Friend a Day – Robin Gillette
Fringe week continues!
I wrote about current Fringe Executive Director Jeff Larson yesterday. It’s only fair I write about his worthy predecessor today!
Since she is no longer director, there is no danger it will appear as if I’m sucking up!
Last year, Robin did something that a lot of us can’t even imagine doing. She stepped down from a job she really loved because she realized it was time to move on. That takes a tremendous amount of courage.
Organizations like the Fringe can benefit from a little upheaval. Knowing that is one thing. Making the difficult decision to initiate that upheaval is entirely different.
My first Fringe Festival show was in 2007 and Robin impressed me right away because she treated every artist with respect. It didn’t matter if this was your first time on stage or if you’d been performing for decades.
Certainly, that is part of the job. It wasn’t an act, though. She genuinely wanted to see every artist succeed and she wanted to make sure we all knew that.
Conversations with Robin over the years have typically taken place at Fringe central and almost always begin with her asking my how my show is going. Again, that was the job.
But I always felt it was more than an obligatory question. I always felt like she really wanted to hear how my show was going. Her question may have been part of the job. Her genuine interest in the answer was not.
Robin has moved on to other things but her love of the Fringe is still evident in the fact she still comes to the lottery, the previews, and the shows. I haven’t been to a Fringe event this year where I didn’t see her.
She’s still very much a part of the community she helped foster and everyone seems happy to see she hasn’t gone away.
In itself, that seems like the best legacy of all.