Friday, August 14, 2009

Looking backward ... looking forward.

Compared to the festivities of the 2001 Fringe, returning in 2004 was a bit of a lonely soul-journey.

It was an exciting summer, to be sure. Earlier that season we had opened the first outside-of-NYC run of Kirk Wood Bromley's The American Revolution, and the night we departed for the Fringe was the official unveiling of Spencer Tunick's photo in Cleveland. And there was an election brewing, the less said about, the better.

I was mentally prepared ... this time I would not have a dozen excitable teenagers with me. Just Brian. Okay, Brian and Kelly and Harris, but mostly Brian. Any illusion I had about this being a triumphant artistic and financial success were quickly dashed when our professional-grade CD player was stolen from out of my car.

The first full day out, Brian and I got organized, visited FringeCENTRAL, and then he went his separate way. As though he were some kind of autonomous being who did rely upon the company of others. I do not comprehend this (no doubt why I am addicted to facebook.)

I am alone. I have no spouse, no small child with me. Where will I go? Who will I be? What will I eat?

The performances went well, though it was marginally attended. I can't blame the venue, which was located in the sticks (8th Avenue? Are you kidding me, why not perform it in the river?) but maybe instead the subject matter. A notice in the NY Times came and went, and still we attracted maybe a dozen people a show.

By that point, however, the family had joined me and we had a proper NY weekend, taking in the children's zoo and the numerous kids' parks. I will miss them a great deal this summer. God, the girl was tiny, and so happy to be there, or anywhere.

The big show that year was Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead. Still have a soft spot for that show, the Fringe production was amazing. I love being in a packed audience of people who all feel like they are engaged in something truly special.

Listening to: PODRUNNER Classic - Always Arriving (153 BPM)

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 65ยบ
Weather: cool & humid
Weight: 153.5 lbs.

This is it, we leave today. Admittedly later than I had hoped but not everyone can take a day off work. Speaking of which, I have taken six days from my vacation time. Time I might otherwise be spending with the family in Maine or something, instead they are all for me, for this endeavor. I am trying not to feel selfish about that.

I will attempt to log daily updates here, I will TWEET as often as seems like there is something to twit about, I don't want to get too obnoxious about that.

There are at least a few people I know attending each performance, and that's nice. I should warn them I take all my clothes off.

Let's get this party started.


Bubble said...

You're my hero! I'm so excited for you! And I totally understand your family's excitement and support of this. They are heroes too.

Brian said...

Wow. Totally was not expecting a trip in the wayback machine this morning.

So now, 5 years later, does it seem any less odd to have a meetup with people you've only previously talked to on the internet?

Oh, and I'm glad you're finally there and rolling. Seemed like you guys had a hell of a time just getting there yesterday.

pengo said...

Just went back to check the trip ... and found I hadn't answered Brian's question. Yes, it is much less odd meeting people you have only corresponded with via email. What I have discovered (as this is looking backwards, not forwards) is how much people rely strictly on the Internet to promote their shows. And though we need it these days for everything (who needs a print review a week after your show has closed - I want an online review NOW!!!) I think certain artists have missed out by not taking extra time to shake hands and meeting potential audience members face to face at other shows. My turnout wasn't enormous, but I believe it would have been far less without all the water bottles I handed out.

Or maybe I am just wishing.