Wade is so convincing as the timid loser that he easily wins the audience’s sympathy, especially when he recalls what it meant in junior high school to finally have an actual friend to talk to instead of an imaginary one, or the first time he worked up the courage to kiss a girl.
The truly remarkable thing about The Most Honest Man in the World is the character that Wade creates is so real, that it’s easy to forget he is as skilled an actor as he is a writer. The Most Honest Man in the World is fringing at its finest.
I recently read Bryan Cranston’s ‘A Life in Parts’. The dude knows his stuff (obviously). Go read the book!
Here are a few of the great pieces of advice for actors that I pulled out for future pondering:
When you first start out in the business, you have to expend a lot of energy. Hustling isn’t complicated. How much energy you put out dictates how much heat you generate.
You can teach someone how to drive a car or throw a fastball, but it’s hard to teach someone to let go.
The best teacher is experience.
Finding love is about being open, letting someone see you as you really are – not some fascimile of what you think someone wants.
He cries, he laughs, he kills, he hits all the emotional notes. If he didn’t hit his mark, it was worthless. He wasn’t lit properly. Or he was out of focus.
It was important for the actor to speak loudly enough so the sound could pick up what he was saying but softly enough to maintain intimacy if intimacy was required… private but detectable.
On camera, when you walk into a room in your own home, you must know where the light switch is. You can’t need to look. Or else it’s a lie, which is like giving the audience a pinch of poison… if your character has a longtime girlfriend and you’re tentative or formal with her, touching her as if she’s someone you just met Another pinch.
Wallace Stevens wrote, “The imperfect is our paradise.”
This whole business is a confidence game. If you believe it, they’ll believe it. If you don’t believe it, neither will they… I don’t feel entirely comfortable hiring someone who doesn’t emit confidence… Confidence is king… actors need to have an arrogance about them. Not in public or in their private lives, but when they work. Actors have to have that drive, that instinct that says: this role is mine.
When I started getting a lot of guest-star roles, I’d make postcards and send them to casting directors to alert them. Watch Bryan Cranston in Matlock this week! Don’t miss Bryan Cranston’s guest turn as Tom Logan in Baywatch! Tune in to Amazon Women on the Moon for a special treat: Bryan Cranston stars as Paramedic #3. I knew 99 percent wouldn’t watch, but they would see my name. They would see my face. And they would get the message, even if only on a subliminal level. This guy works a lot.
You’re acting. You have to have some boundaries. You have to look out for your fellow actors. When someone gets hurt on the set, it spoils everything. The fun you’re having, creating – if someone gets hurt, it all goes away.
Jerry (Seinfeld) had a rule about jokes: If you’re in the group, you can make the joke. If you’re not in the group, steer clear.
It’s more important to have a dream than to achieve a dream.
If you want to be a successful actor, mental toughness is essential. Lay your whole self-worth on getting the role, on the illusion of validaton, before long you’re left angry, resentful, and jealous. You’re doomed.
I focus on process rather than outcome. I wasn’t going to the audition to get anything: a job or money or validation. I wasn’t going to compete with the other guys. I was going to give something. I wasn’t there to get a job. I was there to do a job. Simple as that… my job was to focus on character. My job was to be interesting. My job was to be compelling. Take some chances. Serve the text. Enjoy the process.
And this wasn’t some semantic sleight of hand, it wasn’t some subtle form of barter or gamesmanship. There was to be no predicting or manipulating, no thinking of the outcome. Outcome was irrelevant. I couldn’t afford any longer to approach my work as a means to an end.
Once I made the switch, I was no longer a supplicant. I had power in any room I walked into. Which meant I could relax. I was free.
I learned to take control of the room. If I felt the scene called for the two characters to be standing, I might ask the casting director to please get up.
I’d learned that if a character wasn’t in the script, I had to infer it or imagine it. I had to take it on myself to build it.
An actor needs a core quality or essence for a character. Everything rises from there.
Character is both formed and revealed when we are tested, when we are forced to make decisions under pressure. That test can either make us stronger or it can highlight our weaknesses and crack us into pieces.
Difficult (actors) and creatively engaged (actors) are not the same. Having an engaged, invested cast and crew comes through on a molecular level.
As an actor, you have to be able to endure repetition without losing emotion or energy. You’re hysterical? Do it again. You’re experiencing the most piercing loss? Do it again. And again. How to be honest and true and feel all of those feelings on command? Then repeat? You just do. To get through, to communicate, to move your audience regardless of the problems, that’s the job.
How he decides on a role (weighted in this order): Story first, then Text, then Role, then Director, then Cast/Misc, then Time.Of course, every now and then, an offer comes up that’s too good to refuse.
It’s okay to be afraid. Being afraid can actually be a sign you’re doing something worthwhile. If I’m considering a role and it makes me nervous, but I can’t stop thinking about it – that’s often a good indication I’m onto something important.
I think you run a tremendous risk of getting complacent if you don’t keep looking for changes. You should never be too at ease on stage. Get too rehearsed, too relaxed, you lose focus and slip into autopilot, and then you’re not listening… some actors panic; some assimilate mistakes and correct course. If you’re paying attention, if you’re present, more often than not you can rise to the occasion… you have to be open and present and willing to adapt. If you tell me a play is locked at opening night and there’s no room for exploration or change, I’d say I’m probably not the best actor for your play… every performance needs to have its intimacy, its difference.
I’m Andrew Wade, and I’m here to talk to you about life with dayjobs as a theatre artist. This isn’t advice persay, because goodness knows I don’t have a perfectly arranged life, but I thought I’d share a few ways I’ve seen people somehow both manage paying their rent and working in theatre, and what I’ve found works for me.
First, if you’re a Vancouver artist who makes their whole living doing what you love… bravo! You have my respect. Whether you’re someone who managed to slowly increase the percentage of your income earned by theatre work, piece by piece, until it made up the whole of your income, or one of those brave souls who quit everything and leapt face first into the profession to great success… I’m impressed.
I know of one fringe artist who works his butt off all summer long. He travels from fringe festival to fringe festival, using those May to September months to earn his income for the entire year. It seems like half of the time, he didn’t even win the draw to be in the particular fringe festival, but he hounds the organizers for open spots, and when some company drops out at the last minute, as often happens, he seizes the opportunity, flyers like a madman, and draws crowds. Now, this is Fringe Festival money, not investment banker money, so to survive off his earnings he then lives the rest of his year in somewhere with cheap living expenses, like an island in the pacific ocean. Earn quick, live cheap.
That’s a sort of balance. But for most of us, we need day jobs. Personally, I’ve always been enamoured by the idea of working like someone out in the oil fields, going hard for four months of the year, and then having enough money to take the rest of the year off to make art, act in shows, write. But then I’d have to work in the oil fields, and with these delicate hands? Pass. But if you can find high paying seasonal work, amazing.
There are also plenty of people in our community who choose to work the full time joe job that lets them act in one solid production a year, and if that’s your life, all the more power to you!
But for those of you like myself who want to hustle all year ‘round, going to auditions and seeking out roles, maybe booking the odd stage management or directing gig, you’re going to want to look at finding flexible work where you get to opt in to all of your working hours rather than constantly needing to get shifts covered. Many theatre artists do the 9am-5pm, full time job, and then straight to rehearsals and performances every evening, but in my view, those fifteen hour days just aren’t sustainable.
When looking for a flexible day job that will let you take time off to work that theatre contract, there are a couple of categories. First, there’s the job that you can do ANYWHERE, AT ANY TIME. My own part-time role as Executive Director for the Richmond Arts Coalition is like that. 98% of the job is spent online, updating websites and databases, sending off emails and scouring the web for arts events to compile into even more emails… all stuff I can do at 2am or whenever it’ll fit into my schedule. Other theatre artists I know do transcription work – writing up the words spoken in videos for a fee. These are jobs that are guaranteed not to be double-booked with the moment you’re about to go on as Lady Macbeth.
Second, there are the day jobs with opt-in scheduling. These are jobs that send out or post a schedule each month and say ‘what days can you work?’ and then they fill their shifts accordingly. The key to these jobs is to be valuable but expendable. You want them to want you to work as much as possible, but to not NEED you to be there. For me, I have wonderful employers at SFU Woodwards and Gateway Theatre who work this way for my Front of House Manager jobs, and my event shifts at Science World and for a company unfortunately acronymed as BBW work similarly. They’re delighted to have me, but the roof won’t fall in if I’m not there, because I’m one of a fleet of workers they have to fill those shifts. The shift opportunities themselves are quite irregular and they couldn’t have full time workers if they wanted to as the shifts only happen when there is a show or an event!, so they can’t expect their workers not to have other things going on in their life.
I’m told that serving jobs often pretend to be like this, but are often a trap, leading to angry employers demanding their employees be there for the busy Saturday when they’re supposed to be at rehearsal. I’ve steered clear of those jobs.
The downside to this kind of work is that it tends not to pay a whole lot, admittedly. That’s a sacrifice I make for knowing I can build a survivable, steady income whenever I don’t have a theatre gig to take up my time.
You may have noticed that most of my own day jobs are arts related. That is no coincidence! I’ve surrounded my work life with bosses who love the arts and want me to succeed as an artist, and that support is invaluable. There have been a lot of company rules bent in my direction to help me along my path because my bosses believe in the arts, and they believe in me.
To emphasize that point, I just came off of a dinner theatre contract that kept me in Alberta for five months, and might have gone as long as eight months. I was real nervous about it – I accepted the gig in late November and left December 31st. Not a whole lot of notice. I was sure I was going to lose some of my Vancouver safety net, but you know what? To a person, my bosses were all delighted for me. They told me not to worry about it, and that they’d look forward to offering me shifts when I got back into town. And now I’ve accepted a second dinner theatre contract that’ll take me back to the prairies from mid July until either January or April, and they’re still happy for me.
So that’s my advice – if you want to be theatre-flexible all year round, find jobs with bosses who love the theatre where you can be valuable but expendable, so that you can disappear for that two month contract when you book it. My own financial anxiety finds the idea of dropping all day jobs to pursue my art full time to be far too intimidating (and frankly, I’m not sure I’ve got the talent to achieve a lofty goal like that in Vancouver), so I keep dayjobs like these, with my schedule flexible but my rent payments steady.
Every year (2013) (2014) (2015) (2016) (2017) I have put out a blog post with financial breakdowns of my fringe festival experiences. I only spent time in Salmon Arm and Vancouver last year, but as I sit second on the waitlist for Vancouver Fringe this year, I figure I shouldn’t break the streak! So here’s how we did:
“I just want you to know, your show will stick with me forever. Thank you.” – a woman who recognized us at a diner, a couple of hours after a Salmon Arm performance
For 2018, I applied for a number of festivals with Hullaboo and The End of Everything. As is statistically probable, my lottery luck was not with me: Winnipeg Fringe (nope), Calgary Fringe for the first time instead of applying for Saskatoon (they take place at the same time) (nope), Victoria Fringe (nope), Nanaimo Fringe (nope), CAFF Lottery (nope), Edmonton Fringe (nope), and Vancouver Fringe (nope, but got in as a Bring Your Own Venue). I also submitted for Salmon Arm’s weekend-long ‘Theatre On The Edge’, which isn’t a Fringe as they select their entrants, but is otherwise similar to one.
Note that I have NEVER gotten into Edmonton or Winnipeg… I think that by now, including CAFF lotteries, I must be a startling 0 for 16 in lottery draws to get to those cities.
So, the tally for 2018? 0 for 7, mitigated by finding a BYOV for Vancouver Fringe and finding a juried festival that would take us.
Keep in mind that while I produced the show, all profits were to be shared between myself and the lovely Katie Purych (with our Stage Manager Bonnie Duff receiving a fee for Salmon Arm).
Failed Fringe Application Fees: (application fees don’t come cheap!) Winnipeg: -25.00$ Calgary: -35.00$ Victoria: -30.00$ Nanaimo: -25.00$ CAFF Lottery: -25.00$ Edmonton: Full fee of -761.25$, with 724.50$ returned six months later = -36.75$ (plus whatever interest I would have earned on that money in the interim) Total: -176.75$
Edmonton Fringe continues to have a very awkward and irksome application fee system.
Salmon Arm Theatre On The Edge Expenses: Festival fee: -225.00$ Gas money: -80.00$ Stage Manager fee: -100.00$ (Bonnie Duff adamantly refused to accept payment, was happy for the job training and adventure, demanded I put the fee towards paying those failed application fees.) Total Salmon Arm Expenses: -305.00$
Vancouver Fringe Expenses: Application fee: -50.00$ BYOV fee: -450.00$ Carousel Theatre Venue Fees: -895.00$ Postcards (1000): -74.05$ Carousel Theatre Taxes: -44.75$ Posters (25): -16.40$ Facebook ad: -20.00$ Tape for posters: -13.62$ Videographer: -60.00$ Total Vancouver Fringe Expenses: -1563.82$
Fortunately, a lot of the Hullaboo expenses – such as puppet creation and costuming – were covered in last year’s over 1600.00$ loss on putting up the show in Saskatoon.
Expenses not included: – Food eaten / groceries bought – Lost income from not working dayjobs
And now let’s look at what we earned!
Salmon Ticket sales (after festival took their percentage cut): +845.52$ Vancouver Fringe Ticket sales: +1564.00$
Which means that our overall profits were:
Salmon Arm: +540.52$ (with 220.26$ going to myself, 220.26$ to Katie Purych, and 100.00$ as per Bonnie Duff’s request, going toward paying failed festival fees)
Vancouver Fringe: +0.18$
Seriously. We made eighteen cents in Vancouver.
+1564.00$ in sales, with -1563.82$ in expenses.
We should be running a non-profit.
Katie respectfully refused to accept her nine cents of profit and told me to put it toward the next production.
For those who are interested, here is how our Vancouver ticket sales spread out from performance to performance: Exchange Vouchers (comps we gave out to a group that sends low-income families to shows): 5+0+0+5+5+0+0+0 = 15 (0.00$) Super At Door / Superpass (comps): 1+2+2+1+1+6+2+1 = 16 (0.00$) Rush Pass (comps for volunteers and performers): 0+7+2+0+14+8+1+5 = 37 (0.00$) Half-Price Ticket (second show only) (11$): 12 (72.00$) Frequent Fringer 10 or 30 Pack (9$): 1+0+0+2+2+1+1+3 = 10 (90.00$) Frequent Fringer 4 Pack (10$): 0+0+3+0+3+0+1+0 = 7 (70.00$) Regular Tickets (12$): 6+0+12+9+28+12+11+33 = 111 (1332.00$)
And for a day by day breakdown, our audience sizes were: 13 – 21 – 19 – 17 – 53 – 28 – 16 – 42 .
Those 53 and 42 size audiences were huge confidence boosters. One of them also included BOTH my kindergarten teacher AND my high school drama teacher, who both loved the show. My kindergarten teacher said I was one of the most gifted kids she ever taught. My drama teacher overheard this and said something along the lines of, ‘Well, I wouldn’t go THAT far, but I’m glad to see you’re doing well’. 😛
Overall, we made +463.95$ this summer (with 220.26$ going to Katie Purych), which compares thusly to prior years:
2017: -296.62$ 2016: -58.21$ 2015: +897.63$ (due to fee for writing TITUS) 2014: +83.51$ 2013: -1671.16$
All the gratitude I have in my heart goes to Katie and Bonnie for adventuring this past summer with me and giving Hullaboo and The End of Everythingsome life!
Hopefully he will emerge out from under the bed again sometime!
After some twenty or so festivals of performing my own one-person-shows with stage managers acquired along the way, I felt it was time to collaborate. So when I decided to put together Hullaboo and The End of Everything, I looked to see where I could include other people along the journey – people with skills and talents beyond my own. My dear friend Fairlith Harvey designed Hullaboo’s delightful costume. My fringe friend Shelby Lyn Lowe built me a giant puppet monster. And I wrote the show as a two-hander.
Hullaboo, the imaginary friend, and Mikaila the Magnificent, the girl who needed him.
I wrote the script, designed the postcards and poster, bought the plane tickets, filled out the forms, and learned the main part, true, but at its core, the project wasn’t just mine anymore — it was ours. I like that feeling.
There were trials and tribulations in getting this show up on its feet. The script itself is my third try to turn Hullaboo into a show. And two and a bit weeks out from heading to Saskatoon Fringe last summer, the other actor (playing Mikaila) got an amazing theatre contract opportunity and had to drop out.
One desperate plea to facebook later… and Katie Purych agreed to step into the role. A role with a mere two weeks before we needed to be on flights bound for Saskatoon. A role that required taking two weeks off of work on very short notice. A profit-share role for a show that was likely to see very little profit.
And yet she jumped right in. And thanks to all the wonderful people around me, the show really works. It’s powerful. It’s fierce. It’s touching. It’s a Pixar movie on the stage, according to one review.
We took the show to the Theatre On The Edge festival in Salmon Arm last month, and in a restaurant, we were stopped by an audience member who told us that our show would stay with her forever.
I couldn’t have done it without the wonderful people around me.
Next up, Hullaboo comes to the Vancouver Fringe Festival. Hope to see you there.
Hullaboo and The End of Everything
Performed by Andrew Wade and Katie Purych Written by Andrew Wade SM: Bonnie Duff. Monster Design: Shelby Lyn Lowe
The story of an imaginary friend who refuses to be forgotten.
Hullaboo has been Mikaila The Magnificent’s sidekick for as long as he can remember, going on incredible adventures and fighting the evil Scowl. But now Mikaila is growing up without him and a monster is hunting Hullaboo. What can an imaginary friend do to survive?
“It’s smart, funny, and poignant – Fringe theatre at its finest… If you ever wanted to see a Pixar movie at the Fringe, this is it.”
– Saskatoon StarPhoenix
From the creator/performer of The Hatter (4.5 stars, StarPhoenix), The Most Honest Man In The World (part of TOTE in 2017), and William vs The World. Wade also wrote the book/lyrics for a Vancouver Fringe ‘PICK OF THE FRINGE’ winner, TITUS! The Light and Delightful Musical Comedy of Titus Andronicus. (5 stars, Vancouver Sun)
LOCATION: Carousel Theatre (on Granville Island)
1411 Cartwright Street
For the past few years (2013) (2014) (2015) (2016),I have put out a blog post with financial breakdowns of my fringe festival experiences. With draws for Vancouver and Victoria fringe festivals coming up, I figure it is long overdue for me to write my annual Fringe Financials post for 2017!
In 2017, I decided to go ambitious with my new project, Hullaboo and The End of Everything. I had a costume designer friend help me create a custom look for Hullaboo. I wrote a TWO PERSON show (twice my regular number of people), knowing that it would also double my transportation costs. I booked a photoshoot just for this show. I had a puppet-maker friend help me out. The challenge for 2017 was going to be making a very professional-looking show.
In reality, the challenge ended up being that AND finding a new co-start with less than two weeks to go when the original actor got a long-term, paying contract elsewhere (which I totally understand and was okay with versus the uncertainty of profit-share fringing!).
So how did our 4.5/5 star-reviewed show do?
“This is a show that I can recommend enthusiastically. It’s smart, it’s fun, it tugs at the heartstrings — if you ever wanted to see a Pixar movie at the Fringe, this is it.” – Saskatoon Starphoenix
And at what cost?
For summer of 2017, I applied for seven lottery/first-come-first-serve draws: Saskatoon Fringe (first-come-first serve, put on waitlist, later got in), the CAFF lottery (did not win), Winnipeg Fringe (did not win), Edmonton Fringe (did not win), Calgary Fringe (did not win), Vancouver Fringe (did not win), Victoria Fringe (did not win).
So, I went 1 / 7.
All in all, those application fees (aka ‘put my name in the hat’ fees) set me back a fair amount:
Failed Fringe Application fees:
CAFF Lottery: -25.00$
Edmonton: -36.75$ (in a super awkward way of paying 708.75$ and then getting 672.00$ of that back, a month later)
Victoria: -30.00$ TOTAL: -201.75$
Saskatoon-specific production costs:
Application fee: -50.00$
Festival fee: -680.00$
Plane ticket to Saskatoon (Me): -156.58$
Plane ticket from Saskatoon (Me): -156.58$
Plane ticket to Saskatoon (Katie): -156.58$
Plane ticket (Katie left a couple of days before I did, on a slightly more expensive flying day): -183.88$
Total cost to switch plane tickets to work for my wonderful replacement actor: 0$
(actual cost was 262.50$, but the first actor reimbursed that amount)
Handbills from eprintfast: -63.25$
Poster printing from Clubcard: -13.33$
Packing tape for posters: -3.35$ TOTAL: -1463.55$
Expenses not included:
– Fringe bar beers
– Rent paid back home
– Food eaten / groceries bought
– Lost income from not working dayjobs.
Ooof! That’s a significant amount for a guy who doesn’t earn all that much.
So let’s take a look at the income:
Ticket sales: +489.49$ TOTAL: +489.48$
… … Eeeep.
How’s that? Let’s break it down:
Advance ticket sales (12$): 0+0+0+0+2+2+4 = 8 sales (+96.00$)
Company/volunteer comps: 4+8+4+9+6+7+5 (I let volunteers in) = 43 tickets (0.00$)
Rush Media: 0+1+0+0+0+0+0 = 1 ticket (with that review quote above! 0.00$)
Frequent Fringer 5 Pack (11$): 0+2+0+2+0+0+1 = 5 sales (+55.00$)
Frequent Fringer 10 Pack (10$): 0+0+0+0+2+0+1 = 3 sales (+30.00$)
Frequent Fringer 20 Pack (9$): 0+1+0+0+1+2+0 = 4 sales (+36.00$)
Frequent Fringer – Child (7$): 0+0+4+0+0+0+0 = 4 sales (+28.00$)
And then this fringe removes GST (the only festival in the country to so do): -31.52$ = 489.48$
Needless to say, that profit share with Katie didn’t really work out. We still had a fun time, though.
BUT ANDREW, YOU GOT A GREAT 4.5 STAR REVIEW!
Yes, yes I did. Unfortunately, they never printed the review in their print paper – it was only online, if you scrolled down a bunch. They didn’t even include it in their ‘best of fringe’ feature where they reprinted reviews, even though that feature included a large number of shows with worse review scores. Alas. And Saskatoon is a ‘reads the paper’ kind of town. That’s my guess as to why so few people saw the show. But I really don’t know.
FINAL FINANCIAL VERDICT: -1642.29$
Compare to 2016’s -58.21 Compare to 2015’s +897.63$ (due to fee for writing TITUS) Compare to 2014’s +83.51$ Compare to 2013’s -1671.16$
Let’s not leave it on that rather dour (albeit tax deductible) note. For there were other fringe-related developments in 2017! I took part in a number of non-fringe festivals with previously fringe shows, and performed a few of them at the Heritage Grill as part of Way Off Wednesdays (run by the lovely Devon More). Let’s take a look at those:
Non-Fringe with Fringe Shows:
In March, I performed my Hatter show twice in New Westminster at the Heritage Grill as a by donation show:
First Performance Donations: +134.90$
Second Performance Donations: +10$ (yeah, it was a bit of a bust)
I also performed The Most Honest Man in the World at the same location that month, by donation:
And in December, I performed Hullaboo and The End of Everything once at that location, by donation:
Profit share to Katie: -78.20$ Heritage Grill by donation total: +325.65$
Due to previously being in Port Alberni during their fringe, I was invited back to their Solstice Festival to perform William vs The World:
Solstice artist fee: +650.00$
Ferry Expenses: -16.95$ (there)
Ferry Expenses: -16.95$ (back)
Stage manager pay: -66.09$ Solstice total: +550.01$
I also took my show, The Most Honest Man in the World, to a separate non-fringe festival in Salmon Arm, Theatre On The Edge, for two performances:
Festival fee: -225.00$
Greyhound to Salmon Arm: -62.90$
Return trip cost thanks to the lovely Andrew Bailey and thanks to his lovely girlfriend: 0$
Artist take-home from ticket sales: +757.90$ Salmon Arm total: +470.00$
I also performed in a Geekenders show (Slumber Here) at Vancouver Fringe, but it did not make any money. Which was to be expected, as we had to hire a live donkey for the show!
More generous end verdict:
If I balance these fringe show fees beside my fringe losses from Saskatoon, we get an end of 2017 financial figure of…. : -296.63$
My 2016 Fringe: By The Numbers – Vancouver Edition
Every (2013)single (2014)year (2015), I put out a blog post with financial breakdowns of my fringe festival experiences. This summer, however, I took a break from the tour as a whole and only performed in Vancouver.
Before I get started, I just want to give Vancouver Fringe kudos for making the ticket costs more transparent this year, at least online, clearly separating the amount of each ticket price that is given to the performer versus the fringe festival fee attached to each ticket.
This year (2016), Vancouver Fringe had 100 shows – more than ever before, but fewer than the advertised number of 110 due to ‘Generation HOT’ and special event shows – and gave $260,213.00 in revenues to artists.
Divide that number by the number of shows, and the average revenue per company would be 2,602.13$ . Given how successful many companies are, it’s safe to peg the median revenue figure somewhere lower than that.
(thanks to Shantini Klaassen for getting these numbers to me.)
So let’s take a look at how I did compared to the average!:
Vancouver audience numbers (for William vs The World): # of performances: 9
BYOV Venue capacity (Arts Umbrella): 31
Total # of audience members: 10 + 30 + 23 + 24 + 23 + 13 + 15 + 30 + 29 = 197.
Average # of audience members per show: 21.8
Total # of paying audience members: 4 + 17 + 15 + 20 + 13 + 10 + 8 + 18 + 19 = 124.
Average # of paying audience members per show: 13.78
Comp ticket breakdown:
# of Kids Up Front ticket donation: 12 (I gave four comp tickets to each of my first three shows to https://www.kidsupfrontvancouver.com/ , a charity that Vancouver Fringe partners with.) # of Super Pass comps (given to those who billet artists – let artists stay with them): 1
# of Exchange Vouchers (another option for those who billet artists): 1
# of Kick Ass Pass comps (free fringing given out by the festival to staff and big donors): 3
# of Artist Request comps: 5 (I had a few friends arrive late to one show so I booked them comps for another, and I traded show tickets with another friend.)
# of ‘Comp-Advance’ (any comps booked in advance): 17
# of volunteer/artist rush comps (Vancouver Fringe has an awesome rush line system where volunteers and other artists can see non-sold-out shows for free): 34
Failed Fringe Application fees:
Saskatoon: -50.00$ (actually got in, but had to drop out.) Orlando: -33.43$
CAFF (Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals lottery): -25.00$
San Diego: -56.99$ (got in, but dropped due to potential border issues due to citizenship problems) Nanaimo: -25.00$
Vancouver Fringe fees:
Lottery draw (did not get in): -50.00$
Vancouver Fringe BYOV fee: -450.00$
Arts Umbrella venue fee: -500.00$
Arts Umbrella-required extra venue insurance: -43.75$ (+time to find insurance broker)
Photoshoot: 0$ (reused content from previous year.)
Packing tape for posters: -3.55$
25 Posters from Clubcard: -12.26$
1000 postcard handbills from ePrintFast: -75.28$
Chuck the Third (cactus prop/character): -8.95$
Expenses not included: Fringe bar beers (5?): Roughly -27.50$ – Rent paid (as I live here)
– Food eaten
– Lost income from not working dayjobs (although during the festival I DID admittedly work one Science World shift, one SFU-Woodwards front of house shift, and put in a few hours on Richmond Arts Coalition items in my role there as Administrative Assistant.)
Frequent Fringer 4: 10$ per ticket = 0$ to the festival, 10$ to the artist.
Frequent Fringer 10 or 30: 9$ per ticket = 0$ to the festival, 9$ to the artist.
Full ticket price: 14$ = 3$ to the festival, 11$ to the artist.
# of Frequent Fringer 4 tickets sold: 5 tickets :: at 10$ per ticket = 50.00$
# of Frequent Fringer 10 + 30 tickets sold: 29 tickets :: at 9$ per ticket = 261.00$
# of full tickets sold: 90 tickets sold = 990.00$
Average amount per ticket, paid to the artist: 10.49$
FINAL FINANCIAL VERDICT: 1301.00$ – 1359.21$ = -58.21
Compare to 2015’s +897.63$ (due to fee for writing TITUS) Compare to 2014’s +83.51$
Compare to 2013’s -1671.16$
William vs The World is a harder show to sell than The Most Honest Man In The World, and I didn’t have any other festivals this year to build any sort of momentum or media push, so I expected a smaller turnout, and that happened. All the same, the only reason the number was negative this year was due to festival fees for festivals I ended up not getting into or dropping out of, so I’m content. It was a lot of fun to get to be a part of at least one fringe this year.
Felt like home.
And a final image of how I transported my set to and from Granville Island. 🙂
I don’t feel like a writer unless I am writing. I don’t feel like an actor unless I am auditioning or acting. And if I am not actively writing or acting, I can feel like I’m not doing much of anything with my life.
So with that in mind, every once in a while I need to remind myself both of what I’ve done recently and what is set as still to come. A career-wise State Of The Andrew, if you will. So as I feel all insecure and whatnot, let’s take a look at what I’ve actually been involved with this year:
Several months: Cassie And Friends
Puppeteered a show about Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis in elementary schools (yes, with puppets) once a week for a while!
January: The Undocumented Trial of William C. Hopkinson
A sold-out run of a socially important (and darn good) show that zero members of the theatre community saw. It was fascinating to work mostly within the Sikh community on this piece, both in creative collaborators and audience attendees. I also loved getting a chance to be in a non-musical show – only the second one I’ve had the opportunity of acting in (other than shows I’ve written myself) since I came back to Vancouver in 2011. (The other show was The Boys In The Band.)
January: OVATION! Awards
I performed a song from Carry On at the OVATION! Awards. And lost the best new musical award, alas. Three time nominee! Gotta get to Leonardo DiCaprio runner-up level status!
March: Richmond Arts Coalition
While not a creative exercise in itself, my part-time job at the Richmond Arts Coalition is 1000% about supporting other artists. Which is nifty.
March: The 2nd Annual 24-Hour Musical Theatre SMACKDOWN Competition
My team won! In the span of a day, we put together a 20 minutes+ musical with required elements such as The CN Tower, the 1930’s, a rubber horse head mask, and a song style that I can’t remember. I was the head book-writer for our group. SO MUCH FUN. And I am frankly astonished that our team took the prize, given that the stiff competition included incredibly talented and witty theatre creators like Sebastian Archibald! (I am now the only person to be on both winning teams from year one and two!)
April: The Mad Tea Party Cabaret
Performed The Unbirthday Song as The King of Hearts at a fundraiser cabaret.
May/June: VanDeca performances
I took on the challenge this year of performing in a choir (alongside my little sister!).
May: People Like Us
A chance to sing songs I’ve always wanted to sing (Quiet from Matilda, Falling Slowly from Once, Sea of Pebbles from TITUS), and to raise money for a good cause (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia), as well as an opportunity to connect with a grassroots opera company run by friends.
June: The Solstice Arts Festival – The Hatter and William vs The World
I offered to perform two different one-man-shows in two days, which was perhaps not the best for my sanity, but it made for a solid challenge. It turns out that relearning two hours solid just-me-talking takes a lot of hard work! Especially as I hadn’t performed The Hatter in two and a half years, and had only once taken this version of William vs The World to a festival. It was lovey to get another chance to perform in Port Alberni, especially in this otherwise fringe-tour-less summer.
June: TITUS!: The Light and Delightful Musical Comedy of Titus Andronicus – Edits
Finished the words side of rewrites for TITUS, coming to The York Theatre this month! The show is my dear, dear baby, in two act form for the very first time.
Puppeteered some giant Irish Elk skeleton puppets around downtown at 3am one night. As ya do.
July: Student Films
In July I began auditioning in earnest for student film projects in order to get more screentime under my belt. Nothing has been filmed yet. There have been complications around scheduling due to my dayjobs and other performance commitments — apparently all student films only want to record on Saturdays and Sundays!
July: La Serva Padrona
Opera Mariposa asked me back to be in an actual opera! Admittedly in a non-singing, non-speaking clownish servant character role, but I was onstage for the majority of the show. I never saw a script, and only vaguely knew what the other characters were saying (in archaic Italian). I functioned off a loose set of ‘be here when this happens, there when that happens’ choreography, and otherwise follow the specific instructions to steal focus from the singers and try to be as ridiculous as possible. SO. MUCH. FUN.
August (to come): TITUS! The Light and Delightful Musical Comedy of Titus Andronicus
Come! Please do!
August (to come): Gorepalooza IV
I am currently slated to wrestle in a kiddy pool filled with fake blood as an over-the-top pro wrestling character. Too fantastic to NOT do.
September (to come): The Mad Hatter
I will be roaming around the Richmond World Festival as The Mad Hatter for a few hours.
September (to come): Who Killed Kraft Bier?
I will be a character in a one day site-specific show that has people travelling around, drinking beer!
September (to come): William vs The World at Vancouver Fringe
Come! Please do!
Here’s the blurb:
William has built for himself a perfect fortress of solitude. A dream job at a geek store and all the time he could want to watch superhero cartoons, become the ultimate Dragonborn, and avoid other people. But how will William and Chuck (his cactus) survive when their perfect world collapses?
Performing September 7th-17th at Arts Umbrella on Granville Island, as part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival!
Looking at it, I feel I would be happier now if I had devoted more time this year to writing (perhaps at the expense of a few paying-the-rent dayjob shifts) and I need to get better at making this screenacting thing happen. That said, while I haven’t worked a long contract this year, I can’t say I haven’t been active.
What do you think – Am I adequately maintaining my theatre creator credibility? Am I accomplishing anything at a rate at which future accomplishment is inevitable? Am I just spinning my wheels? Inquiring insecurities want to know! 🙂
Toronto audience numbers
(for The Most Honest Man In The World):
# of performances: 7
Total # of audience members: 156 (this number is actually lower — skewed by artist comps not used by people for 1st and 2nd performances)
Average # of audience members per performance: 22 (without 1st comps: 17)
# of comps given away to 1st show to try and build word of mouth: 30
# of comps given away to 2nd show to try and build word of mouth: 10
# of comps to media: 3
# of artist comps (it is SUPER awkward to get other artists comps in Toronto): 5
# of comps to outreach (including to a group of new immigrants): 21
# of comps to VIPS (like artistic directors): 9
# of comps to volunteers: 11
Total # of paying audience members: 11 + 5 + 7 + 9 + 4 + 15 + 15 = 66
Average @ of paying audience members per performance: 9
Saskatoon audience numbers
(for William vs The World):
# of performances: 7
Total # of audience members: 120
Average # of audience members per performance: 17
# of comps to fringe staff: 0
# of comps to fellow performers: 37
# of comps to media: 1
# of volunteer comps: 20
Total # of paying audience members: 6+11+8+11+8+6+11 = 61
Average # of paying audience members per performance: 9
(last year’s average of paying ticket holders for Honest Man in Saskatoon was 21.)
Nanaimo audience numbers
(for The Most Honest Man In The World):
# of performances: 6
Total # of audience members: 82
Average # of audience members per performance: 14
# of comps to VIPs: 13
# of comps to ‘Buck’ (volunteer bucks?): 6
# of comps to artists via password: 9
Total # of paying audience members: 0 + 14 + 11 + 12 + 6 + 9 = 54 (yes, I had zero paying ticket holders to my first performance. Seven comps, though.) Average # of paying audience members per performance: 9
Victoria audience numbers
(for The Most Honest Man In The World):
# of performances: 6
Total # of audience members: 26 + 19 + 34 + 25 + 18 + 47 = 169
Average # of audience members per performance: 28
# of comps: 11 + 4 + 6 + 8 + 6 + 10 = 45
Total # of paying audience members: 124
Average # of paying audience members per performance: 21
Vancouver audience numbers
(for The Most Honest Man In The World): (Note: the venue could only hold between 30-39 people. The capacity expanded mid-run.)
# of performances: 8 (due to being a BYOV)
Total # of audience members: 238
Average # of audience members: 30
Smallest house: 9
Second smallest house: 25. No one comes out to a 1pm Saturday show apparently.)
# of advance comps: 15
# of artist’s choice comps (videographer): 1
# of comps plus membership purchase: 10 (no income to me on these.) # of comps to media: 2
# of comps to Rush Passes: 38
# of comps to Super Passes: 5
# of comps to Kick Ass Passes: 6
# of comps to Golden Ass Passes: 3
# of Frequent Fringer 10 or 30 packs: 11
# of Frequent Fringer 4 packs: 11
# of regular tickets sold (with or without memberships): 13 + 12 + 2 + 12 + 22 + 19 + 31 + 25 = 136
Average # of paying audience members per performance: 17
(Vancouver has a LOT of ticket categories!)
Failed Fringe Application Fees: Winnipeg: -20.00$
Total: -71.25$ Toronto Fringe Expenses: Application fee: -27.50$
Festival fee: -750.00$ Flight to Toronto: -334.00$ Poster printing (25) from Clubcard: -13.27$
Handbills (1000) from ePrintFast: -50.55$
Weekly transit pass: -40.75$
Gift of pillow for billet: -10.00$
Booze = -10.00$
1/2 of cost of flight to Saskatoon: -121.65$
1/2 of Baggage fee of flight to Saskatoon: ~-16.58$ Total: -1374.30$
Saskatoon Fringe Expenses: Festival Fee: -730.00$ 1/2 of cost of flight to Saskatoon: -121.65$
1/2 of Baggage fee of flight to Saskatoon: ~-16.58$ Photoshoot cactus prop: -5.59$
Chuck the Cactus in Saskatoon: -11.00$ Poster printing (25) from Clubcard: -13.27$
Handbills (1000) from ePrintFast: -53.94$
Bottle of Fireball Whiskey for my spoof on Spoof Night: -15.95$
Booze = -6.00$
Flight home from Saskatoon: -185.98$
Baggage fee from Saskatoon: -26.25$
Nanaimo Fringe Expenses:
Application Fee: -25.00$ Festival Fee: -175.00$
Poster printing (25) from Clubcard: -13.27$
Handbills (500) from ePrintFast: -39.98$
Booze: -9.26$ + -5.70$ + -6.30$ + -20.00$ = -41.26$
Ferry to Nanaimo (with bike): -18.85$
Ferry from Nanaimo (with bike): -16.85$
Victoria Fringe Expenses:
Festival application fee: -28.00$ Festival fee: -572.00$ Poster printing (25) from Clubcard: -13.27$ Rechargeable batteries for blood pressure monitor: ~-19.00$
Handbills (1000) from ePrintFast: -44.07$
Booze from the store: -25.37$
Other booze: -7.40$ + -10.00$ = -17.40$
Ferry to Victoria: -16.70$
Ferry from Victoria: -16.70$
Ferry from Nanaimo (had to head down to Victoria via the mainland mid-Nanaimo-festival for a promo): -16.70$
Bus tickets to/from the Showdown Preview: -6.00$
Bus from ferry: -2.50$
Bus to ferry: -2.50$
Ferry back to Nanaimo: -16.85$
Vancouver Fringe Expenses:
Application fee: -50.00$ BYOV Festival fee to the Fringe: -450.00$
BYOV Festival fee to Arts Umbrella: -400.00$ Poster printing (25) from Clubcard: -13.27$
Handbills (1000) from ePrintFast: 44.07$
Other Expenses: Travel insurance (admittedly including a two week visit to the States) = -91.98$
Professional photoshoot with Dominic Chan for both shows: -140.00$
Foamcore Posterboards (for all Honest Man shows): -22.29$
Index Cards (for all Honest Man shows): -7.04$ Total: -261.31$
Expenses not considered: –Rent paid back home
– Groceries while on tour and between festivals, at home
– Lost income from not working my dayjobs
Toronto Fringe: Advance Ticket Price: 12$ with 2$ Admin fee = 10$ to artist Full Ticket Price: 10$ (which they thankfully didn’t advertise so much this year as in years past as being amazing because it has never gone up in 20 years, to which all artists respond with ‘inflation is a real thing, you guys’…) 5-Play Ticket Price: 8$ Advance Pass Ticket Price: 7.5$
10-Play Ticket Price: 7.5$
Advance Pass (’10SP85′ and ’10SPOF’ on paysheet) ticket sales: 9 = 67.50$
10-Play ticket sales: 1 = 7.50$
5-Play ticket sales: 1 = 8.00$
At Door and FP (??) ticket sales: 7 + 4 + 4 + 8 + 4 + 14 + 14 = 55 = 550.00$
Average amount per bought ticket, paid to the artist: 9.60$ Total: 633.00$
Saskatoon Fringe: (all numbers confused by the festival removing GST from payout) Full Ticket Price: 14$
5 Pack Ticket Price: 13$
10 Pack Ticket Price: 12$ Admin fee per ticket: -2$
Artist take-home of ticket price: 10$-12$
Advance ticket sales (14$ – 2$ = 12$ per ticket): 10 tickets = 120.00$
5 Pack ticket sales (13$ – 2$ = 11$ per ticket): 2 tickets = 22.00$
10 Pack ticket sales (12$ – 2$ = 10$ per ticket): 6 tickets = 60.00$
Ticket sales at door (14$ – 2$ = 12$ per ticket): 43 tickets = 516.00$
GST awkwardly deducted (the only festival to do so): -39.99$
Audience donation!: 10.00$
Found a 20$ bill in a gutter one night: 20.00$
Average amount per bought ticket, paid to the artist: 11.77$
Average amount per bought ticket, paid to the artist: 9.29$
Full Ticket Price: 11$
‘Munch’ Ticket Price: 11$
Frequent Fringer Ticket Price: 8$ (I did not elect to use discounted tickets for students/seniors, which was an option.)
Total Frequent Fringer ticket sales: 9 = 72.00$
Total Full + Munch ticket sales (advance and at the door): 115 = 1265.00$
Average amount per bought ticket, paid to the artist: 10.79$
Full Ticket Price: 14$
Frequent Fringer 4 Ticket Price: 13$
Frequent Fringer 10/30 Ticket Price: 12$
Admin fee per ticket on all tickets: -3$
Artist take-home of ticket prices: 9$-11$
Total Frequent Fringer 10 or 30 pack ticket sales (9$ per ticket to artist): 11 = 99.00$
Total Frequent Fringer 4 pack ticket sales (10$ per ticket to artist): 11 = 110.00$
Regular ticket sales (11$ per ticket to artist): 136 = 1496.00$
Total Vancouver ticket sales to artist: 1705.00$
Average amount per bought ticket, paid to the artist: 10.80$ Income for writing TITUS: The Light and Delightful Musical Comedy of Titus Andronicus: 1000.00$
Total Expenses (including travel costs):
Failed Fringe application fees: -71.25$
Toronto expenses: -1374.30$
Saskatoon expenses: -1186.21$
Nanaimo expenses: -330.21$
Victoria expenses: -813.76$
Vancouver expenses: -968.34$
Other expenses: -261.31$
Total Income: Toronto income: 633.00$
Saskatoon income: 708.01$
Nanaimo income: 520.00$
Victoria income: 1337.00$
Vancouver income: 2705.00$
FINAL FINANCIAL VERDICT: +897.63$ (due entirely to the 1000$ fee paid for writing TITUS.)
Compare to 2014’s +83.51$ Compare to 2013’s -1671.16$
It seems that as a producer/performer, I am still only a roughly break-even fringe artist. Plane tickets are expensive, Toronto is a hard nut to crack, and Saskatoon doesn’t want a show-in-progress.
As a writer, well, it seems I need to get commissioned to write shows more often.
According to Toronto Fringe…
Total # of ticket sales at Toronto Fringe, according to them: 64,000.
Total # of dollars returned to Fringe artists, according to them: 467,000$.
Therefore, average ticket price return for an artist for Toronto Fringe: 7.30$ per ticket ‘sold’.
Note: this is below the supposed minimum of 8.5$ that an artist should be receiving from 10-play-pass purchasers, which implies that the festival heralds comp/free tickets as ‘sold’ tickets in its marketing.
5: TITUS: The Light and Delightful Musical Comedy of Titus Andronicus received a FIVE STAR REVIEW from The Vancouver Sun! It was also Picked as a Pick Of The Fringe!
3.5: The number of stars this iteration of William vs The World received from the StarPhoenix in Saskatoon.
17: I have been a part of 17 different fringe festivals since 2011. (2011: Victoria, Vancouver. 2012: Victoria. 2013: London, Ottawa, Toronto, Saskatoon. 2014: Port Alberni, Regina, Saskatoon, Victoria, Vancouver. 2015: Toronto, Saskatoon, Nanaimo, Victoria, Vancouver. )
22: I have been a part of 22 different Fringe festival shows since 2011. (Directed BFA: The Musical! and Clutter and Contamination, Acted in Henry V, Stage-managed Sonnets For An Old Century, Wrote TITUS.)
This summer began AWFUL and ended wonderfully. I was super worried after Toronto and Saskatoon, though. Ooof.
I can’t get my footing at Toronto Fringe. I just don’t know how to reach an audience there. I felt I had a good show, I had an amazing reception from audience members who came, but never found traction. Not sure I’ll go back unless I’m working with a local Torontonian.
Also, the Tarragon Theatre is ridiculously stingy with their furniture. I needed two chairs and a surface to put things on. I had to go wandering on garbage day to find chairs people were throwing out, because the theatre was unwilling to lend me a couple of their own. And then carry those back to my billet on my back to be hosed down/cleaned. Boooo.
Toronto Fringe is still THE WORST for trying to get other artists to see your show… they essentially don’t allow any artist comps unless you give them a specific name of a specific person hours before your show begins. Which just isn’t practical. And they wouldn’t let us artists all use a given name as a password of sorts, either. We tried.
I had one AMAZING experience at Toronto Fringe, though… a man came up to me after the show, in tears. He actually fell to his knees, then cried into my shoulder a bit. He was a new immigrant from Bolivia who really connected to a moment in the middle of my show when I talk about being the new person to French Immersion, knowing no one, and what courage it takes to do something as simple as start a conversation. It’s moments like that that are why I perform.
Okay, and moments like the night in Nanaimo when a pretty lady kissed me on the cheek after a night of karaoke. I’m a sucker for things like that.
And the dozen-deep cuddle-puddle of fringe artists by the bridge in Saskatoon at 3am.
My Saskatoon show was a rushed job. I fully admit it. I ended up with a good show, but I spent my first while in town finishing and memorizing the script… it’s a good show now, and it’ll be great when I revise it further for Vancouver Fringe this upcoming summer, but aye… I was inside learning lines instead of outside handing out flyers, and the numbers show this. I’m still not sure how to best market the show.
This year’s Saskatoon Fringe had the potential to be much the same, so I dropped out. I’ve done the last-minute-build challenge. The idea I’m percolating… I want to give it a year to workshop at home and improve and grow.
Saskatoon’s Spoof Night is still the best part of the entire Fringe tour.
Nanaimo Fringe had a steep discount for festival passes, lowering the actual ticket price considerably from the 12$ sticker price.
500 Handbills is about 350 handbills too many for Nanaimo.
Handbill cost variation is due to where they were being shipped (Saskatoon vs Toronto vs Vancouver) and due to whether they were being shipped together with other orders or separately.
The gamer in me loves that my final payout in Victoria was 1337.00$ (1337 = LEET = Elite)
Colin Thomas, the big Vancouver reviewer, saw Honest Man in Victoria, and liked it! Well, his review was essentially ‘This was much better than his last show.’ Which I guess is a compliment. He didn’t much care for The Hatter.
Vancouver Fringe was my first time ever selling out a house. Granted, it was a house of fewer than 40 seats, but still. Thank you.
Also, thank you to the tiny Vancouver Fringe audience of other performers who were willing to catch a Saturday afternoon performance just so that I wasn’t doing the show for two people. I put out a message on the fringe facebook thread and a half-dozen kind souls came over to see the show with them. I love this community.
It’ll be hard to see everyone else’s adventures on the tour this summer as I mostly take a backseat.
I am trying to get a venue lined up for a couple more performances of The Most Honest Man In The World here in town. Let me know if you have any leads (or can get the Dusty Flowerpot to get back to me)!
If you missed TITUS, it’s being remounted at The York this August! And a re-invigorated and refocused William vs The World will be at the Arts Umbrella once more for Vancouver Fringe.
Victoria Fringe closed on Sunday, followed on Monday by my moving from Richmond to Vancouver, followed on Tuesday by my tech rehearsal and opening night for Vancouver Fringe. Today I’m typing this out at a dayjob, performing in a Fringe Flame storytelling event this evening, and then both of my Vancouver Fringe shows open tomorrow night! Life keeps running forward. Eventually I hope to buy groceries.
Vancouver is the sixth and final leg in my 2015 summer tour (through Toronto Fringe, then an unfringey stop in Ann Arbor, then Saskatoon Fringe, then Nanaimo Fringe, and then Victoria Fringe), which has kept me more or less away since the end of June. I have much to reflect upon and write about, I’m sure, but reflection is something to be done after the fact! For now, still running around like a silly, silly man.
If you’re at all interested in coming to check out what I’ve been up to, here is some show information for both TITUS and Honest Man in my new home city!
The Most Honest Man In The World is a self-produced personal storytelling show about my life-long obsession with honesty and living life genuinely. If you ever wanted to know far too much about me, here’s your chance. This is the program blurb:
“In this life-long love story about the pursuit of honesty over all happiness, Andrew Wade builds a working lie detector machine and straps himself in. Using stories, music, apps, mementos, and tap shoes, Wade looks at old relationships and insecurities as he tries to learn how to honestly let go. What do you need to let go of?”
I ALSO have spent much of this past year writing the book and lyrics for a commissioned work, TITUS: The Light and Delightful Musical Comedy of Titus Andronicus, being produced by Awkward Stage Productions! In it, I take possibly Shakespeare’s grisliest play and aim to make it… happy! Here’s the program blurb:
BLOOD, GORE, DISMEMBERMENT.
Made you look! Now imagine it all set to music. Shakespeare’s grizzliest play renewed into the giddiest musical, exploring why violence is so darn entertaining. Appalled? Offended? But you know you want to see it. So tap and sing along to TITUS—more than a parody, more than an adaptation—it’s a bloody grand time. World premiere inspired by Monty Python, Conan, ‘90s rock, Parker & Stone, and classic slapstick. TITUS is a dark struggle for power and revenge—but why slit a throat when you can sing and dance right?
Information for both shows is below.
The Most Honest Man In The World
Arts Umbrella, Granville Island,
1286 Cartwright Street
14$ + Fringe Membership
Available online at vancouverfringe.com and at the door.
SHOWTIMES:(show length: 65 minutes)
September 10th (Thurs) – 9:45pm September 15th (Tues) – 8:00pm
September 12th (Sat) – 8:00pm September 17th (Thurs) – 6:15pm
September 13th (Sun) – 1:00pm September 18th (Fri) – 6:15pm
September 13th (Sun) – 9:45pm September 19th (Sat) – 4:30pm
“This is a story about how to figure out the kind of truth that only art can help us understand, the kind we have to search within ourselves to figure out… it’s a wonderful, heartbreaking journey to go on with him.”
TITUS: The Light and Delightful Musical Comedy of Titus Andronicus
Firehall Arts Centre,
280 E Cordova St, Vancouver
14$ + Fringe Membership
Available online at vancouverfringe.com and at the door.
SHOWTIMES: (show length: ~75-90 minutes)
September 10th (Thurs) – 8:00pm September 17th (Thurs) – 10:00pm
September 12th (Sat) – 7:30pm September 18th (Fri) – 5:00pm
September 13th (Sun) – 2:00pm September 19th (Sat) – 7:45pm
September 15th (Tues) – 6:30pm September 20th (Sun) – 2:45pm
Happy to be back home to share my shows with family and friends. Let me know what you think!
So much to do! So much to do! Just keep swimming… just keep swimming…
In the past month and a half I have:
1) performed in two very different showings of BALLS! at the rEvolver Festival,
2) workshopped two separate musicals: Carry On (the show being birthed from the 24 hour SMACKDOWN competition) and TITUS: The Light and Delightful Musical Comedy of Titus Andronicus,
3) acted out several parts of TITUS as part of a public reading for further feedback,
4) officiated my sister’s not-actually-official wedding on an island,
5) Opened The Most Honest Man In The World in an extended 75 minute edition as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival.
Phew. Six more performances here in Toronto to go, as well as preparations for William vs The World in less than a month’s time in Saskatoon, plus more fringe stops in Nanaimo, Victoria, and Vancouver, as well as another TITUS draft sometime in the next couple of weeks.
For the VERY FIRST TIME EVER, I have made it onto the poster of something I am performing in (other than on posters I produced myself)! One week down, four more nights for the only not-for-children haunted house in town! Creepy Andrew skitters about until Halloween night!
And then, on November 4th, at the Rio Theatre, I am in my second ever burlesque show, Weird Al Burlesque! Yep. Expect to see a man become a spy. And expect a spy… to Spy Hard.
I am also now a spare puppeteers for Cassie And Friends , a society for children with juvenile arthritis and other rheumatoid diseases! Occasionally performing an awareness puppet show at schools around the lower mainland. And briefly appearing in this news video! : http://globalnews.ca/video/embed/1612634/
The Confidential Musical Theatre Project lands in Vancouver on December 8th! No rehearsals, just everyone showing up on the night and putting an amazing show together.
I have no idea what the show is yet.
And that takes my performances into the new year! I am also writing a show for a local theatre company for an upcoming fringe festival, just applied with The Most Honest Man In The World for a few fringe festivals, and am soon to jump back into workshopping a children’s show for touring in the new year.
Life is full and excellent!
And for those of you who have read to the end, here’s a bonus entry I made into a penny arcade comic contest. Their art, my words. Had to be on an Australian theme:
The numbers wherein Andrew Wade travelled to five different cities and performed in their Fringe Festivals. Last year, my first summer touring, I estimated that I spent 1671.16$ more on my tour and expenses than I earned. How about this year?
Port Alberni audience numbers (for The Hatter):
(audience numbers not provided by festival)
# of performances: 2
# of paying audience members: ??? (estimate: ~27)
Average # of paying ticket holders per show: ??? (estimate: ~13)
Average # of audience members (including comps): ??? (estimate: ~20)
Regina audience numbers (for The Hatter):
# of performances: 5
Total # of audience members: 110
Average # of audience members (including comps): 22
# of comps: 9+9+7+5+2 = 32
# of paying audience members: 22+14+10+16+16 = 78
Average # of paying ticket holders per show: 15.6
Saskatoon audience numbers (for The Most Honest Man In The World):
# of performances: 7
Total # of audience members: 219
Average # of audience members (including comps): 31
# of comps to fringe staff: 3
# of comps to fellow performers: 30
# of comps to media: 2
# of promo vouchers (?): 23
# of volunteer comps: 15
# of advance tickets sold: 20
# of paying audience members: 146
Average # of paying ticket holders per show: 21
Victoria audience numbers (for The Hatter):
# of performances: 6
Total # of audience members: 14+19+29+12+9+9 = 92
Average # of audience members (including comps): 15
# of comps: 4+6+12+3+2+6 = 33
# of full price advance tickets: 2
# of discounted advance tickets: 5
# of Muncher tickets (could be advance or at door, full price): 5
# of full price tickets at door: 20
# of discounted tickets at door: 23
# of Frequent Fringer (extra discounted) tickets: 4
Total # of paying audience members: 59
Average # of paying ticket holders per show: 10
Vancouver audience numbers (for The Hatter):
# of performances: 6
# of media comps: 1
# of volunteer comps: 6
# of performer rush comps: 21
# of artist comps (ones I gave out): 14
# of miscellaneous comps (?): 19
Total # of comps: 61
# of full price advance tickets: 50
# of 1/2 price advance tickets: 13
# of paying audience members: 133
# of total audience members: 194
Average # of paying ticket holders per show: 22
Average # of audience members: 32
Port Alberni Expenses:
Application fee: Free (First come, first serve)
Festival fee mailing: -0.66$
Festival fee: -200.00$
Cost per performance = -100.00$
500 Handbills (business cards): -29.39$
Travel to Port Alberni (ferry): -16.90$
Travel away (ferry): -16.90$
Ride from ferry to Port Alberni: -20.00$ Total: -287.41$
Application fee: -25.00$
Festival fee: -575.00$
Cost per performance = -120.00$
Packing tape: -13.43$
Styrofoam cups: -4.49$
Booze: -8.05 + -6.50 = -14.55$
1000 Handbills (business cards): -50.92$
25 posters: -22.62$
Gift to billet: -9.69$
Gift to fellow performer: -3.14$
Travel (Flights to Regina and back home to Vancouver): -388.76$
Extra flight travel cost (to and from) of taking a second suitcase full of props: -42.00$ Total: -1152.80$
Application fee: None (first come, first served)
Festival fee: -710.00$
Cost per performance = -101.43$
Prop (book ・Homeland): -8.35$
Props (Batteries) / grooming: -15.86$
Asparagus for spoof night skit: -0.40$
1000 Handbills (business cards, late getting them printed): -57.74$
25 posters: -18.67$
Gift to billet: -5.48$
Travel (Flights to Saskatoon and back home to Vancouver): -365.66$ Total: -1182.16$
Application fee: -28.00$
Festival fee: -572.00$
Cost per performance = -100.00$
Board game cafe day: -5.00$
Props (styrofoam cups): -3.74$
Bowling and pool with fellow fringers: -12.85$
Medical expenses: -38.12$
1000 Handbills (business cards): -35.93$
25 posters: -18.67$
Travel to (ferry+bus ticket): -19.25$
Travel away (ferry): -16.75$ Total: -756.81$
Application fee: -50.00$
Festival fee: -750.00$
Cost per performance = -133.33$
Styrofoam cups: ~ -6.00$
1000 Handbills (postcards ・so I could fit a map on them to the venue): -83.84$
My portion of venue handbill (shared with other companies): -60.00$
25 posters: -18.67$
Bus tickets to reach my venue: -19.20$
Food bank donation (a percentage of ticket sales): -39.65$ Total: -1032.36
Expenses not considered due to working shifts between festivals:
Rent back home, groceries both at home and on tour.
Ticket Price: 10$
Artist take-home of full ticket price: 10$
Full festival pass (84$ for 115$ value) = 27% off ticket price
# of full festival passes used = ??? Average amount per ticket paid to me: ???
Total payout from festival: 246.50$ Total: 246.50$
Ticket Price: 10$
Artist take-home of ticket price: 10$ Average amount per ticket paid to me: 10$
Total payout from festival: 780.00$
Donation from a lovely and beautiful friend to get me to fly rather than greyhound: 200.00$ Total: 980.00$
Saskatoon Income: (all numbers confused by additional GST reductions)
Full Ticket Price: 14$
Frequent Fringer Ticket Price: 12$
Admin fee per ticket = 2$
Artist take-home of full ticket price: 12$
Artist take-home of Frequent Fringer ticket price: 10$
Advance ticket sales (14$ – 2$ = 12$ per ticket): 20 tickets = 240.00$
Frequent Fringer (12$ – 2$ = 10$ per ticket): 44 tickets = 440.00$
Ticket sales at door (14$ – 2$ = 12$ per ticket): 82 tickets = 984.00$
GST awkwardly deducted: -93.13$
Progression of income per performance:
75.43 —> 73.62 —>290.76 —> 294.48 —> 298.38 —> 330.48 —> 207.72$
Average amount per ticket paid to me: 10.76$
Total payout from festival: 1570.87$ Total: 1570.87$
Scary Progression of income per performance:
96.19 —> 118.10 —> 162.86 —> 80.95 —> 65.71 —> 29.52$
Average amount per ticket paid to me: 9.85$
Total payout from festival: 581.00$
Vancouver Income: (complicated by having one half-price performance)
Ticket Price: 14$ + 5$ Membership
Admin fee per ticket = 3$ (+membership)
Artist take-home of ticket price: 11$
Advance full price ticket sales (14$ – 3$ = 11$ per ticket): 7+6+7+12+13= 45 tickets @ 11$ = 495.00$
Advance half-price ticket sales (Half of 11$ = 5.50$ per ticket): 13 tickets @ 5.50$ = 71.50$
Advance 4-pack Frequent Fringer ticket sales (10$ to me per ticket): 1 ticket @ 10$ = 10.00$
Advance 10-pack Frequent Fringer ticket sales (9$ to me per ticket): 2+1+1+3= 7 tickets @ 9$ = 63.00$
Day-of full price ticket sales (14$ – 3$ = 11$ per ticket): 9+5+5+12+18 = 49 tickets @ 11$ = 539.00$
Day-of half-price ticket sales (Half of 11$ = 5.50$ per ticket): 8 tickets @ 5.50$ = 44.00$
Day-of 4-pack Frequent Fringer ticket sales (10$ to me per ticket): 5 tickets @ 10$ = 50.00$
Day-of 10-pack Frequent Fringer ticket sales (9$ to me per ticket): 5 tickets @ 9$ = 45.00$
Happier Progression of income per performance:
199.00 –> 115.50 –> 167.00 –> 179.00 –> 273.00 –> 388.00$
Average amount per ticket (excluding half-price day) paid to me: 10.77$
Total ticket payout from festival: 1321.50$
Minus food bank donation: -39.65$ Total: 1281.85$
Total Expenses (including travel costs):
Failed Fringe application fees: -165.17$
Port Alberni expenses: -287.41$
Regina expenses: -1152.80$
Saskatoon expenses: -1182.16$
Victoria expenses: -756.81$
Vancouver expenses: -1032.36 Total: -4576.71$
Port Alberni income: 246.50$
Regina income: 980.00$
Saskatoon income: 1570.87$
Victoria income: 581.00$
Vancouver income: 1281.85$ Total: 4660.22$
Final financial verdict: A positive financial figure of 83.51$ !
Compared to last summer: 1754.67$ better off.
Hours spent flying or on layover in airports: 4h13m + 2h10m + 5h11m + 5h35m = 17h9min.
Hours that I would have otherwise spent on greyhound busses: 26h+26h+29h+29h = 110h
Extra money spent flying versus greyhounding: 754.42$ – 388.46$ = 365.96$
Money earned in Richmond/Vancouver on days that would have been spent greyhounding/recovering = ???
Dayjob shifts worked in the 12 days while back home between Regina and Saskatoon fringes: 5.
Dayjob shifts worked in the 8 days while back home between Saskatoon and Victoria fringes: 9.
Days away: 3 + 10 + 15 + 12 + (home during Vancouver Fringe) = 40
Homes graciously opened to me to stay in: 4.
Last year, in its first year as a festival, the Alberni Valley Fringe Festival had 929 people attend performances. This year, it had only 488 audience members.
Vancouver is a lot more expensive for both audience members and performers, per performance, than any other fringe festival. Most festivals opt for EITHER a membership/button fee, OR a portion of each ticket, but Vancouver is taking both. Its put-your-name-in-the-hat fee of 50$ is the second-highest in the country (Montreal has a 55$ fee). Both seem expensive for what they are – an ‘are you serious’ fee for putting a name in the festival’s lottery. And at least one other performing group expressed surprise to me, after the festival was done, that Vancouver was taking 3$ from each ticket. This detail was not effectively communicated to artists. All that said, Vancouver was still one of my two profitable festivals this summer.
# of stars in the first ever (and only) review for The Most Honest Man In The World (StarPhoenix): 4 (out of five)
# of stars in a review for The Hatter that came out four days after my tour ended (The Peak): 4.5 (out of five)
Pay for directing Clutter and Contamination for Vancouver Fringe: 125.00$
Not sure half-price and discounted tickets are worth it. I didn’t see an appreciable-enough bump up in audience numbers. I probably won’t try them again.
Total # of times performing one-man-shows at fringe festivals: 11
(William vs The World = 1, The Hatter = 9, The Most Honest Man In The World = 1)
Total # of fringe festivals I have been involved in: 12
(2011: Victoria, Vancouver. 2012: Victoria. 2013: London, Ottawa, Toronto, Saskatoon. 2014: Port Alberni, Regina, Saskatoon, Victoria, Vancouver.)
Total # of fringe shows I have been involved with (acting, stage managing, or directing): 15
(includes directing BFA: The Musical!, acting in Henry V, and stage-managing Sonnets for an Old Century)
# of awards given out, total, at the 2014 Port Alberni Fringe Festival: 2
(People’s Choice Award, and Best Quote)
# of awards won by The Hatter at the 2014 Port Alberni Fringe Festival (total): 2
(People’s Choice Award, and Best Quote: ‘God Shave The Queen’)
To get an accurate gauge of my anxiety meter as each fringe festival went on, look at the progression of income in each festival from performance to performance.
Compared to last year, a sizeable improvement! In the black! Huzzah!
I mean, that still means I am essentially working for free here, but still, progress! Even with adding the expense of flying!
The Hatter is 2/9 when it comes to making a profit at fringe festivals. The Most Honest Man In The World is 1/1 thus far!
All summer long, people were calling me a ‘Fringe Veteran’. While on my second tour ever? That makes me a veteran? I mean, perhaps if I were in the ARMY that would be true, but for fringing? Really?
Handbills and posters, and the art of how many to print: Port Alberni – It was hard to give out 100 handbills, honestly. There just weren’t enough people there to make handbilling worthwhile. And a mere two posters, one per venue, might have been fine. (I didn’t bring any, and arrived to town too late for posters to make a difference.) Regina – Only needed 500 handbills. If that. And 25 posters were plenty. Saskatoon – Such a simple festival to poster… even if I DID have the business district upset with me for postering atop the top of their posterwheels. 25 posters is fine, and 1000 handbills was the right number for a busy promoter like myself. Victoria – Postering does next to nothing here. No fringe hub, and nightclubs poster over anything fringe-related. So handbills are all you’ve got. Handed out more than 500 handbills, but not a lot more. I would print 1000 again. Vancouver – Unfortunately, I was working shifts at my workplaces on days when I didn’t have shows, so I wasn’t able to handbill or poster very much. Difficult to put up 25 posters in/around Granville Island. Handbilling = inconclusive.
My Saskatoon numbers at least partially increased because people there actually knew who I was, from my performing there last summer! I handbilled a number of people who instantly decided to come see The Most Honest Man In The World once they heard that last year I was The Hatter.
That said, people knowing who I was in Victoria, didn’t seem to offer anything like a boost. I suppose three years is a very long time to be away from a university town. And most of the few people I know who still live in Victoria were performing in their own fringe shows.
I definitely felt a home-town advantage in Vancouver, though! Thank you SO SO much to every dear friend who came out to the tea party!
A career is made up of far more baby steps than large leaps. And steps in the right direction are worth celebrating!