The 2013 Minnesota Fringe Festival is half over, and so far….I’ve seen only three shows.
This isn’t so much by design or choice, as it is by circumstance. Sometimes life gets in the way of art.
Or, in the way of what could be, should be, oh-I-wish-to-God-it-were, art.
Two of the three that I’ve seen have been fascinating, inventive and fun rides. The third one….not so much. Could’ve been. But wasn’t.
It’s not important which is which.
And I write that not because I don’t want to write a “review” or critique the work or am afraid to criticize. I write that because it’s not important. That’s part of the Fringe experience. People try things, and sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t.
But…nothing has been a waste of time.
I was having a great chat the other day over lunch with a couple of talented Fringe artists that are also just observers this year. We agreed that in performing and writing, either do it well or get the F out of the way.
We were more eloquent than that.
Fringe tests my patience with mediocrity. Sometimes it makes me feel like I’m a know-it-all, or a snob. But really….no. I’m just an audience member. One who happens to know a thing or two, but truthfully I’m just audience member this time.
And everyone’s experience of a show is valid.
I want to be charmed. I want to be pulled in to a story. I want to the world to disappear as I travel the road alongside the characters and storytellers and the pictures on stage.
Fringe festivals give us the chance to experience such a wide range of shows and performers. I only wish I could make it more a priority.
Tonight I’m off to see my fourth show, which is highly anticipated.
This may turn out to be the year I see the least, and in some ways that’s disappointing. Which only puts the pressure on to spend those few hours the best way I can.
After all….that’s part of the beauty and magic of live performance. See it when it happens, or never see it all.