Although it’s only day 8 of the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival, most of the techs have been at it now for 12 days straight. Some of the techs and staff have been working on the festival for a lot longer than that, and our fearless leaders Chuck and Jen don’t stop working the Fringe and will start working on the 29th annual 2016 Fringe on Monday as the 2015 Fringe is coming down.
The amount of work and hours that goes into putting this festival on is staggering, and my hat is off to everybody who works so hard at making this festival a success.
But right around this time, all the days sort of blur together and we can’t remember what day it is, when our next show is, what our next show is, and the last time we got a decent night’s sleep (although apparently it was this morning for me, as I missed the annual technician’s breakfast this morning while I was snoring away on my couch).
If you see a Venue tech in the beer tent, constantly staring at their phone, or the back of their lanyard every 30 seconds, they’re not fascinated by the stylish yellow colour of their name tag or reading some fantastic article about Dutch llamas from Facebook on their iPhones.
They are checking their daily schedule for the next time they have to be in their venue for the next show.
The thought process kind of goes like this:
Whew, I finally have a break until……..
….. um……. what day is it? Tuesday? Thursday?
“Hey new guy. Yes you, new guy from Venue 11, what day is it?”
*weeping* “I don’t know… where am I?….. Why won’t they let me sleep?….. Why are my groups torturing me? *weep*
“It’s ok new guy, it’ll be over soon. I’ll ask someone else….. Hey beer tent vampire, what day is it?”
“DON’T CALL ME THAT! And I can’t talk right now, I have to go confiscate a football from some venue techs.”
“Wow, really? Where are we? Ok, I’ll ask somebody else. Hey elderly fixture at the King’s Head, what’s the special today at the bar?”
“Ah Ha! It’s Wednesday”
*Checks schedule again*
Wednesday….. Ok, my partner’s show ends at 6:15pm, so I need to be at my venue, no later than 6:30. But I should get there before that so we can cross over.
I’m hungry… I need some deep fried pickles in hollandaise sauce.
*Checks schedule again*
I’ve got time…
*Checks schedule again just to make sure*
“Hey Doutzen! How’s your show going?”
“Some kid got freaked out by the Sylvester Stalone puppet, ran around the venue, and kicked over our projection screen so the audience couldn’t see the subtitles.”
“Bummer, well I hope that your next show is better”
“Ya, we got the noon slot next. I’m not sure how many Dutch Rambo fans are up at that time…”
“Well, good luck.”
What time is it
Hmm. It’s getting close. Do I have a break later?”
Ya… I do. Right after The Screaming Mime. I’ll get a pickle then.
I’ll wander over to Hospo and see what’s going on over there.
Ya I’ve got time. It’s close to the venue. When do they close?
Ya, they’re still open. I wonder if I can see a show tomorrow any time.
I’ve got two shows off tomorrow. Hmm I could see something then. I wonder what’s on.
Hmmm, Too Many Cooks has a show, I could see that tomorrow on Friday.
Wait, what day is it?
Every tech goes through something similar everyday, and it’s because of this paranoia that Fringe techs are very, very, rarely late.
Oh geeze, what time is it, I think I have a show…