Friday, 20 July 2007

Another Fringe first

Last year, it was my first irate performer. This year, it was my first performer to cancel a performance while performing.

I won't malign the performer in question (the story will filter through the Fringeverse quickly enough), but here's the rundown. The performer, hereafter to be referred simply as Performer, was late. Performer is supposed to be in the house 30 minutes before show time. This way Performer can costume, warm up, put up set, or whatever before doors open to the audience. Doors open to the audience 15 minutes before show time. (The Winnipeg Fringe runs a particularly tight ship when it comes to scheduling.)

Thirty minutes before show time ... no Performer. Fifteen minutes before show time, doors open; ticket holders are filtering into the venue ... no Performer. Performer finally arrives, much to everyone's great relief. Doors close right on schedule at show time. I have a moment of Venue Team Leading, Crisis Averted, Pride.

Not five minutes later, my usher appears saying something along the the lines of "Performer's thrown in the towel." That wasn't quite the idiom the usher used, but I don't remember exactly what it was. Something colo(u)rful and befitting the across-the-pond (some pond or other) accent of the usher. But the upshot was that Performer got on stage, started the show, and then apologized and exited the stage.

Boggle.

Now, I can see Performer may not have been in the best shape, and I decline to speculate as to why. And I can see that Peformer, not being in the best shape, and playing to a small house (I think we had a total of five cash sales, plus a few advanced sales, at least one Frequent Fringer pass sale, and, unfortunately for Performer, a media--a 'media' is Fringe lingo for someone from the media who arranges to see the show in order, one presumes, to review it. One doesn't go far in the Fringe game by making trouble for one's media(s).) As I was saying, Performer, perhaps not being in the best shape and playing to a small house, apparently decides that It Just Ain't Worth It. Well, 'the show must go on' be damned apparently.

I don't know what is happening with these young people these days.

So I don't know who's going to demand a refund, and considering there were two price levels, how They (whoever They are) are going to deal with that. I'm just glad it's not my job. Nor my regular venue, so I personally don't have to deal with Performer again. Not that I'd actually mind, but I'm not sure I could stop myself from saying something (intended to be) scathing.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Pre-Fringe musings

This year's Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival ("20 years to life") is coming up, and as part of my participation as a volunteer venue team leader, I've been asked to provide a list of major and minor offences. Which doesn't make sense because as a VTL I'm a 'warden', not an infractor. Nonetheless, I'll play the game. The problem is that, as clever as I think I am, I'm definitely low man on the clever pole among Fringers. So I'm trying to dream up offences I'm willing to cop to (as it were) and I'm sure I'm the last one to come up with these:
  • First degree Fringe
  • Aggravated Fringe
  • Fringing with a deadly weapon (?)
  • Fringe with malice aforethought
  • Possession with intent to Fringe
  • Providing Fringe to a minor
  • Fringing with a minor
  • Transporting a minor across a state line for Fringe purposes (which doesn't work so well in Canada)
  • Indecent Fringing
  • Public Fringing
  • Fringe and Run
  • Hit and Fringe
  • Grand Fringe Auto (ehh)
  • Driving while Fringed/Fringing under the influence (depending on local laws)
  • Fringing without a license
  • Fringing with a suspended license
  • Impersonating an officer of the Fringe
  • Interfering with a Fringe scene
  • Obstructing Fringe
  • Jayfringing
But I'm leaving heavily toward:
  • Maintaining an attractive Fringe
  • Conspiracy to commit Fringe
  • Solicitation with intent to Fringe
  • Operating a common Fringe house

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Independence Day ... or the best laid plans

Back when I was a newcomer to the lustrous shores of Canadia, I used to make a point of taking holidays from the Old Country off. Real Thanksgiving. Fourth of July. Presidents' Day. Of course I also took off the Canadian holidays--fake thanksgiving, Victoria Day, first Monday in August, but that was a matter of statute and assimilation.

But here I am, at work. I had a meeting with the outgoing chair of the graduate committee (and acting (and presumptive) head) about stuff. Which involved a little work talk and a lot of nice random conversation over lunch at the Faculty Club. But here I am, trying to catch up with work.

And wrapping my brain around the two curve balls I've been thrown: 1) my yoga class has been cancelled for the rest of the summer, 2) I've been asked to trade General Phonetics (which I was not looking forward to teaching) at a great hour to teach it, for Language and Gender (which I wouldn't mind teaching) at the precise hour I would have selected *not* to teach it.

I don't know what I'm going to do about yoga, but this teaching change has me loopy. I've taught L&G before, and I want to again. But I don't want to teach it and my seminar in adjacent hours three days a week. MWF 12:30-1:20 for L&G and MWF 1:30-2:20 for the seminar.

I tend to over-talk, especially in larger classes (which L&G is), which means by the end of the seminar, I won't have a voice anymore. Unless I clean up my vocal hygiene a lot.

But when is a body supposed to have lunch?