Fringe Festival Blog – Part 4

Oh blog, I’ve been neglecting you again. My sincerest apologies.

As far as Fringe is concerned, it’s in full swing but at the same time on the back burner. I am juggling this beast of a project with my more current upcoming gig at the GLBT Arts Festival in June, “Viva Burlesque!” which I must admit, is coming along swimmingly. I am seeking out a venue for my Fringe show “Man Bites Dog” and I have a new idea in mind. I’m trying to think of new ways to use space for my work without losing the pith of what it is I am producing. I have looked at two churches so far and I’m considering using both of them. I think it would be cool to have different venues for the same show (perhaps with some adjustments) to see how each place creates a new type of performance. I am interested in engaging the audience in some way without being intrusive but I have yet to figure out how to incorporate that into the scheme. I have a few other places to work with and depending on the feasibility (price, location, technical concerns, etc.), I may end up having “Man Bites Dog” in three different locations.

In the meantime I am working hard on “Viva Burlesque!”. I’ve added a pick up girl, one of my friends I worked with at the Peekaboo Revue. She is so multi-talented, an accomplished singer, model, actress etc., she’ll be the scantily clad one picking up the disrobed garments off the stage after the end of the stripteases. I have a fire breather clown guy who will be making some provocative balloon animals for one of the routines and I may include him in some type of cabaret capacity, interacting with the audience. I had a cast change, one of the girls bit off more than she could chew so I replaced her (regrettably) with one of the girls I cast for the Fringe show. I’m glad she’s going to be in this show too, she’s kind of really adorable and will round out the cast nicely. My stage manager has been a tremendous help, really excelling at helping me to keep things organized. I have a friend helping out with marketing/fund raising who just so happens to be a godsend. I also have a videographer and last night one of my close friends asked if he could help so now I have a stage hand. Another one of my friends is running the door and I’m waiting to hear back from a volunteer about ushering and helping with odds and ends.

I am about 1/5 through the choreography. I have 23 numbers in the show, some of which are spoken dialog scenes. The rest is pretty hard core choreography and I am comfortable with the way things are progressing. My only problem is I want to get it all done and finished so we can rehearse the shit out of that shit, that’s the only way to make it perfect and I expect nothing less of this show.

My favorite number so far is one of the first acts in the show that is a duet with two of my veteran dancers. It is a Charleston inspired dance. When coming up with the choreography I wanted to use the basic moves but add a little touch of DeVo to it. I never realized that the Charleston is a very complicated and exhausting dance style. I now realize that the people who used to do it must have been drunk out of their minds. It is one of those freestyle dances that is hard to put into composition, but I am really pleased with the results. The girls hate me though.

I am really pushing my dancers this time around. There’s some ballet in the opening number that isn’t too challenging, but it has to be executed gracefully. I’m utilizing movements of a boxer in another number, again, that is much harder than it looks. I am trying to rip some of the girls out of their usual modern dance comfort zones and I think that they are all enjoying the challenge. I’m looking forward to seeing the result.

The hardest part right now is all the back end stuff (no, not that back end). I really need to raise money for this show. Not only do I need to pay salaries and make sure that everything is taken care of for production costs, but I really need to start investing in the Fringe Show because I will have to shell out so much more money.

I am trying to plan a preview show and a booze reception before the show. It’s an ambitious undertaking but I’m a Capricorn so I think I can handle it.

I am lucky in that I found a great studio to rehearse in after the loss of the Hess Dance Studio last month. It is about a block from my apartment and is currently used for salsa and hip hop classes. It’s brightly colored and has an awesome sound system and the floor is nice. There are mirrors but no barre and it is settled on South Street in my rad neighborhood. There were lots of passerbys and one of the local business brought us free cupcakes.

So far I have about 60 RSVPs on the facebook invite page and I’ve been marketing the crap out of the show live and in person. I think it’s not only going to be a great show but a wonderful opportunity to meet up with people I haven’t seen in a long time. Things are looking up!

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