Fringe Dispatch #5: Fringe For All and Clavis Argentum
We are getting closer and closer to open and we have found our feet. We had to replace yet another cast member, which, Mother of Fuck, are you serious? But the new girl is fitting in just fine, and is pretty damn good, energy wise. Her ability to be silly and to be seen as silly really liberates the rest of us from the need to be silly. We can balance it out by gravitas. It has taken all of the performances in a new direction, and I find us and the play to be more grounded as a result.
Fringe for All was tonight, the infamous two-minute preview night. I slapped on some grease paint and off to the races. We had a good spot, 16th company, not too early, but not too late. That’s really the kiss of death, when you are too late in the running. People get a bit shell shocked and fed up and leave early. Hell, I did. I was zonked after our two minutes of fame.
And man, the performances might be two minutes, but they take a toll. I don’t know if it’s because you are playing to such a huge room, or if it’s because you are trying to impress people in such a compressed space of time, but its like, you blow your load all over the place and you are empty afterwards. I needed a burrito at the end of that, and even then, I was a total space case even after the much needed carb infusion.
What I found hilarious was that so many of my friends didn’t recognize me up there. One guy, a client of mine, didn’t even recognize me out of make up, and he pays me. I mean, yeah, I was wearing makeup and a cloak, but I didn’t disguise my voice at the end of it. I love it though. I felt, for a golden minute, that I really had that room, that they were all mine. I got an applause break for a joke I threw out on the fly. What a rush.
When I was walking home, after ice cream and a bit more time in my head, a song came on and I felt that I was being lifted by the summer breezes into the night sky. Before you ask, I was not high. I was just high on performance. I love making art so much, and when it hits, that feeling of rightness… its hard to get anywhere else. I love lawyering and stuff, closing a successful file feels pretty damn good, especially when you are doing family immigration sponsorships, which is mostly what I do, but it does not compare to having 200 people in the palm of your hand. Having to wait for the applause and hooting and hollering to die down. Staying in it until it does.
Nights like this make me want to run away with the circus, or run away from my bar fees, and my appointments and my continuing legal education obligations. They make me want to fly into the sky and tell stories and stretch my wings. It’s not always this good, and in fact, it’s mostly a slog of poverty and stress, and a life of uncertainty. But on nights like tonight, the moment is sweeter than honey.
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. $12. Details HERE. Read the earlier Fringe dispatches about Clavis Argentum here: #1, #2, #3, and #4.