Excuse me. Excuse me! Yes, hi, I was wondering if I could interest you in a flyer for my Fringe show.
I know. You might be thinking, “Great, like I didn’t have enough Fringe plays to check out already.” Or more likely you’re thinking, “Why would I go see a play in the year 2015, when I could literally do almost anything else?” Both are valid thoughts to be having, and both I have the answer to.
You see, my show’s different from any of the other one-man white male vanity-meets-passion projects floating around these days. I don’t sugarcoat anything for the audience; there’s no Pixar-style ending where the only thing that could make the resolution happier is if the stage were made of cotton candy. This show cuts deep to the highs and lows of what it means to be human. More specifically, a human who both makes poor decisions and aspires to be an actor.
My Fringe show is about a struggling performer, desperate and with nothing to lose, who decides to write a show and submit it to the upcoming local Fringe festival. To his surprise, the show actually gets picked up and things just go full-speed from there.
My one-man play — written, produced, and directed by me — is called Before I Break: My Personal Last Shot at Fulfillment. I guess you could say there’s a bit of non-fiction mixed in with the plot, taken from my own debilitating experiences as a part-time thespian trying to make it in the acting world, but for the rest of it you’ll just have to try and suspend your belief.
In the play, our protagonist has just turned 30 and he’s wrestling with the idea of contentment and pending mortality. Because 30’s a weird age, where it’s not quite young and it’s not quite old, but it’s old enough that you think he should have his life sorted out by now. But instead he’s stuck working a crappy day job at Staples where he’s forced to keep his dream of acting a secret from his co-workers, because one day he accidentally left his notebook full of theatre ideas in the break room and when he went back to buy a Coke he found the other employees reading it out loud and performing it, very poorly, I might add, and so he was forced to bury that part of him deep down where no one in his life could ever make fun of it again. So there’s a lot on his, the character’s, mind.
The play gets pretty meta at times too. Like, there’s one scene near the end, where the protagonist realizes almost no one’s bought tickets for his show and so he’s forced to go out and try to convince people on the street to see his show. He tries everything, from performing short monologues on the street to straight-up begging. At one point the protagonist even breaks down and starts crying profusely until the stranger promises to come to the play. It’s a real rollercoaster of emotions, my one-man Fringe show. Full of laughter and uncomfortable silences that only purchasing a ticket will end.
So come see it. My Fringe show.