Chicago Fringe Artists are so dreamy. On this Valentine's Day, I find myself reflecting on them, and the last three years of CFF.
I don't think it's something that I necessarily thought about - that I would have this annual experience where I meet so many new friends. That's simply put, but it's profound for me. I know that the rest of the staff feels the same. Every year, I handle artist relations - and that really puts me in a privileged position to get to know them. In my opening email to the participants, I refer to myself as their "main squeeze" - to encourage them to write me with questions. Every year, many of them refer to me as that, which amuses me greatly. Some artists come in, and I don't end up having a lot of contact with them. Some, I manage to see their show, but never get to talk to them, just admiring them from afar. Some come in from far flung locales and want to soak up as much Fringe as possible. They come out with us every night. They Facebook friend us. They wish us happy birthday.
Almost to a person though, Fringe Artists are kind. They give us great feedback - they want us to succeed. They are professional; they care about their work. I could wax lovingly about theatre people in general, but I think there might be something special about Fringers. They live with a sense of adventure. They roll with the punches. They like meeting strangers.
They inspire me, and I love them.
XOXO Fringe Cuties.