My week dawned at Cirque du Soleil, whose headquarters are located here in
. Having listened to French for the past 8 days,
the meaning of their name suddenly springs into my mind: Circus of the Sun. I'm
loving this. I'm also loving that as I'm taking a tour of their facilities, it
is very clear that art is made here. It reminds me of the costume studio in my
high school, but on a much larger (and more technically savvy) scale: The edges
seem a little worn and there is lots of laughter. Montreal
I feel like I'm performing my very own Sun Circus in my venue during this heat wave. Without air-conditioning and under the lights, I start my show sweaty and end up soaking wet. The audience is pretty much the same. I start to worry about what I look like. After one show I looked in the mirror and a raccoon looked back at me--all my eye makeup was UNDERNEATH my eyes. Okay, no more makeup for the show. Also, the slip I wear under my costume has ripped up both the sides from sticking to my legs and staying there as I continue to move. This slip is dear to me--an heirloom from my mother when I performed in my first play. You know the saying, "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" for what you're supposed to wear at your wedding? Well since my play takes place on my mother's wedding day, an old blue slip seemed appropriate. But, okay, nothing that a needle and thread can't fix.
But I'm so hot that I start to feel sick, and I start to be concerned that I can't bring to the stage the emotions I need to tell my story. Are people still liking the show, or are they coming to simply gawk at me melting into a puddle on the floor? If I'm not doing the story justice then what the heck am I even doing here? The high-noon heat spirals in my brain and cooks the doubts so they expand like a souffle. I go to the beer tent and find a table of friends. And I crack. I let it all come out in a wave of tears and sweat.
And then I get my first 5 star review. The Link says, "In the boiler room known as Scene VOIR Stage, a quiet was present during this show that said, 'Everyone is listening.'" Perhaps my light shines brighter than I give myself credit for.
|Me and my Fringe brother, Shane. See you in Montreal next year!|
As the sun sets on this Fringe, everyone gathers at Caberet du Mile End for the Frankie Awards. The venue is filled to capacity, 600 people. My show wasn't nominated for anything, but it did get a shout-out from one of the jury members as a favorite of hers. And then at the end of the awards ceremony, when all the staff are on stage, the festival director surprises me and calls me up and says that I have been named runner-up for the Spirit of the Fringe Award. The staff decided that I embody what Fringe is about. And they offer me a guaranteed spot in next year's festival. My heart expands like a supernova. Perhaps that's why I needed to crack earlier in the week--to make room for all the wonderful to beam in.
So I will see another Montreal Fringe. With a new show, which I am so excited to start working on. But tonight, we are young. So let's set the world on fire, we can burn brighter than the sun.