Monday, February 8, 2010

Meet Your Fringe Staff: AMANDA DODGE

Amanda Dodge is the Secretary / Database Manager, which entails recording minutes from the staff and board meetings, managing the data for the Chicago Fringe Festival, maintaining the mailing list.

I started performing in plays when I was in high school in Lafayette, Louisiana. I also competed in Speech tournaments throughout Louisiana and Texas. Performing on stage or through competitions just stuck with me because I loved playing other characters: inventing accents and postures for them, and analyzing them. When I attended college at the University of Louisiana, I started out as a Secondary Speech Education Major, but after my first play freshman year, I quickly changed it to Performing Arts. I went on to perform for the college as well as different theatres throughout the city. On top of theatre, I started performing stand up in Lafayette and Baton Rouge. I also performed in an improv group in Lafayette called Hubbub! After college, I wanted to move somewhere large that had a theatre scene, but not as big as New York. I landed on Chicago because I had originally planned on attending Second City...after 5 years of living here, I haven't quite gotten around to it. After 2 weeks of living in Chicago, I started working as a production assistant for Raven Theatre (on Clark & Granville). They were 2 blocks away from where I lived at the time, so I thought I would start somewhere. I've been closely tied with them for the past 5 years doing different jobs for them.

I just recently attended my very first fringe festival while in New Orleans. It was one of the most amazing experiences. I saw so many wonderful shows that made me laugh, cry and ponder. You know it's a good show when you think about it weeks later and the thoughts and images still have an impact on you.
I'm excited that this is my and several others' first Chicago Fringe festival. I'm excited that one of my very dear and closest friends, Sarah Mikayla Brown, asked me to be a part of this. I'm excited about highlighting different Chicago neighborhoods every year and that will give everyone a chance to get to know this city. I'm excited and eager to see what talented performers will be here. On a completely different and realistic side note, I also want to see where our errors will lie come our first year. I'm not trying to be negative; I just try to look at everything from every single angle. So, I want to know what our flaws will be, so in years to come we can polish it, tune it and seriously make Chicago one of the greatest American fringe stops ever.

I am hoping that the CFF will bring performing artists in who want to put on their shows in a totally different environment and on a totally different level. I am hoping that by showcasing different neighborhoods, it will bring the communities together. I'm also hoping that it makes me seem more important than I am... just kidding.

If you haven't joined the mailing list yet, you should. Because if you don't... it hurts my feelings and it makes Jesus cry.

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