I didn't write in July, Blog. I didn't do it. It's the first whole month I've missed blogging-wise in several years. I'm sure your Blog-heart is broken, as I know mine is. There's only one way to come back from the tragedy, Blog. It's time for my yearly Fringe post.
What's my yearly Fringe post, you ask? Why, you can take a look at what I had to say last year to get an idea. Basically I've fallen into this habit where every August I express my complex and conflicted feelings about the Minnesota Fringe Festival to my one and only Blog, Blog. That's you. Never forget it.
Fringe has to do with theatre and theatre, unfortunately (fortunately?), is the one thing in this world that I love to do. Ever since I was cast as a cow in the Missoula Children's Theatre production of Beauty and the Beast when I was 7 years old, I have been in love with, and a slave to the performing arts. Because of this, the Minnesota Fringe Festival is both my best friend and my worst enemy. It provides me with the most straightforward opportunity to participate within the vibrant theatre and performing arts community that lives in Minneapolis. And the reason I love living in Minneapolis is because of that vibrant theatre and performing arts community's presence. I want to be in you, vibrant theatre and performing arts community. Luckily the Fringe Festival allows me to penetrate you without the aid of cheesy pick up lines or date rape drugs. We can just exist together and share our love and art and a beer together at The Crooked Pint after 11 o'clock on any given night come the first two weeks of August.
And the first week of those two weeks is just like the start of any relationship. It's new and exciting. It's blissful and carefree. We've opened our show! Everyone remembered their lines! My friends loved it! I've gotten a chance to make myself completely vulnerable by exposing my heart and feelings and abilities on a stage in front of an audience and it's all been accepted! I don't see any sort of an end to this huge success! I'm living in a dream that has only four performances left and you'd better buy your ticket now so you can live this incredible fantasy with me!
Then the halfway point of the festival hits and shit starts getting real. Real real, yo. You get a review like this one and don't know what to do with yourself. Your initial reaction is one of rage which then develops into defeat. "I'll never do theatre again," you say to yourself. "This is my last Fringe," you decide. "I guess I should get to slitting my wrists now since that's the only viable response to this entire situation," you reason.
A good night's sleep later, you realize that everyone is entitled to their opinion and that bad reviews, even scathing ones that seem to almost personally attack you and/or others within your production, are a means to build character and even improve the art that both nurtures and dominates you. "Who cares what they think?" you declare. "I'm just as worthy of being a part of this festival as they are!" You know it's true. At least you keep telling that to yourself in order to prevent the blade from slicing the translucent skin covering your vulnerable wri--err--feelings and emotions and stuff.
Here's the ridiculous part: after all the emotional turmoil that comes with your beating heart being slashed to bits in a public arena for all to see, you want to do it again. You completely and wholly intend on submitting your application next January. You know you'll be heartbroken and disappointed if your number isn't drawn. You already know in what direction you'll take things if it is. We are slaves to this sick and wonderful thing. Year after year after year. We love it and we hate it but for some reason we can't live without it and fortunately (unfortunately?) we have realized that and have managed to produce one of the most prominent Fringe Festivals in the country.
Thanks vibrant theatre and performing arts community of Minneapolis. You're one of a kind and I'm both sad and relieved that this version of our summer camp is coming to an end in just a few days.
Here's to next year! (and my number being drawn, because it has yet to be)