Who are you?
Hi, I’m Matt Kamimura. You may remember me from such Hollywood Fringe parties as Step and Repeat: The Musical and Prom 4: The Revengening.
I’ve been a photographer practically my entire life. My first grade photos were Polaroids of my friends and of my toys. So many things have changed since then!
Now I have a digital camera to take pictures of my #fringeships and I’m the event photographer at Funko. Ok, so maybe the more things change the more things stay the same.
How did you get involved with Fringe?
The first time I was involved with Hollywood Fringe was way back in the way back and since I’m already in my WABAC, let’s queue flashback:
It was a dark and stormy night.
the record skips and scratches to a stop
Actually, it was a bright and sunny #HFF15 day. I had just completed being a volunteer nerf herder at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim and was on my way to buy tickets to my friend’s #HFF15 performance. I saw the volunteer tab on the Hollywood Fringe website and the rest is HFF history; we liked each other so much that neither of us wanted to let go.
What do you do with the Hollywood Fringe Festival?
I am the terror that flaps in the night. I am the flash of light that leaves those little spots in your eyes. I am the STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER!
What are your plans as staff photographer?
The same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world!
Any challenges that you expect to face?
Sleep, the final frontier. These are the dreams of the Fringe photographer Matt Kamimura. His five-week mission: to explore strange new performances, to seek out new #fringeships and new tacos, to boldly nap where no photographer has napped before.
Really. Today, I took a nap under a tree before a photo session with some Fringers.
Fourscore and seven minutes ago, your photographer was brought forth upon a most excellent adventure conceived by our new friends at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. These great Fringers are dedicated to a proposition which was true in my time, just as it’s true today.
Be excellent to each other.
And… PARTY ON, DUDES!!
We are excited to announce this year’s lineup of Sponsored Awards to be presented at the Fringe Awards Ceremony at The Ricardo Montalbán Theater on the final day of the festival. Thanks to all the organizations partnering with us to present these special awards!
Sponsored Awards are presented by outside organizations to commend like-minded artists. You can see this year’s list here. Make sure you check each award’s submission requirements before contacting the award sponsor for consideration.
The other awards we hand out at the Award Ceremony are the Community Awards (lovingly known as “The Freaks”). These awards are given out to the best shows in each category (“Best in Ensemble Theatre”, “Best in Comedy”, etc.) as voted by the Fringe community. Additionally, “Freaks” are presented for top International show, best world premiere (the “Fringe First” award) and the highest award: an overall winner crowned “Top of the Fringe”. Fringe community members, including participants, who see shows & leave reviews on hollywoodfringe.org will receive ballots during the last days of the festival via email.
Who are you, and what did you do to my socks?
Oh sorry, those were your socks? I didn’t realize, and they were the perfect size to make a pair of pants for the squirrel that sits outside my window. Sorry I guess, but not that sorry; squirrels need pants too, you know. As to who I am? I’m Vanessa Frey, a Libra who thinks astrology is garbage and whose hobbies (besides making tiny clothing for tiny animals of course) include reading and not watching sports.
How did you get involved with Fringe, and why do you have french fries in your pockets?
I went to my first Fringe four years ago, just after I moved to Los Angeles. I loved the community and the performances and wanted to become more involved. I’m no thespian, however, so when I saw the posting for Development Coordinator three years ago, I saw that as an opportunity for me to help support the organization. As for the french fries…I could tell you, but you wouldn’t like the answer. I think the real question here, though, is how you could tell I had french fries in my pocket in the first place.
The fries are sticking out of the top your pant pockets, which is why I asked…but anyway, what do you do for the Fringe?
Sorry I didn’t hear the last part of your question—did you ask who is my favorite muppet?! That’s such a great question! There are so many muppets that have jobs similar to what I do for the Fringe. Take Scooter for example—he’s the muppet who kept the show going by finding gigs for Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem. Similar to Scooter, I go out and find organizations, agencies and foundations that want to give grants to Fringe in order to keep the festival going. Also, Beaker is my favorite muppet (sorry Scooter).
What are your plans now that your Fringe’s Development Director, and can you please stop throwing french fries at me?
Oops, sorry about the french fries…the squirrel outside my window tells me to do things sometimes. As for my plans, today I plan to vacuum the stairs, braid my dog’s hair and then go to Starbucks for a couple of hours and pretend to do work. After that I think I’ll—-
Stop. Please, just stop—I didn’t mean what are your plans for today, I meant what are your plans for Fringe!
Oh, why didn’t you say so! My plans for Fringe include getting the organization more support as it continues to grow, so it can further develop things like Fringe Scholarships. I also plan to spend as much time as I can at Fringe Central and see as many shows as I can. Can’t wait to Fringe it up with you all!
My husband, Brendan, and I moved to L.A. in the fall of 2010 to pursue our dreams of acting and writing, respectively. We first heard of Fringe midway through June the following year. We were dead broke, like so many Los Angeles transplants following their dreams, and I remember thinking, “Hey, I should see if they have any volunteer positions, maybe I could see some shows for free that way.”
June passed and I never got around to it, but I vowed I wouldn’t miss Fringe in 2012. I signed up to volunteer the following spring, and the first volunteer job I did (and roped Brendan into joining me for) was dressing up as a Fringe Freak and marching in the West Hollywood Pride Parade. We had so much fun and realized we’d found an amazing community. I volunteered several more times that Fringe and, yes, I got to see some shows for free.
2013 marked another year of volunteering for Fringe and seeing shows, but with a bit of a shift. Brendan and I wanted to be even more enmeshed in this community and to dust off our producing hats, still crumpled in the moving boxes we brought from Seattle. We decided we would write and produce a show for Fringe 2014.
Our show plans were well underway as 2014 rolled around and then there was a little wrinkle: I saw that Fringe was seeking a new volunteer coordinator; the ever delightful Liz Steele was moving on. I was worried about a conflict of interests, but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to become thoroughly entangled in Fringe and help more lucky folks get involved as volunteers. I applied, I interviewed, I expressed my concerns about also producing a show and assured Ben that Brendan would be the primary show promoter, and I got the job!
As Volunteer Coordinator, then Director, I’ve watched the ranks of volunteers expand to nearly 250 dedicated folks, overseen the Volunteer Comps and Discounts program, initiated and led annual Volunteer Orientations, and overseen and grown the Fringe Intern (Fringetern, anyone?) Program. This year my role will expand as I take on the role of Fringe Central Front of House Director. In addition to scheduling volunteers to help out at Fringe Central, I’ll be hiring Concierge and Security staff, maintaining communication between departments (Bryan’s Bar, Concierge, Cabaret, and Security), and making sure Fringe Central is well-staffed, well-stocked, and running smoothly.
I’m as caught up in this web as I could ever have hoped, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Moving to Los Angeles from cozy Seattle has made me realize that it isn’t always easy to find amazing communities of trustworthy, dedicated, and inspiring people. When you are lucky enough to find one, get enmeshed and entangled and caught up in it.
Advertising with the Hollywood Fringe Festival is an excellent way to promote your project, organization, brand, or cause. Buy an advertisement now on our website or printed guide.Advertising with the Hollywood Fringe Festival is an excellent way to promote your project, organization, brand, or cause. Buy an advertisement now on our website or printed guide.