When I moved to Missoula, Montana in September 2013, I thought that my time with the Hollywood Fringe Festival was ending. I had covered the Fringe as a member of the press since its inception in 2010. Through the past four years, I saw a lot of shows (including more than 100 last year), and made a lot of fringeships, i.e., Fringe friendships.
After moving to Missoula, I discovered that they were just beginning their own Fringe journey. I emailed the director, Michelle Risho, and asked if I could be involved. The next thing I knew, I was the co-Executive Director of the ZooTown Fringe Festival, which is in high gear as we prepare for our second Festival on August 13-17, 2014.
Suddenly, I had the chance to come back and partake in the 2014 Hollywood Fringe. I contacted my friend, Jen Lyneis of Ue3 Promotions, who was willing for me to crash at her place. I started reviewing the projects and making my selections of what to attend. I loaded up my car and headed east on Interstate 90 and south of Interstate 15 and before I knew it, I was back in Hollywood.
My journey began on June 12 and concluded on June 22. Along the way I drove a total of 2,985 miles, visited eight states, saw three musical concerts (Alexis Keegan at WitZend in Venice, California; Alisha Zalkin at Bar Lubitsch in West Hollywood, California; and Marina V at Whitestone Winery in Spokane, Washington) and 26 Fringe shows, and wrote 19 articles for Examiner.com.
I was able to connect with quite a few of my fringeships from prior years, including but not limited to Fringe staffers Ben Hill, Stacy Jones Hill, Meghan McCauley, Abbie Wagoner, Elizabeth Steele and Kanchan Mattoo, venue staff Matthew Quinn, Monica Martin, Aaron Saldana, Victoria Watson and Allie White, and participants Chris Farah, Brandon Baruch, Ben Moroski, Heidi Powers, Ezra Buzzington, Michael Shaw Fisher, Gregory and Jenn Crafts, Corey Howe, Lauren Flans, Monica Miklas, Bill Ratner, David Haverty, Jesse Merlin, Leigh Wulff, Jeffrey Wylie, Chad Kukahiko, Aaron Lyons, Efrain Schunior, Katie Molinaro, Fiona Lakeland, Dana Lynn Lyman, Alex Knox, Erin Scott, Curt Bonnem, Gowrie Hayden, Jeremy Aluma, Jim Martyka and Karina Wolfe. (Hopefully I didn't leave anyone out, but I sure I did - please don't take offense).
Among the new "fringeships" I developed this year were Kyla Garcia, Liz Eldridge, Katie Rubin, Jennifer Jasper, Kathie Whitehall, Sammi Lappin, Daniello Janco, Vicki Rodriguez and Katherine Diaz.
I'm happy to say that I attended all but two (Love Is and Into the Fog) of the Fringe Award winners.
Here are my favorite seven shows from HFF14. Reviews of each show are available at Examiner.com or on the Fringe website:
7. NO HOMO - A Bromatic Tragedy
6. Fancy: Secrets from my Bootydoir
5. Werewolves of Hollywood Blvd: A Damnable Rock Musical
4. The Mermaid Who Learned How to Fly
3. Friends Like These
1. Lydia Trueblood: The Black Widow of the Atlantic Coast
I can hardly wait for HFF15, when I plan to return for two weeks. In the meantime, I will continue working on the ZooTown Fringe, and hope to see several HFF14 shows here in Missoula. Until then, fringe on!