I’m writing this in a Starbucks, in a Chapters, which redeems itself by having free wifi and an occasional Daniel Lanois song playing in the background.
It’s taken me two days to get this up (we opened on Monday night), because we tend to get home quite late due to the necessary late night schmoozing we need to do every night. In Victoria, a bunch of local bylaws prohibit us from handing out flyers to hip people we see walking down the street (soliciting: $x00 fine), so our only chance is to crash other shows’ lineups and flyers the people who come to the Fringe Club after 22:00 every night.
Monday began for us with our technical rehearsal, which meant that we were at the space from about 14:00ish (sometimes they let you in early) to about 20 minutes before the 18:45 show tech-ing. This gave me about 10 minutes to prepare before I went on.
David Bukach, a local photographer, was in attendance, photographing the show in exchange for free tickets, so we FINALLY got good photos of the show with projections and stage lights.
Each space in each new town that we perform in has its own quirks, and the Metro in Victoria is no exception. It’s a real Theatre venue, so it has practicals and headsets and specials that were hung especially for us. The drawback here is that the gap between the lip of the stage (as defined by the lighting) is about 4 meters from the audience, which is double the distance we’ve had at any other venue.
Tech-ing just before the show sounded great! And it was from a setup/takedown point of view, but it turned out that it wasn’t so good for me. In retrospect, I think I needed more time to process the distance between me and the first row of seats.
Being an out-of-town company, our opening show was also sparsely attended (if forced to guess, I would say about 9 people), which will hopefully change as word begins to spread to the local audience (we have a good buzz among the other artists and volunteers, it seems).
These two factors (distance and small house) may have contributed towards what I felt was a very… something… show. I’m still not quite sure what happened. I did not give a low energy performance: I pushed it, and I felt actually hit some moments better than I ever had before. The audience wasn’t bad: they were quiet and attentive (a bit too much so; most of the jokes fell off the edge of the world). But I felt like I never quite reached them, never quite connected with them.
(Another small drawback of the space is that the aisle for the audience is not centered with the stage, which can be confusing when one is standing at the forward extreme of the stage with no reference points; I found myself wandering a little too far stage right at times.)
I have my next show tonight, and I really hope that having had a day to let the opening performance sit will help me really knock this one out of the park, no matter how few or how many people are there.