that’s the perspective I’ll be rocking between mother’s and father’s day, when the Fringe ramps up for yet another year of insanity.
At this time of year, for your average Fringe performer, this is the mantra: There is no time. That’s the name of the Fringe game in May. In the beginning of May is when its getting so, so real. Everyone’s fees have been paid for months, and now we have (hopefully) casted our show and (hopefully) have a final working script. Hopefully, the script even has something to do with the show title and description that you gave to the festival about three months ago. And if you haven’t taken these crucial steps by now, woe behold you, because THERE IS NO TIME is your new reality. Now is when everyone needs to start promo. Next week, the programs are coming out. Everyone is having fundraisers and indigogo and crowdfunding campaigns to ensure that props are a thing that will get to be seen. We are but a short month away from curtains.
Our team is actually in a pretty good position. We’ve had a script for a month already, and have even had a few rehearsals. We actually have a rehearsal space, so no practices in the park, as has been my personal “Fringe-cheap-way-to-do-things” tradition, requiring your rehearsal schedule to be weather-sensitive. To be clear, our rehearsal space is in a professional dominatrix’ dungeon, but to be honest, it kind of works for the show. This is independent theatre baby. If you can’t handle a spanking table in the background, well, you are not going to get far in this very terribly paid business.
(insert dungeon pic, caption: Please note that there will be no wolf headed statues featured in the show. That I am aware of. Credit: Jason McCullough)
I have not yet learned my lines, to the despair of my director, but that is par for the course in my process timeline. What’s the rush? It’s not like there will be a million things to do in the next few weeks. It’s not like we have to finalize the real final draft, the tech, costumes, make-up tests, prop work and hey, let’s also do some fight choreography, just to keep it real. Oh, and we all have full time jobs, so how many rehearsals are we getting? 8-10? Sure. That’s ample. Right. THERE IS NO TIME.
But that’s ok. We do this for the love. When you run on love, you don’t need sleep. You don’t need to eat anything beyond a few 3$ hotdogs in the park and a tofu burger. You don’t need anything beyond an apricot beer. As dreams of dance parties run through my head and, being a hired gun this year, as the fact that I don’t have to worry my pretty little head over producing really sinks in (The freedom! Holy cow!), I just, for now, am focusing on learning my lines and showing up when told to. Because soon there will be no time for that. Because soon, the party will be starting. And I don’t want any distractions from that, now do I?
Angela Potvin has been Fringing for 14 years now, and that makes her feel old. She’s performing in the Clavis Argentum at TSC, also known as the show with the Latin name playing at TSC. Box office will know what you are talking about.