Saturday, August 11, 2007

Live from the Calgary Fringe - August 10

Here I am at the Royal Canadian Legion. As expected there were problems picking up my badge at the door. Who is not surprised? Me.

The Legion is still open and functioning as a legion does. It's very strange to have people drinking and smoking and chatting loudly behind the "theatre" seating. Aha! A badge has made it my way courtesy of the Man himself.

I'm sitting awkwardly behind the director. I know him but I don't think we like each other very much. He's hard to read and his reasons for not liking me may, in fact, be entirely snobbery.

The signage on this venue was terrible espeically given the construction outside. The show will start momentarily and there are still legionaires drinking in the back.

There are 10 people other than me here and the director and his wife are irritated (thinly veiled) that the legionaires in the back are "watching" the show for free. As if they asked for their legion to be invaded by this festival. 4 more people roll in and it becomes obvious that every person here except me and one awkward bald man are a friend of the actor or director.

A lame announcement tells us that the show is beginning (only 5 minutes late).....

Post-show I stumble off for sustinenance in the form of diet coke and a dry rice crispy square. Mediocre theatre always gets me down. I head back in for my second show.

I sit alone in the lobby admist schmoozing. LBH should know who I am but doesn't, of course. I look conspicuous writing in my little notebook. I should be writing my review for the last show I saw but instead I'm distracted by the schmooze happening all around me. More vague theatre acquaintances fill the tiny lobby space contributing to my growing feeling of unease. A migraine slowly builds behind my left eye. The urge to have an anti-social screaming outburst passes.

I am back in the same uncomfortable wooden chairs. I sneak a covert sip of Diet Coke. I like the inky flow of my pen and I hope against hope that this sketch comedy won't disappoint. In an unfilled theatre people choose seats right next to me and suddenly I'm surrounded.

The show starts....

I'm 0 for 2 at this point. I head off in search of Mr. Rose and food. Footloose people block my way and I'm sucked into a whirling vortex of conversation. Some good may come of it.

I arrive at my third show with friends in tow. A waste in this crowd where no false celebrities are present and my shield is not necessary. My energy is flagging and the migraine pounds now. Lights go down and we eagerly? await the start of the show.

I'm 0 for 3 and it's late. I hope against hope that my second day at the fringe will redeem this long and questionable night.

No comments: