2016 Fringe Reviews – Day 8

20160606I like to play Fringe venue bingo.  Basically, I’m trying to watch a show in every Fringe venue (not including any site specific shows).  I very rarely manage to pull this off but I enjoy the challenge.

This year’s biggest obstacle (if you can call it that) has been the high concentration of shows on the West bank.  With eight venues within walking distance of each other, it is very easy to park yourself on the West Bank for a night.  I’ve done it several times already.

Getting to the Uptown and Northeast Minneapolis clusters have required actual effort.  I only have one venue left so I think I’m going to fill my bingo card.  I feel like there should be a button or something.

Another note on venue – there are two differing philosophies on shows in your own venue.  Mine is to see as many as possible in order to support other artists.  I’ve heard others believe they should avoid seeing shows in their own venue or they increase someone else’s chances of getting the encore.

Honestly, I don’t even understand why that second philosophy is a thing.  If you lose out on the encore because a couple of members of your cast went to someone else’s show, congratulations!  Your show was super popular too! Besides, how do you know those folks didn’t go see your show?

Support your venue buddies.  It’s just nicer.

Trump count is still stuck at 10.  I must have gone to all the shows with Trump jokes in the first few days.

Read More…

Shit that Pissed me Off – 8/12

Donald Trump Makes a Joke (It Wasn’t Really a Joke) or Maybe he was Misunderstood (He Wasn’t) or Maybe Both (Huh?)

Some may ask why I keep writing about all the stupid shit Donald Trump does.  Simple – there is a remote possibility that I will convince one person to change their vote.  I don’t care if they vote for Clinton.  Maybe they will vote for Johnson.  Maybe they will just not vote for President.  I don’t care.  I just want Trump to get creamed.

Because if Trump does OK or, fuck me, actually wins, he’s the kind of candidate we will start to see all the time.  I can’t figure out why any of us would want that.

Here’s what he said this week:

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Mr. Trump said, as the crowd began to boo. He quickly added: “Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”

Now there are three possible explanations for what he meant.

  1.  He actually was suggesting that someone should assassinate Hillary Clinton to ensure she doesn’t get to appoint Supreme Court Justices.
  2. He was just saying they were a powerful voting bloc and everyone is over-reacting.
  3. He was making a joke

53576398

If we examine the ramifications of each statement we come up with these possible conclusions:

  1. HOLY FUCK!
  2. So, in other words, he was too stupid to realize that what he said could easily be interpreted as a veiled threat against his opponent.  By association, his followers were too stupid to realize that his rhetoric is dangerous and could incite violence.
  3. So it can’t be both 2 & 3 even though various folks from the Trump camp have indeed claimed both 2 & 3.  If it is a joke, then it means he was well aware of what he was saying.  In which case: HOLY FUCK!  Making a joke about killing your opponent isn’t any better!

None of these scenarios look good for Trump.  They look worse for people who continue to make excuses for him.

Read More…

2016 Fringe Reviews – Day 7

20160617One of the things that continues to surprise me, though I don’t know why, is the graciousness of other Fringe artists.  I’ve gotten to know a lot of them with talent that, quite literally, intimidates me (I’ll take imposter syndrome for $200).

When you talk to them, though, you are reminded that they are, for the most part, regular people.

I’m still completely stunned by their talent.  But in many cases, they actually seem to appreciate mine.  Having other artists appreciate your work is really pretty amazing because while they are responding to the finished product, they are also responding to the process of creating that product.

They know what it took.

It doesn’t make their appreciation better than that of any other audience member.  It is a different connection that can, frequently, lead to new work and new ideas.  Which is super cool.

If you want to know why I hang out with these amazing people for the better part of two weeks, that’s one of the many reasons why.

Trump Count remains at 10.  Not a single Trump joke last night.  Weird.

Read More…

2016 Fringe Reviews – Days 5 & 6

20160919I had two performances on both Monday and Tuesday so I’m combining the four shows I saw on my own time into a single post!  Efficiency!

As a writer, I’m frequently focused on the intent of the material and how the artist chooses to get that material across to the audience.  That intent is extremely important.

If you are going to a show that is, at it’s core, nothing more than a trifling comedy, then all you really need ask yourself is whether or not you were amused for an hour.  If it is aiming for something deeper, then it needs to be evaluated on that level.

The fringe is filled with shows representing a variety of intents.  That’s what makes it so enjoyable.  You are constantly shifting your perceptions based on the intent of the artist.  Sometimes even within the same show.

Trump Count: 10

Read More…

2016 Fringe Reviews – Day 4

20160926I’ve been doing Fringe shows for a while now and the result is I have a lot of friends with shows.  It is my stated goal to see every one of them but, of course, such a goal is stupid and impossible.  After a few years, you come to the realization that you are going to let someone down and miss their show.

The secret, though, is that you aren’t actually letting them down.  You see, they get it.  They are in the same boat as you.  They want to see your show and it just might not work out for them either.

What we all eventually learn to do is tell each other it is completely OK if we miss each other’s shows.  It has nothing to do with our respect for each other and everything to do with complex schedule management.

So here’s the thing – audience or artist alike – go see what you want to see.  You don’t need to apologize for missing someone’s show.  We all understand that you have to make a series of very hard decisions.  Thanks so much for even considering our work.

So here is what I saw on Sunday!

Trump Count: 9

Read More…

2016 Fringe Reviews – Day 3

20161131I had a big weekend what with all three of my shows opening on the same day.

Now I know what you’re thinking – three shows?  What the hell Tim, are you some kind of attention whore?

Um…yeah.  I mean I’m a writer and a performer.  I can’t get around the fact that I like to put things in front of an audience.  Sometimes those things include myself.  I like it when people pay attention to that stuff. And while I didn’t set out to be involved in three shows, when the opportunity presented itself, there was no way I could say no.

Every artist at the Fringe is, to some degree, looking for attention.  They have talent and they want you to notice.  They have ideas and they want you to listen.  I love them for that.  Because I love to notice talented people and I love to listen to interesting ideas.  I love watching people trying new things.  I love watching them succeed.  I love watching them fail.

I’m totally OK with the fact these people want my attention.  Because they deserve it.

Trump Count: 7
Read More…

2016 Fringe Reviews: Days 1 & 2

20160850As an artist at the Minnesota Fringe, I know a whole lot of people involved in the festival.  It makes it difficult for me to write reviews and because I don’t want to torpedo anyone’s shows, I don’t write reviews on the official Fringe web site.  Instead, I blog my thoughts here.  If you are an artist and you read my review of your show, here are a few things I want you to know.

First: You made a show happen.  I can’t hate you for that because I know how hard it is to make a show happen.  Even if I didn’t like your show, I like that you gave it a shot.  I like you for being creative and for being excited and for doing something with an idea besides thinking “wouldn’t it be great if…”

Second: Not liking a show is not the same as not liking a person.  I know that’s hard.  I struggle with it myself every time I read a bad review. I can have fifteen great reviews and one bad review will wreck me.  I’m sorry I didn’t like your show.  I really am. I want to like every show.  I still like you, though.  And I want you to try again.

Third:  If I didn’t like a show, I’m going to try to explain why because saying “I hated this show” is useless.  Saying “I think this would have made the show better” is helpful.  Artists may not agree with me and that’s cool.  But I know that they would rather hear someone say “I think this would have improved your show,” than “I just didn’t like it.”

Also, this year I am keeping a “Trump Count.”  This refers to the number of shows I watch that make a joke about Donald Trump.  I am not complaining about these jokes, mind you.  I feel that Donald Trump jokes are vital in a world that needs to make it clear that Donald Trump is a joke.

I’ve seen eight shows so far.  Trump count: 5

Read More…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 280 other followers