Posts tagged ‘Fringe’

July 4, 2012

What’s in YOUR Fringe bag?

photo from Fringe Facebook group

It’s that time of year when the articles start coming out about Fringe with picks and how to go about your Fringe experience. I like reading them all. This was a favourite.

And since there are so many, I don’t need to write one – instead, I’m prepping my Fringe bag, because the Toronto Fringe starts TODAY!

I have a new Fringe bag this year, as the one that had been with me through four Fringes just – well, it got me through many things. It’s still a  black messenger bag, this one has a picture of my imaginary dog Nitro on it, and here’s what’s usually in it that optimizes my Fringing experiences. What’s in it started with the basics from the Fringe website

  • Two Fringe programs – one is mine, one to give away to someone who needs one.
  • Water  – get a decent sized water bottle and keep it full. Fill ‘er up at drinking fountains, restaurants etc. any chance you get. Dehydration is for chumps.
  • Umbrella. Just in case. It also makes a nice sun shade. ETA:  A hat. Waiting in line in the sun hatless is no fun.
  • Wallet – contains a fiver to get my Tip The Fringe button (do this right off the bat. In fact, help the staff by being a good example and showing the rest of the line how it’s done). Also contains a selection of toonies as I will tip and re-tip the Fringe. Also contains cash for the fringe tent as there is no onsite ATM. Why, you ask? Security reasons. You need a certain level of security to keep a big box of money onsite like that. The more you know.
  • Blackberry. I just –  there it is. Nothing better than getting a tweet or text about an AMAZING show you HAVE to see, or being the tweeter or texter.
  • Sunscreen – I forgot this last year. And the year before. Red is my colour, but not on my skin. I have a nice spray on bottle in a pocket specially made for it.
  • Sunglasses and chapstick. ALWAYS. Squinty eyes and chapped lips are not a good look.
  • Two hair elastics.
  • Medication – don’t forget your inhalers or insulin or whatever else you require and remember to take them when you are supposed to. You do not want your Fringe experience ruined due to illness.
  • 2 pens and a small notebook – jot things down, make little drawings etc.
  • Business cards – I always have a stack.
  • Flyers for the show you are working on.
  • Gum or mints or lifesavers. Quick sugar hit.
  • A healthy snack. Bring a piece of fruit, or some cut up veggies. Wash down with your water. You cannot live on bar snacks and candy and beer for two weeks. You can try, but it won’t end well. ETA: Also bring some form of protein. Nuts, I guess, if you are not allergic.
  • TICKETS! I am a plan ahead Fringer. Most of  my shows are booked and there are many I will catch on the fly as well. However, only that day’s tickets are in there. The rest are safely at home. Whatever your Fringe style, your tickets are the truly important part
  • YOUR WATCH. You must be on time. CBC time. This is how Fringe works. There are no latecomers. I am sorry you drove in from Ajax/couldn’t find the theatre/got caught in traffic/it was raining etc. I am truly sorry. It’s disappointing, But those are the rules. Do not yell at, swear at, or push the staff. Do not storm by, do not try to shove by. I know it’s on time by your Mickey Mouse watch, but the show is not being called on your Mickey Mouse watch. I am sorry. And quite frankly, other patrons will back up the staff before they back up you. it’s Fringe – it says everywhere there are no latecomers and is one of the few places in our Starbucks society where a rule won’t be bent.
    The most graceful acceptance I ever saw of “you’re late” was the woman who dropped her head in disappointment, laid down the flowers she’d brought for a cast member and went to sit and wait in the sunshine.
    The least graceful acceptance I ever heard of was the woman who screamed and swore at the FOH staff and shoved one out of the way and stormed into the theatre. I supposed I should say something like, “be sure to pack an open mind and a sense of humour“. Yes, do that too.Am sure I’m forgetting something. What’s in YOUR Fringe bag?
May 22, 2012

Sunday/Long Weekend Roundup and Summer Reading

What a gorgeous weekend, beautiful out every single day – from Facebook I can tell there was gardening, cottaging, relaxing, Criminal Minds marathons, BBQs and fireworks – sounds about right for May 2-4.

Last week – what went on?

Sheep Nation, Princess Aduwuaamban, and advice from the Lang Sisters – another fabulous salon at Pentimento Gallery

Info from the OAC – Reduction Policies and Compass Grants

Long Weekend! – some bits and pieces about upcoming workshops and things to read.

Most folks who know me know that I read a lot, and I especially love reading in the summer on the balcony. And most of my book-lovin’ friends usually look to each other for recommendations. With this, I bring to you a PSA – Summer Reading. If I read anything really good, I’ll post it and would love if you would share suggestions there as well.

Coming up tomorrow – fundraising gone wild! – a PSA link to every indie go go and crowdsource and go fund me campaign that folks I know are working on.

January 6, 2012

Aparently it’s Your Year…

Interesting article from gigaom.com on how 2012 will be ther year of the artist-entreprenuer and why. Reductions in costs, increases in techbological ability – apparently it’s a great time to be an artist. Or is it? What does the idea that “anyone can do it” do to the idea of art in general?  Read more…

 

Equally interesting article from the Times about the joy of being quiet. This struck me – In barely one generation we’ve moved from exulting in the time-saving devices that have so expanded our lives to trying to get away from them — often in order to make more time. The more ways we have to connect, the more many of us seem desperate to unplug. It’s well timed as I saw a play last night called Modern Love in which the main character decries the fact that she has “661 Facebook friends and nobody to go to a movie with IRL”. (I’m paraphrasing). Food for thought. And now I want to read Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows.

 

And of course Next Stage is up and running at Factory Theatre. Ticket sales are brisk, hot toddies are hot and everyone you want ot know in the know is in the tent in real life. Apparently on Day One three shows sold out hours before opening and two more on Day Two. I’ve booked all my tickets to see all the shows and I can’t wait. So in case you thought, “oh, nobody goes to theatre in January” – I advise you to  get your tickets and your seat in the (heated) beer tent as soon as you can. We do art in the winter. WE ARE CANADIAN.

 

November 6, 2011

Sunday Roundup – November 6

A lot of things happening this week, let’s get to what happened, and then I’ll let you in on what’s gonna happen.

I hate nickel and diming   – a sort of guest post from a chat with a friend on the fact that sometimes spending a few dollars on your event is better than spending too much time.

Holiday Shopping in Movember – link to the beginning of shows by local artisans  – buy local art and get the satisfaction of one of a kind gifts coupled with the idea that the holiday season is not owned by corporations.

Libraries and Bikes and Theatres – a library survey, a have you had your bike stolen survey and a notice about public consultations regarding the three city-owned theatres.

Artful Management and are you and Innie or an Outie? – post from Creative Trust on how your org’s admin should reflect the artistic product, and a great infographic on inbound and outbound marketing.

Saturday Bonus – CDAP – the TD Bank is supporting the Toronto Fringe’s latest endeavour – the Culturally Diverse Artists Project.

Busy week. What’s coming up?

By the time you read this, Little Pea’s Revolution will be ready to take a trip to the United Solo Theatre Festival in New York.

And Stratical Theatre will be in the thick of rehearsals for its inaugural production – a workshop of Pinter’s The Dumbwaiter.

And Control over Destiny Jewelry Design will be prepping for its annual Holiday Show and Sale.

And I will be working with them all and ever-so-pleased to be doing so. Have a great Sunday!

 

November 5, 2011

Saturday Bonus – TD BANK CULTURALLY DIVERSE ARTISTS PROJECT (CDAP)

Saturday Bonus because it’s a fantastic initiative.
CLICK HERE TO APPLY – DEADLINE TO APPLY NOVEMBER 14, 2011, 5PM
PROJECT GOAL: To encourage participation by culturally diverse artists in the Toronto Fringe Festival as a creative opportunity they may traditionally feel excluded from.
The Toronto Fringe is committed to offering creative opportunities to artists and art lovers. This commitment, along with invaluable support from TD Bank, has lead to the creation of a three year pilot project to encourage greater participation in the Fringe Festival by artists who self-identify as culturally diverse by removing some of the traditional barriers to participation, including financial concerns and a sense of being excluded from mainstream events.

Fringe Festival participants are chosen by lottery and are required to self-produce their work. Festival organizers can never interfere with the work on stage and 100% of box office receipts are returned to the artists. This has meant that the Fringe Festival has become the most accessible arts opportunity for emerging and otherwise unsupported artists to tell their stories. Nonetheless, systemic barriers have continued to exclude artists who self-identify as culturally diverse, as is clear from the participation trends we see at the festival every year. CDAP is an attempt to begin a dialogue with this community of artists and encourage them to access the opportunities the Fringe makes available.
CDAP is only available to artists who self-identify as culturally diverse artists (see below for definitions) who reside in Ontario. Applicants must also select which lottery pool applies to them and are not eligible for the National or International categories, but may apply to Ontario 60 Minute, Ontario 90 Minute, FringeKids or Ontario Dance. When considering applying to CDAP, please keep in mind that it is designed to encourage artists who have felt excluded or unable to participate in the festival and we rely on your self-identification as the only requirement for participation. Three participants will be selected by lottery.
Participants in CDAP receive the following:
– Free participation in the festival (outside of $27 registration fee) – value $725
– $1000 cash bursary to assist covering production costs
– Networking opportunities with other CDAP participants to discuss shared resources and promotion strategies
– A paid mentor, to be assigned on a case by case basis to address each participant’s needs
Participants are selected by lottery, and can apply in two categories :

Category 1: Self-identified culturally diverse Primary Contacts (see below for definitions) applies for CDAP, but indicates that if they are not successful in the CDAP lottery, they would NOT like to be moved on to the main lottery
Category 2: Self-identified culturally diverse Primary Contacts applies for CDAP, and if not successful are then transferred to the main lottery – entrants selecting this option will be responsible for full participation fees ($725 incl. HST) if drawn in the regular lottery, and will not have access to the CDAP project

(Click here to APPLY
The CDAP lottery will be drawn on Monday, November 28 at the Fringe Creation Lab – this lottery will be videotaped, but not broadcast, along with the International and National categories. Three participants will be drawn in the lottery.
After the lottery, apart from the administering of the CDAP benefits, participants will be considered regular festival companies, and will not be highlighted, identified or otherwise treated differently than any other festival participant. The participant will be required to self-produce their project and responsible for all liability and risk associated with their own project.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns cdap@fringetoronto.com or at 416-966-1062

September 9, 2011

Repost – What Arts Funding Does For a City

This is a re-post from July 17.

Given the article about arts funding being at risk, I thought it was appropriate. If you think that large organizations having millions of dollars potentially cut from their funding doesn’t affect you – it will.  Since numbers seem to be the important thing, here we go.

I was thinking yesterday about the money spent on something like the Fringe, what’s called ancillary expenses – money spent outside of the actual ticket. That’s the money that supports the economy, the bigger picture that some folks can’t seem to grasp.  So i thought I’d do a little breakdown over the course of a week’s worth of Fringing. I’ll leave out ticket price.

For every day I Fringed I spent the following:

$2 – $5 Tipping the Fringe
$5 on freezies for an overheated tired staff
$5.50 per beer at the tent – figure two for me and one for someone who needed one, so $16.50 plus tip so let’s say an even $20.00
$10 on dinner either from Southern Accent or Butler’s Pantry on site
$12.50 on a taxi home.

That’s $52.50 an outing, with an outing lasting maybe four hours. Not including a $10 ticket. So over three days (I was there more but three is a round number) that’s $157.50 spent not on art, but other things I did and ate and drank because I was seeing art. Money spent on local businesses and a neighbourhood.

So let’s say last Friday the folks out for the evening spent that amount each. So multiply $52.50 by these people:


and i think you’d have to agree that art just might be an important thing to have in a city not just for the culture part, but as a building block of the local economy.  Photo above by Corbin Smith of torontoist.

Ten day festival, folks. In case you’re willing to dismiss the photo above as, “well of course! It’s Friday night!” – here’s a shot of last Monday, taken by Gideon Arthurs. I know – nobody goes out on a Monday

July 23, 2011

Saturday/Sunday Roundup – July 23/24

It has been a busy and not busy week full of finalized meetings and phone calls and admin stuff (you know, the glamour of show biz) and I feel I’ve neglected you disgracefully. But it’s been too darn hot here in TO (with apologies to Vancouver)  and I’m sure you’ll agree. So this week’s roundup serves a double, with the usual what was posted, along with things that didn’t get posted but were of importance

So without further ado…

The Toronto Fringe Festival ended with a bang, our fundraiser had more folks attending that we budgeted for so hooray! Even more importantly, a wonderful festival, full of art and mirth. 57,282 tickets sold, $410,000 returned to artists and most importantly, a 50% increase in bar sales!

On that note, a repost: Fringe Numbers, from last week’s round up, and a couple of Fringe Wrap Ups from NOW and torontoist – you folks did a great job and I thank you for it..

The nationwide Summerworks fundraiser happened on July 15 in 12 cities, with 70 companies all for one cause. Lovely article here from NOW.

And I’m still toying with a survey but my brain was not functioning in the heat. Seriously, the other day was like standing under a dryer vent without that lovely Bounce smell…

A lot of chatter this week about impending cuts to our libraries, and so I wrote about it . Also found this paragraph in an article in the Star:

Our libraries are an engine of civilization, places that offer hope to people even if they don’t have a lot of money. It’s a concept that the playwright Alan Bennett word-painted beautifully in the latest London Review of Books. Go to its website, www.lrb.co.uk, and read his reaction to Prime Minister David Cameron’s cutbacks that will take an axe to Britain’s public libraries.

But according to the Mayor’s brother, (although I’m not sure who asked him), there are more libraries than Tim Horton’s in his riding. So once again, someone had to confirm this, and confirm it well – thank you Blog TO.  And while you’re at it, here’s the link to the petition to sign, if you have already signed it, please forward to someone who possibly has not. On that note GO, Peggy!

It’s not just libraries: click for a link to the full report on the City of Toronto’s Core Services Review. It looks grim. Have no fear though – the Mayor wants to hear from you! Except that I seem to recall I DID tell him what I thought was important. TWICE.  So maybe he doesn’t want opinions from folks like me.

I don’t even know anymore. I do know I’d like a button of this image. Just sayin’.

July 17, 2011

Sunday Roundup – July 17

Okay it has been a really busy week with few posts due to a LOT of running around. Fringe Fundraiser, Summerworks Fundraiser, Awake, more Fringe…you might wonder what all these things have in common besides art. They all have success in common.

I was thinking yesterday about the money spent on something like the Fringe, what’s called ancillary expenses – money spent outside of the actual ticket. That’s the money that supports the economy, the bigger picture that some folks can’t seem to grasp.  So i thought I’d do a little breakdown over the course of a week’s worth of Fringing. I’ll leave out ticket price.

For every day I Fringed I spent the following:

$2 – $5 Tipping the Fringe
$5 on freezies for an overheated tired staff
$5.50 per beer at the tent – figure two for me and one for someone who needed one, so $16.50 plus tip so let’s say an even $20.00
$10 on dinner either from Southern Accent or Butler’s Pantry on site
$12.50 on a taxi home.

That’s $52.50 an outing, with an outing lasting maybe four hours. Not including a $10 ticket. So over three days (I was there more but three is a round number) that’s $157.50 spent not on art, but other things I did and ate and drank because I was seeing art. Money spent on local businesses and a neighbourhood.

So let’s say last Friday the folks out for the evening spent that amount each. So multiply $52.50 by these people:


and i think you’d have to agree that art just might be an important thing to have in a city not just for the culture part, but as a building block of the local economy.  Photo above by Corbin Smith of torontoist.

Ten day festival, folks. In case you’re willing to dismiss the photo above as, “well of course! It’s Friday night!” – here’s a shot of last Monday, taken by Gideon Arthurs. I know – nobody goes out on a Monday

ANYWAY…. what else went on?

Taking a Day Off – I took a day off. I’m not very good at it.

I Hate To Say I Told You So – nope. no gravy here. Could we possibly put that phrase to bed, please?

Fundraisers! – Both Fringe and Summerworks – Fringe Locally, Summerworks Nationally.

It has been a hot, a little sticky sunny sunny week with no signs of stopping. I hope you’re enjoying it, staying hydrated and sunscreened. Have an awesome day.

July 15, 2011

Fundraisers!

It’s Friday and there are two very different fundraisers going on in town.  First off, the annual Fringe Fundy is taking place tonight at 5:30 pm  – Eat Locally, Fringe Nationally includes an amazing dinner at Southern Accent, tickets to The Soaps by National Theatre of the world, and time in the hottest watering hole in July – the legendary Fringe club! Tickets are $100 and dangerously close to sold out so get on the phone if you want one – call 416.966.1062 and get Adam to book you.

On a national level what started as a one company show of support to the Summerworks funding issue has turned into seventy supporting companies and a dozen readings across Canada. Visit thewreckingball.ca for more information and a reading near you.

It’s last weekend of the Fringe – there have been some amazing shows, some fantastic people and I highly recommend you get out there and take in at least one before it’s all over and the magical Fringe Club reverts to a regular old parking lot. Go take a peek at some pics if you’d like. Massive shoutout to the incredible staff and volunteers, what you do is AMAZING and I am so proud to know you.

 

July 12, 2011

I Hate to Say I Told You So…

In May I posted about the upcoming Toronto City Services Review, and the survey you NEEDED to fill in.

In June I posted about the Toronto City Services Review Roundtable that I attended.

It’s now July and the results are coming in. Derek Flack has a fulsome article in BlogTO  – italics mine.

“As far as levels of service go, City spending seems anything but outrageous. “Over half of the services that report through the Public Works Committee are provided “at standard,” which is generally the level required by provincial legislation or the level generally provided by other municipalities,” reads the report. “30% of services are provided at slightly above standard offering some opportunities for cost reduction by lowering the service level provided. 17% of services are delivered slightly below or below standard.”

Let me get this straight – we offer excellent services in some areas and we’re going to save money by dropping the standard? I thought Rob Ford ran on a platform of customer service?

Royson James of the Star questions this as well.

“a list of nickel-and-dime, nip-and-tuck manoeuvres — Toronto could potentially, possibly, save up to $10 million to $15 million in departments that spend $1 billion, one-third of which comes from taxes.”

Apparently there’s no gravy. Not even au jus. Not even pan drippings. When I was at the roundtable the woman next to me cheered when someone mentioned getting back the $60 car tax. I asked her if she realized that was one of the reasons we were here. You could tell by her face she did not.

I’m baffled, bewildered and sad. And then my bewilderment ceases when I read the comments section and realize exactly the type of person who voted for this mess. This is a choice one from Chris Hume’s article yesterday:

Stop these freeloaders, Rob!
Here’s what I don’t understand. I am REQUIRED to pay 100% property taxes even though I use only a fraction of the services I pay for. I don’t use community centres, fire services, parks, schools, skating rinks, EMS, swimming pools or waterfront trails. My house and my commercial properties are built, so I don’t care about planning or permits. I don’t need city engineers or clerks or landscapers or economic development people or animal control or daycare or shelters or, for the love of Judas, the TTC or bike lanes(ugh!)! So that means I pay for all the freeloading punks and hippies who don’t contribute anything but use everything. It’s no wonder Mayor Ford wisely spends his free time in Muskoka. I know our Mayor will make things right again.

It’s signed Conservative to the Core. I hope for his sake (I really do) that we never get to this point.

ETA: In the interest of presenting all sides, here’s a link to Sue Ann Levy’s column – she thinks there’s still gravy somewhere.

SIDE NOTES

Fringe is on all week and it’s amazingly amazingly popular – shows are selling out, lineups were in place and here’s a view of the Fringe Club last night. You know, because nobody goes out on a Monday. Photo by Gideon Arthurs.


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