Friday, June 28, 2013

A Fly on The Wall, June 28, 2013

Smells Like Fringe Spirit
by Jim Murchison 

There are a lot of things that happen at the Fringe Festival that happen around it and not at the venues themselves. When an actor broke his leg and all the performances of Be A Man at the Ottawa Fringe had to be cancelled, all the Fringe performers got together to brainstorm on how to make some extra money to get them back and came up with an idea to do a story slam. 

Basically each time that Be A Man is scheduled to be played, a pay-what-you-can story slam is done based on a particular theme, whether it be sex or drugs or love and artists from the other shows improvise around an idea. This is a way to help a fellow Fringe company that has received a devastating emotional and financial blow to their plans for the season. 

That is the most stand out story of difficulty and hardship, but I hear so many more. Corrupted discs that cause the loss of all your lighting cues and people scrambling to replace them, just getting them in the nick of time. There are all sorts of physical injuries that are able to be worked through. Trying to mount 54 different plays is a feat to organize. 

The other thing is that you have artists from a number of different places in North America and the most consistent thing about all of them is that they shout out and do all that they can to promote the other shows that are being performed. It is a tight little family with local players and players from away. It is not easy and not everyone makes money and you can't afford to have too many things go wrong if you want to be one of the ones that does. It's not primarily about the money but it has to be the bottom line if you want to keep doing it.

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