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.
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.