Day 11 — Why Every Artist Should ‘Fringe’

*taken from the car as I was driven to the theatre for my first show of seven at #FringeTO*

I didn’t want to do Fringe.

I really didn’t! I do so much producing on my own (with my incredible team making it all possible of course!) that I never really felt the draw.

But I DID want the opportunity to cast as MANY artists as possible in 7 different shows so I said yes and threw my ticket into the lottery.

What I didn’t expect was just how much I learned about myself as an artist and the work of my company. And I honestly would like to encourage every artist to ‘fringe’ at least once. Here’s why.

You have to get really clear, really fast about who you are.

The timing of Fringe is super sonic. You’re expected to come up with your listing, branding info, media pitches quickly and efficiently. You will not have time to endlessly discuss and debate. You will need to get really clear, really fast about who you are and what you want to communicate as an artist. You won’t be able to include everything, do everything, try everything that’s offered. But being forced to edit the message of your art can be one of the best things that can ever happen to you.

It’ll pull your team together like nothing else.

The prep leading up to show time is intense. Again, once it starts, it moves fast and your team will have to pull together fiercely to make everything run smoothly. Then there’s your tech time — which is an exercise in high intensity organization and concentration. And finally, the performances. Your team will have to exhibit high level leadership skills in order for both patrons and artists to have a superior experience. Throughout, the hiccups and failures along the way will make you laugh and cry together. But the bliss of when it all works? Heavenly! And the sense of triumph is unreal.

You’ll feel truly connected to the theatre scene.

The theatre world is a tough one in that we’re often all doing things separately at the same time, making it very challenging to get to each other’s events and stay truly connected to the process of other people’s work. There’s something about Fringe that pulls everyone together. Maybe it’s the manic feeling of panic we’re all feeling. Maybe it’s the Fringe tent. Maybe it’s the sheer numbers of posts and ads and material and people associated with the event. Whatever it is, you’ll feel connected and inspired and empowered.

I didn’t want to do Fringe. But I’m SO glad I did.

Marion #NotEnoughRyeForJuly

Today’s Stats:

Scores rehearsed: 1 (Harvest Moon Rising – it’s so awesome!)

Scores performed: 1 (only 3 #ConfidentialProject Fringe performances left to go!)

Laughing until I cried with my team: 2

Naps Taken On A Pub Bench: 1 *tablecloth pillow and sheet* … actually …

Massages Received From Pub Waitresses: 1 … actually …

Actors Who Portrayed Closets: 1

Rye Shots Consumed: 4