Tag Archive: Andrew

Aug 14

First Show Edmonton

So, we rehearsed our butts off with our two new stagehands yesterday afternoon before the show.  I went from being pants-shitting nervous to simple urine-stain nervous during that time, as they seemed to be quietly competent which was more than I had the right to expect from grade 11 students.

The show went… well, all things considered.  The web cam failed just before we went up, so our great bits of stagecraft with it (the floating in space scene, and the crash scene) didn’t read as well as they should of.  But that was the only technical problem, except for some minor lighting cue fluffs.  But that’s just because Ramona is getting used to our improvised walkie-talkie intercom system.  She can’t operate it hands free (since there’s no booth, she has to whisper into it, which is not loud enough to activate the VOX system).

 

It was a cool night, so the venue was only about as hot as our London venue, but my shirt at the end weighed about two kilograms more than it did when I started, loaded down as it was with sweat.  I regret the choice of vinyl for the costume jackets.  I am NOT looking forward to doing the show on a really hot day (like 25+) in there.

 

The house was 27.  Which is about 25% of the venue’s capacity.  Not a huge house, although it looked large from where I was performing, since everyone sat in the middle rows.  Important to note: this is bigger than our largest house in London, so hopefully it’s just the beginning.

 

There was a reviewer in the house last night, who gave us an okay review.  At three stars (out of five), it’s not a glowing endorsement, but it shouldn’t keep people away either.  We’ve been told that Edmonton is very review-driven, so it’s a relief that we didn’t get trashed, and the end of the review did call us “fringe-worthy”.  Of course, there are still at least two more publications that are likely to review us, so we’re not out of the woods, yet.

 

One thing I’d like to know: how did we go from “best stagecraft of the festival” (London) to “passable” (Edmonton)?

Aug 12

Networking and Signage

Or signage and networking, if you want the strict chronological order of things.

 

No photos here, so I’ll keep this short to prevent my blog from becoming a wall of text.

 

On Monday we started throwing signs up after being told by Jem Rolls that we’d better shit or get off the pot (he was more couth than that).  We postered on the streets and walked into stores and begged them to put up our paper (this early and in some the available space was already being eaten up).  We managed to get our posters up, even if we had to hang them sideways.

 

Yesterday (Tuesday), we postered the area around the Fringe where posterboards and fences were starting to come out.  While we waiting for the venue boards to be numbered, we postered wherever else we could, including the AMAZING bubble tea shop we discovered:

 

Then, in the evening, we headed to the billet party, where all the Fringe billeters and their billets (I don’t know which is which, linguistically speaking) came and met.

 

We met a bunch of people and will hopefully exchange comps with them in order to see a bunch of shows for free.

 

That’s about it for now.

Aug 10

New Mission: Edmonton!

39 officially landed in Edmonton on Monday, August 9th 2010 when Andrew’s Greyhound bus pulled into the Edmonton bus terminal 30 minutes late.

 

The 39 cast and touring crew (all two of us) are being billeted in Edmonton by a lovely woman named Lois and her greyhound (dog, not bus) Caesar.  Lois has a giant house, and Ramona and I have each taken over an entire storey of the building.  Ramona’s up on the third floor loft bedroom, and I’m in the basement.  The house is entirely open concept, so we really do each have a whole floor to ourselves.  (I think we each have a toilet to ourselves too, or at least I do.)  The shower is on Lois’s floor, so we need to let her know when we’re going to be naked up there, since not only is the house open-concept, but it’s covered with mirrors.

 

For his part, Caesar is probably the sweetest dog I’ve ever met.  He’s friendly, but not aggressively so, and very gentle, almost to the point of timidity.  This probably has to do with the fact that he’s a rescued racing dog and was likely not trained too gently.

 

 Production Photos
"39" Edmonton Fringe Tour
Yokohama Theatre Group, August 12 - 22, 2010

Caesar: my new favourite dog in the world.

 

 

We had our tech last night in our venue: The Academy at King Edward.  Only two of the venues of the Edmonton Fringe are actual Theatres.  The rest are converted from other buildings.  In our case, a school gymnasium.

 

And they’ve done a fantastic job of converting it.  From the audience point-of-view, it’s great!  From our point-of-view it’s slightly less so.  There are not really enough practicals (power outlets for backstage equipment) for our needs (chair, projector, laptop, smoke machine).  To be fair, there was a mention of this in the tech sheet the Fringe gave us, but it referred to “onstage practicals”, and I guess we just expected that backstage ones would be available.  Whoops, our bad.  Our house techs (who are awesome, nice, and incredible) have done their best to help us out, and we think we’ve got a solution which will work on Thursday (which involves us buying a power bar just in case). 

 

As a side note, the house techs need to refocus the specials before each show—they are awesome people.  Of course, this means that while we get three specials, we have no real choice as to where they are hung in the grid.  We should have figured this out as well from the technical specs sent by the venue, and I think we would have if we’d had a little more experience with various Fringes, but I think we just figured that the specials would be hung on top of what was already in the grid and that they’d be patched in as needed.  We didn’t do the math though: 10 shows x 3 specials = 30 instruments.  Duh.

 

One element that is missing and wasn’t mentioned on the tech sheet is an intercom.  Ramona therefore can’t call cues from the soundboard to our stagehands who are running the projector (and who won’t be in town until a scant six hours before we open).  The show is already crazily over budget, we’re planning to drop at least $200 on some decent handsfree walkie-talkies (we need two sets, since we need three) in order to make sure Ramona can communicate with the backstage area.  We’re hoping to sell them on Craigslist after the show is over.

 

In any case, lots of stress before we open.

 

But while I’m stressed out and nervous, I have got to say this: I am so psyched to be in Edmonton and actually be part of this Fringe.  This is really a dream come true, touring a Fringe show across the country.

 

We managed to snap a few shots at the tech, but they were taken by our billet-person Lois, who, while she did a tolerable enough job, was using an SLR camera for the first time in her life.  They are posted below.

 

39 at the Edmonton Fringe 39 at the Edmonton Fringe 39 at the Edmonton Fringe39 at the Edmonton Fringe