Friend a Day – Jeff Larson
Fringe week continues!
I’m reticent to write a blog post about Jeff because as executive director of the Fringe, he needs to be neutral when it comes to the artists producing work. I totally get that.
But I really like the guy so I’m going to write about him anyway.
One of the things I like about Jeff (and the rest of the Fringe staff) is the hard they work to ensure bias is taken out of the system. Many of them produce shows themselves. All of them have friends who produce shows. Yet the Minnesota Fringe is about as unbiased as they come.
When he was on Geeks Without God a few weeks ago, we carefully avoided talking about my shows so it wouldn’t seem like he was endorsing my work.
Jeff just took over the position of Executive Director this year and he always talks about how stressed he gets when he has to get up on stage and introduce things.
The dirty secret? He’s really very good at it. He’s charming and funny. He makes up stuff on the fly. He gets all the important information out in small, easy to digest bites.
I can tell that the social aspect of the job can be a little trying for him at times. He came from tech theater and most techies have some social anxiety. I think that’s why they all have jobs where they talk to each other on headsets in the dark.
But if there is a little social anxiety, he manages it well. He knows that his job is to interact with the audience, artists, and press.
His job is to make things easier for dozens of producers every year and I can’t even imagine how difficult that is given most of us are flaky divas who are incapable of following clearly written instructions.
Jeff has also given me a ride in his Porsche and it was pretty sweet.
So thanks, Jeff, for taking on a tough job and doing it with grace and style.
Also, I expect no special treatment for writing this post.
Although another ride in the car would be OK…