Saturday, December 05, 2009

Would you Show up to a Party Uninvited?


Some exciting news:  Asiansploitation was accepted into the Toronto 2010 Fringe Festival (June 30-July 11).  The sun was shining on a shining group.  I am grateful.  So where's this party?

There's some interesting history with the festival's 1947 start in Edinburgh, Scotland, now the world's largest Arts Festival.  Think freedom.  In its first year, 8 groups came together UNINVITED to perform at the Edinburgh International Festival.  That's an interesting concept.  Showing up at a party uninvited.  I can't picture myself doing this.  I blame my conditioning.  But they did it and kudos to them, 'cuz year after year, the festival grew.  And they decided early that crashing the party would be OK.

Perhaps there's wisdom in this approach.  This was an example of an open system at work in post-WWII.  Like 1960s borders to immigration in Canada and the US helped these countries to quickly grow.  Or why Linux has managed to create even a toehold in the land of corporate systems like Microsoft.  I wouldn't see open is 'the way', but it certainly is one way.  Why limit the fun?  Let everyone in on it, just like the message of survival in the movie 2012.  No need to be tight.  Being free can only create more joy to grow overall societal value.

While I suspect this concept of being completely open and lawless is foreign to organized and planful Torontonians, the Toronto Fringe Festival may have found the perfect straddle the balance fixed and open:  theatre companies put an electronic ticket in the hat (only costs $25), and if picked, get to perform.  That's the closed part.  But, if you don't succeed, you can bring your own venue and perform there.  Open.  What a brilliant straddle.  Now would I bring a venu?  Well -- probably not.  Feels way to hard to do.  So I'm wondering if the openness could be even more open.  If the rest of the city could be more open.  Could we set up shop on street corners.  Or consider using unused condo meeting rooms to host shows and drop-ins.  Or office lobbies that would otherwise sit empty could be open for a few hours to entertain.  Not doable, you say?  Consider what happened for Nuit Blanche when about half of the downtown core felt on display.  It's doable.

It's more the will and desire to turn Toronto the closed, into Toronto the open.  Why rely on a 20% lottery ticket to make or break your day.  Put on YOUR show in 2010.  Or come check out a comedy show.  I promise to recommend a good one.

Reference;  NYTime Article, 2009

Picture from the Brooklyn Museum

Posted via email from middledragon's posterous


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