by Áine Donnelly,
The Rogue Festival will be upon us soon! Enjoy another Rogue Festival performer preview article, with one or 2 more to come between now and the Festival and more that have already been published this month in our A & E section. We also have an article about this year’s Rogue Festival Muse, and once Rogue begins, watch for reviews and video interviews. For more information on the Festival itself check out their website and keep an eye on KRL’s Rogue Festival Event Page.
Who, me? Complain? Why, whatever for? Just because I had just taken yet another job I should never have even considered? But, just look at me now! I get to ride a nice, free shuttle to my job where I have my very own office in the swankiest environment I have ever worked. Two of my co-workers use treadmills instead of chairs at their desks, and one of them has candy.
And, still, only a few weeks into my job I was sitting on that comfortable shuttle with tears streaming down my face. I wanted so badly to be grateful, but the tsunami of my life was towering over me, threatening to wipe me out completely. I suddenly found myself middle-aged with absolutely nothing accomplished. The prize for reaching middle age is supposed to be expertise of some kind, right? I could only see that I had accumulated a lifetime of cringe-inducing bad decisions, unresolved dreams, and inevitable disappointments. I had played it safe and risked nothing.
But, wait just one second. Thinking things over carefully, I realized that I had indeed developed an expertise. The consistency of my behavior during my years on Earth had organically transformed me into an expert bungler of life itself. And, not to brag, but I had flopped in more areas of life than your average bear. Okay, that was something I could work with.
The time had come to call upon my one true love and worst boyfriend ever: Theatre. We had been together my whole life, and I had happily supported him most of that time. For the last three years, I had been studying Red Nose, known on the street as “Clown.” Now, before you gag and/or roll your eyes, just know that this kind of Clown work is the antithesis of humiliation humor. Red Nose investigates what happens when you wear “the smallest mask in the world.” By strapping a red plastic nose to your face, you do not so much as put on a character, but rather you reveal and explore yourself in all your imperfection and humanity. In a flash I understood that Red Nose was the only possible medium to translate my newly-realized expertise, my wealth of constant ineptitude, and bestow it upon the world.
As an expert, I had a duty to share my proficiency with all those average citizens out there, and even with those way-above-average citizens, like Robert Redford. In an interview, he once expressed his frustration that some directors could not, or would not, cast him in roles he really wanted. They immediately dismissed him as being ‘just’ a movie star instead of recognizing him as an actor. I figured, if Robert Redford could experience disappointment, then I was in good company. At that moment I silently vowed through my tears to quit my safe job and take a long-overdue artistic risk: bring a Red Nose show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and then, to the Rogue!
And, I did. And, I am. Only 48 years in the making, my show Hi. (Entering Burned Area), made its world premiere at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and will make its North American debut at the 2018 Rogue Festival. Robert Redford is invited, and you are too.
Venue: Fulton Street Art (Venue 4)
1118 North Fulton Street
Fresno, CA 93728
Dates & Times: Friday, March 2, 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 3, 4:15 p.m.
Friday, March 9, 7:15 p.m.
Saturday, March 10, 4:15 p.m.
Performance Details: 45 minutes
Latecomers will not be seated
Box Office Website: roguefestival.ticketleap.com
Festival Website: www.FresnoRogueFestival.com