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Sometimes things don't go exactly as planned. As artists we can plan and prepare for the festival of the year and then life throws us a huge curveball. Maybe the posters get printed wrong, the wrong date was put on all of our flyers, our tech moves cities or in Amelia Ryan's case - the venue closes down.
Amelia Ryan is one of those performers I've always admired via the internet. She is a bad ass woman who is killing the Fringe scene and getting me all kinds of inspired! And she's here! At the NZ Fringe! Presenting Amelia Ryan is Lady Liberty. Get excited people!
But like I said, life threw Amelia a bit of a curve ball on her journey to our beautiful festival, and she tells us more about it below...
In October last year, with bucket loads of excitement (and a suitable amount of anxious guts), I pressed ‘submit’ on my NZ Fringe registration.
Having never ventured to the land of the Great White Cloud, I was PUMPED. My NZ cherry was about to be popped. Boom. I immediately took to researching Wellington’s best bars, restaurants and coffee haunts. Because, priorities.
Once I’d established a 24/7 detailed spreadsheet for how I’d be feeding my face, lubricating my liver and curbing my caffeine cravings, I tackled some of the less exciting Fringe admin. (Uggh. Admin is NOBODIES friend). Budgets, flights, design …yawn. Turns out performing isn’t all about your one hour under the lights. WHO KNEW.
I was all set to take to the stage at VK’s Comedy Club. It ticked all the boxes – keyboard? Check. AV? Check. Tables for people to sit around and get suitably shit-faced? Check. With the organizational skills that defy the average Fringe performer (myself, historically, included), I even managed to coordinate a line up of two other Aussie cabaret artists at VK’s each night. The three of us would do back to back time slots, so as to share the one musician (the AMZING Cameron Thomas) who we’d fly over from Melbourne. THUS sharing his costs. GENIUS, right?
Right. The plan was fool proof.
Until one fateful morning on December 7th, when I awoke to some DEVASTATING news.
I take it you must have found out that I am now moving away from VK's as an owner. I am not sure if the next people will be running it as a comedy / fest venue’.
Things happen. I get this. And I am a (mostly) reasonable and well-tempered human. But my face read something like this…
And my inner dialogue ran something like this….
- No I had not found this out. Umm…. thanks for the heads up!
- WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT MIGHT NOT BE RUNNING AS A FRINGE VENUE??
- The programme has gone to print! My posters have been designed!! WE’VE BOOKED FLIGHTS! WE’VE BOOKED ACCOMMODATION! I’VE BOOKED ADVERTISING!!
- What about all the food I was going to eat???
- SEND HEEEEELLLLLLLLLPPPPPP!!
My Aussie cabaret comrades and I went into crisis management mode. We promptly emailed Fringe HQ (see point 6), frantically working out how/ if/ where we could find a replacement venue. And not just any venue…one that could accommodate a) the three of us back to back b) during the travel dates we’d booked for a c) that catered to our various tech requirements.
Demanding much? Correct. But babes, one must have standards!
It took me back to my days of online dating...y’know, checking the inbox daily to see if there was a fabulous suitor to meet my needs. Much like my online dating stint…nothing came to fruition.
After a couple of months of back and forth, and desperate attempts to make it work, I (along with my other cabaret comrades) – very regrettably – made the decision to cancel the show/registration altogether. I’m not sure what saddened me more. Having to cancel my show spreadsheet or my culinary spreadsheet. I made arrangements for other gigs here in Oz, and made a mental note to call Qantas and…sigh…tears…cancel my flights.
Until ONE FATEFUL MORNING ON THE 7TH FEBRUARY (exactly two months after the first fateful email…spooky) THAT WENT SOMETHING LIKE THIS
I've just heard that there a season has become available at the Gryphon Theatre on the dates that you were scheduled to be here. Would you be interested?’
THIS time round, my inner dialogue ran something like this:
- Oh god oh god oh god…
- Ummm well, I still have my flights. I still have my accommodation. Cameron still has his flights….
- But shit…it’s so close! That’s two weeks away? Can I make this happen?
- Everyone else went on sale in December. I’ll only go on sale NOW?
- But the food…the bars…the COFFEE THAT I’VE HEARD SO MUCH ABOUT!!
- Screw it! I’m gonna summons my Super-Fringe- Lady - Balls. LET’S DO THIS WELLINGTON!!
- FIST PUMP!!
All of this has occurred in the middle of a three week run at Perth Fringe World. I am indeed crazy.
So, this is how, and why, I am so late to the NZ Fringe party. But as Lady Liberty might say, better late than pregnant*
*Lady Liberty also thinks it’s really cool to be pregnant, and secretly (or not so secretly) looks forward to the day when her carnie touring life allows her to procreate.
Will my ‘Two Weeks To Get My Ass Into Gear’ regime work? Fingers crossed. Will people come and see my show at this late juncture? I sure hope so. Am I SUPER excited to be popping my NZ cherry? You bet. (PS I like it rough, and quite noisy. So audiences take note).
The below pretty much sums up how I feel about it.
So let’s do this Wellington! Pop the champagne, and let’s make history with the LATEST EVER ADDITION TO THE FRINGE PARTY.
Amelia Ryan (aka Lady Liberty) over and out. I’ll see your sexy faces in less than a week!!