for the crowd

Fringe Fest 2008
August 22, 2008, 11:53 pm
Filed under: Events | Tags: , , ,

(from festival city

Today I thought I’d be a proper blogger and go out and do something and observe and take notes. Yeah, didn’t really work out that way. But whatevs.

After work today I drove down to Old Strathcona to check out the Fringe Festival. One of these years I’d really like to go and see some shows, but my parents usually aren’t interested in it, and they’d always be who I’d go with. All of the friends I have now are, well, hate to say it, but a little culturally out of it. They’d rather listen to generic rock music and bitch about classes during the school year and get drunk and hook up with each other than go see some decent improv or a book reading. Anyway!

What I really like about the Fringe is the crowd it brings. It’s a lot more eclectic than what you’d see at Capital Ex, and a lot more colourful. Like any outdoor display in Edmonton there were booths everywhere selling things from airbrush tattoos to palm readings to homemade t-shirts, all of which tempted my wallet, and I couldn’t fully resist their siren call. I picked up a few gifts and then loitered.

The Fringe is completely crazy and I never know what to do there. I always visited the Fringe when I was very small and was shepherded around by my parents, or when I am, well, this age, and sometimes a bit shy. There are tons of performances going on but I never try to figure them out. Instead, I stop and admire the street performers.

I didn’t have all day to wander – I wish I did – but I did have time to catch one performance by the most adorable Asian girl ever, named Billy Kid. Or Billie Kidd? Who knows. She had a bawdy sense of humour, was completely out there, and was pretty damn good with her magic tricks. She performed three in a row, and while everyone’s seen versions of the tricks she pulled (and she even showed us the whole ‘fake transfer’ move from one hand to the other that people who do coin tricks use – crap, wait, she told us not to tell anyone that she showed us that ;D) there were a couple stunts she did that were completely unexpected. Like suddenly causing oranges to appear. Or – and this was the finale – producing a melon from under her hat. (It was a cute hat, by the way… like a red bowler hat. Oooh. I want. It would make for such nice outfits).

Anyway, I had no problems with giving her five dollars at the end of the show. Everyone, if you watch a street performance, you should tip. Tip ’em nice. I mean, if you’ve got no money then whatever, the show’s on them, but honestly, if you do, part with a couple bucks. Those people make a living doing that, it’s something they love and they just want to be paid for the hard work they do. Also, not dropping a couple bucks in the hat is just kind of rude, though I guess the same could be said for people who show up on the street and start doing weird things in front of you and then demand money for it. IT’S ALL RELATIVE and whatnot. What I mean to say is, if you like the show, give ’em a couple bucks. If you don’t, don’t. I know that when I catch the last half of a show and then determine that the performer is sort of an annoying jerkoff, I just walk away. No harm done.

If you’re in Edmonton and haven’t gone yet, then what are you waiting for? It’s free to drop by and just look around, unless you want to donate a handful of change at the door. It’s a great atmosphere, and definitely one of the better representations of what Edmonton has to offer, artistically. So go! Maybe I’ll find someone during the weekend to go see a show with. The festival ends on the 24th, so get crackin’, peoples.


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