Although many artist will bang on about how the fringe is a place where art is pushed and stretched creating new and exciting experiences for hungry culture seeking audiences by the youngest, brightest and most fabulous cutting edge creative types. Know this is bullshit. You have seen the un imaginative crap that fill the fringe venues and the equally crap shows they hand out awards to and you know that you can make that crap too. Ultimate the fringe is a place were you can sell your self to the world and become rich and famous.
The fringe is a place where uniqueness and creative brilliance will not be celebrated but it can found. Usually it can be located in a 20 seater venue behind a burnt out mets lab performing in a cat suit to 5 people, 3 of which bought tickets to the wrong show. You can not afford to be that mad cat man clown.After all you just left circus school after 3 very expensive years of hard training and now It time to make your money back.
The fringe is a market place. And if you want your show to stand out in this market, you don’t need an unforgettable show or talented artist, fabulous production or quirky fashion all you need is a great publicists and some hot marketing.
Success is guaranteed if you spend a-lot of money and preferably somebody else’s money.
A golden rule is Other People Money. Get it use it and make sure when you lose it all that they will not be looking for it back.
Online crowdfunding is time consuming, and arts funding unreliable.
However if you need fast cash family and friends is a great place to start.
Several of your fiends from circus school will be desperate, narcissistic, and unemployed exploit this.
Many of your them will be in depth to the tune of thousand of pounds. Remember in order to get this deep in depth they must have come from a privileged background. Get them or their parents to invest in your show, whats a few extra thousand pounds of depth when they are already in ten of thousand of pounds of depths.
Remember all those baby boomer uncles and auntie who live vicariously through you on social media always liking and sharing your post bragging about their amazing nephew/niece leaving comments like #followyourdreams, #dreamdocomethrough #circuseverydamday.
Now is the time hit them up for some meaning-full support and to turn that admiration into some hard cash.
Now you have cash its time to spend it. Pour all of it into marketing. Performer fees can be persponed until after the run, coustum burrowed, and you second cousin can be technician. Your marketing budget should include spends on, poster, flyers, disruption, billboards, radio tv and a serval cases of Prosecco and a large bag of cocaine.
The group 25-45 year old women are the biggest ticket buying group. Design your poster with this in minds. A young topless breaded male acrobat lit from above swinging on a rope while holding a young impossible skinny distressed looking female acrobat clinging on to him. The tag line should be CLING Love, Circus and Sex, If Forty Shades of Grey turned you one this show will blow your mind. Include the following quotes “This show changed my life” Beyonce, 5 starts the New York Guardian, Best circus show London Fringe.
Casting will be equally easy.Remember you are creating opportunity for otherwise unemployed circus artist to preformed at a fringe festival, it will be a great investment in their future. Obviously you will not be able to pay them for rehearsal or the shows, but promise that what ever profit you make form your run will be distributed equally among all the cast. There will be no profits.
When people complain that they are in effect paying to play, tell them they are “acting like a spoilt privileged white prat.” Do this in front of the rest of the cast and storm out slamming a door or pushing over a table. Guilt is a great way to control difficult cast members.
Rehearsals are expensive and mostly unnecessary.
Keep in mind shows make themselves. Which is good as you will be way to busy working on marketing and sharing your cocaine with producers to worry about the show.
What ever rehearsing need to be done do it during tec time. The changing room or the alley way behind the venue is also a good place to finish the show.
If you are worried about the shows content just barrow form other show you have seen. It is perfectly legal to use someone eles act if you just change coustum or the music. Credit them if asked but if no asks then let people belive it was your original idea, remember this is theater, its make belive, don’t ruin peoples perceptions of you and your show with a small detail like the truth.
Remember people don’t go to see as many circus shows as you have been exposed to. Cry wheel is still a novelty for most audiences.If in doubt take more clothes off and add blow up sex dolls, for comedy effect.
When it comes to the cast only cast one token women (No fatties, or women with hairy arm pitts) and surround them with men, this will encourage admiration from men and jealously from women. Down light all the male performer and make sure they preformed with their top of and have 6 packs, even male juggler should have 6 packs.
Your show is up and running now the important work begins.Try to hang out with and befriend producers as this is where the real power lies.
All producers are just failed artist. Because of there inability to have a successful creative career, they they will be massively cynical about the arts and especially other successful artist. Use this to your advantage, bad mouth every other artist and company you know to them, this will endear you to them. At the same time complementing them about their quirky dress senses. All producer like to think of themselves as fashionista its the one place where they can let loose their failed creativity. Ask where they get their hair done, and who their favourite designer is. Consider going on a shopping and cocktails excursions with them.
Go to the late night bars and buy drink for producer, noting can get a contract singed faster than an intoxicated pen or a nose full off free cocaine.
Been a circus person you are more than likely to have a desirable athletic body. Use it. Be willing to wear tight fitting clothes and develop a come one come all welcoming moral compass that always pointing toward an open bedroom door.
Perused your artist to feel the same way and encourage them to supplement their income by using their bodied to fulfil the circus fantasy of looney men and women. Its a service that has minimum effort but with big returns.
Some people will see this as exploitation, dismiss their complaints as backward and old fashion and claim it is a entrepreneurial way to encourage philanthropy.
Don’t waste your time with critics.
Awards, and five star reviews can be bought, borrowed, or just made up. No one will ever checks if they are authentic. Thanks to social media even body is a critic these days and they all trying to grow there social media reach and will be glad to give you 5 stars reviews or some sort of award even without having see your show.
Your mobile phone is your weapon its a show selling light sabre of number of producer who you have compromising photos of, journalist and critic you have slept with, artist who are desperate for work. Have 3 phone, one for company use, one for personal use and one to troll your competition.
Remember social Media is free to use and abuse. All your artist should be obliged to take and post daily selfies of them doing handstands, and splits, especially at sunset or sunrise.
Be warned that a fringe season can be a long slog. The late nights of networking in bars, and after parties will take their toll. The lack of sleep and the constant hangover will have to be alleviated by self medicating with cocaine. The drug dependency and alcohol will make you erratic, difficult, snappy and general an asshole smelling of cat piss, but remember that attitude and smell is the true sign of a real artist. The borrowed money form friend and love one to feed your habits will have left you friendless and estranged form you family. But fuck them you don’t need them, your show is a hit and you now been doing it for over 20 years traveling all over the world in city and towns you never herd of. You have live glued to your phone or laptop, chain smoking and addicted to a cocktail of amphetamines, vodka and painkiller which you inject into your eyeballs. And then one night so disoriented form drugs and drink you stumble into the wrong show in a venue behind a burnt out mets lab. You sit and watch a sad old circus clown dressed in a cat suit sing songs about his dead grandmother while jugging plastic bags and you laugh like you have never laugh uncontrollable tears pouring from your jaded eyes. Even though you are blind drunk and hammered stoned this magical scene gives you a lighting moment of clarity and right then you understands that your life work has been vacuous and pointless. You leave the venue a shell of a human being replaying all the lie you said, all the people you exploited, you reach for your mobile to ring home or a friend, but you are dead to all of them. You collapse on top of a homeless person down some nameless alley way in a city who’s name you cant pronounce. The moon is laughing at you and you pass out to the sound of fighting cats.You punch the local cop who prods you awake in the morning. The cops chase you for 2 blocks finial wrestling you to the ground you scream and scratch at them, proclaiming “Don’t you know who I am” The cops beat you with sticks, obviously they have no idea who you are.You yell and cry in pain. “I am the great cat man”They drag you shouting to the local mad house as you continue to shout naked except for a pair of odd sock “I am the cat man, I am the cat man”.