Last night's opening was a quiet one but still so great. Missed the ribbon cutting because it was still so damned hot, so my buddy Emily and I had the contingency plan of drinking at Peacock first : ) Though we were both very well behaved because we knew we had a long night ahead of us and wanted to be in shape for it. The bartender had never heard of Fringe, and while I never like to be one of those clutch the pearls “You've never heard of...?” people, this one continues to surprise me. But it also kind of excites me because there are so many more people the regulars can help bring into the fold. The bartender and dred boy next to me sounded pretty well sold when I talked to them about Schave and Reilly's show, with the dred guy saying 'It's not every day someone talks about Buster Keaton at a bar.'
Soon after Em and I headed to Loch Haven and when I first caught sight of the vendor tents I actually squealed, feeling like a kid approaching the fair. It's been a hell of a year for everyone I know and I can't really describe how good it felt just to experience a flash of sheer childlike joy. Granted, the Cody Rivers Show would soon give me a full hour of that, but more on that later...
Stand out thoughts from the evening...
Vendors: Didn't get the chance to do the full circuit last night but it was cool to see returning vendors with improved setups – Loving Hut and the Poetry Vending Machine particularly come to mind. The image of poet Tod Caviness' look of utter defeat during Monsoon Fringe will be forever etched in my mind. But now they're stylin! Don't know if you've done the vending machine but I highly recommend it. Not sure if it's a set price now or still by donation of cash or beer, but for a few shekels (and with a couple words of your choosing) one of Orlando's best poets will pen you a piece that will blow your freaking mind. No duff friends!
Thumbs down on vendor news: I love Elite Soul Food, super tasty stuff, but $13 for a chicken dinner? YOU HAVE GOT TO BE JOKING. Went to Loving Hut instead and got a heaping helping of Vegan yummies and could buy a beer and tip without getting near 13 bucks. Know your clients friends! One of the best quotes of the evening was when getting a beer ticket with my dinner in tow... the guy giving me the ticket said “Man that looks good, where's that from?” Loving Hut. He kind of shook his head and said “Wow that actually looks like real food!” Hot piano rocker Tod Kimbro actually grinned at me about it so I could officially die happy at that point.
But thankfully I prevailed because I would have missed the next...
Someone approached me from behind and sort of bumped into my backside but I was feeling mellow so I just turned to offer a bitchy look instead of a punch. Then saw it was actor Rob Ward of Pepe fame and I immediately went school girl, thinking “Oh My God he touched my butt, he touched my butt - I am so freaking cool!”
Yes I am a Super Fan, I cannot lie. Just wait til I get to Voci and VarieTEASE. SWOON. No, I may not have pride but I do have great taste.
Some other funny moments: Seeing Elizabeth Maupin and asking what she thought of the shows she'd seen so far and receiving a gracious smile of deflection. At which point I mentally stamped I AM AN IDIOT on my forehead. Oh yeah, wait - how about I READ ABOUT IT?
Between gabbing, eating, drinking and checking out a particularly stunning Visual Fringe I only saw one show last night, Cody Rivers. I heart this duo, seriously seriously heart these guys. It's like if the two funniest guys spent the entire school year on acid while heading up the Math Club. I cannot begin to understand how they come up with this stuff but it's beautiful to watch, WEIRD as all get-out, and always ALWAYS rewarding. Downside is my jaw hurt from smiling so much but I'll let it slide this time. As with all the shows this one's going to get better and better throughout the run, so I'm hoping to see it again but they tend to sell out so I'm glad I started with them.
After, I had more fun times out at the Green Lawn of Fabulousness – Monologue Master Martin Dockery and I organically fell into our bizarre form of discourse, which usually consists of me ditching any sense of couth or ability to self-edit and Martin feeling honor bound to question and/or contradict most everything I say. The man's too sharp by half and I am desperately waiting for Sandra Diaz to arrive and back me the hell up. At least I had Mike “Switzerland” Blake with his fascinating tale of treachery and deceit to take the heat off of me. Can't wait to help celebrate Mike's bday tonight by joining the posse attending “The Bike Trip!”
Katie Ball is a local public radio personality, and author of Any Cool Music?
Public Radio Producer
www.radiokuralt.com - www.wmfe.org/storycorps - www.prx.org/user/radiokuralt - www.stateofthereunion.com
Published locally in the Orlando Sentinel, Orlando Weekly. Clients include Crealde School of Art, The City of Orlando, Orange County Government.
Published Nationally in Atomic Ranch Magazine. - Band photography featured on 5 cds.