In what is the final week of the Adelaide Fringe, we also bring you the final word from one Ruth Wilkin – writer, performer, lemon slice connoisseur and now, Fringe Festival conquerer!
For weeks now we have listened to her tell us exactly what it is like to be an artist preparing for the Festival, and now, halfway through her shows, she is stopping to tell us how it is all going:
I’m sitting in my rental apartment in Adelaide, writing my final piece for the Fringe Festival. I have four shows to go, but a day off today which I am grateful for. It has been a ride of highs and lows with lots of conversation around Fringe shows; some that are doing well and some that are not. I’ll admit it has been a tough slog for me with unexpected challenges along the way.
The season began on Thursday with a preview performance: a small but supportive audience. It was a less than perfect show. I was very tentative and about as sure-footed as a newborn giraffe, but I got one under the belt and felt more ready for opening night.
Friday night – our opening – was a corker! The audience was strong in numbers, appreciative and I had hit my straps. Apparently all the fabulous people of Adelaide turned up that night.
Saturday similarly was a good house full of more fabulous people! The trick, they say, is to fill your opening nights and I was well on my way. During the day I was out at Rundle Mall stirring up a crowd and trying to get some more bums on seats.
Then came Sunday. Not a booking. Not one. Whaaaaaaa?????
We did all the same things we had done the days before. Even after a sterling first review and two audiences who left buzzing, the show was losing momentum.
Any artist will tell you that it’s hard to get up in front of a small audience and your show won’t go over the same way (or as well) as it would with a healthy sized house. I imagine this is why it has hit comedians especially hard this Fringe – people are just less inclined to laugh out loud if they are one of few instead of one of many.
I am not experienced enough to know all the ins and outs of the issues that face the Fringe, nor am I suggesting that I have run the perfect marketing campaign (hilarious Glam blog aside!), but I do know this: seasoned artists speaking out has been immensely helpful for other emerging performers to hear. It’s not just about complaining – for me to know that others are sharing the same problems is heartening.
I have four performances to go of a really fun, clever, feel-good show and I’m going to keep working to find my audience. If you are yet to see something at this year’s Fringe your time is running out and there are many, many fantastic shows on offer – all they need is an engaged audience, Dear Readers!
Thanks for having me, Adelaide. It’s been an experience I won’t forget.
Ruth Wilkin is an award-winning cabaret performer and writer, bringing her self-deprecating and witty comedy to Adelaide with TRIBUTE: The Story of [INSERT CELEBRITY]’s Rise to Fame at the Tuxedo Cat from Mar 3 – 14 at 9:45pm.
As a dedicated Glam Reader, Ruth and her team want to give you a little gift. Buy tickets to Ruth’s show and use the code word “dance” to get $15 tickets, rather than the usual $23. Ticket info is here.