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.)
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)
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 standardized patient shift, 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: 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!
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! 🙂
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.
Now to go handbill some more lines. Wish me luck!
(if you wish to come see The Most Honest Man In The World in Toronto, my facebook event page is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1619597668286790/ and I just received an excellent review from Mooney on Theatre, who called it “engaging, emotional, and oftentimes very funny.” Check out the review here: http://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2015/07/03/the-most-honest-man-in-the-world-spired-theatre-2015-toronto-fringe-review/ )
A quick update on current and upcoming projects!
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/
And, from December 4th to the 21st, at Studio 1398 on Granville Island, I will be performing in Fighting Chance’s production of Little Women! (Katharine Hepburn, sadly, is not a part of our production.)
But wait! There’s more!
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:
It is hard to find the time and energy to blog between performing, flyering, radio interviews, flyering, promoting, flyering, prepping, seeing shows, and trying to escape the Saskatoon sun! As is, I’m writing this at 3am. That said, I did want to mention that my highly experimental, Sam-Mullins-esque-but-weird personal storytelling show, The Most Honest Man In The World, has received a four star review from the Saskatoon StarPhoenix! And from the reviewer whom other performers had warned me about, no less!
For me, the fact that this show works… HUGE confidence boost. One one-man-show (William vs The World), well, that’s an experiment. Two one-man-shows (The Hatter), that could be a coincidence. But to have three now under my belt… that shows that I’m really doing something here.
(Not that I want to keep doing nothing but one-man-shows, but hey, maybe one day I’ll even strike gold and put together a show that actually sells well enough to make fringe touring the profitable choice as well!)
Anyway, onto the review! : http://www.thestarphoenix.com/Review+Most+Honest+World/10086802/story.html
Andrew Wade, who had a Fringe hit last year in The Hatter, bares his soul in this romantic tell-all that spans his childhood, adolescence and early adulthood… The content itself is cleverly arranged… It’s a pretty brave experiment, in both theater and life. If it’s true.
All I can say is, I aim to be truthful. I aim to be honest. I wanted to try a storytelling show, be myself onstage. The idea of that terrified me. I also knew I would have to plan for a quick turnaround between festivals this year… I would need to make a show anchored in genuine connection rather than complex artifice. A blank page is the hardest thing in the world, so I threw away the page instead, and grabbed a stack of flashcards. 🙂
This rather positive review also has what has got to be the best/worst anti-pull-quote I have had… “His life experiences are just as banal as 99 per cent of the population’s. What we usually see in non-fiction is the one percent, stories so amazing you can hardly believe them.”
He then said that it was this very fact that made my show intriguing. Relatable, I hope.
So… I am the 99%? Sure. Let’s go with that.
I am also the FOUR STAR REVIEW. Let’s go with that too. 🙂