Boy do I have a bunch to catch you up on! I will keep this post “Fringe Focused” and do a separate write-up for my internship because there is just so much going on!

Hows this for what I’ve been up to:
Wednesday was our Fringe Preview night so I saw a couple of shows with the Dietsche family before we saw one minute previews of 23 of the 30-some-odd shows involved in the fringe this year. Oh, and we did our own preview…
Thursday was our tech/family and friends show. We ran the thing in costume and completely off-book for the first time! And that was… interesting to say the least.
Friday was our opening! It was the best we had ever ran the show, and even though we only had five paying customers, it was a blast.
Sunday, night two of the show!! Also a great audience with guest performer Nathan! He was AWESOME!
And every night I’ve also seen tons of amazing fringe shows!

So, Wednesday… What an eventful evening. First we saw “The Body Speaks: Scripted.” It was a sort of abstract show with nine short plays that focused on the different ways people use their bodies: to hide, to get what they want, to feel loved, etc. Some of the scenes might have been a little over my head but nonetheless I was engaged in the actions. The actors were all terrific as well.
After that we went to see a show by a company that traveled from Iowa to participate in the Fringe. This show was called Denali and it focused around the story of a man who died while on a mountain climb with his two best friends. This was also really good – also abstract but not over my head. John Dietsche some advice for Martha and I after the show: “Always leave a note and never go mountain climbing.”
The evening ended at the Jackson Street Bar where the previews of the plays. They all look really good, I am so excited to see ’em!

Thursday: Our tech/friends and family show. Ho-hum, where to begin? This was a long evening to say the least. We tried a run of the show and we got lights and costumes working fine but by the time everything was all set, it was time for the friends and family show. We liked to think of them as our “test audience.”
When the show started, the reality of “performing” hit me like it never had before. It was strange how “in my head” I became when the show started. It’s something that has never happened to me before but it really negatively affected my performance.

I wasn’t the only one to get discombobulated – we skipped a BUNCH of our script and had to go ad lib and try to figure out where in the script we were as the show went on. It was nerve wrecking. The worst run we’ve ever had. But we made up for it on Friday. Opening night.

Chelsea Skalski as "Brittany," Justin Haley as "Kurt," and Me as "Leah" (Picture by Kate Kern)

FRIDAY rolled around and we were nervous literally shaking in our boots! The show started at 8 and we nearly got a solid run in before it was time to set up for the performance. When 8 rolled around we had 5 paying customers – all of whom were men and I find that rather interesting. The audience seemed to enjoy the show… we even think that a couple of them might have been reviewers (pulling out their notebooks jotting down facts). In my tour, I had this man with a green hat, white mustache, and blue Hawaiian shirt. He started coughing and said, “I think the radiation is getting to me,” and that’s when I knew he was really getting into it. It’s really fun to get the chance to interact with the audience. They can be very shy, but the ones who express interest make my job easier and give me some energy to work off of – it really makes the whole experience ten times more fun!

I was impressed by the run and I think it was the best we’ve ever done it! So CONGRATS cast & crew! We’ve officially opened and hopefully word-of-mouth gets more people coming to our shows!!