Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On the Fringe

  This weekend, I got the chance to attend the Boulder Fringe Festival for the first time. I like theater and culture and festivals, so I thought it'd be a good opportunity. Luckily for me, I applied as a reviewer, and in exchange for reviews, I got a free press pass, allowing me to see all the shows for free :D Plus, the reviews would link back to my website--bonus! Five to seven shows in four days--I figured I could handle that. 200 word reviews, not bad at all. How very wrong I was.
    First things first: the festival started on Thursday, a day that I had already agreed to meet a friend up in Fort Collins. I didn't get back home until 9 or 10. Thursday shows were out. Friday, I just didn't go, and that was my bad. Little did I know, I'd have so many things trying to prevent me from seeing the performances over the weekend.
    Being the balanced person I like to think I am, I decided to see not five or seven shows, but six--three Saturday and three on Sunday. But the universe had other plans. Saturday morning, I agreed to drive out to Evergreen to meet the bf for breakfast--One World Cafe, if you haven't been there, it's really good food, and beer for breakfast :) I left at about 1pm. I thought I'd given myself my plenty of time to get from there to Boulder by 2:30, the start time of the first show I wanted to see. I still had to pick up my press pass, so I allowed for extra time for that and parking as well.
    But the 2:30 show wasn't in the cards. There was an accident on I-70 east and my GPS and the road signs told me to exit and take an alternate route, which I did, but US-40 wasn't going any faster. In fact, being it's only one lane, I think it was actually going slower. By the time I got out of the traffic on US-40, it was after 2 o'clock. I still had to get through Golden and head up 93 to get to Boulder. There was a little traffic in Golden too, as it turned out, and apparently I wasn't going fast enough for the speed demons on 93, so I got passed quite a few times.
    When I finally got to Boulder, it was three. I parked my car about halfway between the main theater and the main box office, which was at a coffee shop nearby. However, GPS got me lost again, thinking the coffee shop was farther up the street than it actually was.
    Once I had my pass, I had to sit down and rearrange my schedule for the next two days. Getting the press pass, I was assigned to see 4 shows, and then see at least one additional show to write a review on. Luckily for me, the assigned shows still had times left to see them by the end of the day on Sunday, though it meant I'd have to see a much later show than I had originally intended.
    I saw the Saturday shows, and wrote my reviews that night. One I loved, one was just ok, and the other was really not so great. I tried to be nice in my review, but I couldn't ignore some of the bigger flaws.
However, time was not the only thing against me: our crappy Century Link internet has been flickering on and off for the past week or so and of course, when I actually have something that I'm supposed to get done--something for someone besides me--it decides to go down and not come back. I know everybody hates Comcast, but they do have better, more consistent internet even if there are other flaws in their system.
    So, with no internet to go home to Sunday night to finish my reviews, I decided to write them in between the Sunday performances and type them up and email them from my Kindle using a free wifi connection. Unfortunately, the Boulder Public Library closes at 6:30 on Sunday and my last show was at 9:30-10:30. I headed to the nearby shops and found a Panera where I sat until after 9 typing up my reviews on the tiny, wonky Kindle keyboard. I had one more to type and one more to write by the time I had to go to the last show. When I got out, you know what I discovered? Panera shuts down their wireless after 10:30, which I had intended to use from my car in the parking lot which was still within range. I drove around the shopping center hoping for someone else to offer wifi after 10:30, but I wasn't having any luck.
    Fortunately, I was rescued. My bf called to check in and offered to let me come up to Longmont to the house to use the internet. I got all my reviews in, mostly on time (it was after midnight by the time I finished, but it was before anyone was at the office to read them, so I figure that's on time), and went home.
    While it was fun checking out shows that normally I wouldn't have the time or money to see, I will be a little more careful about signing up for things like this in the future. I definitely would have preferred picking more of my own shows to review and even though I technically had four days to see them in, I think I would have preferred more time. Of course, things were working against me this weekend, but now that I know my way around and know how long stuff takes, I will know how much I can really handle the next time around.
On the plus side, the internet's back.

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