Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sage Advice from Old Fringe Hands, Rebecca Kling Edition

Sage Advice from Old Fringe Hands: a series in which Chi Fringe veterans share their hard-won wisdom about drawing audiences, breaking legs and making the most of the best Festival this side of the Chicago River!

After performing last year's Fringe hit Uncovering the Mirrors, REBECCA KLING returns to Chi Fringe this year with her multimedia one-woman show No Gender Left Behind. Check out her show, and if it relates to your own, take her advice and ask to cross promote!

Sage advice from Rebecca:

Get out there and flyer! I can't stress enough how important it is to have adequate flyers or postcards, and to go out and distribute them. If you have time, stop by coffee shops, restaurants, stores, etc and leave things there. (Just be sure to ask for permission!) If not, make sure to - at the very least - walk around the Fringe Fest and hand out postcards. "Hey! I have this show going on in the Festival, hope you can check it out." Figure out which shows are selling well, and go flyer their audience before or after they see the show.

Meet other artists and see their shows. You have an awesome (and free) opportunity to see a ton of really amazing performances with your artist pass. Use it! This can also help build your own audience: Find a show with similar content to your own, and ask to cross-promote. Take time after your curtain call to say "If you liked our performance, go see this other show."

Along those lines, Fringe is not a zero-sum game. It's possible for everyone to win, because audience members will come back to see multiple shows. So don't view audience building as a competition so much as a collaboration.

Have fun! Post-Fringe activities inevitably include bars, hanging out, and (new this year) FOURSQUARE! Use Fringe as an opportunity to network, meet people, and make friends.

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