Shit that Pissed me Off – 8/15

We Lost Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall in One Week

I’m very sad to think that both these amazing artists are gone.

I’m just wondering why anyone would use this opportunity to abuse Williams’ daughter online.  I mean, what the fuck is wrong with you?

In the meantime, others are using Williams’ death to call attention to depression or addiction or to say that suicide is selfish and look, I don’ t know.  I’ve never been depressed so I have no idea what kind of despair would lead to making that choice.  I can’t imagine ever making it myself.

Robin Williams

Thing is, I didn’t live inside his head.  I don’t know what brought him to that incredibly dark place where the only conceivable decision was to end it all.

But so what? He’s gone.

And that sucks.

So let’s leave it be and say goodbye.  You were awesome, Robin.  I’m sorry whatever demons haunted you finally won.

Losing Bacall in the same week just pours salt on the wound.

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Fringe Reviews – Days 10 & 11

Sole MatesI spent a lot of time at the Fringe this weekend and while reviewing shows makes no difference for anyone’s attendance at this point, I’m still going to write about what I saw.

I’ve developed a lot of friends at the Fringe over the years.  At first, I would try very hard to see all of their shows because that’s what friends do.  Over time, I’ve reached the point where watching every show by a friend could mean I’d never see anything by someone I don’t know.

So I reached the point where I realized that everyone I knew was in the same boat as me.  Making a choice to miss a friend’s show isn’t personal.  You are only going to see so many shows over the course of eleven days.

When you reach that conclusion, it takes a little bit of the pressure off.

So if you are a friend of mine and I missed your show this year, I’m sorry.  If you missed mine, that is OK too.  I’m sure we can all still be friends.

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Fringe Reviews – Day 8

2722I’ve been playing a lot of “Fringe Roulette” this year.  While there are a lot of shows I want to see, most of them aren’t showing at a time I can see them (this weekend should change that).  So instead, I’m just going to a show that is taking place close to where my shows are taking place.  Those kinds of choices can result in finding some hidden gems.

So far this year, I haven’t had that kind of luck.  I have seen very little that is terrible but I have seen a great deal that is mediocre.

I played Fringe Roulette with my first show yesterday and the result was…well…let’s just say I’m hoping my results are better next time.

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Shit that Pissed me off – 8/8

Awful People Who Don’t Deserve Pets Are Abandoning Animals Because They Don’t Look Good In Pictures

All of my cats are humane society cats.  The hardest part of adopting a cat from the humane society is reading the reasons the cat is there.  One of my cats was abandoned when her owners moved.  They left her to starve to death. If I ever met the people who did that to her, I’d want to punch them in the face.

While the headline for this article is misleading, I’m still annoyed to learn there are a large number of black cats who aren’t being adopted because people are shallow.  You can’t find a good pet with a picture.  You have to meet the animal and see if their personality meshes with yours.

Fair is fair.  You have to send the cat your picture to see if he poops on it or not.

Fair is fair. You have to send the cat your picture to see if he poops on it or not.

The thing about people who abandon animals is they all have excuses.  Aside from allergies, though, most excuses come down to failure to take responsibility for the animal.  Pets are a responsibility and not a right.  You have to be prepared to scoop up their shit and feed them and pay attention to them.

If you didn’t know that before you picked the animal up, the animal that needs to be returned is you.

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Fringe Reviews – Day 7

Ben San DelI’m not going to any Fringe shows tonight.  While there are a lot of shows left on my list, I have gotten into the habit of taking one evening of the festival off.

I recognize that my choice means there are some shows I won’t get to see this year.  That, however, is already to be expected.  There are 169 shows  in the Fringe and just over 50 potential slots an audience member can fill.  I know some people who will Iron man the fringe and try to fill every available slot.

That goal is admirable but I need a night away from the Fringe to recharge my batteries.  I’ll miss everyone at Fringe Central this evening.  That community of artists is one of my favorite parts of the Fringe experience.  But I’ve got to get some sleep!

So no new reviews tomorrow.

I saw three shows last night, though.  Here’s my thoughts on those!

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Fringe Reviews – Days 5 & 6

FinklesI have a lot of friends, old and new, who produce shows at the festival.  I’m never sure how to review their shows because I would like them to continue to be my friends even if I didn’t like the show.

I try to remember that most people who write and produce work want to hear honest feedback because it helps them get better.  When I wrote “Shroedinger’s Apocalypse” last year, I knew I was working far outside of my comfort zone.  While I felt good about a lot of the writing, I also felt that it was an imperfect work and I really wanted my peers to help me explore what I could have done to write a better show.

All this is to say that I saw some shows by friends and I’m going to write reviews.  The shows weren’t perfect, but they all had merit.

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Fringe Reviews – Days 2, 3, and 4

AllegraMy Fringe attendance was a bit down over the weekend. Not only was I involved with the opening of three different shows, there was also Guardians of the Galaxy to be considered.

Fringe is a delightfully random experience at times.  Over the weekend, I found myself going to shows simply because they were close to the venue I’d be performing in next.  The result was a few gems and a lot of things that were…OK.

Here’s the reality of the Fringe.  Most of the shows are neither great nor awful.  Most of them are somewhere in the middle.

As a fellow artist, I have great respect for anyone who produces a show at the Fringe.  They are all aiming to produce something of merit and with very few exceptions, there is merit in everything that appears on stage.  Reviewing a show, for me, should be an act of encouraging them to get better rather than tearing down their efforts.

Trying and failing is something we’ve all done.  The best producers at the Fringe have failed.  At something.  I hope.  Otherwise they suck.

So I saw a lot of stuff that didn’t really impress the heck out of me this weekend.  And that’s OK.  If any of the producers read my reviews, I’m sure that you are happy with your show.  If you find something in my review that will help you with your next show, great.  If not, keep writing shows (if you want to) and remember that the best reviewers out there aren’t trying to tear you down – they are trying to make you better.

…which implies I think I’m one of the best reviewers and I don’t think that but anyway on to the reviews…

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