Monday, June 16, 2014

The Question... Patrick Kearns on BITS (Fringe: Montreal, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Victoria)

Pieces and BITS
by Estelle Rosen
Patrick Kearns shies away from labels, but shamelessly flirts with titles. Lately he’s been trying to get The Artist’s number. Best known for being a comedian, singer-songwriter, and professional genius.
CHARPO: I read you're a comedian, singer and songwriter. Will your one-man show BITS incorporate all three and what was the origin for BITS. 
KEARNS: The origin for BITS was a pile of notebooks and two decades of unsolicited advice that “you should be a performer.” The push to do something about it came from a friend who urged me to read “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, which I can’t recommend enough.
While reading the book, I came upon the advice of another friend, who told me that “the job of the artist is to be obedient to the impulse to create.” I’d had no formal training in any artistic discipline, so I didn’t think of myself as an artist. When asked, “What do you do?” I would never have dreamed of answering, “I’m an artist.” (cont'd)

KEARNS (cont'd): I wasn’t a painter, or an actor, or a singer, or a writer, or a dancer, though I’d done all of those things, as I imagine everyone reading this has. And yet it was all too easy to say, “Yes, but not a REAL one.” At some point, I decided that the labels were mine to apply, and that the only REAL creative acts are the ones that get done.
That winter, I decided to call myself an artist; I rented a dance studio, wrote every day, and set out to make a piece. No rules. No time limit. I simply set out to make. Nothing more.
I wasn’t so much practicing a discipline or a craft as I was playing. No thought was given to whether something was good, whether it had been done before, or if other people would like it. It was just fun. Pure, unadulterated fun. And the more I did it, the more I felt like I was being supported by some unspoken law of creativity. The output began to improve.
Funnily enough, as I began to feel creatively supported, the book instructed me to write out and sign a very specific contract. On January 28th, 2013, I signed a contract that said, “Okay Creative Force, you take care of the quality, I’ll take care of the quantity.”

BITS is the product of that contract.
Montreal Fringe June 13 - 22
Winnipeg Fringe Festival July 16 - 27
Edmonton Fringe Festival August 14 - 24

Victoria Fringe Festival Aug. 22 - Sept. 1


  1. Just signed up to volunteer at your Winnipeg show then read this. Truly inspiring and motivating. Look forward to your show!


Comments are moderated. Please read our guidelines for posting comments.