Well, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted an update on the tour. I just performed my first show in Toronto as of four hours ago. I’m going to update a bit on how things went in Montreal, London, and my first performance in Toronto.
Montreal Fringe was an interesting experience. I was still experimenting with my show during the Montreal Fringe. My first performance in Montreal occurred on a Friday night at 11pm at a new venue to the Montreal Fringe Festival — it was at a place called “Le Petit Campus” and there was a dance club on the level above it. It being Friday night and late, the dance club above was in full swing and there was heavy a bass-line thudding from the dance music above. It was *extremely* distracting and disruptive, but I tried my best. Despite the poor conditions of the venue that evening, two or three of the audience members got in touch with me at some point afterward via the internet to tell me how much they appreciated the show.
The first person who contacted me later that same night was named Radu:
I arrived at your show completely by accident, and had no idea what to expect.
I’m glad I did – your show was sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and quite touching. Congratulations – it takes a lot of courage to stand up there, brave the hostile conditions, and just say “here – that’s me”. I would not dare – but then again, I’m not a stage performer. (…) Once again – congratulations, keep singing – and cut down on chocolate.
Best of luck
(You have to see the show to get the chocolate comment. 🙂 )
Despite having received this encouraging feedback mere hours after the initial performance, I felt very dissatisfied with my show as a whole. As I mentioned earlier, I was still tinkering and tweaking it, and as such, I continued to experiment with the script a little for the next handful of performances.
My Monday night performance in Montreal was a particularly odd one. I had just found out that night that my venue technician was no longer with the Montreal Fringe Festival, and therefore a new technician was assigned to the venue and to my show. Beforehand I went over the show with her, but I was really stressed out about it since we had to go over things last minute, and then I was rushing to get my costume on in time, too. …Anyway, to make a long story short, I felt that my experiments with the show that night didn’t go over too well, likely exacerbated by my being a stressed and rushed prior due to the new technician assignment. …As luck would have it, a reviewer was in the audience that night, and he totally panned the show.
…Of course, I firmly believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I don’t expect everyone to love my show. That being said, if someone is going to write a review of a play, I think it’s not only fair, but imperative, to review the play as a whole from start to finish. This particular reviewer did not do so. According to his own review he left half-way through show. Ah well. … I’m not going to quote that awful review, but it’s easy enough to find online if you care to do so. It’s pretty harsh though, I must say!
Anyway… Later that same week, I had received another message from a fellow named Louis-Paul who had also been in attendance at the first show. He wrote:
My name is Louis-Paul Rioux. I was at your show friday night. I think you were very brave for the premiere. The dance upstairs was very annoying, we couldn’t hear all your lines, it was very difficult for you to concentrate. Nevertheless, you made a very good, very intelligent show, the best I saw at the Fringe this year. Your character is so sweet, your knowledge of the French language is endearing, The story is heartbreaking. (…) I think you’re very talented. You deserve better. Cheer Up!Best Regards.Louis-Paul“
From Montreal to London
This was quite possibly the bravest thing I have ever seen on stage.
I’ve been married so long that I’ve forgotten about the process you go through when preparing to be close to someone. How huge a risk it is to bare your soul. Through mask and metaphor, this show gave me a whole new perspective on how much courage it takes to try to connect.
It was a wonderful performance, and I hope it does well.”
“I don’t often write reviews, but…I lived in Edmonton for many years before moving here for my husbands work, so I’ve seen a lot of fringe shows at the biggest Fringe on the continent… BUT… This show might be the best show I’ve seen at any Fringe, any year. What an engrossing and amazing young performer. Look out world, she is going to be the next Shannon Calcutt.““Wow this is a brilliantly brave and funny show. Fizzy Tiff is a beautiful, sweet, smart funny lady with an amazing voice and a hilarious show! Love, love, loved it!”