The Island Fringe

I feel it’s important to record my experiences at the Island Fringe Festival in July. This blog wasn’t happening much then, but Fringe Festivals were an important impetus in the life that led to this blog in the first place. I applied to the Island Fringe Festival late in 2015 after finding it on a list of Canadian Fringe Festivals. Canada has been very kind to me as an artist, so I wanted to go back. I was accepted in early January and sent them a sum of money to cover costs; a normal Fringe fee. A few days later I found out I was going to be a dad. To be honest, I kind of forgot about the festival for a little while there.

But they patiently e-mailed me and I slowly sent them the necessary technical specs, blurbs, photos and other things one sends to the poor souls who must deal with dozens of fragile artists for these events. Somewhere along the way I also realized that Prince Edward Island is a lot closer to Rhode Island than Los Angeles and accessible by bridge, both things that would make it considerably easier to get there.

I had managed to drag the props, costumes and furniture of It’s a Spaceship Now back across the continent again, so that wasn’t a major hurdle. Even the Poang was safely stored in my mom’s basement, in the same big blue Ikea bag that’s always housed it. Dirty World the Third wasn’t running well at all, and the thought of driving it thirteen hours was frightening. That was a big impetus for buying my grey 2005 Subaru Forester, a vehicle that really doesn’t deserve a nickname. All the show stuff fits in side, with room for a little slot to sleep in.  On part of the Poang, as befitting an artist of my standing.

So I called out of work at Grapes and Gourmet for a week, sent sincere regrets to the family clam bake, made sure Nicky was okay and drove North on 95. The most eventful part of the drive was a 90 mile stretch through Maine on a desolate, back road. That is considered a legitimate way to get through Canada, I suppose. It was the middle of the night and I started running low on gas about 60 miles in. I had no cell service and no idea what was ahead of me. I drove 30 miles with the ‘E’ light on, finally limping into an all-night gas station near the Canadian border. Praise roadside Jesus. I drove a little into Canada (where highways magically appeared) and slept a little.

The next morning I continued my drive. British Columbia by highway was nice. The bridge on to PEI was tall, long and breath-taking. I’d been on long bridges in Louisiana, but those are low and weird. Also a 12-miler over some swamp killed Dirty World. The island is gorgeous. Beaches, farmland, trees, and lots of quaintness. Charlottetown is on the east coast so I had a nice chance to drive through it. I can see why people vacation there.

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