Ignite the Hype

If someone had told me ten years ago that I could have a successful career as a marketing professional, I would have laughed in their face. These days, however, it seems to make perfect sense. As part of the Ottawa Fringe Festival's Lunchtime Artist Series, I've been asked to participate in the Ignite the Fringe event on Friday June 25th at noon.

My topic is on "Branding the Artist" - though I'm not going to spoil it all here because I'd love for you to join us in the Fringe Courtyard (or "Beer Tent" as I sometimes hear it's called), I am going to tell you that my mind has been wandering towards promotion, buzz and hype lately.

On Friday night, I had the privilege of seeing the Shadows opening night. This show came with a lot of hype. Amazing professional production team, award-winning actresses, incredible promotional material, and a curiosity factor around this being the writer's first solo produced play. Fortunately, it beautifully lived up, in my mind, to all of that. I was incredibly moved by this piece to the point where I just needed to be alone for a little bit afterwards to decompress (My apologies to anyone whom I may have been rude to and ignored while running away from the venue. I just wanted to settle for a moment before the craziness that is the beer tent.) I also know that I am adding to the hype just by writing this, but if you can get tickets to this show (it's been selling out!), go and see it. It's fucking awesome.

I've also been thinking a lot about my own hype lately. I mean, I'm "nancykenny". I've been somewhat taking it as a joke around the beer tent, but part of me wonders how much weight that actually carries.

Tonight, I will be doing my one and only performance at the Ottawa Fringe Festival in Jayson McDonald's The Last Goddamned Performance Piece at 11pm in Venue 5 - Studio Leonard-Beaulne. The marketer (and ego hungry individual) in me worries that I won't live up to the hype and the only people in attendance will be the director, the performer I'm billeting, and that guy who stalks me on Facebook (OMG! What if my stalker DOESN't come?). It is after all a late show and tomorrow is a work day.

Realistically, I know there will be more people than that. And my artist is simply thrilled to be performing this beautiful play, no matter how many people see it.

There is no way to control who will or will not come, no matter how good your promotion is, which is such a weird situation to be in. However, though the marketer can build up the hype, the only thing the artist can do is the best job she can. My artist is now taking over and she doesn't care about the hype.

So, if you come and see my show tonight, I will do my very best to be present, truthful, and entertaining for your viewing pleasure.

I hope to see you there!