My 2014 Fringe Tour: By The Numbers!
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
Failed Fringe Application Fees:
CAFF Lottery: -25.00$
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$
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$
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$
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$
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$
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$
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$
(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$
Full ticket price: 11$ (+ 6$ Fringe Button)
Students/Seniors discount ticket price: 9$ (+ 6$ Fringe Button)
Frequent Fringers discount price: 8$ (+ 6$ Fringe Button)
Artist take-home of ticket price: 11$/9$/8$
Advance ticket sales (full price): 2 tickets @ 11$ = 11.00$
Advance ticket sales (discount): 5 tickets @ 9$ = 45.00$
Ticket sales at door (full price): 20 tickets @ 11$ = 220.00$
Ticket sales at door (discount): 23 tickets @ 9$ = 207.00$
Munch card ticket sales: 5 tickets @ 11$ = 55.00$
Frequent Fringer ticket sales: 4 tickets @ 8$ = 32.00$
GST awkwardly deducted (5%): 4.81+5.90+8.14+4.05+3.29+1.48 = -27.67$
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$
(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 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
Port Alberni income: 246.50$
Regina income: 980.00$
Saskatoon income: 1570.87$
Victoria income: 581.00$
Vancouver income: 1281.85$
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!
Onto next year’s adventures!
Before The Hatter hangs up his hat later today (perhaps forever?) with a show at 8:15pm, I wanted to add here my emailed responses to a rather well thought-out email interview/preview I had with Matthew at The Marble.
The preview can be found here: http://marblevictoria.com/post/95353607472/the-hatter-preview-matts-interview
1. Well it’s been a while since The University of Victoria’s Phoenix Theatre Department. What have you been up to since then?
I have been off in the great wide world! By which I mean, in the past three years, I have moved to the mainland, performed in 26 different productions for at least 16 different companies, taken three self-written one man shows (William vs The World, The Hatter, and The Most Honest Man In The World) to fringe festivals across the country (Victoria, Vancouver, London, Ottawa, Toronto, Saskatoon (x2), Port Alberni, and Regina), directed a talent show and a new fringe musical, got nominated for an Ovation Award, was picked as one of Richmond’s ‘30 under 30’, stage managed or ASMed for five productions, had a story make it onto CBC Radio’s Definitely Not The Opera DNTO, acted in a couple of no-budget films, and learned the true meaning of Christmas. Okay, maybe not that last one. Oh, and I have a half-dozen or so part-time jobs that pay my rent and let me disappear whenever I get a theatre gig. Phew!
2. That Hatter’s been following your around a lot in the last few years (or at least that’s how it’s looked whenever I’ve had a chance to peak into what you’re doing.) How did the two of your first cross paths?
The Hatter and I actually first met at The Phoenix at UVic! A directing student, Rene Linares, asked myself, then a mere writing student, and Marynia Bienkowska-Gibbs (another writer), if we could write for him a play about Alice returning to Wonderland as a professional woman. This became a SATCo production. So we did! And as we wrote it, I found myself really connecting to The Mad Hatter, really enjoying writing for him.
So when it came next to write a new one man show, there was a satisfying hook there.
3. I was tickled pink at the mention in your press release that you’ll be exploring the character’s, “serious emotional problems,” which could neatly sum up several personalities in the Alice series. Tell me, how much have you taken from the source material and what did you expand on?
When I was looking to write that new play to try and tour in Fringe festivals across the country, I also wanted to explore anger and what it means to lose control of oneself. If you’ve ever read or watched Alice in Wonderland, you know it can be succinctly summarised as ‘A whole bunch of characters yell at an innocent girl.’
In the story, Alice is rejected by many of the characters in Wonderland, and does all she can to escape it in turn. But what if someone landed in Wonderland, and never wanted to leave? And what if they were forced to go?
My writing philosophy also points me towards whatever scares me, and I remember one moment in high school where, without any thought or decision, I instinctively grabbed someone who was bullying me by the throat and shoved them into a chair. I was the most shaken up person about the whole moment, because… aye… it was like it wasn’t me, doing it. (Note: That’s the only time this has happened to me.)
But what about a character who has moments like that occurring throughout his life?
4. What’s the most surprising thing you’ve discovered in your developing of the character, the most frustrating and, finally, the most fun?
The most surprising thing about the character of The Hatter, for me, is how desperately he wants everyone to be happy and jovial and delighted and wonderful. Figuring that out turned the show from a variety act into a story of a man trying his hardest to host a silly, happy party, but everything keeps going sideways.
The most frustrating part has been trying to connect this character with a wider audience. He looks like his should be a show for kids. But it’s not. Out of the first four performances I had in the London Fringe, the first time I really got the show on its feet… only one of those four performances had any purchased tickets. The tour picked up from there, but aye, a somewhat terrifying start. How can people know how good this show is, if no one comes?
The most fun part of developing this character, for me, is that he dives into everything, 100%, be that leading a singalong, telling a poem, summoning a Jabberwock, or trying to improvise a silly song on his own. Nothing quite works out the way he wants it to, but it is so much fun to give it a go. Also, I love those moments – such as when they have to step over broken plastic cutlery to get to their tea – when audience members realize that this isn’t a show like anything they’ve seen before.
5. The last time I saw you at the Victoria Fringe (2011) you were directing one show, acting in another and assisting in another. You looked savaged by the time it was over, but (other than the merits of organization) I’d like to hear what you took away from the experience and how you feel about your return to Vic Fringe?
I am SO looking forward to coming back! I consider this whole summer my home-coming tour in many ways; I’m returning to Saskatoon (where I had a 4.5 star review last summer), heading back to Victoria (my home for seven years), and then back to the mainland. And as for the mad experience of directing, stage managing, and writing/performing three different fringe shows at the same time, all I can say is, when I graduated, I was sorely worried that I wouldn’t get chances to work on theatre in the real world, so I made certain to say yes to every opportunity that came my way.
I still, mostly, live that way, and I don’t regret that decision in the slightest. Gotta be at the edge of your abilities to really grow and improve and evolve.
6. Tell me more about the actual show, what’s in store for the Mad Hatter?
After Alice left Wonderland, The Hatter found himself troubled by little sparks of memories rushing back at him, triggered by his his interactions with this small girl… and it isn’t long after that, that he wakes up one day and finds himself in the real world, in Victoria, and not in Wonderland at all. So he decides to host a Tea Party, the silliest, happiest tea party ever, a shard of Wonderland, to try and find a way back home. (And you’re invited!)
7. Now that’s you’re several years out of theatre school, I’d really like to hear your retrospective as well as any advice to young people starting up there or about to graduate and go into the big wide theatre world?
Be rabidly ambitious, endlessly cooperative, and calmly patient. Very few careers in this world happen right out of school, regardless of the field. Never mind in such a frivolous and amazing arena as theatre. But know that the theatre communities out there are full of people who want to help you, who want to support you, and who would love some support in turn. Find those rent-paying jobs that offer up the flexibility to let you keep pursuing what drives you, excites you, fills your boots with glee. And ask the elders… pick the brains of the theatre people around you and find out where they get their opportunities, where they want to go next.
8. So as a performer, is there anyone you’d say you took inspiration from more than others?
Oh, inspiration comes from all over. Sometimes, the reassuring kind, where older actors tell me how much easier it is to find work when you’re one of the four 70+-year-old actors in town, rather than one of a million 20-somethings. At other times, the blistering heat of coming across someone who is so pumped up to get to be doing what they’re doing. Or the reasonable kind, seeing how actors pay the bills and getting that calming feeling of ‘I could do that’.
Honestly, the most inspiring thing is just being able to look back at the last three years and see a slight progression towards doing more and more paying acting, writing, and other theatre work. Slowly expanding that portion of the income pie, until hopefully someday it can reach right around. (Or at least do its very best Pacman impression.)
9. Distilling it all down, why should folks come and see The Hatter?
Come to see a 4.5 star reviewed show that has been described as ‘like nothing you’ve ever seen before’. Come to have a free cup of tea, meet a man, have fun, and be moved. Come to help out a fellow trying madly to get home. Come because the best of Fringe Theatre is all about walking into a room, engaging in an experience, and then walking out, saying, ‘I don’t know how anyone in their right mind came up with that, but I am so glad I got to see it.’
10. Finally, what tea can patrons expect to be served?
It’s The Mad Hatter’s tea party! You’ll have dozens of options to choose from, and even some mustard and relish if you want to add a condiment or two.
See you at the tea party!
(Their resultant review can be found here: http://marblevictoria.com/post/95810700942/the-hatter-charming-stranger-review )
The unfortunate part about keeping a blog is that the times when I have the most to write about are also the times when I am expending all my creative energy being rather busy elsewhere!
I don’t want to leave you all in the lurch, so here’s a quick recap of all the Fringe-ful activities I am up to this summer:
Alberni Valley Fringe Theatre Festival – June 21st-22nd
Right, this one already happened! In which Andrew learned the difficulty of remounting/relearning an hour-long show in a week’s time, while also acting in five performances of another show (Gay’s The Word with APPLAUSE! Musicals) and while replacing a stolen bicycle. But it happened, it was lovely, and I was awarded the only two awards the festival gave out, the People’s Choice Award and Best Quote (for ‘God Shave The Queen’)!
Regina International Fringe Theatre Festival – July 7th-13th
(these festivals have surprisingly long names!)
A much spiffier poster! Well done, me!
The festival in which I am actually away for more than a weekend. Also the festival in which I don’t have a stage manager… so this’ll be interesting!
Saskatoon PotashCorp Fringe Theatre Festival – July 30th-Aug 10th
The Most Honest Man In The World
(okay, so I am sometimes partial to a long name, myself)
The festival I was actually profitable in last year! This year… an experiment! A new show! It may succeed, it may fail. My attempt at a personal storytelling show, described as ‘A life-long love story about the pursuit of honesty over all happiness’. Expect me to tape tissue paper to my head, walk around in tap shoes, and neurotically ponder old relationships and what it means to let go.
Vancouver Fringe Festival – September 4th-14th
A return! The show was first birthed in a highly improvised fashion in Vancouver, three years ago. Now I’m bringing it back. (Also, now people know who I am in Vancouver! The first time, I had been off the mainland, over in Victoria, for seven years, and had moved back to Richmond a mere three days before Vancouver Fringe began.)
BUT WAIT! I’M NOT DONE!
Vancouver Fringe Festival – September 4th-14th
Clutter and Contamination: An Obsessive Compulsive Disaster
For the third time in my life, I am a director, tackling my fellow UVic Writing alumni friend Kayla Hart‘s one woman play, Clutter and Contamination. The play will be performed by the lovely Christine Robinson. It has been a pleasure to work with them on the show so far! Directing a show while out on the road will be an interesting experience!
And from there… new adventures and challenges await. Bring’er. 🙂
Some men run to feel the wind in their hair and the blood in their veins, excited muscles and pounding heart. Others run to get somewhere, or to get away from somewhere. Some run because they don’t know what else to do. Some run to inspire. Some to improve themselves. Some to prove to themselves that they can. And some run because they’re afraid of what might happen if they stood still.
Welp, the dust appears to have settled, the lottery lines drawn, and the anticipation begun its nervous, ever-present hum. While a few elements are still up in the air, it’s sounding like this year I will be off on the road again to five different lands, two exotic and unknown, one a recent friendship, and two returns home.
This summer, The Hatter shall plead his case in the Alberni Valley, out to Regina, back to my former abode of Victoria, and then return in his entirely transformed state to The Vancouver Fringe Festival, where, three years ago, a draft once saw the stage.
But I mentioned FIVE, you say! FIVE festivals! Indeed! For in the middle of all that, I shall be bringing a new show to Saskatoon Fringe, a personal-stories-esque show (which I am still in the early processes of writing), tentatively titled ‘The Most Honest Man In The World‘. A brand new, terrifying experiment!
And so, after spending most of last summer travelling endless greyhound bus hours through Ontario, I find myself instead touring the western reaches of Canada, and bringing my show home, while testing something new in a place that appreciated my work, last summer.
This is going to be a radically different adventure. Last summer, I packed my bags, props, business cards, and posters, and headed off on the road for two months straight. This summer, due to not getting into Winnipeg or Edmonton, I may be travelling out to each city, then returning home, each time. Which means a few dozen more greyhound hours and transportation bills, I admit. Maybe I’ll see if I can hide out in Regina or Saskatoon for a couple of weeks. Finish writing the new show. 😛
I’ll also be travelling with an old friend or two. Last summer, I hardly knew a soul in any of the cities. This year, I’ll have familiar faces everywhere I go, be they other travelling performers, locals (including all the Regina-ians, Regina-ites, Reginalds?, who came to Saskatoon for the festival), and other warmly welcome familiar faces. Heck, my dear old friend, Jacqueline Irvine, who sewed the giant hat backdrop, helped me put it together, half an hour before the first trial-run performance in Vancouver, and who acted in the first draft of the show as The Dormouse (before the play became more about a lonely man, as it is now), will be stepping onboard as my stage manager for Port Alberni and Victoria.
(And I’ll probably still lose money in the end. But that’s okay. Life and expression are more important than all that. 🙂 )
I look for narratives in everything. Coming into this Fringe lottery season, I was hoping to be out on the road for at least a couple of months and try my show at the biggest fringe festivals in the country – Winnipeg and Edmonton. And perhaps show it in Victoria and see how it’d be received in my former stomping grounds.
Instead, the emerging theme appears to be that of ‘a home base’. Heading out into the world, and then coming home. Bringing my work to the places I hold dearest to my heart.
In Saskatoon, it’ll be the other way around – bringing myself and my heart even more into my work, within the safety of a distant city.
( Speaking of telling personal stories, perhaps a sneak peek this week? While I don’t expect this particular story in question to be a part of my Fringe show, this past Saturday I shared a true tale as part of CBC Radio’s DNTO (Definitely Not The Opera): Fast forward to 52 minutes to get a stylistic preview for Saskatoon: http://www.cbc.ca/dnto/episode/2014/01/16/wanted-what-did-you-find-in-the-classifieds/ )
And then in 2015, finally hit the big stops and see what everyone’s talking about, and hell, perhaps I’ll go international. Put that American citizenship to good use. But there is so much that is fantastic and awesome before we get there! Five cities! Workshopping a new play elsewhere! And in March and April, Floyd Collins!
(But that’s a subject for another post. 🙂 )
Long Live Adventure! Huzzah!
Yes, 2012. I realize I am somewhat late with this post, but my 2012 has thus far involved rehearsals for three shows, two full performance runs plus performances in three events, three jobs, and one adventurous and perhaps somewhat tragic not-a-relationship thing. But those are for NEXT year’s post. 🙂
My Theatrical 2012, in pictures!
The Mystery of Edwin Drood (as Throttle, with Fighting Chance Productions)
4Villains.org (just helped out on the set for a day during a weekend trip to Victoria)
Some filming with HTVBC in Victoria. SO MUCH FUN to be the villainous henchman, bleeding to death, laughing as he declares that he’ll tell the hero NOTHING! Then collapsing. Cliche and awesome.
Ran a handful of house-party improv workshops! (Image isn’t mine – it comes care of Jayeb333 on Flickr)
A return to Science World centre-stage shows! (With Grossology and Bubbles! And Balloons added in 2013.)
The Great American Trailerpark Musical (as Stage Manager, with Ghost Light Projects)
The Boys In The Band (as Donald, with Ghost Light Projects)
A Shpadoinkle Musical! (as Frenchie, Elder Cunningham, and others, with Rock Theatre Co.)
The Romantics (Playwright, for both The YOU Show and IGNITE! 2012 at The Cultch)
2012 National Voice Intensive
Golf: The Musical (with Viva Musica’s Kelowna Summer Theatre Festival)
Fortune’s Fools (Assistant Stage Manager with Viva Musica’s Kelowna Summer Theatre Festival)
Henry V (a semi-remount with KeepItSimple for Victoria Fringe)
Volunteered as a Rescue Ranger for Vancouver Fringe
Dracula: The Musical? (as Van Helsing! Loved the audience reaction from biting through that clove of garlic every night. With Awkward Stage Productions.)
Closer (as Stage Manager, with Shift Theatre)
Began working with The Justice Institute as an actor
Flora The Red Menace (with Applause! Musicals. So good, I joined their next show as well!)
Awkward Stage fundraiser – Baby It’s Cold Outside (singer)
Revue at the Revue (as Jesus, Santa, a New Kid On The Block, and others, at A New Year’s bash with Rock Theatre Co.)
Okay, a relatively full year. Makes me feel a little more like I’ve been using my time well. (Feel free to compare it to last year: https://adewade.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/my-theatrical-2011-in-pictures/ .) Looking forward to another full year!
The old season is ending. Long live the new season.
I often consider my life in the metaphor of a television series. (I like structure.)
Lately I’ve been looking at each year as a season. And since I’m not yet too far removed from 20 years of education, each year begins in September. Now, with any good episodic television show, there are individual stories and arcs that last over a few episodes, two-parters and the like, but there are also season arcs, overarching stories and themes that have their feet in every minor story that year. An arc could be a career path, a relationship status, a focus, a series of coincidences, health, friendships, projects… anything, really. What makes a season arc what it is is that pervasive nature with which they are progressed (or obviously stagnate) throughout the whole season. It’s these arcs I’d like to pontificate over.
THIS SEASON’S ARCS
This past year (September 2011 to September 2012), significant arcs I can identify that have made their way into almost every day of my life are (A) my career goal to connect with the Vancouver theatre scene and find paying work doing theatre, (B) reconnecting with my family (as last September included a move close to home), and (C) Being single without letting myself be single. (Like I said, stagnation can be an arc as well.)
As for (A), as with good TV, it started with a BANG (four days to write and learn and build a Fringe show for Vancouver Fringe?), then fell into a rhythm of better paced growth experiences throughout (A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Great American Trailerpark Musical, The Boys In The Band, IGNITE! and The You Show with The Romantics, Shpadoinkle Day, and the National Voice Intensive), and showed a strong arc build, with my recent paid work at the Kelowna Summer Theatre Festival. This arc emerged from last year’s season finale (Stage manage, direct, and write/act in three different shows for Victoria Fringe?), and this year’s finale features an echo of last season with a return to Henry V with KeepItSimple, and an unexpected call from Bard on the Beach, asking if I could audition for them – a call I did not receive last year. The finale of this month also helpfully points toward plotpoints for next year, with auditions for paid work and opening hints of Dracula: The Musical.
For (B), seeing my parents and siblings every few days has been a blessing, giving me a sense of roots and the resolve to stay on the mainland and follow my path, rather than find somewhere to hide. An anchor.
And with (C), well… all I’ll say is I went on a total of three dates all year, and that while this year’s season finale won’t be what I’d hoped for, it might be what I need. As with many real television shows, this season will end with a meeting at a party. (Part of the reason I think in arcs is an act of hope and will that there will indeed be a great shift ahead.)
NEXT YEAR’S ARCS?
While I’m no clairevoyant, here are my predictions for possible arcs:
(A) Film and TV. I want to make a big career push in film and TV. I expect a slow build-up with student films, extra-work and the like, but I’ll happily accept a break if it comes. 🙂
(B) The Move Into The City, Proper. Not only does my family look like they may finally move out of Richmond after many years of pondering doing so, but the building I am currently living in is due to be demolished at some undetermined point – most likely in a year’s time. Just in time for the big finale. 😛
(C) Breaking The Social Isolation. Tied to the former arc, perhaps living with other people again, but more importantly, cultivating strong friendships and accepting new beginnings on the relationship front. More evenings spent with people, and not just for the purpose of rehearsing.
(D) Income Boost. Be it a successful passive income project, a lucky opportunity to act in a commercial, or something else, I expect growth from last season’s 10k income figure.
Other possible arcs include: Writing regularly / getting published (though I’m not sure I have the discipline for this in me, quite yet – through perhaps writing/running a D20 game could be a step), bouts of depression, a brilliant romance (apparently there’s still a hopeful romantic in me), connecting to political spheres, and connecting to nature (a highly rare experience throughout all of my life).
Now I head off to Victoria for the season finale – a step into my old world to see what experiences, which people, I’ll get to take from it into next season’s arcs, and what will get left behind.
I don’t know what will happen, but I plan on following the metaphor through. I want a big finale, with this season’s arcs resolved or transformed into something new. Next year’s arcs set-up. Surprises. A cliff-hanger. When I return to the mainland, I want my life to have been inexorably changed.
So if you want to help write the next season of me, or become a regular, now’s the best time to make a guest-starring appearance.
I need something big to happen so I can begin next year feeling renewed.
So, most end of year wrap-ups happen… at the end of the year. But with my Christmas Panto not ending until last Saturday and my next show (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) starting rehearsals last last Monday, on top of work and auditions… let’s just say that 2012 is hopefully proving to be just as busy. 🙂
So! Onto the performances, in approximate order. (I don’t have a photo for all of them.)
Improviser, The Impromaniacs, Theatresports/Theatreshorts (Jonathan Argue for The Impromaniacs, and Dave Morris for Theatresports/Theatreshorts) (VEC) – With the advent of Sin City Improv, small audiences, and Jonathan Argue finally stepping away from the helm after perhaps twenty years, The Impromaniacs disappeared into the aether. But the revived Theatreshorts provided a good place for improvisers to get their feet wet and grow as performers. (still on every 4th Sunday of every month at the VEC!)
Malvolio, Twelfth Night (Phoenix Theatre)
Wow. What a role. What a cast. What a production. What pants. A perfect storm of awesome.
Workshop Leader, UVic Improv. – I received four separate requests from four different people, asking me to bring back UVic Improv (which hadn’t been around for over a year). How could I say no? Thank you to Amy Culliford and Blair Moro for keeping it alive this year.
Playwright, Mannequin Men (Phoenix Theatre directing project directed by Christine Johnson, and also directed by Sarah Crowell as part of the Acadia Theatre Company’s Minifest 2011 in Nova Scotia)
Playwright, What I’d Be Without You (Acadia Theatre Company, Minifest 2011). – I really, REALLY wish they had filmed this so I could have seen how it was performed. It’s a short piece I would love to see up on its feet some day. As you can see, the pictures they sent over look amazing.
Willy Beach, the poor boy, Sin City Improv, Season One (ten episodes of a weekly improvised soap opera) – Possibly the most fun I have ever had onstage. And I have A LOT of fun onstage. 🙂
Pischin/Gaev, The Cherry Orchard (directing scene) (UVic – directed by Joelle Haney)
Improv Actor/Dancer, Die Jahreszeiten (The Seasons) (UVic Chorus and Orchestra) – possibly the strangest opportunity I’ve ever had. Improvise dance-ish stuff next to opera singers and an orchestra for the third quarter of a performance? Sure, why not! (Thanks to Hayley Feigs for sharing in the experience with me.)
Mark, When We Were Awesome: A Karaoke Musical (UVic Directing Auteur Project – directed by Jesse Cooper)
Presentation Day – Movement Pieces
Presentation Day – Acting/Vocal Masque
Rowan, How Socrates Bought The Farm (Dan Hogg / Jeremy Lutter / UVic)
Stephen Harper at 8 and 18 years old, Wrecking Ball 2 (VEC)
William, William vs The World (UFV Director’s Festival)
Improviser, Good Night Harold! (Intrepid Theatre Club) – arranged by the lovely Kirsten Van Ritzen for some Sin City alumni to play for a night. A reunion of sorts. 🙂
Zacchaeus, (youth event), Adam, Elijah, Peter, Pandamania (Lambrick Park Church)
Monologuist, Monobrow IV (Intrepid Theatre Club)
Bilge Rat, Pirate Adventures (Victoria Harbour)
The King of France, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Soldier, Henry V (KeepItSimple Productions)
Vincent Scott (lawyer), Unsound Innocence (Hungarian TV of BC Foundation)
Stage Manager, Sonnets for an Old Century (Victoria Fringe – Langham Court Theatre)
Director, BFA: The Musical! (Victoria Fringe – Langham Court Theatre)
William, William vs The World (Victoria Fringe – CCPA)
Alvin, Please Print Clearly (short film by Liam Sherriff) (yes, that’s me living in a filing cabinet.)
The Mad Hatter, The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (Vancouver Fringe – Studio 1398, Granville Island)
Erronius, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Fighting Chance Productions, Jericho Arts Centre)
Green Gear, 4Villains.org
Wakey Faker, Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves (Metro Theatre)
And for fun, here’s a list of the day jobs I worked over the course of 2011 (in rough order):
- Lab Supervisor – Studios for Integrated Media, University of Victoria
- Peer Helping Student Coordinator -Counseling Services, University of Victoria
- Student Caller – Student Marketing and Communications, University of Victoria
- Compost and Recycling Supervisor – at a convention once.
- SAT/LSAT Exam Proctor
- Playwright – The Romantics, Vancouver Young Playwright’s Competition (1st place came with a financial prize)
- Actor/Playwright – William vs The World, at the UFV Director’s Festival
- Actor – Slixer Entertainment (murder mystery dinner and a corporate event – both thanks to the lovely Kirsten Van Ritzen)
- Pirate (Actor/Improviser) – www.pirateadventures.ca
- Director – BFA: The Musical! (hey, I earned money on it. I’ll count it. Thanks to the marvelous Meghan Bell.)
- Background Performer/Extra – Big Time Movie
- Improv Workshop Leader – for a birthday party.
- Assistant – Ursa Technologies Ltd.
- Science Facilitator – Telus World of Science
If you’re curious about any of these projects, don’t hesitate to ask!
See you all this year. 🙂