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Old 08-20-09, 05:04 PM   #1
Rachel Peters
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Default Edmonton Fringe

For the first time I can recall, maybe ever, I went somewhere JUST for fun.
As difficult as it was, I refused to bring my chalk. I hopped on a plane with the smallest luggage I own, some jeans, a few t-shirts, and a Swiss Army Knife.

I'm usually on my own chalk pitch for 12 hours of the day and only get to hear shows. If they're pole or unicycle shows I can usually make out the finale.
But I was surprised at how few shows I actually wanted to see, once I had the opportunity. I judge so quickly now for reasons the audience really doesn't care about, and it makes me feel a little snotty.
I'm sure we all do, in our own ways.

Anyway, amidst many, many really great acts, ONE stood out to me and I stuck around to watch it several times. It's evolving quickly and I suggest that anyone in the area catch it while the festival is still running. Catch it before Eric Cash disappears back into the internet and becomes merely an electronic caricature once more.

Eric arrived to Edmonton with a half built chicken cannon, some shorting out electronics, and a brand spanking new show, never before performed. The goal -- to succeed with a variety show with absolutely no variety content. All original stand-up and sincere audience interaction. This new show lays bare for everyone what the majority of street shows are, but try to keep secret -- that it's a whole lot of entertaining distraction, leading up to a ridiculous finale, which ultimately means nothing. It's all about the character. Do they love you? Then who cares what you "do".
What did Eric "do"? He climbed a ladder (just the average Home Depot kind), and had an audience member aim a cannon to fire a "bang" sign, a burst of water, an air horn, and a stuffed chicken, wearing an aviator's helmet.
All Eric "did" was climb a ladder and press buttons on a remote control. But what he DID was make me laugh my freaking guts out even long after the jokes had settled. ...which is difficult with the anti-depressants I'm on, because big gut laughs sometimes make me a little nauseous. So in short, Eric Cash made me want to puke.
He gets away with jokes that, if read as a transcript could look really mean. But they're not at all. If you watch the interaction, there's a glimmer in his eye and smile on his face that lets the audience know he loves them. He cares. He's on their side. They love it.
There are a bunch of glitches to work out in the show, to be sure, but this is the spine for something pretty great, I think.
Before any great break through, it's always just "a crazy idea". And no great breakthrough ever came from a normal idea.
I think Eric is showing himself as a performer's performer with this new show, and as soon as he switches from a ladder to a pole he's sure to make great hats.

That's my two cents.
My extremely eager and overly proud two cents.
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Old 08-21-09, 11:24 AM   #2
jeep caillouet
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I just saw Todd various pictures on face book of the street performers there.
And lot god pictures of my many friends there. He even had a picture of a side walk artist working.
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Old 08-21-09, 11:41 AM   #3
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.................................................. ...........sigh.
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Old 08-22-09, 04:18 AM   #4
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Eric is the first street performer i ever saw live, i was trying to do my thing next to him back in the day when i had no idea what i was doing just trying to survive in a foriegn country, needles to say i packed up my shit and went to watch like the rest of the moths drawn to this show. and the first thing i said after wards was...this guy did sweet bugger all! he just farted around and did two crappy tricks the whole show...but I stayed and canned myself (south african for laugh a lot, i don't know if other people say that)for the entire 45 minutes. and learnt a lot about how to do it. whatever it is that he actually did, i'm still not sure, but i left inspired none the less..

don't mean to give you a big head or nothing eric. respect from my side though.

Devin.
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Old 08-22-09, 01:10 PM   #5
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I think his head could due to be a bit bigger.
...Not physically. It's a bit disproportionately large, in a child-like manner, but that might be mostly his hair.
I hope we can manage to retrain audiences to a certain degree to realize that good comedy IS the skill/talent/trick in shows like this. The only problem is, that when done well, it looks so easy. You can't make good comedy look challenging, or it ceases to be good comedy.
It's a tough nut to crack, and I have huge respect for those who take a crack at it.
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Old 08-23-09, 08:21 PM   #6
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Thanks for the kind words, guys, and Devin, you're always welcome in SF, I think you know that (he's pretty damned good, by the way). Edmonton was a BLAST, the last show I just did was fucking incredible. Thank you to all the great, imaginary Canadians I met here, as well as a couple Kiwis and Aussies that were awesome as well.
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Old 12-13-09, 07:01 PM   #7
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Wow, do you know that I only just clicked that you, Rachel are the very same Rachel Peters that I read posts from on pnet? I met you at Edmonton with Eric and I somehow didn't figure out who you are till now.

I know Eric had a tough time working on his new show there. We all know how hard it is working in a completely new act and how many performers who attempt it quickly scurry back to what they know works already. And a show with no content, that's always gonna be difficult. Big ups to Eric for persevering!

It's the creation part of street that is so rewarding though and I admire anyone who leaves the safety of their SOS (same old shit) known show to venture to new frontiers. I'm still adjusting my show and find it hugely rewarding when a tweak improves the flow. I'm finally getting to where I always wanted to get with it. I'd like to tour Canada again next year so might run into you again :-)

You just reminded me to post the pics of Eric's show from Edmonton that I'd been meaning to send him so thanks!
Toni
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Old 12-13-09, 07:11 PM   #8
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I want my chicken pics!!
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Old 12-13-09, 08:41 PM   #9
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You were pretty wicked yourself, Toni!

...I have the urge to shout "GIRL POWER!"
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Old 12-13-09, 08:57 PM   #10
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Haha, ok Eric I'm on it! Check my facebook photos. Thanks Rachel, hope we meet again sometime
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