For show five, we were back to the usual audience numbers hovering just over ten people. This was Dangerous Dave’s first show with us, and things went a little less than smoothly. Jordan, our previous stagehand, actually had a lot of experience backstage (although he didn’t know how to whisper instead of talk into the headset, probably because the shows he techs have loud music throughout), and got the hang of things very quickly.
Dave is a York student, going into his second year, and it’s apparent that he’s had a little less experience backstage, which meant that I had to be a little more present than I was used to during setup, not just to help him, but to wrangle our sometimes elusive venue tech, Keith. Keith, like me, had become used to Jordan’s ability to get things sorted on his own, and so needed a little coaxing from me to help Dave get things set up.
Don’t get me wrong: Dave’s not a bad kid: he just needs to be backstage on some more shows to build his confidence so that he knows when to ask for help and when to just get on with things himself. He’ll probably be there by the end of second year. He joined York with the intent of going into the acting stream originally, so he’s about exactly where I would expect a second year Yorkie to be.
But yeah, super guy. Total trooper. Throughout his two shows, he kept his cool when things went to shit (usually my fault, or the fault of weird tech issues like someone having turned the volume on the headset WAY down), and while he might not have had the instincts (or experience on this show) to do exactly the right thing (although he did in a bunch of cases), he DIDN’T PANIC, which is so incredibly important.
So, fifth show, not bad. A few wonky tech bits.
After the show (we were 22:15 – 23:15, the last show of the evening), we went to the No Show—a sort of cabaret affair that had been going on every or almost every evening throughout the Fringe. Since we’d been driving in and out, and rehearsing the show during the days (Saturday afternoon was like that), we hadn’t been able to participate much in the Fringe culture, so we were pretty stoked to finally get to an event (despite the fact that Ramona was extremely tired due to the car nonsense the night before).
Unfortunately, by this point in the festival, the atmosphere had already condensed, and we were at a disadvantage, only knowing a few of the other performers. M.K. had introduced us to Martin Dockery earlier in the festival, so I made a point of saying hello to him, although he was almost always wading through an entourage.
Neither Ramona nor I are good schmoozing people, and Dave isn’t either, so we kind of hung out alone for a bit, until Mikaela Dyke came along and rescued us by introducing us to several people. I managed to introduce myself to Rob Gee, who was doing a piece about being a psychiatric nurse, and got the show password from him (which would get us in for free).
Once the show started, we all just watched the show. During the short breaks, there was always somewhat loud music on, which I found interesting, considering that a high percentage of people in the room were performers, many of whom had shows on the morrow, and therefore should probably not be yelling at the top of their lungs just to carry on conversations.
The show itself was pretty fun. It was great to get to see Martin in action, since we weren’t going to be able to catch his show in London (we’ll see another one of his pieces when we meet up again in Victoria). Wow. I can’t wait to see that show. This guy is, as M.K. promised, an amazing storyteller.
The other highlight of the evening was a series of verbatim bits, collected from Craigslist “Missed Connections” postings by Mikaela, and read out by various performers (the entries chosen were local to the performers’ hometowns). Again, I think Dockery stole the show with his. Ramona and I will probably repeat on of the lines from his forever: “I wondered what would happen if I tickled you!” (Read as a four-foot tall Yoda-like Velma-the-cafeteria-like woman). I guess you had to be there.
There was some weak sketch comedy as well, although there were also two incredibly strong funny pieces, so it balanced out. (One of the weaker pieces did have a great character, though: Candy McFeelie and his Magical Bag. Don’t ask.)
We ended up having to leave before the end because Ramona was fading fast, and we wanted to be sure to get back to the Farm in one piece. We were in bed by 3:00. And up the next morning at 9:00 to go back and do our only day of Fringeing.