2019 Fringe Reviews – Day 6
First observation of the day – every post I’ve made up until now doesn’t include the year. So many years from now when I’m gone from this Earth and the show pages have been archived, nobody will know what year all of this took place. Historians will need to piece that information together from other of information gleaned from the stone tablets on which my words will have been engraved shortly before the world lost all power and the internet became useless.
So to confused future generations, I’m extremely sorry.
Second observation of the day – I have a cat constantly stepping on the power button for my laptop as if she knows which one it is. And she probably does. So if it seems like something is missing at any point, it is because she fucked up my writing before I had a chance to save it.
Aaaand she just knocked a stuffed TARDIS into my lap. On purpose.
I only watched one show on Wednesday and I appeared in one other. This recap shall, therefore, be brief. And if all you care about is the show I watched, you don’t need to read the second part in which I discuss audience reviews! So that should save you some time!
Kind of Funny But Also a Little Sad
Theater in the Round has a crazy spectacular lineup this year. I’ve seen almost every show at the venue and haven’t been disappointed by one yet.
Kind of Funny But Also a Little Sad is, I’m led to understand, a re-mount of a show staged at Strike at some point in the past. So that’s another show I should have made time to see and – you know – didn’t.
Fortunately, Mike Fotis and Rita Boersma remounted the show at the Fringe. That way I could feel guilty about missing it the fist time!
Good comedy can take many different forms but some of the best is when the comedy is just a little bit real. When it cuts just a little too close to home. When the performers lay bare their own insecurities and have the courage to make fun of them.
I laughed as much as I’ve laughed at any show this year but there were moments in almost every sketch where I was moved by the vulnerability Rita and Mike displayed. It all happens so naturally that it is easy to forget that this kind of thing is really hard to do.
Making people laugh is hard work. Making them laugh and feel something at the same time?
It’s great comedy, yeah. But it’s also just really great theater. If you, like me, didn’t see this in the initial run at Strike, I guess we should all try not to make the same mistake the next time these two amazing artists put on a show.
I should also quickly mention that Heather Meyer has been involved in three shows I’ve seen at Theater in the Round (she directed this one) and she apparently has more talent in one strand of hair than most of us have in our entire circle of friends.
OK, so let’s talk about audience reviews. Because Fringe artists have a love/hate relationship with them.
They are super necessary. Assuming mostly positive reviews, the more reviews you get, the more it draws other people to your show. It’s the reason savvy artists make sure to ask you to write a review – they genuinely help you find an audience.
They aren’t nearly as important as word of mouth. When someone tells you they loved a show, they must really have loved it because they are making an effort to tell you.
But the reviews reach more people. And as the run of Fringe continues, having that number be a high number really helps out.
Side note: If you’ve seen “The Lunch Bunch” and haven’t written an audience review…
Thing is, reading critiques of stuff you’ve worked on is really hard. And even if you’ve got twenty five star reviews that say your show is awesome, that one two star review that calls you a hack writer who doesn’t understand human emotion is the one you’ll actually remember. Forever.
You can have dozens of people tell you personally how much they like what you created and that one person you’ve never met is the one who crushes your soul.
Which is not to say people shouldn’t write negative reviews if they don’t like a show. I mean, what’s the point if you can’t say you didn’t like a show?
But as an artist, you really have to find your zen about these reviews. If the bulk of reviews are positive, you probably wrote a decent show. So you have to accept that someone isn’t going to like your show.
And maybe try hard to remember the good reviews instead of the bad ones. And try to take the kernels of truth out of the bad ones. Because you can do better. Just maybe not in the way that audience member who clearly didn’t actually see your show says.