Happy Canada Day! The Ottawa Fringe Festival closed on Sunday night with the usual fanfare (i.e. the wonderful Ross May on the bagpipes) and it was a much celebrated, yet bittersweet affair as this marked the last year of the Beer Tent in the Arts Court Courtyard. Dave Dawson gave a goodbye speech that combined the right amount of funny and nostalgia, while we toasted to what the future Son of Beer Tent might be. It was then and there that I realized I had 12 years of memories in that courtyard and it was one of the main reasons the Ottawa Fringe has always been one of my very favourites.
I am now spending one of my few days of non-Fringe activity this summer doing... Fringe related activity. It hit me this morning when I woke up that I head for Toronto tomorrow and I am incredibly nervous. Even though I lived there for almost two years, I've waited a really long time before bringing Roller Derby Saved My Soul to town. You may be asking yourself why; many of my friends there sure have. In my high school analogy of Canadian Theatre, Toronto is the cool kid whose opinion means I might get to eat at the best table in the cafeteria at lunchtime. And anytime I think about high school, I can't help but feel like the nerdy kid who doesn't quite know how to dress herself, but dammit if I can't help you with your homework.
I have no idea where this analogy is going except to say that Toronto theatre intimidates the fuck out of me. I am already nervous when I go to a new Fringe city because I never know if anyone is going to show up, but I am even more worried now because I have this idea that the people in Toronto who do come will all sit there with their arms crossed and judge.
All this to say, I am super stressed. My printing wasn't ready as quickly as I would have liked it to be and part of me wonders if I have completely forgotten how the show goes now that I've had a week off. I've finally found a place for us to stay for most of the festival and it's great, but I have to pay for it and it's only from the 5th to the 11th, so I still have to find room from the 2nd to the 4th. I'm literally shaking as I write this blog post, though that may also be from the coffee.
Tomorrow, the documentary team and I will be stopping by Ganonoque to interview the divine Julia Mackay about her incredibly successful Jake's Gift before I arrive in Toronto for my technical rehearsal at the Tarragon Extra Space. I will also be back with another blog post, this time my Must-See List for the Toronto Fringe.
City number 4, here I come!