With only a few childhood memories related to acting, Katie entered the Fringe community as a complete novice. After attending a Fringe Festival in 2022 however, she felt the urge to immerse herself in the world of performing arts. What followed was a journey that not only exceeded her expectations but is bound to become an unforgettable chapter in her life.
‘I decided to enter my name into the Fringe lottery after attending my first Fringe festival last year. When I learned anyone can apply to perform a show, I thought to myself “well, I haven’t done anything interesting in a while!” and entered my name. I also thought “what are the chances of getting my name drawn anyways?” But then there I was at the lottery hearing my name called – then I knew it was real!
I’m not an actor – the most theatre I did was when I was young in Ireland with my small parish’s community theatre. Yet right from the time we had a check-in and welcome dinner, the support was amazing! There was so much buzz and excitement about the upcoming festival – everyone was encouraging and saying “you got this”, and I did my best to believe them even if I didn’t feel it at the time. It felt like I was part of a big family. It didn’t matter that I didn’t have theatre experience – I was fully supported and welcomed.
After each show I would come out and talk to the audience to thank them for coming and share that this wasn’t my natural habitat – it was my “challenge for the year”. I was overwhelmed with the positive comments and feedback audiences would share with me after the show. A lot of people said my show was relatable and they’ve been in a similar situation, which was my goal. I wanted to share the vulnerability of the uncomfortable situations in life, and that we’re all going through similar challenges. I wanted my show make the audience feel that “you’re not alone”.
Two people told me I inspired them to start their own creative project, and asked me for advice. I said “just start!” It doesn’t have to be perfect – you just need to create. In fact, I think the pieces that are rough around the edges suit the Fringe the best. It’s an inclusive space for everyone.
The best part about the Fringe isn’t even the shows – it’s the moments between, when you mingle with others on Granville Island. There’s a sense of community and people talk with each other and form friendships. Someone even offered to help me as I was flyering, and then every time we met at the festival we would talk like old friends – even though we had only met a few days ago!
Now my friends and I have a catch phrase. Whenever we’re encouraging each other to do something outside the norm we say “do something Fringey” – whether that’s striking up a conversation with someone in a café, or planning to go out on a whim and write a book (which may be my next project!)’
Feeling inspired? Keep your eyes peeled for news and details on our 2024 Fringe lottery. You might just have your best experience yet…