A Fringe Experience

You wake up with no plans. Browsing the web, you check out the Hollywood Fringe website – some coworkers were talking about it around the water cooler yesterday.

Not knowing exactly what to expect, you decide to give this Fringe thing a try. Browsing through tags, comments, descriptions, and various other little features to help you choose, you select shows and events that most appeal to you. Boom, you buy the tickets in one shot. That was easy, and not too expensive.

Time to step outside. Fringe has clearly arrived. Banners, chalked sidewalks, freaks of all varieties lurking around street corners. Everyone laughing, having a wild time. Something is different in this here neighborhood, you think to yourself.

You begin your day with the experience of the Outdoor Fringe event. Street performers abound vying for your attention and pleasure. That albino fire eater was a site to see. Certainly never seen anyone do that with a grilled cheese sandwich and a pair of pliers.

Delicious snack food cooking on vendor wagons. Unique and artful “gear” sold at stands nearby – “hmm, I think I need a Fringe-branded cigar holder in my life,” you wisely mumble to yourself.

Filled with sun, fun, and joy, you depart the outdoor venue to see some indoor shows. Along the way, you notice masked performers singing a song along the streets ( was that free bird?? ) . No escaping these wild Fringe folk! Feeling feisty, you start singing with them. Bad decision…more masked characters jump out and sing along with you. Ok, maybe not so bad. They slap you on the back as they move on down the road. You are feeling pretty cool.

You head to your first show of the evening – it’s a singing clown act with a libertarian bent. You laugh, you cry. You say hello to the sheepish, cigarette smoking clowns as you move to your next show down the road – turns out to be pretty close! You walk into an improvisation performance heavily utilizing multimedia and turnips. After being called on stage and used as a character in a Charlie Brown bit (that was fun), you decide you are a little hungry. You head to an official Fringe dining venue you found on the Fringe website for some dinner.

You commingle with some of your new Fringe friends, seems they are somehow all there. The masked actors are having some food (poultry) and wave to you. The clowns are eating grits, you wonder why. The albino fire eater sulks in the corner (it’s a tough life, no doubt).

There is a musical act playing at the restaurant: The world-famous Jimbo and his singing monkey. You snarf on your cocktail as the monkey jumps on your table and shakes your hand. You need another cocktail – fast. Someone you just met at the improv show drops by and you share a chuckle about your “famous moment” on stage earlier that evening (“I can’t believe you fell for the football trick! Don’t you read Peanuts?!?”).

Getting dark, time for one more Fringe show. This is a small one, a boutique show that your coworker saw the other night and recommended heartily. The house isn’t packed, but the show is fantastic. You feel you have discovered a gem. You make a note to blog about it in your fringe blog, and to give it a very positive review on their Fringe project page.

You don’t want to go home yet (this is too much fun), so you decide to grab a drink at the official bar you found on the Fringe website. Again, everyone is there! After two or three more drinks, you head to one of the hostels to after party with some of your new Fringe friends.

You spend several hours carousing and meet someone with serious date-potential – such charm and grace. Coming back to consciousness slightly, you realize you have been chatting-up Jimbo’s monkey. You don’t mind so much. That’s one funny friggin monkey – and what a singing voice.

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