Production Photos

The Fringe festival likes for you to have production stills early in May. For some people, the ones who are bringing previously produced work, this might be possible, but for us, we’ve *never* made the deadline. We’re generally still writing the thing, we’ve only get vague ideas about casting, and we aren’t even thinking about costumes or props or sets.

So, getting pictures is really hard.

(On all of these, you can click for larger)

Colin inspects Meredith

We’ve got a big community of people doing theater here, and we’re all trying to help one another, so it isn’t impossible to find someone willing to give you a hand when you’re kind of lost. I’ve read that ants can survive crossing great distances of water by creating a kind of ball that just spins, the ones on the underside hold their breath, while the ones on top hyperventilate, and then the ball rolls and everyone switches.

This is what our community of producers does. Right now, I’m hyperventilating, and, since the summer is a down time for a lot of other people, there are a big group of folks holding us above the water.

Meredith poses for the Viral video, being shot by Jarvis and Geena

Alex Roe at Metropolitan Playhouse totally came through for us, in a much bigger way than I could have imagined. I sent out a bat signal saying “does anyone know of a place we can take some pictures” and Alex set up the light grid and gave us his space for a whole night, way more than I had asked for.

Meredith and Colin square off, while Jarvis and Geena duck and cover

We’re fiercely protective of our actors. All of us are, but I’m pretty touchy about the whole thing, having spent too many years as an actor myself. There is a lot of discussion about the role of the production company, about the power of the written word in the script and about the deft maneuvering of the director… but once the lights go up, it’s an actor’s medium, plain and simple, and not nearly enough respect is given to the blue collar workers of our world. These are the mugs who are pulling the coal from the vein, and they gave up an evening of their time (one of countless things that actors do) just so we could take pictures of them at a theater.

Colin, Geena and Jarvis meet Meredith in an online chat

It’s hard because we know we can’t offer them much in return. There’s no money for anyone, although what we do have we give them. There’s no fame, there just isn’t. In this world, a handful of actors are celebrated, but it’s the playwrights who earn the reputation. There’s a lot of work, it’s emotionally harrowing, it costs you a couple of months of your life, auditions-through-closing, and then the show is gone, and you’re left with memories, another line on your resume and a long wait at the next EPA audition.

And although we know that nobody is ignorant of the set-up, and that they do it because they love it as much as we do, we still try to make sure to make it *good* for them, as good as we can. In the end, all we can really offer them is a script, and hope that it means as much to them as it does to us. We give them a story that is worth telling, and then, hopefully, when they’re in the line at Ripley Grier, they can at least think back on their time this summer as well spent.

This entire cast, all of them, have never done a show with Gideon before. Last night, the showed they were game, everyone there, working, in costume, trying to help us sell the show. It’s up to us to deserve the work they are putting in.