Since this was only my second Fringe experience, I definitely learned quite a few things things this year. These are some things I wish I would have known before I started.
1. Make a plan. Read descriptions of different shows and read reviews, but most importantly TRY SOMETHING NEW. Fringe is about artists becoming vulnerable with their creative genius to see where it can lead. Without an audience and feedback, the shows have no where to go. Making a schedule allows you to plan ahead and find those one-time deals.
2. Find someone to go with. Unfortunately, walking outside, at night, in a big city, alone is not the best idea- things happen out of our control and it’s best to be safe. In all honesty, theatre is just better when you have someone to discuss with afterwards.
3. Leave enough time. Even though you have already made a schedule do not schedule shows within half and hour to and hour within each other. Many shows start late, go over, and may be longer than calculated. Since you want to see everything you just have to be wise about giving yourself enough time to get from venue to venue.
4. Stay after. Fringe is a collaborative effort of artists to connect and meet each other. Many times there are talkbacks and opportunities to talk with the creative geniuses behind the show you just watched. They want to hear from you, no matter what you thought of the show! And you never know who you might come in contact with to help you fulfill your creative dreams.
5. Write a review. Since most of these shows are premiers and are looking for helpful critiques. Artists basically fly blind until someone says something. SO SAY SOMETHING. Anything that you think might be helpful or encouraging. This will help them to proceed with putting their passions on the stage.
6. Make connections. There are many opportunities to meet people throughout the Fringe. This might even mean talking to the people that are sitting next to you and hanging out around the central station or the theatre bar.
Plan now with the Fringe Calendar. Happy Fringing!
Anna Hodgson is the 2012 Communication Intern. When not communicating, she is either managing the stage, dreaming up fabulous direction, organizing dusty props or making messes in her kitchen baking delicious goodies.