A Letter from a Die-Hard Fringer!

Who doesn’t want to be part of a solid and supportive community? I’m sure you do!!

Did I help you at a Fringe show?—Jessica Leung photo

 Do I look familiar? Have you noticed me at the Fringe? There’s a good chance we’ve crossed paths in the Volunteer Centre, or at a show…and I’ve probably noticed you!

OK, I hope I’m not sounding as creepy as I look in the photo below…

My name is Holly Hamilton and I’m a die-hard Fringer! As long as I can remember, I’ve loved theatre. My mum, who works in visual arts and also loves theatre, started taking me to shows when I was just a kid and I loved it!

When my mum heard how many shows the Fringe Festival had, and so that many of
them are not at all mainstream, she signed up as a volunteer to help out. She also hoped that we could see lots of local independent theatre together without breaking the bank, but we saw so many shows that the money-saving plan failed! Ha ha!

This is me in the show Haunted House.—Miscellaneous Productions photo

Well, I was totally hooked, and the next year I talked my way into becoming the youngest volunteer in Fringe history! A special position was created just for me, helping fellow Fringers (and potential Fringers!) learn about and enjoy the Festival. It went so well that the position is now a regular volunteer job, Fringe Festival Ambassador!

These days, I’m a Venue Captain. I run the audience operations at Festival venues. During the Festival I have at least eight shifts (and always end up picking up a few more!), but I still manage to see an average of 30 shows every year!

This past Festival was my fifth year volunteering. I love it so much!

It’s not just the volunteering I love. I dream of doing my own Fringe show—when I’m a bit older and have more time! I think a lot about what it could be about and how I’d do it. When I see the Fringe artists touring together and interacting like one big family, I get so excited! They are so passionate about what they’re doing that I really feel inspired to explore new performance styles.

I think everyone should have access to theatre and that’s one of the things I love most about the Fringe! It makes access easy for both independent theatre artists and audiences!

Because I just can’t get enough theatre, I’m also directing a junior play in school and performing in a senior production. I’ll be graduating next year (finally!) and I’m already looking into theatre programs in Vancouver and elsewhere in Canada. And if one of those programs doesn’t work for me, I want to work behind the scenes. Basically I want to spread my love for theatre and help increase access to theatre any way I can!

You already know how amazing your Fringe community is. For me, it’s been a huge lesson in being human: all these different people—volunteers, artists, and patrons—are so connected, somehow “on the same level.” Whatever our role, we share a passion for theatre and the Fringe world!

Here I am in a talkback about Haunted House.—Miscellaneous Productions photo

All in all, the Fringe and the independent theatre community we share is special and unique. Nobody does as much for independent theatre as we all do together through the Festival, Fringe Presents, and Theatre Wire. It’s a great extended family, but it needs your help!

We all come together and do our part to help the Fringe community stay strong. Your ongoing support for the Fringe means we can continue to bring people together, through the Festival and Theatre Wire. Because of you, we can strengthen the community we all love.

The Fringe has a fundraising goal of $10,000 to hit by the end of November, and you can help us get there! Please make a lump sum gift or sign up for monthly giving by November 30 to ensure we reach our target!

Please say “YES!” to strengthening independent theatre and the Fringe community!

Thank you so much!

Holly Hamilton

P.S. If you make a new, increased, or monthly donation by November 30, the Fringe Match Makers will double your gift!! Nobody else has your power to create amazing Fringe opportunities!!