Friday, January 29, 2010

10 Reasons to Hate the New York Fringe Festival

As you know Mr. Fringey is partial to the Canadian and Orlando model of fringe festivals. Which is:
100% of $ from ticket sales go directly to the ARTISTS involved!

Take away any one of these parts without adding another and you start losing major fringe karma points. For instance, Capital Fringe doesn't give 100% of the door, but they create a great fringe community and provide tons of support to artists from out of town. 

Are you picking up the equation that I'm putting down.
In recent months, Mr. Fringey has been asked more than once what his thoughts were in terms of applying to the New York Fringe. This Blog entry is my answer.

1) Participating is like Contributing to Global Warming:
It used to be in the fine print, now it's published on their website. "If accepted to the festival, each company and author (where applicable) will be required to agree to contribute 2% of their gross revenues above $20,000 derived from future productions of the play for a period of seven years after the close of the festival." What the hell is this? Grapes of Wrath? We've all heard that Urinetown became a hit at the NY Fringe and then had to shuck out the dough for the greedy Mr. Thomas.

"At the ranch, the boss, Mr. Thomas, tells the men about the Farmers’ Association, which demands that he pay his laborers twenty-five cents an hour and no more. Even though he knows his men deserve a higher wage, Thomas claims that to pay more would “only cause unrest.” (The Grapes of Wrath Chapter 22 by John Steinbeck)

2. You will age 55 years for every ticket you sell.
You get $8.75 for every $15 ticket sold. You do the math.

3. Perpetuating the Starving Artists Myth One Show at a Time
You pay a whopping $600 entry fee, plus your $30 fee to get your application reviewed. Cincinnati takes 50% of the door but the festival fee is only 30 bucks.

4. Did I just sign up for American Idol?
Fringe NYC doesn't disguise the fact that they use a jury process to "insure the festival is a cross-section of the best emerging performance from around the world." Are you hiring a pastry chef or a performer? What a crock. Fringes shouldn't jury, period!

5. Doctor, I caught a case of the Bullies
It's no wonder that Fringe NYC has been awarded Mr. Fringey's Bully Award for the past two years. Rejecting all sense of the spirit of the fringe community again and again, I think Fringe NYC needs to take a behavioral modification class, but not in the NYC school system, (that's probably where they learned to bully others to begin with). If you need some proof check out my blog entry that details the nastygram they sent the Long Island Fringe Fest last year.

6. It Feels Romantic to be Completely Alone in the Big Apple
Although the NYF is only partly to blame, fringe shows in New York are a hard sell. On any weekend there are only about 10 million other shows going on there. I know performers who sell out entire runs of shows all over the fringe circuit and find themselves in miserably tiny houses at the NYF. Although your ego will always get the best of you in this situation, a small house is a small house is a small house and just because you're in NYC doesn't make it romantic.

7. Attendance Aschemndance
According to their website "In 2009, nearly 70,000 people attended Fringe NYC." Do you know how few people that is for a festival taking place in New York? That's the equivalent of one person showing up to a show at the Kansas City Fringe.

8. Are We Getting Married or Just Dating
If you are accepted to FringeNYC, part of their agreement prohibits the performance of your show anywhere in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut anytime during the months of June, July, or August.

9 & 10. There were 2 more reasons, but the New York Fringe Festival only allows blog entries that critique the festival in jest to a total of 8 reasons. Mr. Fringey was required to submit the remaining 2 reasons to the festival directors for approval with a $23 dollar application fee. Apologies to my readers




Anonymous said...

Thank you for this great critique. I only disagree with number 4. (Because I actually adhere to the Canadian model.) And also, cos it was my idea. The rest of that shite, however, exactly why I left. Jonathan Harris

Anonymous said...

Allllll righty, then. Thanks, Slash.

Anonymous said...

That's supposed to read "I actually DON'T agree with the Canadian model". JH

Anonymous said...

Alll righty, then. Thanks.

The UkuLady said...

haha! Love this blog! Meeep!

debbydoll said...

....I wouldn't say we hate them, but, they did try to squash us.

Even so, we will be doing it again in 2010.

Anyone who would like to apply can ask Mr. Fringey (he will forward your request) or get an application for Long Island Fringe Festival by going to:

debbydoll said...

I am pretty sure we are legal.

We're doing it again.

We would love for you to come & fringe with us on Long Island this Autumn - Sept 24 - 25 - 26 - 2010.

The place is C.W.Post - Long Island University, Tilles Center.